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1 Fast and Furious on Thu Jun 21, 2012 3:27 pm



Executive privilege claim opens new questions for lawmakers probing Fast and Furious
Published June 21, 2012

GOP lawmakers baffled by Obama's use of executive...

'Privilege' doesn't stop Issa's contempt charges...
President Obama's decision to assert executive privilege over Operation Fast and Furious documents not only failed to delay contempt proceedings against Attorney General Eric Holder -- it raised a whole new line of constitutional questions and challenges about the power of the presidency.

Republicans already are seeking more than 70,000 additional documents to answer their existing questions on Fast and Furious. The executive privilege claim opened up a new avenue of probing.

The immediate question was whether the documents contained information so damaging that the president was willing to risk the bad PR by moving to lock them down. GOP lawmakers also questioned whether Obama's assertion was legitimate, later voting in committee that it was not appropriate in this case. And Republicans repeatedly suggested that the White House had tipped its hand, and acknowledged being involved in Fast and Furious discussions by asserting privilege over the documents in question.

"He's either part of it or he's not," Rep. Trey Gowdy, a feisty Republican lawmaker from South Carolina, challenged during Wednesday's committee meeting on Holder. "If (Obama's) part of it, then we've had a series of witnesses that have misled this committee. And if he's not part of it, then he's got no business asserting executive privilege."

House Speaker John Boehner's spokesman also said the move "implies" the White House was involved in the operation itself or the coverup.

Following up, Sen. Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, sent a letter to Obama Wednesday asking for a "more precise description" of the executive privilege claim. He asked whether Obama was extending the claim to documents pertaining to "communications with you," or to Justice Department communications separate from the White House.

The White House and Justice Department, though, downplayed the potential implications of the executive privilege claim.

Justice Department officials noted that the assertion does not have to pertain to communications involving the president or White House staff. Any "deliberative communications" among officials in the Executive Branch, they said, could be covered.

In other words, they argued that just because Obama is locking down the documents doesn't mean he had anything to do with the Fast and Furious discussions.

Executive privilege has been invoked 24 times since the presidency of Ronald Reagan. This was Obama's first time asserting it.

Republican lawmakers, who so far have been given 7,600 documents, are looking specifically for information from February 2011 and beyond that follow a Justice Department letter which erroneously claimed the department did not allow guns to "walk" across the Mexico border.

The department later retracted that claim.

After the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee voted Wednesday to hold Holder in contempt of Congress, committee Chairman Darrell Issa, R-Calif., told Fox News there's still time to avert a floor vote on the contempt resolution. Republicans could abandon the vote if they receive documents which they feel satisfy the subpoena.

Holder is not considered held in contempt unless and until the full House votes.

Both the White House and Justice Department slammed the committee vote Wednesday as political.

Holder, in Denmark, reportedly called the move "unwarranted, unnecessary and unprecedented."

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2 Re: Fast and Furious on Thu Jun 21, 2012 3:32 pm


I do believe the *guns walking *was started by bush !! Holder stopped it ask yourself why are the gop doing this/ it isn't for the reason they claim,

3 Re: Fast and Furious on Thu Jun 21, 2012 3:46 pm


Yes it was started by Bush the only difference was the guns used under Bush had tracking devices installed in them, Holder has let 1.400 guns get away from them with no clue where they are, the 2 that were at the scene of Agent Terry's murder were tracked back to Holders Fast and Furious fiasco, so lets not try and make this another Bush bash topic, Holder and Obama have both lied about this and using executive privilege is just another way of keeping the lies covered up, Holder has already been caught in lies from evidance in messages and e-mails obtained, but what are they hiding in the other 70,000 papers ? Why is Obana protecting a plan that was a failure and has caused loss of life on his watch . Explain that to the families of the ones slain by Holders poor judgement.

4 Re: Fast and Furious on Thu Jun 21, 2012 3:49 pm


that is what fox is telling you,but that is not fact that holder let them get away,or that he and Obama lied, keep watching fox it dumbs you down.. they shouldn't have been started by bush,why did the repub's wait till now to call_ fire!!

5 Re: Fast and Furious on Thu Jun 28, 2012 8:28 pm


Maybe you should do a little more research on this subject, you are totally wrong on your talking points. Oh and by the way sucks to be Holder today as contempt charges were filed against him. Bet he ends up a sacrificial lamb for Obammy.

6 Re: Fast and Furious on Fri Jun 29, 2012 9:28 pm


I read today charges will not be brought against Holder..
Maybe your research should be more than __fox??
The scum (issa) (ms)
said there is no evidence,so I wonder how they thought to hold him in contempt? bring charges? Another republican witch hunt

7 Re: Fast and Furious on Fri Jun 29, 2012 11:22 pm


National / World News 9:11 p.m. Friday, June 29, 2012

Justice won't prosecute Holder for contempt


The Associated Press

WASHINGTON The Justice Department declared Friday that Attorney General Eric Holder's decision to withhold information about a bungled gun-tracking operation from Congress does not constitute a crime and he won't be prosecuted for contempt of Congress.
From left, House Minority Whip Steny Hoyer of Md., Rep. Maxine Waters, D-Calif., Rep. John Lewis, D-Ga., Rep, Charles Rangel, D-N.Y., and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi of Calif., right, and many House Democrats walk out of the Capitol during the vote to hold Attorney General Eric Holder in contempt, Thursday, June 28, 2012, on Capitol Hill in Washington. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)
From left, House Minority Whip Steny Hoyer of Md., Rep. Barbara Lee, D-Calif., Rep. Charles Rangel, D-NY, and Rep. Carolyn B. Maloney, D-NY, walk out of the Capitol, arm-in-arm, as members of the Congressional Black Caucus and many House Democrats protest the vote to hold Attorney General Eric Holder in contempt, Thursday, June 28, 2012, on Capitol Hill in Washington. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)
FILE - In this June 12, 2012 file photo, Attorney General Eric Holder testifies on Capitol Hill in Washington. In email exchanges with subordinates in February and March 2011, Attorney General Eric Holder and the department's second-highest official expressed growing concern that something might have gone wrong in a federal gun-smuggling probe called Operation Fast and Furious. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)
Election 2012: Across the nation

