20 Jun 2012 Project 21’s Derryck Green on Obama’s Apparent Abuse of Privilege
As Congress contemplates a contempt citation against Attorney General Eric Holder because of his refusal to comply with congressional requests for information about the “Operation Fast and Furious” scandal, Project 21 member Derryck Green wonders about the timing of President Obama’s last-minute declaration that at least some of the requested material is now excluded from congressional oversight due to executive privilege.
By invoking executive privilege, this would seem to open up a whole new can of worms as it now begs the question of what the President knows and when he knew it. After all, executive privilege implies executive participation. To what degree?
President Obama’s decision to invoke executive privilege regarding evidence relating to the botched “Operation Fast and Furious” gun sting is as curious as it is troubling.
Attorney General Eric Holder, who is in the process of being considered in contempt of Congress, was requested to hand over thousands of pages of evidence to the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform. At issue, among other things, is the loss of thousands of guns to Mexcican drug cartels — some of which are suspected to have been used in the murder of U.S. Border Patrol agent Brian Terry.
At the last minute, and at Holder’s request, Obama invoked executive privilege. The order declared that the subpoenaed information deals with the “deliberative process” on how to respond to congressional and media inquiries.
If this was in fact the case, why didn’t the President exercise executive privilege when the process first began? Why now, other than because Obama is covering for Holder? And what might the pair be trying to hide with this questionable move?
What this move does is not only cast a bigger shadow on the failure and incompetence of the gunrunning probe, but it also casts further doubt on Obama’s and Holder’s integrity and credibility.
The President and the Attorney General owe it to the American public to come clean about the details regarding what went wrong with Operation Fast and Furious. More importantly, both Obama and Holder owe it to the family of Brian Terry.