There has been an up-tic in Fast & Furious chatter - Mitt mentioned it on Fox & Friends this morning. Look for the Complaint to be filed maybe Thursday.
Senator Grassley has asked whether U.S. Attorney Ronald C. Machen Jr. exercised independence when he declined to pursue criminal contempt without a “particularized description” of the withheld documents. Senator Grassley has also said that without this DOJ description, Mr. Machen “cannot reasonably make an intelligent judgment as to the validity of any privilege claim and his duty to present the citation to a grand jury."
This is a set up for seeking an independent prosecutor, but I do not think the House will go that way. They will stick with our good neighbors over at the five lawyer Office of General Counsel of the House of Representatives. Look for Senator Grassley and Representative Issa to use the unanswered question gambit, once the Complaint is filed. It will be difficult to neutralize, while trying to "hide" something at the same time.
We at RFNJ know the procedure courts use in dealing with claims of executive privilege. The House will come forward with its particularized need for the documents, which will put Lanny "Deep in the Cheese" Breuer on defense. I have argued before that it will be very difficult for the DOJ to completely eliminate all inferences of wrongdoing, given the timeline.
Look for Mitt to stress the "stale tactics" theme when the Complaint is filed, as the administration justifies the use of executive privilege. It is deliciously Nixonian.
The big question may come after the DOJ turns over its privilege log. Will somebody with interests adverse to the DOJ blow apart deliberative process privilege? As we know here, the privilege will not stand if the House shows misconduct in the publication of the February 4, 2011 DOJ letter claiming that ATF made “every effort to interdict weapons that have been purchased illegally and prevent their transportation to Mexico.”