Skip to comments.Issa accuses Obama of involvement in 'Fast and Furious' operation
Posted on 06/27/2012 10:01:15 AM PDT by neverdem
Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) on Tuesday accused President Obama of either obstructing a congressional investigation or of involvement in the "Fast and Furious" gun-tracking operation.
In a seven-page letter to the president, the chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee leveled his most direct allegations yet at Obama just two days ahead of a full House vote on whether to place Attorney General Eric Holder in contempt of Congress for failing to respond to a subpoena.
Issa took issue with Obamas assertion of executive privilege over a cache of documents at the Department of Justice including a February 2011 letter later withdrawn by the agency that Issa believes includes information on Holders role in Fast and Furious.
Either you or your most senior advisers were involved in managing Operation Fast and Furious and the fallout from it, including the false Feb. 4, 2011 letter provided by the attorney general to the committee, Issa wrote to Obama. Or, you are asserting a presidential power that you know to be unjustified solely for the purpose of further obstructing a congressional investigation.
White House spokesman Eric Schultz defended Obamas assertion of executive privilege, saying that the move is legal and has long been supported by courts even if the president is not directly involved with the documents in question.
Our position is consistent with executive-branch legal precedent for the past three decades spanning administrations of both parties, and dating back to President Reagans Department of Justice, said Schultz in a statement.
The courts have routinely considered deliberative process privilege claims and affirmed the right of the executive branch to invoke the privilege even when White House documents are not involved.
Issa on Sunday acknowledged in an interview with Fox host Chris Wallace that he has no evidence that would suggest a White House cover-up of the gun-tracking operation.
The House has scheduled a vote on the contempt charge for Thursday, the same day the Supreme Court is scheduled to deliver its decision on Obama's healthcare law. That virtually ensures the Holder vote will get less media attention, something that might be fine with many Republicans who want to focus the political debate on the economy. Conservatives within the GOP have been pressing for the action against Holder.
Many of the documents that Issa has narrowly focused his request on center on the period of time after Feb. 4, 2011, when the Justice Department sent Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) a false letter claiming it did everything in its power not to let guns walk across the U.S.-Mexico border.
Ten months later the DOJ took the rare step of withdrawing that letter. Issa wants to know what agency officials learned in those months and how that decision was reached by reading their internal emails.
The chairman said on Tuesday that Obamas use of executive privilege implicates him in the decisionmaking process and that he hopes the president will more clearly define his assertion. House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) raised similar questions almost immediately following Obamas move last week.
I am hopeful that, consistent with assertions of executive privilege by previous administrations, you will define the universe of documents over which you asserted executive privilege and provide the committee with the legal justification from the Justice Departments Office of Legal Counsel (OLC), wrote Issa.
To what extent were you or your most senior advisers involved in Operation Fast and Furious and the fallout from it, including the false Feb. 4, 2011, letter provided by the attorney general to the committee? he continued.
Please also identify any communications, meetings and teleconferences between the White House and the Justice Department between Feb. 4, 2011, and June 18, 2012, the day before the attorney general requested that you assert executive privilege.
Issa has been investigating Fast and Furious for the past 16 months, after whistleblowers brought news of the failed operation to the attention of Grassley, whose attempts at retrieving more information from the DOJ were unsuccessful.
After issuing two subpoenas and interviewing dozens of witnesses, Issa says that the DOJ has stopped producing documents to the committee. He says his panel has about 7,600 documents, whereas the DOJs inspector general, which Holder ordered last year to complete its own investigation, has more than 80,000 documents.
I think he has the documents already from a leak and waiting for Obama to forge documents and E-Mails.
He’s in up to those elephant ears of his!
This is merely defining the proper usage of the Executive Privilege. Issa is saying the generic truth, not accusing because of something else. Obama can't use EP unless he or holder were involved at the top of F&F.
Someone has all of the docs/emails on a flash drive. Where is the ultimate whistle blower when we really need him?
For the good of your country it is time to stand up!
In case you missed it...
Even if the vote was held on a separate day, the "news" media would ignore it as much as possible.
This is so much worse than Watergate and the Media ignores it! Yeah, I know, the Media is gone these days.
I believe that this is all about anti-gun laws and this stupid administration thinks that they can actually change minds regarding the 2nd Amendment. Good luck with that you leftist kooks!
My bet is that Issa already has them, the whistleblowers have already cut deals, and we are seeing Issa pushing Obama to make false statements and/or destroy evidence instead of coming clean.
Thanks for the link.
Always know the answer before asking the question. It's just good stratergy.
This is going to be a rolling thunder explosion around 0bama unti the election is done with.
I suspect that 0bama himself approved of gunwalking to help undermine the 2nd Amendment.
Dead Mexicans in exchange for destroying the Bill of Rights.
The White House has to stonewall forever, if my hypothesis is right.
I don’t know if Issa is deliberately extruding false statements from Obama, but he sure is getting them.
He is protecting Holder because he has to.If one goes down they both go down.
Perhaps I should have said, giving President Obama the choice of digging himself deeper into this hole, or of coming clean.
I think that President Obama has always been able to obfuscate and lie his way out of any problem. He has always been given a pass. This time, he will not be given a pass.
Time to take off the gloves.
I dont know if Issa is deliberately extruding false statements from Obama, but he sure is getting them.
Time to ‘invite’ Mr. Omarxo to testify before the House of Representatives. Nail him for perjury.
This time, he will not be given a pass
God: I hope not.
With all due respect : Who do you think would bring him to the House for questioning?
Rots o’ Ruck