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U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder answers questions while testifying before the Senate Judiciary Committee on Capitol Hill June 12, 2012 in Washington, DC. Holder faced questions from senators about the ongoing Operation Fast and Furious investigation, his decision to ordered two federal prosecutors to begin criminal investigations into a series of national security leaks to the news media and other subjects.
In Washington this morning, President Obama invoked executive privilege for the first time in his presidency. His administration has refused to hand over documents in the 'Fast and Furious' gun smuggling operation, as a House committee moves to hold Attorney General Eric Holder in contempt of Congress.
Holder tackled the issue in a briefing yesterday, and said he's willing to share information, but that hasn't satisfied the committee. "Given the extraordinary nature of the offer made and given the extraordinary way in which we have shared to date, I think that we are actually involved more in political gamesmanship as opposed to trying to get the information that they say they want," Holder said.
But this morning, California Republican Darrell Issa, House representative and Chair of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, refused to back down. "The Attorney General has refused to cooperate, offering to provide subpoena documents only if the committee agrees in advance to close the investigation.
The Attorney General says that his offer is extraordinary. The only thing extraordinary about his offer is that he's asking the committee to close an investigation even before the committee gets to see the documents. I can't accept that deal, no other committee chairman would."
Evan Perez, who covers the Justice Department for the Wall Street Journal.