Eric Holder, unwilling to turn over requested documents, asked Obama last night to invoke executive privilege over said documents. Thus, "the most transparent administration ever" steps big into a Fast and Furious cover-up.
The vote on contempt is still on.
Stay tuned for links and updates. Also stay tuned to Memeorandum where this is now a thread.
Update 1: Remember, Bush invoked executive privilege six times. This is how Obama felt about that:
Michelle Malkin has Holder's letter to Obama.
It does make one wonder what Eric Holder and the Obama administration are hiding in refusing to produce all the relevant documentation. When it comes to government, there is nothing wrong with the saying “if they have nothing to hide, they would produce the documents.” Except when it is national security.There's no question that Obama's intervention raises the stakes significantly; if nothing else it will now force the mainstream media to report the story.
More to come.
Update 2: You can watch the Holder hearing online here.
On Fox, Juan Williams even says, "This looks bad for the White House."
Rep. Patrick Meehan (R-PA) speaking in the Holder hearing says "the facts are leading us to very legitimate inquiries."
Wow. Rep. Quigley (D-IL) says "IF this is about Bryan Terry..."; he goes after gun shows where "mentally ill" people can buy guns.
Rep. Paul Gosar (R-AZ): "I am convinced that holding the Attorney General in contempt is the only way to send a message to this administration" and ones following that nobody is above the law.
Rep. Danny Daivs (D-IL) says the hearing is "partisan and rancorous."
In a released statement, Sen. Grassley says:
How can the President assert executive privilege if there was no White House involvement? How can the President exert executive privilege over documents he's supposedly never seen? Is something very big being hidden to go to this extreme? The contempt citation is an important procedural mechanism in our system of checks and balances. The questions from Congress go to determining what happened in a disastrous government program for accountability and so that it's never repeated again.”And this is now at the top of Memeorandum.
I think a lot of Americans, when they hear "executive privilege" think of Nixon. And, unfortunately for Obama, we've been hearing plenty of talk about Watergate lately, what with the 40-year anniversary of the break-in. Most notably: "Woodward and Bernstein: 40 years after Watergate, Nixon was far worse than we thought." Ironically, that was a mainstream media effort to help Obama.
But Obama has suddenly chosen to look like Nixon. It must be worth it. And without the documents, we must speculate about what is in them.
Rush is talking about this, of course, today. He points out that "the regime" is blaming the Bush administration for all of this, then "why won't they release" the documents?
A valid point by Victor Davis Hanson:
Would that the Obama administration had cared as much about protecting the security secrets involving the Predator drone program, the bin Laden raid, the operations on the Afghan border and in Yemen, and the cyberwar against Iran as it is does about protecting the unknowns of Fast and Furious.No lie.