Shades of Watergate? – Congress Moves Ahead with Contempt Vote, Obama Invokes Executive Privilege… Why?

by Ask Marion

Parents of slain border agent Brian Terry blast Obama’s executive privilege move – Remember Border Agent Brian Terry was killed with one of the guns walked and not tracked by Eric Holder’s DOJ…: Terry Family Statement: Holder and Obama Compounding Fast and Furious Tragedy, Protecting Themselves

“Sen. Chuck Grassley of Iowa, ranking Republican on the Senate Judiciary Committee, who first began the Fast and Furious investigation, said the assertion by the White House of executive privilege raises “monumental questions.”

“How can the president assert executive privilege if there was no White House involvement? How can the president exert executive privilege over documents he’s supposedly never seen? Is something very big being hidden to go to this extreme? The contempt citation is an important procedural mechanism in our system of checks and balances,” he said.”

The President MUST Be Involved in an Issue to Invoke Executive Privilege

Biden in 2007: “Executive privilege only covers communications between a president and his advisors”

By now, you probably know that President Barack Obama invoked executive privilege to stall Congress’ attempt to get Attorney General Eric Holder to fork over documents in the Fast and Furious Scandal.

You probably also know, by now, that Obama explicitly spoke out against executive privilege before he was president, saying “the American people need to know what’s going on,” in yet another classic “do as I say, not as I do” moment brought to you by the first dictator in the history of the United States.

But did you know the president has to be involved in a situation in order to invoke executive privilege?

From the files of Congress:

Under those precedents, the privilege, which is constitutionally rooted, could be invoked by the President when asked to produce documents or other materials or information that reflect presidential decision making and deliberations that he believes should remain confidential.

Note the emphasized language, and the grammar of the sentence that leaves no doubt that the president MUST be involved in whatever issue for which he invokes executive privilege: “when asked to produce documents or other materials or information that reflect PRESIDENTIAL DECISIONMAKING AND DELIBERATIONS.

You won’t hear this from the lapdog media. But, hey, I’m just a blogger.

So, what we have here, then, is the president not only protecting Holder, he’s also protecting himself.

Meanwhile, over at Think Regress (see comments), the left is rejoicing about the president’s actions, once again, as leftists do, defending the indefensible.

I wonder how the president’s new 800,000 voters feel about him covering up information about the murder of Mexicans.

UPDATE: Not only is the president apparently involved in F&F, he’s illegitimately using executive privilege to shield wrong doing.

UPDATE II: Breitbart is saying this is deliberative process privilege, rooted in common law not the Constitution, and therefore Obama didn’t invoke EP to protect himself.

UPDATE III: But Judge Napolitano says the implication the president is involved is in his actions of claiming executive privilege. H/T: YouViewed

Cross-posted at Pat Dollard. – Linkage: Thanks, Moonbattery and NoisyRoom!

Comment by Garry Hamilton:

Administration claims executive privilege in a matter it supposedly knew nothing about.

This is what we, in the data analysis community call “contrary facts.” In other words, one datum (“we knew nothing”) contradicts the other (“we will not reveal what we knew”).

Expect the Media Myth Generators to offer a package of “reasons” explaining how you can deny knowing and yet still claim “privilege” to protect the “nothing” that you know.

Head them off at the pass. Call them on it.

They.

Are.

Lying.

To us.

Never mind lying to Congress. They are lying to the entire population.

“Lying to America” may not be a crime on the books, but I reckon it’s a crime nonetheless.

Let us then mete out the appropriate punishment.

Rush: Obama created crimes with gunrunning

WHITE HOUSE INSIDER: Obama Owns Fast and Furious Now

A quick update from a longtime D.C. political operative who indicated two years ago the Obama administration was facing a serious political crisis rooted within the Department of Justice.  With a contempt vote now looming over Obama Attorney General Eric Holder, and Barack Obama’s use of Executive Privilege in refusing to comply with Congressional requests for related Fast and Furious documents, – that political crisis foretold to readers of the UlstermanReport has now arrived in full.

