WASHINGTON (AP) -- A House committee chairman has written President Barack Obama to challenge the executive privilege claim he invoked to maintain secrecy for some documents related to a failed gun-tracking operation.
Rep. Darrell Issa's committee has recommended that the House hold Attorney General Eric Holder in contempt for failing to turn over the records on Operation Fast and Furious, as the failed program is known. A vote on a contempt citation could take place this week, unless there is a settlement.
Issa's letter, released Tuesday, says courts have held that the executive privilege claim only protects documents and communications related to the confidentiality of presidential decisions.
Not everyone agrees with this view. Ohio State University law professor Peter Shane says executive privilege historically covers documents generated anywhere in the executive branch.