Who will suffer politically from Fast and Furious?
Debate over WH executive privilege
- Duration 7:27
- Date Jun 20, 2012
Debate over WH executive privilege
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This transcript is automatically generated
Well this is a congressional committee on Capitol Hill lower box right hand side.
About to hold.
A vote on whether.
The attorney general the United States should be held in contempt.
And and now the White House top right hand side is involved joining us.
Gretchen channel executive director of public notice Juan Williams Fox News political analyst -- want this was just a battle between I shouldn't say just but it was a battle a vigorous one.
Fought over many many months between.
Congress and the attorney general but now because the president has invoked executive -- privilege.
He is sucked into it.
What is the political implication in an election year.
Well obviously it doesn't look good for the White -- I mean this is I think the intent.
About their eyes to the chairman of the committee all along I think.
It this -- was and is a tremendously large fishing expeditions I -- And Allah guides it to Moby Dick -- is looking for something somewhere anywhere.
In this case you think you might look black White -- evidence of wrongdoing.
You you think he his motive was to get into the White House somehow and and I think it was toll Politico I mean that's that's boot.
I mean -- -- -- if you look at the facts of the case.
And you know we just heard a recitation of some of those facts from the committee.
It largely circuit largely involves that letter would had false information from just this.
About whether or not that weapons had gone into Mexico weapons that were found -- -- fleeing.
Of the killing but not not nobody's ever proven that those guns were used to kill -- terrorist.
But did what the White House and Justice Department has done is to try to make available all the information including information they say.
That came from talk alcohol tobacco and firearms officials that was falsely given to justice that led to that letter but.
I -- committee has refused to call.
Those ATF officials they have instead focused on the political office.
-- the attorney general and by extension the white.
And Gretchen Hamel what do you make of this what you're them.
-- what are your thoughts about whether this helps hurts I mean.
You you heard this statement a short time ago from Chris Wallace that this could really backfire on Republicans -- could look.
Like a political witch hunt which is sort of what -- saying.
Well it could backfire on both Republicans and the White House and Republicans have to own nest they did this they have to you.
Who showed that there intent was meaningful that they were really -- to get -- bottom.
Of what happened here so they -- reform and less is recalled hearing earlier -- -- last hour a democratic members and we need to have real reforms here and it reported to have real reforms you need to know what the problem lies in what actually happened and where the breakdown was and that's my house Republicans are trying to do here and that is -- message they need to get out.
As for the White House President Obama we'll have a problem because back and 2007.
He said that his administration and then Senator Obama said -- his administration would have more respect.
And Britney co equal branches of government he also called on President Bush wondering why he was hiding.
By using this -- -- so we have to beg the question what is he hiding out and also is he really fulfilling a campaign promise at having that coequal branch and having a.
-- -- got hold that thought on the left inside your screen lacy clay Democrat on the committee and we're following what he's saying we're gonna be going backing to the committee as it warrants.
But Gretchen and one are gonna stick around we're gonna squeeze in a quick break here yeah.
It's sad it's disappointing it shouldn't have come to this nobody likes doing this.
This is not about Eric Holder it is about the department of justice and justice in the United States of America.
Have the guts I hope we have the guts and the perseverance to get to the bottom of this.
We have to think nearly 2000 weapons purposely purposely given the drug cartels we have hundreds of dead people in Mexico.
We have a dead United States Border Patrol agent.
And we have a government that's withholding information so that we can only get to the bottom of but the we can fix it.
-- -- fits in and that advice the question who did authorize it well the president in march of 2011.
-- down -- interview off before Univision and said quote.
I did not authorize it Eric Holder the attorney general did not.
Authorize it back now with Gretchen Hamel executive director public notice Juan Williams.
Fox News political analysts they still stand by that statement that the president didn't know about it I didn't authorize it.
And Ed Henry -- White House correspondent wants says that what they're doing here -- this executive privilege is invoking it because.
There were after the fact discussions at the White House as to how to handle the fallout.
All of the whole thing.
I'm not sure want to know what your thoughts on this did that protects -- documents.
Over it justice on related.
To political conversations about how to handle the PR.
Well what we -- this from this morning's letter or letters sent by Elijah Cummings Greg who's the number two odd person on the committee a Democrat.
-- sick he said in there that these that this executive privilege does not cover any of the whistleblower documents so that.
Anything related to information about the case.
He's still available to the congress what's not covered of course under the exact approach would be communications between.
White House officials and justice potentially advising them as to how to handle the matter just as it does for your back -- you should know that holder.
Had some really intense meetings at the -- that's at one point remember holder.
Famously said you know -- nation is cowardly and talking about race -- like.
And -- white top White House political officials thought maybe they should put somebody -- justice.
Kind as you know to help holder with political issues and worried about his political and stay within holder react.
Acted angrily right and it's a result there is no such person there but holder does they have thirty minutes away faster have a little it.
It is -- with Axelrod I now -- direction -- been either a couple of huge mistakes -- or.
February 4 holder tells congress just -- never permitted fast and furious that was -- he retracted it three months later may fifth.
He tells congress he only learned about it a few weeks ago that was faulty retracted it.
And now apparently ice that has these leaked affidavits.
To the wiretaps that show.
That holder may be not telling the truth a third time.
Bob -- you know I -- there may be explanations for it but in your judgment does it look bad.
Well where there's smoke there's fire and unfortunately perception is often reality.
And the court of public opinion and right now with all these maybe -- statements -- he may have made.
But on record saying one thing then having seen something else -- you are having the American public have to ask themselves these questions is this guy telling the truth is.
And it's now that there are holding these documents.
What does documents -- see a lot of questions being at dinner that couldn't relay each in comeback -- political fallout for the White House and me.
This is one of those things that can go either way depending on what come down the -- Well lawyers always another class if you have nothing to hide don't hide it.
That only one way Evans Gretchen -- good to -- -- thanks very much.