I’m watching the news reports same as you.  Made a number of calls back to my people in D.C.  Getting many different versions of things but they all share the same thing and that is a real sense of urgency and shock at a couple of things.  One is the use of Executive Privilege by the Obama White House.  That makes a direct tie to the administration now.  The perception of that is now the reality of it.  Obama owns Fast and Furious.  He can’t walk that back.  It’s his.  He is telling Congress he won’t hand over docs.  The line in the sand was placed there by the president himself.  That alone has people really scrambling now to figure out how deep this thing could go.  Will it hurt the re-election.  Will there be blowback against the party.  Basically all the things I told you were concerns before have now become concerns.  And some of them I told myself months and well over a year ago to prepare.  Some listened.  Some didn’t.  Poor bastards who didn’t.

Second, something just now breaking out is Holder walked back a Blame Bush statement he gave to Congress just last week.  Fast and Furious was nothing like anything the Bush boys did.  Bush era program was much smaller and had the full cooperation of the Mexican authorities.  Holder lied when he attempted to link the two and now he is already trying to correct that testimony from one week ago.  This kind of sloppy mistake is a clear sign he’s in big trouble and really feeling the heat.  It’s also a signal to party leaders and the White House he is falling apart on this.

Obama is saying to Congress “come and get me if you dare”.  Now we gotta see if Republicans dare.  It’s an election year so the White House is banking on enough Republicans in the leadership to not want to look like they are beating up too bad on Obama.  They fear the race card.  Part of me says they are a bunch of spineless pukes for that fear and the political operative in me understands the concern.  The White House is more than willing to push that race issue much farther than we have seen already.  You know what I’m talking about there.

So now we wait to see what the Republicans do.  Contempt vote?  How hard are they gonna fight the Executive Privilege order?  Are they willing to make this a presidential election year issue?  Word back to me is some are.  Some don’t even care about the politics of it.  They are pissed and disgusted by what this administration and Eric Holder have done.  It’s a fight of principle vs politics within the Republican Party right now.

Lastly I want to give a nod to the Old Man.  This entire Fast and Furious thing was a slow drip not so long ago.  He made a push on some folks who in turn had a few meetings on the Hill and got this thing going again.  At least he was a big help in that.  Not sure if you know but there’s been another health setback for him and we probably won’t hear from them for a bit.  I’ll update you on that situation as soon as I know anything more.  It’s not hopeless but it’s not good.  Say some prayers for him.  He really wants to make it to the next inauguration.

I’m on the road but like I said, am keeping contact back in D.C.  If there is anything new on FnF will clue you in when I can.

-WHI

Secondly, something just now breaking out is Holder walked back a Blame Bush statement he gave to Congress just last week. Fast and Furious was nothing like anything the Bush boys did. Bush era program was much smaller and had the full cooperation of the Mexican authorities. Holder lied when he attempted to link the two and now he is already trying to correct that testimony from one week ago. This kind of sloppy mistake is a clear sign he’s in big trouble and really feeling the heat. It’s also a signal to party leaders and the White House he is falling apart on this.

UPDATE:  This follow up from WHI is now included in this original report:

Received in-house word regarding “scrambling” at the White House.   Something has them very spooked.  I hinted at this to you last week regarding the meeting that had staff coming out looking very concerned. The Grassley message had to have shook them up.  Told Issa has been repeating comparisons to Watergate to staff and fellow House members.  White House must be aware Issa and Co. might have something that could inflict a hell of a lot of damage.

Dem leadership sent out signals to staff to prepare for necessary insulation from the White House to limit damage to individual campaigns.  Black Caucus member engaged in a 10 minute “explosive” rant against someone from Issa’s office following a recess.  Some Dems getting openly fearful and aggressive.  Chaffetz had “face to face” with one of them.  He is proving very willing to aggressively engage the opposition at any time.

This is far from won but recent events are proving to be damn favorable to those of us who want to defeat the president.

Don’t get over confident though.  This administration is gonna fight this hard.

I’ve been called back.  That indicates this has become real important real fast to a lot of real important people.

