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Obama invokes executive privilege as Holder faces contempt vote; Look at some of the past ‘EP’ and how we are paying for them now.



President Barack Obama invoked executive privilege on Wednesday for the first time since taking office to withhold certain Justice Department documents tied to the flawed “Operation Fast and Furious” gun-smuggling investigation from lawmakers demanding them. Obama’s 11th-hour decision, revealed in a letter from the Justice Department to House Oversight and Government Reform Committee Chairman Darrell Issa, did not derail the California Republican’s plans to hold a vote declaring Attorney General Eric Holder in contempt of Congress.
“I write now to inform you that the President has asserted executive privilege” over the documents, Deputy Attorney General James Cole told Issa in a letter released by the White House.

Judge Napolitano: Invoking

Executive Privilege Opens Holder UpTo Charges Of ‘Misleading TheCongress’

Judge Andrew Napolitano appeared on Fox News Channel’s America Live to discuss PresidentBarack Obama’s invocation of executive privilege to keep certain documents relating to the Fast and Furious gun walking scandal from being released. “They can’t have it both ways,” Napolitano said. The administration could argue that Fast and Furious related to national security, which would be covered by executive privilege, but that would open Attorney General Eric Holder to charges he mislead Congress. 
“Although we are deeply disappointed that the Committee appears intent on proceeding with a contempt vote, the Department remains willing to work with the Committee to reach a mutually satisfactory resolution of the outstanding issues,” Cole wrote in the letter.
Issa met with Holder late Tuesday to find a last-minute path out of the expanding constitutional conflict, but said afterwards that they had failed to reach a satisfactory arrangement regarding lawmakers’ access to documents connected to “Fast and Furious.” The operation aimed to track the flow of guns from the United States into the hands of Mexican drug cartels, but many firearms went missing and two turned up at the scene of the killing of Customs and Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry.
Republicans have accused Holder of misleading them on what he knew about the operation and when. The attorney general has blamed Republicans of playing politics by rejecting his offers to make some of the materials available. Obama has rejected Republican calls to dismiss Holder.
The White House, in an email to reporters announcing the move, noted that Obama’s Republican predecessor President George W. Bush had invoked executive privilege six times, and former President Bill Clinton relied on the doctrine 14 times.  By invoking “executive privilege,” the Administration was essentially asserting a right to withhold documents that Issa’s committee has sought using a congressional subpoena. The Supreme Court has ruled in the past that the privilege has its roots in the separation of powers enshrined in the Constitution. MORE

10 Presidents Who Invoked

ExecutivePrivilege in Recent

History

1.President Kennedy invoked the privilege twice. The first was in reference to speeches requested by a Senate subcommittee investigating Cold War military education. Then, during a congressional investigation into the Bay of Pigs, 
2.President Lyndon B. Johnson addresses the nation March 31, 1968. President Johnson, at the conclusion of the major television radio address, said “I shall not seek and I will not accept the nomination for another term as President.”
3. President Nixon asserted the privilege six times. Half of the instances occurred with respect to the Watergate scandal.
4. U.S. Vice President Gerald R. Ford Jr., speaks at the White House in Washington, D.C., in March 1974. Ford, who took office in Dec. 1973, is the first vice president to take office in the middle of the term under the 25th Ammendment.  Secretary of State Henry Kissinger was directed to withhold subpoenaed documents relating to State Department recommendations on covert affairs to the National Security Council during Ford’s presidency.
5. President Carter invoked executive privilege to thwart an attempt by the General Accounting Office to investigate the claim that a coal strike could result in 3.5 million jobs lost if not resolved. The GAO called the claim “interesting if true.”
6. President Reagan tells a group of business executives at the White House on Tuesday, April 16, 1986 in Washington that the United States will continue with more strikes on Libya if necessary. Reagan said it is up to Libya to end its pursuit of terrorist acts,   Reagan ordered executive officials to invoke the privilege three times with respect to an investigation of Canadian oil leases, Superfund practices, and memos Justice Rehnquist wrote while he was an Assistant Attorney in the Department of Justice.

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