(NATIONAL JOURNAL) — The chairman of the House oversight committee investigating White House involvement in the botched “gun-walking” program that led to the 2010 death of U.S. Border Patrol agent accused President Obama of downplaying his involvement in the program or intentionally obstructing the Congress' inquiry.
Rep. Darrel Issa's letter to Obama, obtained on Tuesday, questioned the legal basis of the White House move to withhold subpoenaed documents from the Government Reform and Oversight Committee under protections afforded Obama by executive privilege. The Justice Department denied Issa's committee the subpoenaed documents last week, prompting the GOP-led committee to vote along party lines to hold Attorney General Eric Holder in contempt of Congress.
The full House is scheduled to consider the contempt citation this week. The White House contends it's legally entitled to withhold documents related to internal deliberations on policy and advisory discussions among Obama's senior advisers. It was the first time Obama, who pledged a new era of government transparency, has exerted executive privilege.
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