-WHI

Obama’s need for “Executive Privilege”

“What did the President know and when did he know it?” – former senator Howard Baker about Richard Nixon during the Watergate hearings

By Douglas J. Hagmann

20 June 2012: It is interesting that it was exactly forty years ago this week that five “burglars” were caught inside the Watergate complex, setting off one of the most notorious presidential scandals in U.S. history. The events of June 17, 1972 resulted in the resignation of U.S. President Richard Nixon just over two years later. During that two years, the press was aggressive in its coverage and investigation, while the White House denied any involvement with, connection to, or knowledge of the incident.

During the two years following the arrests of the men caught inside the Watergate complex and until the White House could no longer suppress evidence behind the claims of “executive privilege,” the press and congressional investigators were relentless in determining “what Nixon knew and when he knew it.” How times have changed.

Not very fast, and no fury

Unless you’ve been trapped in a cave or your television has been stuck on MSNBC, chances are good that you are aware of a growing scandal known as Operation Fast & Furious. Chances are equally good that you don’t know all of the intricate details of Fast & Furious, as it has been the practice of this administration and many in leadership positions to confuse the public, convolute the facts, and downplay the murderous scandal that leads directly to the highest levels of this administration.For example, Chris Matthews of MSNBC has stated that anyone wanting Operation Fast & Furious investigated is “another strain of the crazy far right.”  Rachel Maddow, however,  believes that the coverage of Fast & Furious is “the insane paranoid message from the NRA.” Jon Stewart of The Daily Show is even less articulate, calling any investigation into Fast & Furious “f***ing crazy.” (As noted by Katie Pavlich, author of “Fast & Furious, Barack Obama’s Bloodiest Scandal and it’s Shameless Cover-Up”).

Meanwhile and unlike the Watergate era, all but a few in power and the media have been proactive in their quest for answers, except for Washington based CBS News investigative correspondent Sharyl Attkisson. Add the disinformation deliberately published on the internet, one is likely to be left confused, uncertain of those involved and the timelines, and the actual components of this mother of all scandals.

Background: “Project Gunrunner”

Operation Fast & Furious is the name of an aggressive anti-gun initiative launched and conducted by the United States Department of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms, an agency under the oversight of the U.S. Department of Justice. It officially began in early 2009 as an extension of a program known as Project Gunrunner, an operation that was started under the Bush administration in 2005 as part of the Southwest Border Initiative (SBI).  The pilot program for Project Gunrunner began in Laredo, Texas. The objectives were to conduct surveillance, identify and stop the flow of weapons and ammunition from the U.S. illegally entering Mexico and eventually making their way to the drug cartels.

In April of 2006, the program was expanded to a national level as a weapons interdiction program under the BATFE, formerly known as the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms (ATF).  Project Gunrunner also involved the use of an Internet based weapon tracking system known as eTrace, a program that would permit participating law enforcement agencies to track the origin of confiscated or questionable guns, through their serial numbers, to their point of origin.

On April 10, 2008, former Attorney General Michael Mukasey briefed the U.S. Senate Committee on Appropriations on the status of the project. At that time, Mukasey stated that the “ATF has approximately 148 special agents…and 56 industry operation investigators (IOI) responsible for conducting regulatory inspections.” Mukasey also stated that the ATF “is also expanding its presence at the El Paso Intelligence Center (EPIC) which serves as the central repository and “clearinghouse” for all weapons related intelligence collected and developed by ATF’s field personnel and attaches in Mexico as well as by all other Federal, State and local law enforcement entities involved in narcotics interdiction and investigation along the U.S./Mexico border.”

At the end of the Bush administration, Project Gunrunner was responsible for approximately 650 criminal cases being filed against about 1400 defendants, involving about 12,000 firearms.

It is relevant to point out here that “Project Gunwalker” is not the name of any legitimate operation, but a satirical moniker attached to Project Gunrunner.

