Executive Privilege under Obama, i.e., stonewalling

Discussion in 'Politics' started by task0778, Jan 27, 2020.

  1. task0778
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    task0778 Gold Member Gold Supporting Member Supporting Member

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    Executive privilege means the withholding of information from Congress or the judiciary in the form of documents or testimony at the discretion of the U.S. president. It need not be explicitly stated or written, but is rather the actions taken to deny the subpoenaed information, otherwise known as stonewalling. So let's take a walk down memory lane and talk about the times when Obama refused to comply with a subpoena.

    The Fast and furious incident was maybe the most significant example, most of us already know about that. The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF) dismantle drug cartels operating inside the United States and disrupt drug-trafficking routes. Instead, it put into the hands of criminals south of the border some 2,000 weapons, which have been used to kill hundreds of Mexicans and at least one American, U.S. Border Patrol agent Brian Terry.

    In May 2011, AG Eric Holder claimed to have known about gun-walking tactics for only a few weeks. But by October, new documents showed that Holder had been briefed about Operation Fast and Furious as early as July 2010. And in January 2010, just months after the ATF had launched Operation Fast and Furious, personnel from the Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force, a multi-agency network run by the Department of Justice, had been brought in to provide additional manpower.

    Furthermore, the operation may have had an explicitly political angle. E-mails obtained by CBS News in late 2011 showed ATF officials corresponding about the possibility of using Fast and Furious to push through a regulation requiring gun shops to report the sale of multiple rifles or “long guns.” In other words, the ATF permitted certain gun shops to conduct certain, inadvisable sales to dangerous people and then planned to point to those sales to justify the need for new reporting requirements.

