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Issa letter to Obama: So the White House is involved in Fast and Furious, then?
Hotair ^ | 06/26/2012 | Ed Morrissey

Posted on 06/26/2012 7:37:31 AM PDT by SeekAndFind

In case readers didn't already realize it ... it's on. The Daily Caller has a letter sent by House Oversight Chair Darrell Issa to President Barack Obama challenging the assertion of executive privilege in the investigation of Operation Fast and Furious. In the letter, Issa tells Obama that the assertion means one of two things: either the highest levels of the White House were involved in the effort to mislead Congress on OF&F, or Obama is deliberately obstructing the investigation:

“[Y]our privilege assertion means one of two things,” Issa wrote to the president in a letter dated June 25. “Either you or your most senior advisors were involved in managing Operation Fast & Furious and the fallout from it, including the false February 4, 2011 letter provided by the attorney general to the committee, or, you are asserting a presidential power that you know to be unjustified solely for the purpose of further obstructing a congressional investigation.”

Issa said Obama’s assertion of executive privilege “raised the question” about the veracity of how the “White House has steadfastly maintained that it has not had any role in advising the department with respect to the congressional investigation.”

Obama's assertion of executive privilege cited the "deliberative process" clause, but Issa rejects that as inapplicable under the circumstances:

Issa laid out that this is because the “Justice Department has steadfastly maintained that the documents sought by the committee do not implicate the White House whatsoever.”

“If true, they are at best deliberative documents between and among department personnel who lack the requisite ‘operational proximity’ to the president,” as legal precedent Issa cites requires. “As such, they cannot be withheld pursuant to the constitutionally-based executive privilege.”

Issa further breaks down how, “[c]ourts distinguish between the presidential communications privilege and the deliberative process privilege.”

“Both … are executive privileges designed to protect the confidentiality of executive branch decision-making,” Issa wrote. “The deliberative-process privilege, however, which applies to executive branch officials generally, is a common law privilege that requires a lower threshold of need to be overcome, and ‘disappears altogether when there is any reason to believe government misconduct has occurred.’”

Misconduct occurred on two levels. Issa’s reference is to the false information submitted by DoJ officials in Congressional testimony, which is the specific subject of the subpoenas on which the contempt charge is based. However, the overall investigation into OF&F also probes official misconduct in deliberately allowing thousands of weapons to be carried over the border with no way to track them, which violates regulations at the ATF — which is why ATF insiders blew the whistle on the operation in the first place. Either way, Issa is entirely correct under US v Espy that deliberative process executive privilege does not survive in these circumstances.

The letter goes on to explain why Issa didn’t cut a deal with Attorney General Eric Holder. Holder demanded that Issa “permanently” shelve the contempt charge and state that Holder had complied entirely with the subpoenas, in exchange for accepting a selective document dump, sight unseen. Small wonder the meeting didn’t last long, and Holder had to run to Obama for an assertion of executive privilege immediately afterward.

If the White House wasn’t involved in OF&F or the cover-up, then Holder should have just coughed up the materials. For that matter, Holder and the White House should have just fired the people involved in the first place and offered a “mistakes were made” mea minima culpa, which would have solved all of their political problems more than a year ago. This would be old and barely relevant news had Obama and Holder done so. The more they fight to keep those records secret — and especially when they offer ridiculous “deals” like the one Issa describes — the more it becomes clear that Obama really does have something to hide.


TOPICS: Constitution/Conservatism; Crime/Corruption; Front Page News; Government
KEYWORDS: 2deadfeds; 300deadmexicans; atf; banglist; dea; dhs; doj; fastandfurious; fbi; gunrunner; gunwalker; holder; ice; issa; murdergate; obama
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1 posted on 06/26/2012 7:37:36 AM PDT by SeekAndFind
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To: SeekAndFind; MestaMachine; Nachum; Joe Brower; Lazamataz; marktwain

MURDERGATE:

"Gun control under the radar."

The trail is getting hotter...and closer...

2 posted on 06/26/2012 7:41:48 AM PDT by Travis McGee (www.EnemiesForeignAndDomestic.com)
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To: Big Giant Head

Ping


3 posted on 06/26/2012 7:43:47 AM PDT by listenhillary (Courts, law enforcement, roads and national defense should be the extent of government)
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To: SeekAndFind

Good. Keep the heat on.


4 posted on 06/26/2012 7:46:48 AM PDT by MichaelCorleone (The GOPe has played us like a violin for the last time; high time to build the Constitution Party.)
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To: Joe Brower; Travis McGee; LucyT; vette6387; MetaThought; 60Gunner; XHogPilot; FreedomPoster; ...