Operation Fast & Furious

Under the Obama administration, “Operation Fast and Furious” was launched in early 2009. By extension of Project Gunrunner, the BATFE commissioned gun shops along the southern U.S. border to sell weapons to known criminal suspects. Ostensibly, this operation was for interdiction purposes, but the agents involved were directly ordered not to interdict the weapons. What resulted was a mass amount of weapons that actually and genuinely originated in the U.S., with the knowledge and approval of the BATFE, being permitted to “walk” unmolested across the southern border (hence the satirical name “gunwalker”).

From early 2009 through December 2010, this process was repeated over and over in the southern U.S. despite the objections of numerous BATFE agents and gun shop owners. During this time, several agents began to notify congress and became “whistleblowers” about the stand-down orders.

Late on the night of December 14, 2010, the inevitable happened. U.S. Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry was gunned down in Rio Rico, Arizona by an AK-47 that was “walked” across the U.S. Mexican border with the knowledge and allowance of the BATFE. Two weapons that were allowed to “walk” across the border were found at the murder scene.

The guns found at the scene were traced to a purchase made on January 16, 2010 from a U.S. gun shop with the full knowledge and authority of the U.S. government by a Mexican national identified as Jaime Avila. On January 16, 2010, Jaime Avila bought 52 firearms, and paid for the guns in cash. ATF agents watched, but were ordered not to stop Avila from making the purchase or crossing back into Mexico.

In addition to Agent Terry, Immigration Customs Enforcement Agent Jaime Zapata, 32, was also killed by a weapon allowed to “walk” into Mexico. Agent Zapata and his partner, Victor Availa, were driving a government SUV with diplomatic plates on a Mexico highway, returning from a meeting at the U.S. Embassy in Mexico City when they were ambushed. Agent Availa was badly injured but survived. It should be noted that neither agent was armed, as Mexican law prohibits U.S. agents from carrying weapons in Mexico.

With the tragic death of agents Terry and Zapata, questions began to be raised about Operation Fast & Furious, but it was evident that no one from the Obama administration wanted to talk. Attorney General Eric Holder, DHS Secretary Janet Napolitano, and Barack Hussein Obama claimed that they had absolutely no knowledge of Operation Fast & Furious or that any weapons were being permitted to be sold and “released.”

Fatalities increase

If the goal of Operation Fast & Furious was to interdict weapons and stop the cross border violence, and that objective is certainly in question, it was a dismal failure from the beginning. In December 2009, there were 849 people murdered. Every month thereafter, the numbers grew: 937 in January, 2010; 988 in February, 2010, and 1200 in March of that year. In total, 15,273 people were murdered in drug cartel related activity.

Despite this obvious increase in fatalities, no one from our government put a halt to the gun shipments to Mexico. Why?

The real objective behind Fast & Furious?

After taking office, Barack Hussein Obama began a coordinated effort with U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton to control the purchases and ownership of guns in the United States. To justify the implementation of tougher gun control laws and in a direct assault on the Second Amendment of the U.S. Constitution, this administration cited a statement made to Congress by William Hoover, Assistant Director for Field Operations for the BATFE on February 7, 2008. According to that report, 90 percent of the weapons used by the Mexican drug cartels were purchased from or originated in the U.S.

That stunning revelation empowered the Obama administration to solicit public support for banning so-called assault weapons in the U.S., and calling for tougher gun control laws. The problem, however, is that the statement is disingenuous at best.

First and perhaps most transparent, it has been noted that only 1 in 5 guns that have been recovered in Mexico actually underwent any form of tracing, leaving 80% untraced. Accordingly, the 90 percent figure is already factually inaccurate.

In 2009, 21,313 guns were recovered in Mexico and submitted for tracing. Less than a quarter of those guns were found to have originated in the U.S.

Secondly and perhaps the most scandalous of all is that all figures of cited by this administration pertaining to weapons tracing include weapons sold to the Mexican military via U.S. arms-trading policies under programs such as Direct Commercial Sales (DCS) initiatives. The fact is that the bulk of the arms used by the Mexican drug cartels did not – and do not originate from gun shop sales in the U.S., but from U.S. government sponsored programs that sell weapons and ammunition to the Mexican military as well as other third-world nations. This process was accelerated under Obama.

