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Executive Privilege

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NEWS
June 20, 2012 | By Richard A. Serrano
WASHINGTON - Just as the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform was about to vote Eric H. Holder Jr. in contempt of Congress for failing to comply with a subpoena for documents in the flawed Fast and Furious gun-tracking case, President Obama asserted executive privilege and backed up the attorney general's position in refusing to turn over the material. The fast-moving events Wednesday morning at the White House and on Capitol Hill significantly ratcheted up a growing constitutional clash between the two branches of the federal government, one that ultimately may not be resolved until it reaches the courts.
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NEWS
April 21, 2014 | By Timothy M. Phelps
WASHINGTON -- President Obama is turning to Neil Eggleston, a veteran of the Whitewater and Iran-Contra confrontations between Capitol Hill and the White House, to help guide his administration through what could be stormy years ahead with Congress. Obama on Monday named Eggleston, a Washington lawyer who specializes in representing high-profile public figures in government investigations, as the next White House counsel. He replaces Kathryn Ruemmler, who has been seeking to vacate the White House hot seat for months.
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OPINION
July 11, 2007
Re "Bush refuses to cooperate in probe of attorney firings," July 10 So President Bush is invoking executive privilege to prevent his aides from testifying before Congress regarding the firing of U.S. attorneys. They may be interviewed behind closed doors, without a transcript and without taking an oath. Why does Bush object to aides testifying openly and under oath? Why does he object to them swearing to God to tell the truth?
OPINION
February 21, 2014
Re "Imperial, shrinking president," Opinion, Feb. 18 As Jonah Goldberg insinuates, what we all learned in fifth-grade civics class about the "three branches of government producing checks and balances" now appears doubtful. Something of an honor system must operate to keep President Obama and Congress on the constitutional level. Obama contends that Congress has granted him authority for his various executive orders, even where they purport to make unilateral changes to legislation.
NEWS
February 8, 1990 | NORMAN KEMPSTER, TIMES STAFF WRITER
Former President Ronald Reagan set the stage for a new constitutional challenge over presidential privacy Wednesday when he invoked the doctrine of executive privilege to avoid turning over excerpts of his White House diaries to Iran-Contra defendant John M. Poindexter. U.S. District Judge Harold H. Greene has said he will hold a hearing to consider Reagan's claim, almost guaranteeing that Poindexter's trial will be delayed from its scheduled Feb. 20 start.
OPINION
April 30, 2004
Re "Justices Appear to Support Cheney Task Force Secrecy," April 28: The issue of whether Vice President Dick Cheney must disclose whether corporate insiders had a hand in shaping our national energy policy is being decided by a judicial body that includes a member with questionable personal ties to the very same vice president. This must have the framers of the Constitution rolling in their graves. The processes supposedly in place to maintain government integrity and accountability have become meaningless, almost farcical.
NATIONAL
July 16, 2007 | Richard B. Schmitt, Times Staff Writer
The investigation into the firing last year of eight U.S. attorneys could soon be moving from congressional hearing rooms to the courts. Congress is threatening to hold former White House Counsel Harriet E. Miers in contempt of Congress for failing to honor a congressional subpoena. Miers, acting on orders from President Bush, cited the doctrine of executive privilege in explaining her decision not to appear before a House panel last week. Congressional leaders have given her until Tuesday to change her mind.
NATIONAL
August 1, 2008 | Richard B. Schmitt, Times Staff Writer
A federal judge Thursday rebuked the Bush administration for making the "unprecedented" claim that senior White House officials were beyond the reach of congressional subpoena power, and ordered two top officials to cooperate with the politically charged probe of U.S. attorney firings. The ruling by U.S. District Judge John D.
NEWS
November 10, 1986 | From Times Wire Services
President Reagan brushed aside questions about U.S. dealings with Iran today as his chief of staff, Donald Regan, hinted that executive privilege might be invoked if Congress investigates the National Security Council. Reagan met with his top advisers to discuss fallout over reported deal-making with Iran and other issues after his return from an extended stay at Camp David. The disclosure that the meeting would take place caught some White House officials by surprise.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
September 22, 1999 | PETER M. SHANE, Peter M. Shane is a professor at the University of Pittsburgh School of Law. E-mail: shane@law.pitt.edu
With the help of the 106th Congress, President Clinton may yet do the impossible. He may succeed in giving executive privilege a good name. His refusal to disclose internal deliberative documents concerning conditional clemency for 16 members of a militant Puerto Rican independence group is not merely permissible. It is essential to the proper working of the separation of powers.
