Obama Asserts Executive Priviledge Again In Fast and Furious case. Does this POTUS think he is a King?
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 fight.
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.
"The 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 oversight interests."
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?"
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