    By the summer of 2012, Holder and the House Oversight Committee were at a standoff, the attorney general claiming he had been fully responsive to the committee’s request for documents, Issa claiming that the DOJ had withheld 1,300 key pages. President Obama, intervening, declared that the documents were protected under executive privilege — a risible claim, legally, and a suggestive one, given the White House’s denial of involvement. In late June, at the recommendation of the committee, Holder became the first sitting member of a presidential cabinet to be held in contempt by the House of Representatives.
    Fast & Furious: Obama’s First Scandal | National Review
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    Moving on, lets discuss the Iran Nuclear Deal and Obama's refusal to allow Ben Rhodes to testify before Congress. Rhodes refused to testify to Congress about whether he misled the public in pushing the Iran nuclear deal, claiming executive privilege. He landed in hot water after an interview with The New York Times in which he disparaged reporters as ignorant and easily manipulated and seemed to suggest that the administration relied on a false narrative to help sell the Iran deal.
    White House cites executive privilege, keeps Obama aide from testifying about Iran nuclear deal
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    In 2014, Obama launched the White House Office of Political Strategy and Outreach. This raised eyebrows for some, who were concerned that Obama and his minions were using White House resources for political activity. So, the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee began investigating in order to make sure the White House was complying with civil services laws designed to prevent executive branch employees from engaging in political activity. David Simas, the director of the Office of Political Strategy and Outreach was subpoenaed, but the White House refused to allow him to testify before Congress. In a letter to Congress, White House Counsel Neil Eggleston claimed Simas was “immune from congressional compulsion to testify on matters relating to his official duties” and thus would not appear before the committee.
    Top Obama aide defies House Oversight subpoena
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    Prior to being nominated as a justice for the Supreme Court, Elena Kagan served as solicitor general for the Obama administration, during which time she was heavily involved in crafting a legal defense for Obamacare. This conflict of interest was important, since issues revolving around Obamacare would be going before the Supreme Court. Federal law dictates that Supreme Court justices must recuse themselves when their impartiality “might reasonably be questioned.”
    Naturally, the Obama administration didn’t want Kagan to recuse herself from any Obamacare-related cases. So, when the House Judiciary Committee requested documents and interviews to get a clear understanding of her role relating to Obamacare while she was solicitor general, the Obama/Holder Justice Department refused to comply.
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    Remember the Solyndra scandal? The Obama administration wasn’t exactly interested in letting Congress exercise their oversight responsibilities when they investigated how the Obama administration could have given them a huge loan when they were going bankrupt. When House Republicans subpoenaed documents for their investigation, the Obama White House fired back claiming their request would put an "unreasonable burden on the president's ability to meet his constitutional duties."
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    When the Obama administration inexplicably dropped a voter intimidation case against the New Black Panther Party (NBPP) in Philadelphia, many questions were asked as to why. The NBPP didn’t show up in court to defend themselves, and the DOJ (Holder) decided to dismiss the charges. An investigation was launched, which the Obama administration fought rigorously. When the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights investigated, the Obama administration refused to respond to requests from the commission and Congress. The investigation was stonewalled, subpoenas were fought, and key players were instructed not to testify.
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    This one might be the first time.
    In 2009, Barack Obama inexplicably fired Inspector General Gerald Walpin, who had been investigating the misuse of federal grant money for AmeriCorps by Sacramento mayor and former NBA basketball star Kevin Johnson. Johnson took $850,000 of that money for his own nonprofit organization, where he used it to pay for political activity. During his investigation, Walpin discovered a cover-up of sexual abuse allegations made by three underage students against Johnson who were offered some of this grant money as hush money. As a result, Walpin recommended criminal charges against Johnson. But Johnson was an Obama ally and donor, and Obama wasn’t about to have him held accountable for his crimes, so Obama demanded Walpin’s resignation, which Walpin refused to give, and so Walpin was fired. However, the firing violated federal law—a law that Obama co-sponsored as a U.S. senator, no less. An investigation by Congress into the illegal firing was met with stonewalling by the Obama White House, and the withholding of documents. The Obama White House also deliberately misled Congress about the reasons for the firing.
    EDITORIAL: Obama’s sacked inspector general
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    The lies and the cover-up that followed the terrorist attack at the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Libya, on September 11, 2012, less than two months before the presidential election, were extraordinary. Misleading the American people to protect Obama before the election was bad enough, but the cover-up of those lies was truly the coup de grâce of Obama administration obstruction. A Senate Intelligence Committee report on the attack said the following about the Obama administration’s handling of the Benghazi investigation:

    "Important questions remain unanswered as a direct result of the Obama administration’s failure to provide the Committee with access to necessary documents and witnesses. We have also learned that the Federal Bureau of Investigation has developed significant information about the attacks and the suspected attackers that is not being shared with Congress, even where doing so would not in any way impact an ongoing investigation.
    Senate Democrats also assisted in that obstruction. According to then-Select Committee on Benghazi Chairman Trey Gowdy, the committee’s investigation was “repeatedly stonewalled by the Obama administration, Ranking Member Elijah Cummings, and Committee Democrats.” According to Gowdy, Democrats on the committee “affirmatively delayed the identification of witnesses and the production of unquestionably relevant documents. Committee Democrats have not lifted a finger to help the Select Committee speed up its investigation and release a report.”

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    Then there was the Hillary Clinton email server, which I'm sure we all remember the investigation into that. It wasn't Congress this time, just the FBI: As the investigation continued, Hillary Clinton’s emails were subpoenaed, which resulted in the uncovering of her private email server. The thousands of requested emails were deleted, hard drives and phones destroyed, in what can only be described as obstruction of justice. There were essentially two cover-ups going on at the same time: the Benghazi cover-up and the private email server cover-up, which required epic obstruction and stonewalling in order for Hillary and Obama to survive. Former FBI director James Comey even testified under oath that he was pressured by Attorney General Loretta Lynch not to call the investigation into Hillary Clinton an “investigation,” but a “matter” in order to match the language being used by the Clinton campaign.

