Judicial Watch has slowly been prying Fast and Furious documents out of the desperate grip of the Obama administration. The Department of Justice has now produced around 40,000 pages of documents–a tiny amount–which Judicial Watch has posted on its web site. So far, the most explosive document to emerge is an email thread between Tracy Schmaler, who headed Eric Holder’s Office of Public Affairs, and White House Deputy Press Sectary Eric Schultz. The emails are dated October 4, 2011. Here they are; as usual, you read up from the bottom. Click to enlarge:
The context of the emails is concern about news reports that put Eric Holder at the center of the Fast and Furious scandal. In the first email, at 7:46, Schmaler says that there were no Fast and Furious stories from the NY Times, the Associated Press, Reuters, the Washington Post, NBC or Bloomberg. But there is one person out of step: Sharyl Attkisson. Schmaler writes:
I’m also calling Sharryl’s editor and reaching out to Schieffer. She’s out of control.
Which is highly revealing: the Obama administration expects reporters to be under control. As, of course, they generally are, like the Times, the Post, AP, etc. Schultz replies:
Good. Her piece was really bad for AG.
We can’t have that. We need to get the one reporter willing to dig into the story under control. But Schultz can’t seem to believe the White House’s good fortune:
Why do you think no one else wrote? Were they not fed the documents?
Apparently the others are all loyal Democrats. Schultz adds:
I sent [National Journal’s] Susan Davis your way. She’s writing on Issa/FandF and I said you could load her up on the leaks, etc.
Three days later, as Judicial Watch notes, Ms. Davis published a hit piece on Issa that was later labelled “definitive” by another left-wing journalist.
It is obvious that the Department of Justice has withheld other emails that are relevant to the above exchange. Schmaler’s reference to “Sharryl” is out of the blue. There must have been prior references to her, but they do not show up in a search of the documents that have been produced. That means that they have been either redacted or withheld. Still, what we have is bad enough: the Obama administration targeted the only reporter who was following up on Fast and Furious, and went to her editor and to elder statesman Bob Schieffer to pull her off the case–to get her, as they said, under “control.”
Schultz and Schmaler were concerned about Fox, too. This exchange is entertaining; again, the earlier email is at the bottom. Click to enlarge:
Any way they can “fix Fox”? Probably not. But note that the government’s production redacts the information that Schmaler gave to the NY Times, NBC and NPR. Why? The redaction note is “DP,” which stands for deliberative privilege, a much-misused species of executive privilege. I think it is impossible that the deliberative privilege could apply, since the redacted material is what Tracy Schmaler gave to various news organizations. But that is the Obama administration’s MO: assert countless frivolous claims of privilege, stonewall furiously, and by the time the snail’s pace of our judicial system requires documents to be produced, the administration will be out of office.
The Obama administration is rotten to the core, and Eric Holder is among the rottenest of its rotten apples.
UPDATE: More here.