Ilya Shapiro explains the many problems inherent in Barack Obama’s reliance on executive privilege in the Fast and Furious case, and makes the following entirely accurate point:
I doubt that President Obama’s assertion of privilege in this episode has yet risen to Nixonian standards of contempt for the rule of law, but it is a dangerous bit of political gamesmanship designed to delay and push back on the Oversight Committee/Congress’s demand for documents. As the committee showed in its vote today, however, both sides are ready to play this high-stakes game of chicken.
Others have noted that in an effort to head off a contempt citation, Attorney General Eric Holder offered to allow the members of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee (which handed out the contempt citation against Holder) a chance to see the documents in question before going forward with any further action on the Fast and Furious case. Which raises the following question: If the documents could be shared, then how is the assertion of executive privilege regarding the documents even remotely justifiable?