A Google News search on [“Susan Rice” “executive privilege”] (typed exactly as indicated between brackets) returns two stories. The main one is at Fox News, where K.T. McFarland pointed out that President Obama, now that he has appointed Susan Rice to be his National Security Adviser, can invoke executive privilege to keep her from testifying before Congress. The second is at Mediate, and notes that McFarland said the same thing to Fox News Channel anchor Martha MacCallum earlier today.
Among those who conveniently didn’t catch this: Frank James at NPR, who didn’t identify the executive privilege dodge in his “5 Takeaways From Obama’s Susan Rice Appointment”; the Associated Press, whose three Wednesday items on Rice (here, here, and here) don’t mention it, and where a search on “executive privilege” (not in quotes) returned nothing relevant; and the Politico, where a search on “Rice executive privilege” (not in quotes) also returned nothing relevant.
In his column, McFarland asks, “So what is Obama thinking with the Rice appointment? He’s doubling down and circling the wagons:”
He’s rewarding Rice for being a loyal (if incompetent) soldier. He is hanging tough on the scandals and claiming that he knew nothing about them until he read about them in the papers.
On the other hand, maybe Obama’s appointment of Rice is smarter than it looks on the surface.
By appointing Rice to the NSC job the president can invoke executive privilege and claim she doesn’t have to testify on Capitol Hill. And even if she does talk about Benghazi, at some point, she will certainly be a loyal soldier if she is now sitting just steps from the Oval Office.
But despite what the president might want the Benghazi isn’t over, not by a long shot.
Nakoula Basseley Nakoula could not be reached for comment.