Many of the weapons used in Mexico and counted in border violence statistics actually arrived in that area from Central American countries involved in U.S. government sanctioned programs administered by the Pentagon and with the knowledge and imprimatur of the U.S. State Department.

Interestingly, confirmation of the government’s programs and knowledge by government officials, particularly Hillary Clinton was made public by the release of State Department cables published by Wikileaks. The cables prove that the U.S. State Department and Hillary Clinton knew the origins of the bulk of the weapons used by the Mexican drug cartels, although kept this information secret for the greater agenda of U.S. gun control.

Meanwhile, it appears that the Obama administration with the full cooperation of Eric Holder, used various weapons tracking programs already implemented to inflate the statistics involving guns originating in the U.S. to advance even tougher gun control measures.

Research and investigation indicates that a series of programs implemented under the umbrella of a government sanctioned program known “Project Gunrunner” were purposely exploited with the knowledge and consent of government officials at the highest of levels.

According to several agents who have provided testimony, each operation where weapons were allowed to “walk” into Mexico from the U.S. was approved at the highest levels of the United States Department of Justice and the U.S. Department of State. Some believe that operations of this magnitude could not have been possible without the knowledge and approval of Obama himself.

Forty years after the biggest scandal to rock the nation, it is again time to ask the question to Eric Holder, Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama under oath and in front of congress: What did you know and when did you know it?

h/t to MJ

Related:

OBAMA & HOLDER – FAST & FURIOUS CONTEMPT PROCEEDINGS – BLAME BUSH – UPDATE: HOLDER HELD IN CONTEMPT BY OVERSIGHT COMMITTEE

Breaking… Fast and Furious Scandal Videos Go Viral Making Obama & Holder Panic!!

Holder Goes Back on His Word, Doesn’t Provide Fast and Furious Documents at Meeting With Issa

The Difference Between Wide Receiver and Fast and Furious

Video: Fast and Furious Contempt Mark-up

Video: Fast and Furious Contempt Mark-up Part 2

Video: Eric Holder 1995 We Must Brainwash People

Updated:

TPN: Eric Holder Key Speaker in Mexico Offering U.S. Help To Stop Gun Trafficking into Mexico: April 2009! -   “In fact, under Clinton’s reign, Holder represented Chiquita Brands International who paid an entity using the name – United Self Defense Forces of Columbia – reported by a State Department to be listed as a terrorist organization, who murdered about 4,000 innocent Banana farmers, which is similar to Fast and Furious,except that In Mexico, 42,000 people were slaughtered.  Also, Del Monte and Dole paid the same terrorist group! In fact, news articles alleged that Speaker Nancy Pelosi was reported to have had a financial interest in Del Monte.” 

Issa: Obama Fast and Furious Cover-Up Hidden By Executive Privilege

But Fast and Furious is NOT the only reason to put the corrupt Eric Holder in an Orange jumpsuit… Because Eric Holder’s Contempt Did Not Just Start Last Week!

Can you believe the gall of this coward claiming it’s "divisive"?!

Holder: House committee’s contempt vote ‘divisive’ and ‘entirely unnecessary’

Holder remains defiant after vote:  The attorney general calls a committee vote that held him in contempt of Congress "entirely unnecessary."

Regardless… the contempt vote is expected this coming Thursday… perhaps the same day as SCOTUS rule on ObamaCare

After Words with Katie Pavlich author of Fast and Furious: Barack Obama’s Bloodiest Scandal and the Shameless Cover-Up – C-SPAN Video Library

Watch Major Garrett pick his jaw off the floor! A must watch!

About Ask Marion

I am a babyboomer and empty nester who savors every moment of my past and believes that it is the responsibility of each of us in my generation and Americans in general to make sure that America is as good or even a better place for future generations as it was for us. So far... we haven't done very well!! Favorite Quotes: "The first 50 years are to build and acquire; the second 50 are to leave your legacy"; "Do something that scares you every day!"; "The journey in between what you once were and who you are becoming is where the dance of life really takes place".
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25 Responses to Shades of Watergate? – Congress Moves Ahead with Contempt Vote, Obama Invokes Executive Privilege… Why?

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