|July 1, 2012
Darrell Issa, House Oversight and Government Reform Committee Chairman, wrote a letter to President Barack Obama wherein he directly challenged Obama’s use of executive privilege, essentially hiding certain documents concerning the Fast and Furious operation.
There was a formal request that Obama provide “legal justification for the privilege claim and a list of specific documents covered by it.”
While Obama has asserted in public forum that he and Holder were not involved in F&F, he is essentially lying by omission.
Issa reminds Obama that either his “most senior advisers were involved in managing Operation Fast & Furious … and the fallout” or he is hiding behind “a presidential power that you know to be unjustified solely for the purpose of further obstructing a congressional investigation.”
Holder, trying to bargain with the House Oversight Committee, offered documents in exchange for the contempt charge dropped. Holdren spoke to Obama in private, wherein he told Obama to use executive privilege because the documents requested by the HOC would have “significant damaging consequences”.
Last week, Holder advised Obama to use his executive privilege card concerning the internal documents of the F&F.
James Cole, Deputy Attorney General for the DoJ, wrote a letter to Issa acknowledging Holder’s “failure to comply with the Committee’s subpoena of October 11, 2011” however they claim they have made an “extraordinary effort to accommodate the Committee’s legitimate oversight interests” and provided “over 7,600 pages of documents and has made numerous high-level officials available for public congressional testimony, transcribed interviews, and briefings.”
Issa mentioned Board Patrol Agent Brian Terry’s death and pointed out that the gun that killed Terry had been shipped into Mexico for the drug cartels by US agents.
The Terry family has been requesting for over a year and a half for the US government to hold those responsible within the government to “justice and accountability”. They recognize that it is very “disappointing that [the Terry family] are now faced with an administration that seems more concerned with protecting themselves rather than revealing the truth behind Operation Fast and Furious.”
Holder had admitted this fact in a letter written in February of 2011. Seeing Holder retracted that statement several months later, Issa cites that “lying to Congress is a crime”. All documents pertaining to that denial will be subpoenaed by the HOC; specifically correspondence between Obama’s administration and Holder between June of 2012, until the claim of executive privilege.