OPINION
May 22, 2013 | Doyle McManus
Message to the president: Resistance is futile. There are plenty of juicy targets for investigators in the IRS scrutiny of conservative organizations that applied for tax-exempt status, but the most dangerous for President Obama is this: Did bureaucrats in Cincinnati create this mess on their own? Or did someone in the White House give the marching orders to target the president's enemies? The Treasury Department's inspector general asked that latter question of the IRS brass, and they said no - but he didn't demand their emails and phone records.
NATIONAL
September 6, 2012 | By Richard A. Serrano
WASHINGTON - The Department of Justice inspector general's office is close to issuing its long-awaited findings in the Fast and Furious case -- perhaps as early as next week -- after top Justice officials provided their final comments about the failed gun-tracking operation on the Southwest border. In a letter to Capitol Hill, Inspector General Michael E. Horowitz said his investigators now must pore over wiretap records, grand jury material and sealed court records to make sure nothing that should not be disclosed is inadvertently included in the final report.
NEWS
June 24, 2012 | By Kathleen Hennessey
WASHINGTON - House oversight committee chairman Darrell Issa said Sunday that he has no evidence the White House was involved in what could be a Justice Department "cover up” to contain fallout from the botched “Fast and Furious” operation. In a series of interviews on the political talk shows, the California Republican repeatedly accused Justice Department officials of lying to Congress about the gun-trafficking sting operation and withholding documents from congressional investigators.
NATIONAL
June 22, 2012 | By David Horsey
The brouhaha over Atty. Gen. Eric H. Holder Jr. and the contempt of Congress charge brought by U.S. Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Vista) are providing new evidence that the lunatics are running the Republican asylum. Issa, the Republican chairman of the House Oversight Committee, would have us believe President Obama's assertion of executive privilege in the dispute -- “an eleventh-hour stunt,” he called it on Fox News -- is part of a White House cover up of something much more sinister.
NATIONAL
June 20, 2012 | By Richard Simon
WASHINGTON - The House Oversight and Government Reform Committee has voted to pursue a contempt of Congress charge against Atty. Gen. Eric H. Holder Jr. over his refusal to turn over documents related to the committee's investigation of the Fast and Furious operation. Here is a look at the issues: What is Fast and Furious? It was a flawed operation run by the Phoenix office of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives. The ATF allowed illegal purchases of about 2,500 guns and then lost track of most of them while trying to trace them to Mexican drug cartel leaders.
NEWS
June 20, 2012 | By Richard A. Serrano
WASHINGTON -- The House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform voted to find Atty. Gen. Eric H. Holder Jr. in contempt of Congress for failing to provide subpoenaed documents in the flawed Fast and Furious gun-tracking case, just hours after President Obama asserted executive privilege and backed the attorney general's refusal to release the material. The vote for contempt and the White House insertion into the growing Southwest border “gun-walking” scandal set up a significant constitutional clash between the two branches of the federal government, one that ultimately may not be resolved until it reaches the courts.
NEWS
December 16, 1986 | SARA FRITZ and JAMES GERSTENZANG, Times Staff Writers
White House Chief of Staff Donald T. Regan was summoned to make an extraordinary appearance today before the Senate Intelligence Committee, which plans to ask him who authorized the diversion to Nicaraguan rebels of profits from the sale of U.S. arms to Iran. Committee Chairman Dave Durenberger (R-Minn.), speaking to reporters after a closed business meeting of the committee, said he did not expect Regan to answer.
OPINION
June 20, 2012
The confrontation between the Obama administration and a House committee over documents related to the botched Fast and Furious investigation obviously has election-year political overtones. But it also involves serious questions of policy and law. Instead of playing a constitutional game of chicken, the administration and Congress should resume negotiations toward an accommodation. On Wednesday, the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee voted along party lines to hold Atty.
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