President Barack Obama and Attorney General Eric Holder (Susan Walsh/AP)
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And Carney flatly denied that Obama had invoked executive privilege in order to hide damning documents from Republicans in Congress. "This is entirely about principle," he told reporters at his daily briefing.
The spokesman accused Republicans of using the failed operation to "damage the president politically" and said the escalating constitutional conflict was "political theater."
"What this is about, after all this time and all these documents and all the testimony, is an attempt to score political points," Carney said. "It is this approach I think that explains at least in part why this Congress has the lowest public approval ratings of any in memory, if not history. So that is our view of the matter."
On Wednesday, the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee voted straight down party lines to hold Holder in contempt of Congress for withholding documents related to the Justice Department's handling of the operation's aftermath. Obama invoked executive privilege to shield the documents from Congress. And Republican House Speaker John Boehner said the full House of Representatives would vote next week on the issue unless an accommodation can be found.
"We have been and will continue to be engaged in an effort to resolve this, and await a demonstration of an interest to resolve this in a way that isn't all about political theater," Carney said.
If the full House approves finding Holder in contempt, the matter would be referred to the Justice Department for possible prosecution. That is unlikely. But the House could take the Administration to court over the issue, which could land the volatile dispute before the Supreme Court. In the past, such constitutional disputes have been settled with compromises hashed out behind closed doors.
Source: Yahoo News | Olivier Knox, The Ticket