Court rulings suggest ‘privilege’ claim over ‘Furious’ docs would fizzle, Republicans say
After the White House asserted executive privilege over potentially thousands of documents pertaining to the botched anti-gunrunning operation, critics of the move pointed out that the federal appeals court in the nation’s capital has taken a skeptical view toward privilege claims in the past.
The D.C. appeals court in 2004 rejected a privilege claim made by the George W. Bush White House pertaining to Justice Department documents dating back to the Clinton administration. That case involved a different type of claim, but a 1997 opinion from the same court made an observation that could come back to haunt the Obama administration if the current case ends up before the federal judiciary. “The privilege,” the court wrote, “disappears altogether when there is any reason to believe government misconduct occurred.”
Rep. Louie Gohmert, R-Texas, said “the president’s executive privilege claim will trigger a civil suit “that we will file in federal court in D.C.” Gohmert said Republicans will demand a “log” of all documents the White House is trying to lock down. “There may not be anything that’s privileged.”