- Post 21 June 2012
- By Copy Editor
Barack Obama said as a candidate that former president George W. Bush abused executive privilege to shield his GOP administration from embarrassment. On Wednesday, however, Obama invoked the privilege to stymie a congressional investigation into a gunrunning scandal that left a Border Patrol agent dead.
“There’s been a tendency on the part of this administration to—to try to hide behind executive privilege every time there’s something a little shaky that’s taking place,” Obama told CNN in 2007. “And I think, you know, the administration would be best served by coming clean on this. There doesn’t seem to be any national security issues involved with the U.S. attorney question.”
Obama backed efforts to bring contempt charges against Bush adviser Karl Rove, as well as subpoenas to obtain documents from the Department of Justice pertaining to the firing of several U.S. attorneys. He has not been as forthcoming with his own DOJ.
On Tuesday Rep. Darrell Issa (R., Ca), chairman of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, blasted Attorney General Eric Holder for failing to cooperate with an investigation into the scandal and moved closer to holding him in contempt of Congress.
The Obama administration invoked executive privilege on Wednesday to protect Holder from the fallout of the Operation Fast and Furious scandal in which ATF agents allowed automatic weapons to cross the border into the hands of Mexican drug cartels. One of those guns was later used to kill Border Patrol agent Brian Terry.