Obama Invokes Executive Privilege, Bails Out Holder

Darrell Issa pushes forward with contempt hearing anyway
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 20, 2012 9:25 AM CDT
Updated Jun 20, 2012 1:38 PM CDT
Attorney General Eric holder speaks to reporters on Capitol Hill Tuesday.   (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)
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(Newser) – Barack Obama invoked executive privilege to justify withholding certain documents related to the Fast and Furious scandal from Congress, just minutes before the House Oversight Committee was set to hold a contempt hearing against Attorney General Eric Holder. But the committee pressed ahead with the contempt hearing anyway, Fox News reports. "This untimely assertion by the Justice Department falls short of any reason to delay today's proceedings," Chairman Darrell Issa said.

Holder sent a letter to Obama this morning formally requesting that he invoke the privilege. Democrats condemned Issa for pressing ahead—one New York rep said she was "horrified" by the "political witch hunt"—while Republicans stood by him. John Boehner said the move implied the White House was in on the Fast and Furious "cover-up," despite previous assertions that it was the Justice Department's show. "Were they lying, or are they now bending the law to hide the truth?" a spokesman asked, according to Politico.

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