What is Obama Hiding??
WASHINGTON — In a
mounting confrontation with congressional Republicans, President Barack
Obama invoked executive privilege Wednesday to withhold documents a
House committee is seeking. The panel neared a vote on citing Attorney
General Eric Holder for contempt.
Comments rapidly grew more
heated. A spokesman for House Speaker John Boehner suggested
administration officials had lied earlier or were now "bending the law,"
while Democratic Rep. Elijah Cummings said the committee's GOP chairman
"had no interest" in resolving the issue and was trying to pick a
In a letter to the committee chairman, Darrell Issa of
California, a Justice Department official said the executive privilege
applies to documents that explain how the department learned there were
problems with a Mexican border gun-running investigation called
Operation Fast and Furious.
At the start of a hearing, Issa
called the president's action "an untimely" assertion of the privilege.
The committee was later to vote on whether to cite Holder for contempt
of Congress for failing to turn over the documents. If the panel
approved that action, the contempt citation would then go to the full
House. Eventually, there could be a federal case against Holder, but
past examples suggest the matter won't get that far.
president has asserted executive privilege," Deputy Attorney General
James Cole said in the letter to Issa. "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
House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, raised another question after the president invoked the privilege.
"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," said Boehner's press secretary Brendan
Buck. "The administration has always insisted that wasn't the case. Were
they lying, or are they now bending the law to hide the truth?"