Actually, there is a key difference … but it doesn’t help Democrats. The issue in 2007 involved the use of non-delegable executive authority specifically granted under Article II to make political appointments — in the event, those of US Attorneys, who like all other political appointees serve at will at the pleasure of the President. As courts have ruled in Nixon and Espy, executive privilege applies in the exercise of non-delegable Article II powers as part of the separation of powers in the government. Operation Fast and Furious was conducted by a federal agency under powers delegated to the DoJ that are shared between Congress and the President. Furthermore, the subpoenas in this case relate to official misconduct and lawbreaking — not just the gunrunning but also false testimony before Congress. Presidents cannot claim executive privilege to shield documents in those circumstances, as Espy explicitly states.