Darrell Issa challenges 'executive privilege' of President Obama in letter
Seven-page letter says Obama used override to further obstruct congressional investigation
A seven-page letter, from House Oversight Chairman Darrell Issa
addressed to Barack Obama over the fast and furious scandal has been
obtained by NBC News that reiterates the chasm between Congress and the
attorney general. Issa challenges the president's assertion of "executive privilege" in the letter. Congress has been busy trying to
obtain documents connected with the investigation.
In a letter to the president, Darrell Issa asks why Attorney General Eric Holder was offering certain documents last week under the condition that the contempt citation be dropped, but those same documents were shielded by executive privilege the next day.
Issa turns up the heat by stating that either the president's "most senior advisers were involved in managing Operation Fast & Furious ... and the fallout" or the White House is asserting "a presidential power that you know to be unjustified solely for the purpose of further obstructing a congressional investigation."
The letter also includes the president's own public statements that neither he nor Attorney General Eric Holder knew about, or authorized the operation.
Issa asks why Holder was offering certain documents last week under the condition that the contempt citation be dropped, but those same documents were shielded by executive privilege the next day.
Issa says there has been no explanation for how Holder could tell the president that releasing the documents would result in "significant damaging consequences" shortly after saying he could provide them to congressional leaders if contempt was off the table.
Issa goes through the history of the fast and furious case, which includes the death of border agent Brian Terry. He then reminds the president that Attorney General Holder provided false information to Congress on Feb. 4, 2011 in a letter that denied the gun operation permitted illegally bought weapons to cross into Mexico.
The Justice Department later retracted that denial afterwards. Issa pointedly states that lying to Congress is a crime itself and says the subpoenaed documents pertain to Holder's denial and internal communications that brought about the subsequent correction.
Issa also asks for any communications between the administration and Justice between the date of the false denial and June 18, 2012, the day before privilege was asserted.
Issa downplays criticism that the contempt vote is a political move. He complains that Holder referred to the committee's action as an "election-year tactic."
Issa writes that "nothing could be further from the truth. This statement not only betrays a total lack of understanding of our investigation, it exemplifies the stonewalling we have consistently faced."
The House Oversight Chairman tells Obama he is "hopeful the Attorney General will provide the specified documents so that we can work towards resolving this matter short of a contempt citation."
© 2012, Catholic Online. Distributed by NEWS CONSORTIUM.
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General Intention: The Faith of Christians. That in this Year of Faith Christians may deepen their knowledge of the mystery of Christ and witness joyfully to the gift of faith in him.
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Keywords: Darrell Issa, Eric Holder, President Obama, fast and furious
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