June 20, 2012
LaRouchePAC - After an extensive hearing, the House Oversight Committee has voted in favor of holding Obama Administration Attorney General Eric Holder in contempt of Congress for stonewalling and withholding subpoenaed documentation regarding Operation Fast & Furious. The contempt citation passed by a vote of 23 to 17. A contempt report is now ordered to be sent to the full House.
“The federal government’s diabolical plan to “create crime” along the US border and then ride in as the savior with new gun restrictions – is now in retreat… Obama’s latest retreat towards executive privilege may be construed by the public and some media as an indirect admission of guilt by association (…) Ultimately, Fast and Furious could be the straw which breaks this administration’s grip on the strings of power in the White House.” - Patrick Henningsen
“How can the president assert executive privilege if there was no White House involvement? How can the president exert executive privilege over documents he’s supposedly never seen? Is something very big being hidden to go to this extreme?” - Sen. Chuck Grassley of Iowa
“The White House decision to invoke executive privilege implies that White House officials were either involved in the Fast and Furious operation or the cover-up that followed.“ - Brendan Buck, press secretary of House Speaker John A. Boehner
“The use of Executive Privilege by the Obama White House makes a direct tie to the administraiton now.” - The Ulsterman Report White House Insider
“If the President was not personally involved, executive privilege does not apply.” - Judge Andrew Napolitano
Just minutes before the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee convened at 10 a.m. today to vote to hold Attorney General Eric Holder in contempt of Congress for failure to comply with a subpoena for documents relating to Operation Fast and Furious, it was announced by the Justice Department that Eric Holder had requested and Barack Obama granted his request to assert executive priviledge.
Just last week, Eric Holder had said in testimony before the Senate Judiciary Committee that he was not asserting executive privilege in not providing the House Committee with documents requested. He has also testified that he has never spoken to the President about Operation Fast and Furious.
Nonetheless Deputy Attorney General James M. Cole sent a letter to Rep. Issa, chairman of the House Oversight Committee, reporting that Holder had asked Obama to assert executive privilege and that “the President has asserted executive privilege over the relevant post-February 4, 2011, documents. The legal basis for the President’s assertion of executive privilege is set forth in the enclosed letter to the President from the Attorney General. In brief, the compelled production to Congress of these internal Executive Branch documents generated in the course of the deliberative process concerning the Department’s response to congressional oversight and related media inquiries would have significant, damaging consequences…. Such compelled disclosure would be inconsistent with the separation of powers established in the Constitution and would potentially create an imbalance in the relationship between these two co-equal branches of the Government.”
In his letter to Obama Holder actually argues that the “Committee’s asserted need for post-February 4 documents is further diminished by the Inspector General’s ongoing investigation of Fast and Furious which was undertaken at my request. The existence of this investigation belies any supsicion that the Department is attempting to conceal important facts concerning Fast and Furious from the Committee. Moreover, in light of the Inspector General’s investigaiton, congressional oversight is not the only means by which the management of the Department’s response to Fast and Furious may be scrutinized.”
Just as Eric Holder previously argued that due process does not necessarily mean judicial process in defense of the President’s policy of assassinating American citizens, in this case apparently congressional oversight is not necessary if the administration investigates itself.
The President himself, who is the only one who can make the assertion of executive privilege, had not communicated his assertion to the Committee at the time that the Committee convened.
The response to the President’s assertion was rapid. Sen. Chuck Grassley of Iowa said the assertion raises “monumental questions. How can the president assert executive privilege if there was no White House involvement? How can the president exert executive privilege over documents he’s supposedly never seen? Is something very big being hidden to go to this extreme?”
During the committee hearings, Rep. Dan Burton said: “The president’s assertion of executive privilege creates more questions. The attorney general has asserted on numerous occasions that he didn’t know about this, now the president of the United States has claimed executive privilege. And now that brings into question whether Eric Holder knew about it and how much the President knew about it. My question is, who knew about this, how high up did it go, did it go to the attorney general or president of the United States and when did they know about this?”
House Speaker John A. Boehner, questioned the White House’s claim of executive privilege. His press secretary, Brendan Buck said that until now “everyone believed that the decisions regarding Fast and Furious were confined to the Department of Justice. The White House decision to invoke executive privilege implies that White House officials were either involved in the Fast and Furious operation or the cover-up that followed. The administration has always insisted that wasn’t the case. Were they lying, or are they now bending the law to hide th truth?”
