Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on July 20th, 2007 9:37 am by HL
Bush administration officials unveiled a bold new assertion of executive authority yesterday in the dispute over the firing of nine U.S. attorneys, saying that the Justice Department will never be allowed to pursue contempt charges initiated by Congress against White House officials once the president has invoked executive privilege.
The position presents serious legal and political obstacles for congressional Democrats, who have begun laying the groundwork for contempt proceedings against current and former White House officials in order to pry loose information about the dismissals.
Under federal law, a statutory contempt citation by the House or Senate must be submitted to the U.S. attorney for the District of Columbia, "whose duty it shall be to bring the matter before the grand jury for its action."
But administration officials argued yesterday that Congress has no power to force a U.S. attorney to pursue contempt charges in cases, such as the prosecutor firings, in which the president has declared that testimony or documents are protected from release by executive privilege. Officials pointed to a Justice Department legal opinion during the Reagan administration, which made the same argument in a case that was never resolved by the courts.
"A U.S. attorney would not be permitted to bring contempt charges or convene a grand jury in an executive privilege case," said a senior official, who said his remarks reflect a consensus within the administration. "And a U.S. attorney wouldn’t be permitted to argue against the reasoned legal opinion that the Justice Department provided. No one should expect that to happen."
Even if Democrats do bring contempt of congress charges. The person in charge of handling is none other then Alberto “Torture Boy” Gonzalez. Yeah like he’s going to stand up for the law.
The only way to stop Bush now is impeachment. Congress has shown repeatedly that they are not going to do that. See below for the story about how congress voted 100 to 0 to allow Bush to impose martial law in the event of the next disaster. Isn’t Hurricane season coming soon, or another staged terrorist attack. Mikey Chertoff can feel it in his gut afterall.