A challenge to President Obama using executive privilege in the investigation into the federal government’s failed Fast and Furious gun-tracking operation was met Tuesday with a strong White House response in which a spokesman referred to the probe as “absurd.”
The challenge was made Monday in a letter from GOP Rep. Darrell Issa, chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee. He suggested in part that executive privilege was invoked because high-level White House officials were perhaps involved in the Justice Department operation and that the administration has failed to provide case law supporting its decision to invoke the privilege.
“The congressman’s analysis has as much merit as his absurd contention that Operation Fast and Furious was created in order to promote gun control. Our position is consistent with executive branch legal precedent for the past three decades,” said White House spokesman Eric Schultz. “The courts have routinely … affirmed the right of the executive branch to invoke the privilege even when White House documents are not involved.”