    9 Times The Obama Administration Fought Subpoenas or Blocked Officials from Testifying Before Congress

    The Top 5 Investigations Obstructed by the Obama Administration
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    More:

    .... scandals during Obama’s eight years in office involving the IRS; General Services Administration; Peace Corps; Secret Service; Veterans Administration; and Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, not to mention the Clinton email-server scandal, the Benghazi scandal, and the 2016 Democratic National Committee email scandal.
    For nearly eight years, the Obama administration sought to cover up serial wrongdoing by waging a veritable war against the watchdog inspectors general of various federal agencies.
    In 2014, 47 of the nation’s 73 inspectors general signed a letter alleging that Obama had stonewalled their “ability to conduct our work thoroughly, independently, and in a timely manner.”
    The frustrated nonpartisan auditors cited systematic Obama-administration refusals to turn over incriminating documents that were central to their investigations.
    Obama Administration Scandals: Inspectors General Systematically Stymied, Ignored | National Review
    Inspectors General Slam Obama Stonewalling in Letter to Congress
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    Barack Obama violated at least four federal laws back in 2010, for offering then-congressman Joe Sestak (D-PA) a job in his administration in exchange for not challenging Arlen Specter for the Democratic nomination for U.S. Senate. Specter had recently switched from the GOP to the Democratic Party, and that switch was contingent on support from Obama. Obama’s then-spokesman Robert Gibbs wouldn’t confirm or deny that any offer was made, but was never asked if Obama would resign after Sestak made his bombshell allegation, even after months of the Obama White House stonewalling a congressional investigation. Nor did they ask after the Obama White House finally admitted that Sestak was indeed offered a federal job to stay out of the election, but only after Sestak defeated Specter in the primary.
    14 Real Obama Scandals That Have Nothing to do with His Wearing a Tan Suit
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    The truth is that Obama's administration went from one scandal to another during his 8 years, and much of that time was spent stonewalling Congress and the Courts as much as possible. After the GOP took the house in 2010, stonewalling became the norm as one federal agency after another dealt with scandals. So why all the angst about Trump? I could see the Obstruction of Congress charge if they had opened the Inquiry via a vote by the full House, and then challenged Trump in Court to produce the desired witnesses and information. But they didn't, which to me makes that Article of Impeachment ridiculous.
     
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  2. Lakhota
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    Lakhota Diamond Member

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    What does executive privilege under President Obama have to do with Trump trying to rig the 2020 election?
     
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  3. BluesLegend
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    BluesLegend Diamond Member

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    He's mocking the left for their blatant double standards and hypocrisy.
     
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  4. yidnar
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    yidnar Gold Member

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    do you really believe Trump is afraid to run against Biden ??? poor Joe doesn't know where he's at half of the time and he frequently spouts unintelligible babble ! im not making fun of Biden i'm just stating the facts ...and when the crowd running on the dem side dwindles down to 2 candidates where more attention is paid on Joe its going to get bad for him ! its going to bad for him if he has to debate one on one with the other dem left for the nomination ! imagine if and thats a big if he gets the nomination and has to face Trump ! someone that cares for Biden should tell him to retire because he is not ready for the spotlight .
     
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  5. task0778
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    task0778 Gold Member Gold Supporting Member Supporting Member

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    I think Joe's troubles are just starting, along with his son Hunter and possibly others in his family. Whether he and they get indicted depends on how solid the evidence is, but his own bragging on that video is damning indeed. I don't know if a past president or vice president can be impeached, probably a waste of time considering you have to get 67 votes in the Senate, but it's hard to see him as electable given all that plus his unfortunate predilection for making gaffes every time he opens his mouth. Personally, I think he's toast. I also think the notion that Trump is fixing the election based on this Ukraine episode is ridiculous, no more so that Hillary paying for that Steele dossier. And in fact less, because Trump has a legitimate reason to uncover corruption abroad in the Ukraine, by reason of that agreement that Obama signed.
     

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