What is executive privilege?
Say you are president, and get information that a missile has been fired and is heading here. You need immediate advice from the Joint Chiefs of Staff on the emergency options available. So you call them in and discuss the options. Those conversations are “privileged” and must be kept secret. We can’t have the world knowing that you and the Joint Chiefs discussed this option or that option – e.g., making a preemptive strike against this country or that country. So, if Congress conducted public hearings and demanded that the Joint Chiefs tell about the discussions, you could properly assert “executive privilege”.
But say, as president, you commit a crime. You may discuss your past crime with your private defense lawyer, and your defense lawyer can’t be forced to testify against you. But that is the attorney/client privilege – that is not “executive privilege”.
Say one of your cabinet members lied under oath before Congress. That is a crime! You, as president, can not cover up the crime by claiming “executive privilege”! If you did, I expect you would be guilty of “obstruction of justice” – another crime.
Holder can’t be forced to testify against himself. However, he can be questioned under Oath by Congress, and if he needs to plead the privilege against self-incrimination, well, so be it.
I don’t know what zero’s motivations are in claiming “executive privilege”: Is he just attempting to protect his lying attorney general? Or, was zero in on this scheme from the beginning? Either way, “executive privilege” wouldn’t apply because executive privilege is restricted to the lawful functions of the President which must, for national security reasons, be kept secret.
So, here is the distinction: If people in the executive branch are carrying out lawful functions, but discussions need to be kept private for national security reasons, then executive privilege applies.
But if they have committed CRIMES, then executive privilege doesn’t apply. But the privilege against self-incrimination does apply.
Let’s hope Congress has the SPINE to do what ought to be done.
PS: If Congress can find any honest person in the AG’s office (well, one of the secretaries might be honest!), Congress may properly require that person to produce the documents and evidence Congress wants. No privilege of any kind would apply there.
I couldn't figure out what you were getting at. I explained "executive privilege". You understand that, right? What it is, and when it applies?
Then you listed various acts which obama is alleged to have committed. What is your question about those? Has obama claimed executive privilege respecting those? I think not.
Thank You, PH;
I do understand this much better!! If, we as CITIZEN's suspect this...as many of Us,do...Then can one DEMAND an investigation, as to WHY Obama applied an executive privilege?? I am from the state of Iowa & have been following the "Fast & Furious" case closely...I have e-mail Our Senator: Chuck Grassley, on this (not that we are close friends), He has replied, politely & states that, It is "under investigation"....
So, then ~ Does this just play out, in the COURTS?
The House held Holder in contempt yesterday. I saw the vote where he was held in criminal contempt; didn't see the final vote on the civil contempt charge. I don't know the House Rules (Art. 1, §5, cl. 2), but Megan Kelly said that the criminal contempt charge results in taking the case before a federal judge: Holder will have to show the federal judge all the documents for which zero claimed "executive privilege", and the federal judge will decide whether "executive privilege" applies.
Remember, we can not force anyone to give evidence against himself. Congress can question Holder & obama and if they claim the privilege against self-incrimination, then they can't be forced to answer. If they refuse to answer or refuse to appear, Congress has the power to impeach & remove them.
It is a good thing that the House held Holder in contempt. And even some Dems joined in.
So - it can and should proceed on two fronts: the above described court procedure (the investigation of criminal contempt belongs in court); and continuing hearings and [ideally] impeachment proceedings in Congress.