Maybe Issa finally has his smoking gun. I don’t think he would do this unless he did. But we will see.


5 posted on 06/26/2012 7:50:58 AM PDT by MestaMachine (obama kills)
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To: SeekAndFind
This withHOLDERgate is going no where. They both should be impeached. BUT we have conservative am talkers saying the GOP has to get off this kick - Romney has to get back on the economy and leave poor Obozo/withHOLDER alone. IT turns the moderates, undecided, turn away from the GOP.
6 posted on 06/26/2012 7:52:23 AM PDT by Cheerio (Barry Hussein Soetoro-0bama=The Complete Destruction of American Capitalism)
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To: SeekAndFind

Maybe it’s time to subpoena Obama. The guy is such an idiot, it would make for good entertainment, if nothing else.


7 posted on 06/26/2012 7:56:27 AM PDT by Jaidyn
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To: SeekAndFind

This appears to contradict the numerous FR posters who continually claim that Issa is a wimp doing nothing but getting played by Obama.


8 posted on 06/26/2012 7:57:44 AM PDT by karnage
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To: Jaidyn
Maybe it’s time to subpoena Obama.

Can an emperor be subpoenaed?

9 posted on 06/26/2012 7:59:28 AM PDT by Right Brother
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To: MestaMachine
Maybe Issa finally has his smoking gun.

To this day, I believe that F&F originated in Hillary's Department of State. While Holder is certainly capable of as much on his own, I doubt seriously that he would rig a gambit like this involving another country without DOS consent. He's too much of a coward not to assure that he won't be hung out to dry on his own.

I can see no other objective in this game worth the risk other than the complete destruction of the Second Amendment pursuant to the UN Small Arms Treaty. That's her turf too.

10 posted on 06/26/2012 8:01:56 AM PDT by Carry_Okie (The Slave Party: advancing indenture since 1787.)
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To: Carry_Okie

I agree with you...and THAT is the reason obama exerted executive privilege.


11 posted on 06/26/2012 8:07:16 AM PDT by MestaMachine (obama kills)
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To: SeekAndFind

wouldnt it be interesting if the docs showed Gabby Giffords perp to have used one?


12 posted on 06/26/2012 8:07:44 AM PDT by Revelation 911 (How many 100's of 1000's of our servicemen died so we would never bow to a king?" -freeper pnh102)
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To: karnage

Issa has been “operating under the radar”. Love it.
Looks like baraq is getting played by Issa while giving the impression of the opposite. Especially since baraq tried to use executive privaledge.


13 posted on 06/26/2012 8:09:06 AM PDT by Texas resident (November 6 - Vote Against obama)
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To: Revelation 911

I have often wondered that.


14 posted on 06/26/2012 8:12:01 AM PDT by RushIsMyTeddyBear (Wings cannot be redistributed, they can only be broken. ~ Oleg Atbashian (People's Cube))
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To: MestaMachine

Issa has plenty of smoking guns. Going to be lots of October surprises.


15 posted on 06/26/2012 8:18:21 AM PDT by SeaHawkFan
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To: Revelation 911
Agents were worried at the time, that might be the case.....but it was not. Agents worried ATF program connected with Loughner gun
16 posted on 06/26/2012 8:20:42 AM PDT by Girlene
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To: Carry_Okie

Originated, dunno. Involved, yes.
Hillary would have Holder’s head on a platter if his subordinates facilitated violent crimes in another country without her notification & approval.
And, of course, something that severe linking DoJ with DoS _must_ have POTUS approval.

Issa just informed the Obama “last chance; how do you want this to go down? because it - and you - will.” He hasn’t been in a hurry (as some FReepers have agonized over) because he’s in a very high stakes game of chess: loser rots in prison (or some equivalent).


17 posted on 06/26/2012 8:41:54 AM PDT by ctdonath2 ($1 meals: http://abuckaplate.blogspot.com)
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To: MestaMachine

GOP, take a good, hard look at Congressman Issa:

This is what a REAL Republican looks like.

Cowboy the hell up and support him.


18 posted on 06/26/2012 8:54:43 AM PDT by NFHale (The Second Amendment - By Any Means Necessary.)
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To: ctdonath2

It has to be considered that Obama will pardon anyone that appears to be implicated.


19 posted on 06/26/2012 8:56:38 AM PDT by Durus (You can avoid reality, but you cannot avoid the consequences of avoiding reality. Ayn Rand)
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To: karnage

There are a lot of bed wetters, hand wringers and wet blankets around. ;-)


20 posted on 06/26/2012 9:06:47 AM PDT by TigersEye (Life is about choices. Your choices. Make good ones.)
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