"It profits me but little that a vigilant authority always protects the tranquillity of my pleasures and constantly averts all dangers from my path, without my care or concern, if this same authority is the absolute master of my liberty and my life."

--Alexis de Tocqueville, Democracy in America

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Issa Hammers Obama

Look, I'm a lawyer.   I know how to do legal research.   It took me probably about 15 minutes to find the controlling legal precedent defining the scope of executive privilege.   The case is Espy, from the D.C. Circuit.   I noted here that it was astonishing that Attorney General Holder's letter to President Obama failed to cite this case law; not doing so is highly misleading on the central legal point, and any judge would view it as such.

Now Congressman Darrell Issa has cut directly to the point in his letter to Obama released this morning:
Absent from the Attorney General’s eight-page letter were the controlling authorities from the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia. As the court held in the seminal case of In re Sealed Case (Espy)... The Committee must assume that the White House Counsel’s Office is fully aware of the prevailing authorities of Espy...
Just so.   The White House Counsel's Office must be aware of Espy as the controlling authority, but they've chosen to ignore it.   Obama's invocation of executive privilege is plainly lawless.

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