Here is the relevant excerpt from the letter sent to Issa and Grassley on behalf of the White House:
In light of the important Executive Branch confidentiality interests and institutional prerogatives implicated by your request, including those of NSS, and in the absence of any evidence that suggests that Mr. O'Reilly had any involvement in "Operation Fast and Furious" or was aware of the existence of any inappropriate investigative tactics, there is an insufficient basis to support the request to interview Mr. O'Reilly.Really? Before agreeing or disagreeing, check out this exchange between Oversight Committee member, Rep. Trey Gowdy (R-SC) and Newell from July 26, 2011 and then re-read that excerpt from the White House letter again.
For more on the White House's refusal to allow the Oversight Committee to interview O'Reilly, committee member Jason Chaffetz interviewed with Fox News Channel's Megyn Kelly. The long and short of this is the White House really has no right to invoke this privilege. There is no legal basis for it, which implicates the administration in the cover-up.
Via Daily Caller:
Utah Republican Rep. Jason Chaffetz told the Fox News Channel’s Megyn Kelly on Friday that although a key White House witness in the ill-fated Operation Fast and Furious gun-walking program is willing to testify about what he knows, the Obama administration won’t let him appear before Congress.Here is video of the exchange between Kelly and Chaffetz:
White House Counsel Kathryn Ruemmler sent a letter Thursday to Republican lawmakers Rep. Darrell Issa and Sen. Chuck Grassley, refusing their request to speak with Kevin O’Reilly, a former National Security staff member whose emails place him in the middle of the unfolding scandal. Issa and Grassley had written to Ruemmler on March 28, asking the White House to step aside and let O’Reilly talk to investigators.
Here is a copy of the letter from White House Counsel Kathryn Ruemmler to Issa and Grassley:
Apr-05-2012 WH Counsel reply on O'Reilly Interview