White House invokes separation of powers in gate crashers case


Ed Lasky swears to me this is not a parody from The Onion website.

I don't know, Ed. This may be the most incredibly dumb use of presidential privilege in history; the White House is refusing to allow the president's social secretary - that's right, social secretary - to testify before Congress in the gate crashers case.

Jen Rubin at Commentary has this reaction:

They are kidding, right? Nope. Dead serious. Even the usually supportive media and law-professor contingent is gobsmacked by this hooey:

"I'd completely fall out of my chair if they invoked Executive privilege with regards to a social secretary arranging a party," said Mark J. Rozell, a public-policy professor at George Mason who recently wrote a book on Executive privilege. "There is no prohibition under separation of powers against White House staff going to Capitol Hill to talk about what they know."

You recall how loudly Democrats squawked when Karl Rove and other Bush advisers involved in real matters of executive deliberation balked at testifying before Congress. Now the most transparent administration in history is invoking executive privilege (which, according to my former Justice Department gurus, doesn't "count" unless the president invokes it himself) to prevent the social secretary from testifying about a security breach at the White House. The arrogance and, yes, lack of transparency over an issue that has no policy implications (but that may prove embarrassing for a pal of White House honcho Valerie Jarrett) is remarkable, even for the Obami.

Ed Lasky adds:

Okay..so they go after CIA interrogators, leak CIA stories from the past, condemn GITMO interrogators, politicize policy differences, ---but protect Desiree Rogers-THE SOCIAL SECRETARY from scrutiny by invoking the separation of powers doctrine?

This is not a joke and just shows the distorted and juvenile approach to governing that this team from the much of Chicago Aldermen politics has brought to Washington. What an appalling sense of priorities.

Appalling, indeed. So a crony of Val Jarrett - the president's bestest friend in the whole world - is a little gun shy about going up to The Hill and explain in front of what would certainly be a massive TV audience, how in the hell two budding reality TV show hopefuls circumvented the vaunted Secret Service procedures and made it all the way to within kissing distance of Obama.

And this requires the invocation of a president's most treasured prerogative?

This is truly The Chicago Way of governing; the boss protects his friends - until he has to throw them under the bus. Expect a walkback on this as even the Democrats want to talk to Desiree Rogers.