The Limits of Privilege

Doug Mataconis explains the scope of the executive privilege claimed today by President Obama:

Based on all of the available information, it seems fairly apparent that the White House’s invocation of privilege in this case is meant to invoke the Deliberative Process Privilege, largely because there is no evidence that the White House in general or the President in particular were involved in the Fast and Furious Operation or the investigation that occurred in the aftermath of the murder of Brian Terry. Therefore, to the extent that the White House is claiming privilege in this matter, the claim is going to be weak and may only be limited to specific categories of documents. Moreover, since the Deliberative Process Privilege is not absolute, it is possible that any claim of privilege will be overridden by the public interest in investigation and oversight by Congress.


There’s blood in the water, after Issa’s committee voted on contempt today. This “smaller” privilege could create a frenzy.


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