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President: Obamacare deals 'privileged'
Posted By Bob Unruh On 03/20/2010 @ 12:50 am In Front Page | Comments Disabled
The White House has refused to provide information about President Obama’s negotiations with organizations such as Planned Parenthood over his impending nationalization of health care, saying he has a “privilege” to keep such communications concealed.
Among other arguments, a letter from Marcia Berman, a senior counsel at the U.S. Department of Justice, told a lawyer who sued Obama over the “back-door” deals, said, “Defendants object to the subpoena on the grounds that it seeks information that is protected by various recognized privileges, such as the deliberative process privilege and the presidential communications privilege.”
He’s a legal firebrand whose work fighting government corruption left both Bill Clinton and Dick Cheney on the defensive, and he now has a lawsuit pending over the president’s secret meetings with Planned Parenthood, the American Medical Association and other lobbyists.
Klayman, who founded Judicial Watch and, more recently, Freedom Watch USA, is in U.S. District Court in Washington, D.C., seeking information from Obama under the Federal Advisory Committee Act, which requires disclosure of records of meetings between the executive branch and outside industry lobbyists. The law also requires access to meetings.
Klayman’s case contends the president’s conduct falls within the scope of the act that “requires the president to come clean on why he has caved in to the pharmaceutical industry, preventing the importation of prescription drugs that would lower prices for consumers, why he has become the lackey of Planned Parenthood in championing government financed abortions, and why the AMA (American Medical Association) and AARP (American Association of Retired Persons) are now his great friends.”
Klayman’s case targets “the particulars behind the secret deals the White House has been cutting with private health care concerns, such as the AMA, Pharma, Planned Parenthood, AARP, and other lobbyists seeking to feed at the trough of the government.”
“Freedom Watch will not rest until the American people know all the facts about this historic and ill advised health care legislation, which most Americans – be they conservative, middle of the road or liberal – think we cannot afford and do not want as it is written,” he said when the case was launched.
The response from Berman said she was writing on “behalf of President Barack Obama, in his official capacity, and the putative ‘Obama Health Reform De Facto Advisory Committee.’”
She argued that the demand was too early, such discovery is not permitted in this type of case and she would even dispute that the “Advisory Committee” exists.
“Defendants object to the subpoena and will not be complying with it,” her letter said.
Klayman confirmed to WND that he will challenge the response, and will continue battling for information about what influence outside agencies brought to the White House regarding health care, and further how the White House may have responded.
Klayman’s apparently was the first case specifically to target Obama’s health care, but radio talk show icon and Landmark Legal Foundation chief Mark Levin also has confirmed that a lawsuit is prepared and will be filed when – and if – the takeover becomes law.
Several states also have confirmed such plans and WND has reported Liberty Counsel, run by attorney Mathew Staver, said his organization is preparing to challenge in court the constitutionality of “Obamacare.”
“Congress has no authority to require every person to obtain insurance coverage and has no authority to fine employers who do not provide the coverage standards that are required in the bill,” Staver said at the time.
“In addition,” he warned, “the bill still requires citizens to pay a fine if they don’t maintain insurance for themselves and their families.”
Klayman has explained, “If health reform is to be considered and passed by Congress, the American taxpayer needs to understand how health care proposals came about. And, they also need to understand how much health care reform will cost them, during a period when financial resources are scarce and budget deficits are growing at great peril to our nation.”
Klayman, the only lawyer ever to have obtained a court ruling that a U.S. president committed a crime, has pursued cases against the Clintons, Cheney, Hugo Chavez and Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.
He built a reputation that prompted writers for the NBC drama series “The West Wing” to create a character, “Harry Klaypool,” based on his work.
Klayman said his new lawsuit against the White House raises some of the same issues he raised during the early years of the Clinton administration, when his work contributed to the demise of the health care proposal championed by Hillary Clinton.
The lawsuit charges that in Obama’s “haste to socialize medicine in the United States, and increase government control generally,” he has “violated his commitment to transparency.”
Klayman said Obama and his “surrogates” have been “holding behind closed door meetings with health care industry lobbyists, cutting deals to win passage of his health care legislation.”
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