In the grand scheme of things, a congressional committee's vote to hold Attorney General Eric Holder in contempt of Congress for failing to turn over documents related to the failed and fatal Operation Fast and Furious gun-running scandal doesn't amount to a hill of beans.
Even if the full House concurs next week, the matter will be referred to Mr. Holder's Justice Department. “Prosecutory discretion” being what it is these days, nothing will happen.
But President Barack Obama's invocation of executive privilege to shield those documents is another matter. In fact, it's a mountain of a mess that could topple Mr. Obama (if the electorate doesn't do it first).
By now declaring executive privilege, the administration is legally stipulating that there was direct White House involvement. And it has placed itself in Catch-22 jeopardy: It was more intimately involved in Fast and Furious than previously stated and it has been involved in nothing less than a cover-up to prevent that public disclosure.
Either the White House lied or the White House lied.
Whether it has done so to prevent being embarrassed politically or to shield criminal activity remains the question.
That question could be answered by the House filing a lawsuit against the administration to force it to comply with its subpoena for Fast and Furious documents. It's the only way to ascertain what this White House knew and when it knew it.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Script is it: Classic Pitt helmet design to return
- Penn Avenue site tops group’s preservation list
- Washington city takes stock of damage from rare tornado
- 2 dead, including student gunman, after Wash. school shooting
- Doll, miniature collectors appreciate small details at Westmoreland show
- ‘Rocky Horror’ takes center stage at Regent Square, Greensburg venues
- 1686 shipwreck ‘like dinosaur’ being rebuilt for museum
- Predators winger Neal caught ‘blindsided’ by trade from Penguins
- Westmoreland Symphony conductor to lead ‘Young Person’s Guide’
- Stocks rise broadly on earnings; Amazon sinks
- Vehicle smashes Commandments on capitol grounds in Oklahoma City