I always think the Department of Justice cannot become more separated from the Rule of Law than their past history when something new comes along and gives another stunning OMGosh moment. Holder is seeking to dismiss the U.S. House of Representatives lawsuit requiring the DOJ to turn over papers related to Fast and Furious, the program under which hundreds of people have died. The DOJ claims Executive Privilege trumps Congress. Note that it is illegal to use Executive Privilege for CYA purposes. Look at this:
In their legal brief, DOJ lawyers assert that federal courts cannot intervene when the White House moves not to comply with a congressional branch subpoena by asserting executive privilege, as President Obama did in this case.
The Justice Department motion says that the dispute should be settled by the two branches in question and not in the courts. Source: Fox Nation
The problem for the White House is that it is illegal to use Executive Privilege as a shield. Executive Privilege CANNOT be used to cover up illegal activity. WaterGate looks like a kid stealing from the cookie jar in comparison to Fast and Furious and Benghazi-Gate.
There are two types of Executive Privilege, and there is no Executive Privilege UNLESS a President grants it. Executive Privilege can be rooted in the U.S. Constitution or in Common Law:
As I’ve written before, there are two types of executive privilege. One is a strong form rooted in the Constitution, called the presidential communication privilege. But there is another type, much weaker and rooted in common law instead of the Constitution, called the deliberative process privilege. That second, weaker variety is what President Obama invoked today regarding Holder. Source: via Hot Air
“The principal legal issue presented here is whether the Attorney General may withhold that limited subset on the basis of ‘Executive privilege’ where there has been no suggestion that the documents at issue implicate or otherwise involve any advice to the President, and where the Department’s actions do not involve core constitutional functions of the President,” the suit continues.
“No Court has ever held that ‘Executive privilege’ extends anywhere near as far as the Attorney General here contends that it does. Indeed, it is no exaggeration to say that the Attorney General’s conception of the reach of ‘Executive privilege,’ were it to be accepted, would cripple congressional oversight of Executive branch agencies, to the very great detriment of the Nation and our constitutional structure. Accordingly, the Committee asks this Court to reject the Attorney General’s assertion of ‘Executive privilege’ and order him forthwith to comply with the Committee’s subpoena.”
On the day Congress voted to hold Holder in contempt, Darrell Issa issued this statement:
In his letter Monday, Issa said Obama’s assertion of executive privilege means that he and his most senior advisers were involved in “managing” Fast and Furious and the “fallout from it” or that the president asserted a power he knows is unjustified “for the purpose of further obstructing a congressional investigation.”
“To date, the White House has steadfastly maintained that it has not had any role in advising the (Justice) Department with respect to the congressional investigation. The surprising assertion of executive privilege raised the question of whether that is still the case,” Issa said in his letter.
When a President claims Executive Privilege he is supposedly protecting the country and our interests by refusing to reveal documents that would endanger us. In this case, the damage came from his administration and endangered the lives of Americans and killed at least one Border Agent, Brian Terry along with hundreds of Mexican nationals. Issa is saying by claiming Executive Privilege, Obama knew the particulars of Fast and Furious (which Obama and Holder have denied), or he issued Executive privilege solely to save Holder’s rear end.