When asked why Obama has implemented executive privilege in order to block a congressional effort to have Fast and Furious become transparent, Jack Lew chose to answer the question by saying, “let’s go back to the facts.”
Rather than answering the question directly, Lew said, “Let’s go back to the facts,” and immediatly got his “facts” wrong. Lew claimed Fast and Furious started during the Bush administration. That assertion is false. Operation Fast and Furious started in September 2009, President Obama took office in January 2009. Lew also went on to defend Attorney General Eric Holder by saying this was a “regional program.” If that was the case, then why is executive privilege necessary or valid in this case? Either the documents requested show some kind of White House communication or President Obama improperly asserted the privilege to buy Holder more time. Lew also said “every document related to the decisions up to that point has been shared,” which is also false. There are 240,000 Fast and Furious documents available. The Justice Department has turned over 7,000. Of those 7,000 the majority are sheets of black ink due to extreme redaction. In relation to specific communications, just before the Oversight Committee contempt vote two weeks ago to hold the Attorney General in contempt, Chairman Darrell Issa narrowed his focus from 70,000 documents to 1300, yet Holder still failed to deliver anything substantial. Not to mention, 21 Democrats voted for civil contempt against Holder last week, which destroys Lew’s “political” argument.
And finally: Lew said the Obama administration has been the most transparent administration ever.
Nathan Thurm would be proud -