The House voted Thursday afternoon to find Holder in criminal and civil contempt for refusing to turn over the documents. President Barack Obama invoked his executive privilege authority and ordered Holder not to turn over materials about executive branch deliberations and internal recommendations.

In a letter to House Speaker John Boehner, the department said that it will not bring the congressional contempt citation against Holder to a federal grand jury and that it will take no other action to prosecute the attorney general. Dated Thursday, the letter was released Friday.

Deputy Attorney General James Cole said the decision is in line with long-standing Justice Department practice across administrations of both political parties.

"We will not prosecute an executive branch official under the contempt of Congress statute for withholding subpoenaed documents pursuant to a presidential assertion of executive privilege," Cole wrote.

In its letter, the department relied in large part on a Justice Department legal opinion crafted during Republican Ronald Reagan's presidency.

Frederick Hill, the spokesman for Rep. Darrell Issa, said it is regrettable that "the political leadership of the Justice Department" is taking that position. Issa, the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee chairman, is leading the effort to get the material related to Operation Fast and Furious.

Although the House voted Thursday to find Holder in criminal and civil contempt, Republicans probably are still a long way from obtaining documents they want for their inquiry into Operation Fast and Furious, a flawed gun-tracking investigation focused on Phoenix-area gun shops by Justice's Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.

The criminal path is now closed and the civil route through the courts would not be resolved anytime soon.

"This is pure politics," White House spokesman Jay Carney said.

"Remarkably the chairman of the committee involved here has asserted that he has no evidence that the attorney general knew of Operation Fast and Furious or did anything but take the right action when he learned of it.

"No evidence, so if you have no evidence as he has stated now about the White House and the attorney general, what else could this be but politics?"

More than 100 Democrats walked out of the House chamber to boycott the first of two contempt votes, saying Republicans were more interested in shameful election-year politics than documents.

Republicans demanded the documents for an ongoing investigation, but their arguments focused more on the need for closure for the family of slain Border Patrol agent Brian Terry. Two guns identified by the Fast and Furious tracking operation were found near his body after a shootout in Arizona.

Democrats promised closure as well, but said a less-partisan Republican investigation was the only way to get it.

Adding to the emotion of the day, the family of the slain agent issued a statement backing the Republicans.

"The Terry family takes no pleasure in the contempt vote against Attorney General Eric Holder. Such a vote should not have been necessary. The Justice Department should have released the documents related to Fast and Furious months ago," the statement said.

The contempt votes happened on the day that Obama's health care law survived in the Supreme Court, prompting some Democrats to speculate that the votes were scheduled to be overwhelmed by news stories about the ruling.

About five hours after the court ruled, with news sites flooded with information about the health care ruling, the House voted 255-67 to declare Holder in criminal contempt.

A second vote of 258-95 held Holder in civil contempt and authorized the House to file a lawsuit.

In past cases, courts have been reluctant to settle disputes between the executive and legislative branches of government.

The issue became more complicated when Obama invoked a broad form of executive privilege, a legal doctrine designed to keep private certain communications of executive branch agencies.

Issa's committee will consult with the House counsel's office about a court challenge to the administration's decision not to cooperate, spokesman Frederick Hill said.

The documents were written after Fast and Furious was shut down. The subpoena covered a 10-month period from February 2011, as the Justice Department expressed growing concern that the Fast and Furious operation had employed a risky investigative tactic known as "gun-walking." In early December 2011, the department finally acknowledged that the initial denial of gun-walking was in error.

Republicans said the contempt citations were necessary because Holder refused to hand over documents that could explain why the Obama administration took 10 months to acknowledge the gun-walking.

In Fast and Furious, ATF agents abandoned the agency's usual practice of intercepting all weapons they believed to be illicitly purchased, often as soon as they were taken out of gun shops. Instead, the goal of the tactic known as "gun-walking" was to track such weapons to high-level arms traffickers, who had long eluded prosecution, and to dismantle their networks.

Gun-walking long has been barred by Justice Department policy, but federal agents in Arizona experimented with it in at least two investigations during the George W. Bush administration before Operation Fast and Furious. These experiments came as the department was under widespread criticism that the old policy of arresting every suspected low-level "straw purchaser" was failing to stop tens of thousands of guns from reaching Mexico, more than 68,000 in the last five years. A straw purchaser conceals that he is buying guns for others.

Fast and Furious identified more than 2,000 weapons suspected of being illicitly purchased. But agents lost track of many of the guns. Some 1,400 of them have yet to be recovered

8 Re: Fast and Furious on Sat Jun 30, 2012 12:19 pm


Don't know what your problem is with adding links or not abiding by the multiple post rule set down for you.

9 Re: Fast and Furious on Sat Jun 30, 2012 12:55 pm



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