President Barack Obama intervened today in an attempt to avert a House Oversight Committee vote on contempt action against Attornery General Eric Holder. Obama asserted executive privilege over the documents related to Fast and Furious. Previously, the Justice Department really gave no legal rationale for not handing them over.
While this may suceed in keeping the documents in legal limbo, there are two problems with this approach. The first is that this hasn’t stopped Oversight Chairman Darrell Issa from pressing ahead with the contempt vote. The second problem is that this has gotten the mainstream media to cover Operation Fast and Furious, at least in passing.
One of the administration’s best assets in managing this story has been that Fast and Furious was effectively ghetto-ized in the conservative media. Townhall‘s Katie Pavlich, the Daily Caller‘s Matthew Boyle, and just a few others were doing most of the reporting on Fast and Furious. The mainstream media hasn’t come close to catching up, but Obama’s action has compelled them to recognize that the scandal at least exists.
So a Republican-controlled House could in theory still vote to find Holder in contempt of Congress. And more news outlets are paying attention to the story. So this move may backfire.
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