Assistant Attorney General Ronald Weich, in his written testimony submitted for the hearings into Operation Fast and Furious, relies upon a position taken by the head of the Department of Justice’s Office of Legal Counsel during the Reagan years for refusing to provide all the documents requested by the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee.
The most basic justification for the policy follows from the Constitution’s careful separation of legislative and executive powers, the purpose of which is to protect individual liberty. As Charles J. Cooper, the Assistant Attorney General heading the Department’s Office of Legal Counsel during the Reagan Administration, explained in 1986, providing a congressional committee with sensitive, Executive Branch information about an ongoing law enforcement investigation would put Congress in an inappropriate position of exercising influence over or pressure on the investigation or possible prosecution. See Congressional Requests, 10 Op. O.L.C. at 76.
In what can only be called a delicious irony, the most anti-gun administration in recent memory has had to rely upon the writings of pro-gun attorney Charles J. Cooper to defend their position. Cooper and his law firm Cooper and Kirk serve as the attorneys for a number of the Second Amendment lawsuits brought by the National Rifle Association. Among the more notable include Benson v. Chicago which challenges the New Chicago Gun Law and both of the D’Cruz cases in Texas.