Post 22 June 2012
(RCP) Mark Levin further discusses a note he wrote on executive privilege and how the House Republicans should proceed. Partial transcript below (starts at 14:00, video here).
House Republicans, don't screw this up. Process means everything right now. Your House resolution, now that the committee has held Holder in contempt -- your House resolution holding Holder in contempt needs to include specific authorization to grant the chairman, that is Issa, the authority to retain private counsel to use House general counsel to enforce the contempt. That is, to enforce the subpoenas and get the documents in order to get this matter in front of a federal district judge and begin the process of litigating this on an expedited basis and demand a privilege log.
It's about 1,300 pages that this committee wants and the court will understand what a privilege log is since most courts in the District of Columbia have dealt with privilege logs forever. And most courts have dealt with them, regardless where they're located.
A president through his Attorney General -- and let us be very, very clear about this -- it is the president, not the Attorney General, whose asserting executive privilege. A few facts out there because everybody with a law degree is running on TV and saying stupid stuff. Only the president of the United States has the power to assert executive privilege for what's going on in his administration. No one else can effectively or legitimately, let alone Constitutionally, assert it. That's number one. So it's not Holder asserting anything, it's Obama. Finally the mask comes off.
Number two, I've heard it said incorrectly that executive privilege can only be asserted if the president himself has information or communications that he's trying to protect. That's so ridiculous. How do you know Mark? Because I've read the cases, because I've participated in these cases. The president can assert a privilege that protects a general on the battle field, a CIA agent and anybody who works for him and any information that's in the executive branch, he can assert it whether it is legitimate or illegitimate. But it doesn't actually have to have his fingerprints on them. So ignore people who talk like that, or you'll be confused.