President Raises Legal Eyebrows with Claim of Executive Privilege
Byline: Dave Boyer, THE WASHINGTON TIMES
President Obama could be on shaky legal ground with his assertion of executive privilege in a congressional investigation that has been going on for a year, according to scholars who study the limits of presidential power.
Louis Fisher, a former specialist on the separation of powers at the nonpartisan Congressional Research Service, said he found the administration's arguments extremely unpersuasive.
Mr. Fisher noted that Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr., in a letter to the president, cited the need to protect the Justice Department' deliberative process in responding to the congressional inquiry into a botched gun-running operation.
Yet he admits throughout his letter to Obama that the department has regularly provided the House committee with documents involved in drafting a particular letter to the committee on Feb. 4, 2011, Mr. Fisher said.
He states that the department 'has already shared with the committee over 1,300 pages of documents concerning the drafting of the Feb. 4 letter,'" Mr. Fisher said. In short, Holder was willing to release documents about that deliberative process.
Mr. Fisher, who has testified before Congress and written a book about executive privilege, also said Mr. Holder repeatedly cites the fundamentally false notion that when Congress wants information from the executive branch, it must be in furtherance of a 'legitimate legislative responsibility.'"
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Publication information: Article title: President Raises Legal Eyebrows with Claim of Executive Privilege. Contributors: Not available. Newspaper title: The Washington Times (Washington, DC). Publication date: June 21, 2012. Page number: A01. © 2009 The Washington Times LLC. COPYRIGHT 2012 Gale Group.
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