Calling Shenanigans on the President’s Assertion of Executive Privilege

by Pejman Yousefzadeh on June 22, 2012

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?

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