Executive privilege claim takes Capitol Hill by storm
All-Star panel weighs in
- Duration 5:47
- Date Jun 20, 2012
All-Star panel weighs in
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Well then Senator Obama and senator Reid back in 2007 commenting on the Bush Administration invoking executive privilege.
Back then about a US attorney investigation we're back with the panel bill those soundbites -- are striking now there are.
Not the first time -- President Obama is doing something that's as senator he thought was just unconscionable and how could you do that but.
I suppose he's decided that transparency is a little less important than.
He would claim.
Preserving some kind of I guess the cloak of secrecy over internal administration deliberations but I think as you said on the first -- what is striking about this is this is not sensitive national security.
Deliberations these -- -- White House staffers presumably maybe they are.
Talking with Justice Department -- -- as presented its internal Justice Department discussions about how to respond to a congressional investigation to media inquiries.
Some of it could be embarrassing but is it really.
Something that the president pastors -- exert executive privilege asserts executive privilege over.
Because really Qaeda they're looking for these these emails -- documents after February 2011 when the Justice Department has -- said.
They did not the ATF did not -- guns walk.
Later in 2011 they have to retract that statement they're looking for the documents in between that time I want to put up this quote from the attorney general.
In reaction to this hearing today in the vote in the committee for contempt he said that chairman -- has chosen to use is authority to take.
Unprecedented entirely unnecessary action intended to provoke an avoidable conflict.
Between congress and the executive branch -- chairman isolated began.
His own investigation goes on to say I made it clear the department would cooperate with all appropriate oversight requests while still adhering to our legal obligations.
To protect information involving ongoing law enforcement investigations.
Legally protected grand jury material and other sensitive information.
Whose disclosure would endanger the American people and our agents investigating opened cases the American people deserve better question is.
Does that fall into what he's.
Talking about here.
Are not sure I mean yesterday the attorney general was supposed to meet with congressman chairman of the house oversight committee Darrell Issa.
And he was gonna come forth with.
But instead he came to the meeting and said I would give -- these documents to brief you on them so long as you drop your congressional investigation.
Into fast and furious and so it's been eighteen months senator Grassley is investigating this from the senate side chairman -- has -- -- this you know since last year.
And they've really come to an -- house and it went in terms of the documents that they -- for an end to once again they -- 70000 documents then parted down to thirteen hundred.
And the attorney general failed to deliver -- your suspicion that this goes somewhere into the White House -- some.
I think so like I said earlier I mean it's either.
The White House had more involvement in the past and they have admitted before -- go back to the beginning.
The Obama administration President Obama gave his attorney general direct orders reassessed.
Gun trafficking policy on the border he also told us to -- -- -- -- -- Homeland Security secretary.
And they made you know -- gun trafficking in the stopping of the drug cartels down there a top priority and you fast forward to you today and they clearly don't want an America.
The public to see what's going on with his communications.
TV Charles -- touch on the politics of this and obviously could go both ways your thoughts on how to play I think the politics are -- -- and I think fit what you see happening in the house among Republicans was an initial resistance in this.
Going full speed ahead we said last week Charles and I agreed last week -- I would -- committee -- for content not likely a full house vote.
Now are looking at full house -- they're gonna they're gonna they're under enormous pressure the leadership is from their conference.
To go through this and members who are looking for a face what they're calling a face saving deal hope that in the coming days something to materialize to stop this.
But it looks like we'll see a contempt vote I don't know that independent voters remember the Democrats when they were in charge.
Held Harriet Miers.
Bush's chief of staff are top advisor to President Bush and her and legal counsel to President Bush in contempt of congress I don't know that they pay for politically.
There are so few remaining persuade -- voters in this election there are so worried about the economy they do not think they're paying attention and as -- need to people who follow this story.
For people who are gonna vote against the president I don't think this is gonna change any minds.
I think people in recent memory seemed way too many congressional oversight investigations.
And attorneys general in the cross hairs of congress.
In recent memory and I think as I said.
Those who are left on persuaded.
Are gonna make up their minds about the economy and right now President -- standard -- term.
-- I I think maybe touched upon the disconnect between what Democrats say about this kind of investigation under both bush and what they're saying now.
But this is second more and more recent disconnect.
Which is in the -- statement and the rest of that statement he says I've cooperated with the request.
Except that I will make disclosures that would endanger the American people or our agents in the field.
When this administration has just leaked.
Everything you wanna know about stocks that the she -- war against Iran.
And has just leaked details about the drone war about the double agent in Yemen.
About all kinds of things including this morning.
-- the page of the Washington Post the flame the virus to other one that's now active.
And -- done it not a leak but a flood.
And all and end what does that have in common it's -- way to show how strong.
And assertive the administration is in the foreign affairs this might show.
And -- it to negatively on the administration.
That's the only difference if it's nationalist security -- and they have no regard for secrets and here all of a sudden.
Guarded you makes you wonder -- I.
Panel thank you K thanks for joining us.