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Holder Didn’t Tell Obama Due To A 2007 Memo?

From Fox News:

Holder notified of Petraeus probe in late summer — did he tell anyone?

November 12, 2012

Attorney General Eric Holder was notified in late summer that then-CIA Director David Petraeus’ name had surfaced in the FBI probe that ultimately uncovered Petraeus’ affair, raising questions about whether Holder would have — or should have — informed President Obama.

According to the administration’s version of events, the president did not find out about the situation until last Thursday. At the time that Holder was notified, months earlier, many details were still unknown.

Such as what? Besides, we’ve been told that the FBI only took up this investigation back in July because the head of the CIA was somehow involved. Shouldn’t the the Attorney General and the White House have been told at least that much?

We are talking about the head of the CIA here!

Petraeus himself was not interviewed until the fall. And according to one source, it is long-standing FBI policy for the FBI not to brief Congress or the White House in the middle of a criminal probe that does not involve a security threat.

Once again, there is no reason to believe this was a criminal probe, since no crimes seem to have been alleged.

Furthermore, this "long-standing FBI policy" is not part of the US criminal code. It’s not in the Constitution. It is based on a memo written by President Bush’s Attorney General back in 2007. (See below.)

There was no legitimate reason that more people in oversight positions, such as the White House and in Congress should not have been told. There were only political reasons to delay this. If, in fact, there really was a delay.

However, several lawmakers and other officials say the mere fact that Petraeus was flagged in an investigation should have been reason enough to kick the issue up from the Justice Department to the White House.

"He was the director of the CIA, not Fish & Wildlife. The implications are massive," Rep. Jason Chaffetz, R-Utah, told FoxNews.com in an email. Chaffetz said the heads of the House and Senate intelligence committees should have been looped in. "Notification should have also gone to the president — immediately," Chaffetz said.

Top congressional lawmakers, including the leaders of key committees, have raised concerns that they weren’t notified earlier.

But John Bolton, former U.S. ambassador to the U.N. under the George W. Bush administration, said the bigger question surrounds whether the White House was notified.

"The idea that the White House didn’t learn of this potential problem until Election Day, I just find incomprehensible. Did the attorney general sit on this information for two months?" he asked. Bolton said it raises the question "of whether the information was suppressed."

At the very least it looks like Holder did not tell Obama, so that Obama could plausibly deny any knowledge of the investigation. But, even if that is true, it sure seems like it was done for political reasons.

The Justice Department declined to comment for this story.

The law states that intelligence officials "shall" notify the congressional intelligence committees of "all intelligence activities." It could be argued that this didn’t rise to such a level, technically. After all, Fox News confirms that when mistress Paula Broadwell’s second and final interview with the FBI was conducted the Friday before the election, they were able to formally conclude no crimes had been committed. While some classified documents were found on her computer, there was no information indicating Petraeus was the source.

As we have noted, in Scott Shane’s piece for the New York Times, there had been a line: "Under military regulations, adultery can be a crime. At the C.I.A., it can be a security issue, because it can make an intelligence officer vulnerable to blackmail, but it is not a crime."

In this case, a woman having an affair with the head of the CIA was found with classified documents on her computer. That is a major security breach. No matter where those documents came from. And that was something that others in authority should have been told about.

Further, according to the Wall Street Journal, a 2007 memo from then-Attorney General Michael Mukasey said Justice employees were not supposed to tell the White House or Congress about pending criminal investigations.

This is the "long standing policy" we have heard so much about? From way back in 2007? Hilarious. National security should trump departmental ‘policy memos,’ even if they do date all the way back to 2007.

By the way, this 2007 memo was written during the Democrats jihad against President Bush for firing a few US Attorneys General. And, of course, the memo didn’t stop sensitive information about the firings from being leaked to the New York Times and other outlets.

This article was posted by Steve on Tuesday, November 13th, 2012. Comments are currently closed.

One Response to “Holder Didn’t Tell Obama Due To A 2007 Memo?”

  1. untrainable says:

    So…, it’s Bush’s fault. We shoulda known.

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