Obama has now claimed executive privilege for documents requested by the Congressional Oversight Committee in connection with its hearings on the “fast and furious” scandal. Obama had previously claimed not to have known about fast and furious and not to have spoken with anyone at the Justice Department about it. But by claiming executive privilege he is tacitly admitting that he did have communications within the administration about fast and furious because otherwise a claim of executive privilege would be frivolous. Executive privilege only applies to conversations and communications involving the President.
Therefore it is appropriate to now ask what Obama knew about fast and furious and when did he know it?
As then Senator Barack Obama himself said, on December 20, 2007, in response to a question posed by Boston Globe reporter Charlie Savage:
6. [Reporter:] Does executive privilege cover testimony or documents about decision-making within the executive branch not involving confidential advice communicated to the president himself?
[Obama:] With respect to the “core” of executive privilege, the Supreme Court has not resolved this question, and reasonable people have debated it. My view is that executive privilege generally depends on the involvement of the President and the White House.
Delicious, that one. It got me to thinking of this:
There’s letters seal’d, and my two schoolfellows,
Whom I will trust as I will adders fang’d—
They bear the mandate, they must sweep my way
And marshal me to knavery. Let it work;
For ’tis the sport to have the enginer
Hoist with his own petard, an’t shall go hard
But I will delve one yard below their mines
And blow them at the moon.
Hamlet, Act 3, Scene 4 [emphasis added]