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Executive Privilege Used for Political Gain


Location: Washington, DC

Today, Congressman Steve Pearce released the following statement regarding President Obama's decision to exert executive privilege to hide documents related to Attorney General Eric Holder and his possible involvement in Operation Fast and Furious:

"President Obama chose to give Attorney General Eric Holder political cover instead of helping Congress and the American people find answers. We were told this would be the most "open and honest" White House in history and President Obama attacked past presidents for trying to "hide behind executive privilege." Today, President Obama proved that these were simply words used to get into the White House, and not a pledge to the people."

"For more than a year, Mr. Holder has pretended nobody in his Department of Justice knew a thing about the operation. Emails prove ATF officials sent updates to the DOJ in Washington as early as July 2010. We know senior DOJ officials in Washington referred to Fast and Furious by name in emails as early as October 2010. Even White House officials received emails that included details of the program. DOJ submitted a completely false letter to the Congress in February 2011 that Mr. Holder had to embarrassingly retract. With all of this evidence, Mr. Holder continues to dodge questions from committee members in both houses of Congress about DOJ's involvement in the program, and what Mr. Holder knew."

"And now Mr. Holder and President Obama are trying to obstruct an investigation by Congress into the gross misuse of power by our top law enforcement agency. We are a nation of laws, and a nation that believes nobody is above the law. That includes the Attorney General of the United States, and for him to say "we'll just continue to talk" instead of responding to a congressional subpoena is just wrong. It is time to stop talking and provide the documents."

Operation Fast and Furious was a program implemented by the Obama Administration in which the Department of Justice allowed weapons, including AK-47 variants, to "walk" into Mexico without being traced. Some of the weapons are now in the hands of drug cartels, and were used to kill hundreds of innocent Mexican citizens and US Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry.

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