Judge Andrew Napolitano said: “If the Attorney General discussed this with President, he probably doesn’t want the Congress and the public to know that because we know about the awful events that occurred as a result of the Fast and Furious escapade. The last time this happened — 40-years-ago in the Nixon Watergate saga, a federal judge ruled against the President and the Supreme Court upheld his ruling. We may see this going in that direction now. They can’t have it both ways. If the President was not personally involved, executive privilege does not apply.”
The Ulsterman Report White House Insider said: “The use of Executive Privilege by the Obama White House makes a direct tie to the administraiton now. The perception of that is now the reality of it. Obama owns Fast and Furious. He can’t walk that back. It’s his. He is telling Congress he won’t hand over docs. The line in the sand was placed there by the President himself.”
Obama Hides Behind “Executive Privilege”
In Damage Control Over “Fast and Furious”
by Patrick Henningsen
June 21, 2012
The federal government’s diabolical plan to “create crime” along the US border and then ride in as the savior with new gun restrictions – is now in retreat…
The House Oversight Committee hearings have put both Eric Holder and the White House on their back heels this morning, further fueling a scandal which has now forced the White House into a rear-guard action.
In a move that is certain to fuel speculation about Barack Obama’s knowledge of the Federal government’s clandestine gun-running operation into the Mexican black market, the President has moved to claim ‘executive privilege’ regarding any documents relating to the notorious “Operation Fast and Furious.”
The case has reached a critical juncture as the House panel has finally moved to hold Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. in criminal contempt after he failed to comply with official Congressional requests to hand over thousands of cables and documents relating to the scandal.
According to reports this morning from the Washington Post:
In a letter sent to Obama late Tuesday, Holder urged Obama to exert executive privilege, because sharing internal documents with lawmakers could “have significant, damaging consequences.”
Sharing the documents “would inhibit candor of such Executive Branch deliberations in the future and significantly impair the Executive Branch’s ability to respond independently and effectively to congressional oversight,” Holder wrote to Obama.
Last night, the embattled US Attorney General Eric Holder attempted to cut a deal with the House and Senate committees, hoping to walk free in exchange for handing over missing documents – but Holder’s offer was rejected by House Oversight and Government Reform Committee Chairman Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) who plans to move ahead with a motion for contempt.
The Washington Post details Holder’s attempt at a backroom escape from suffering contempt charges:
The attorney general met Tuesday night with leaders of the House oversight committee and the Senate Judiciary Committee in hopes of reaching an agreement that would have Justice hand over requested documents in exchange for the House panel dropping its plans to vote on contempt charges Wednesday.
If the House committee cites Holder for criminal contempt, it would open a process that would require House Speaker John A. Boehner (R-Ohio) to schedule a floor vote. If passed by the full House, the matter would then move to the U.S. attorney for the District of Columbia, Ronald C. Machen Jr., who is an employee of the Justice Department.
Holding an Executive Branch official in contempt of Congress is rare, having occurred just four other times in the last three decades.
Since the scandal surfaced back in early 2011, commentators had warning that the gravity of the arms trafficking crimes in question could make ‘Fast and Furious’ this White House’s Watergate moment, and a potentially devastating blow to the flagging Obama during the run-up to this November’s US Presidential election.
During a in-depth Infowars.com investigation into Fast and Furious, it was discovered that ATF, DEA and FBI agents working under the direction of the US Department of Justice, were illegally acquiring firearms through straw purchasers in states like Arizona, and then intentionally flooding the black market around the Mexican border regions with thousands of illegal guns – in order to demonize and regulate gun sellers in US border states. As a result, multiple lives were lost at the hands of gangs using Fast and Furious weapons including federal agents in the line of duty. The operation was ultimately designed to set the stage for further restrictions on the Second Amendment and increased gun restrictions in the near future.
Obama’s latest retreat towards executive privilege may be construed by the public and some media as an indirect admission of guilt by association, and will most likely lead to an increase in damage control from White House spin doctors – hoping to avert a similar fate suffered by Richard Nixon, whose cover-up went from bad to worse and eventually led to his humiliating resignation.
Ultimately, Fast and Furious could be the straw which breaks this administration’s grip on the strings of power in the White House.
Patrick Henningsen is a frequent contributor to Global Research.
Copyright © 2005-2011 GlobalResearch.ca
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Eric Holder speaking at a press conference on Guantanamo Bay detainees – 29 janvier 2010
Author: United States Department of Justice
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