House Committee Finds Holder in Contempt
Holder Responds: The Contempt is Mutual
“We regret that we have arrived at this point, after the many steps we have taken to address the Committee’s concerns and to accommodate the Committee’s legitimate oversight interests regarding Operation Fast and Furious,” he wrote. “Although we are deeply disappointed that the Committee appears intent on proceeding with a contempt vote, the Department remains willing to work with the Committee to reach a mutually satisfactory resolution of the outstanding issues.” – Deputy Attorney General James M. Cole
FOR THE FIRST TIME in his presidency, Barack Obama did what he had to do in the face of Rep. Darrell Issa’s witch hunt over the overblown spectacle that has become the Fast and Furious investigation in the House.
In case anyone is counting amid the caterwauling from Republicans, George W. Bush claimed executive privilege 6 times, William Jefferson Clinton did so 14 times, with the New York Times reporting the White House said this has been done 24 times since Ronald Reagan. I’ll wait for the legal geeks to weigh in on that one.
In an email to The Huffington Post, an administration official noted that former President George W. Bush asserted executive privilege six times, while former President Bill Clinton did it 14 times. This is the first time Obama has exercised this authority. The Republican National Committee was quick to point out Wednesday that then-candidate Obama criticized Bush for using the practice in 2007.
Michael Steel, a spokesman for House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio), questioned the White House’s move Wednesday in a statement:
“Until now, everyone believed that the decisions regarding ‘Fast and Furious’ were confined to the Department of Justice,” Steel said. “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 the truth?”