Rick Perry calls Obama's use of executive privilege 'Nixonian'

J. Scott Applewhite/AP

Texas Governor and former GOP presidential candidate Rick Perry accused President Obama of engaging in a “Nixonian” cover-up in connection with the botched gun sting operation known as Fast and Furious.

The operation has been the focus of a Republican-led investigation, which escalated this week when the House Oversight Committee voted to hold Attorney General Eric Holder in contempt of Congress for failing to turn over documents. On Sunday, Perry drew a comparison between President Richard Nixon’s cover-up during the Watergate scandal and Obama’s use of executive privilege last week to protect the requested documents.

During the Fast and Furious operation, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms funneled guns into Mexico in an attempt to track them to drug cartels. Many of the guns ended up being used in violent crimes, however, and at least one U.S. border patrol agent, Brian Terry, was killed by a gun from the program.

“We've had over 300 Mexican nationals killed directly attributable to this Fast and Furious operation where they brought those guns into Mexico, and a former marine and a border patrol agent by the name of Brian Terry lost his life," Perry said on CBS’ Face the Nation. "I mean, with Watergate, you had a second-rate burglary. And now you have a president who is using his executive privilege to keep that information from Congress. If that's not Nixonian, then I don't know what it is."

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