White House claims executive privilege in Fast and Furious case

In a rare move, President Obama has invoked executive privilege to shield documents from Congress. The documents in question relate to the ill-fated "Fast and Furious" gun-tracking operation, in which federal agents let thousands of weapons cross the border and get into the hands of Mexican drug cartels as part of a botched sting. A House committee is scheduled to vote today on whether to hold Attorney General Eric Holder (pictured) in contempt for holding back documents that panel Republicans had subpoenaed, and Holder urged Obama to assert privilege over some of the contested documents, as sharing them could "have significant, damaging consequences." Holder and House Oversight Committee chairman Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) met Tuesday night but failed to reach an agreement on the documents, which relate to how the Justice Department learned of flaws in the program. If Issa's panel votes to hold Holder in criminal contempt, as expected, the motion will go up for a vote before the full House; only four executive branch officials have been held in contempt in the past three decades.



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