Democrats & Liberals Archives

Wrong again! Advisors should testify

President Bush vowed to protect his advisors from the impending subpoenas recently approved by the House Judiciary Committee. The subpoenas are to be used to investigate the recent firings of eight federal prosecutors for political reasons. Go ahead Mr. President, stonewall the attempt to get to the truth. Play semantic games with the media. For all that is said and done, Congress has the right and should subpoena those integral to the investigation.

The following, lengthy list of advisors, details the dates, times and persons that testified before Congress. (source)

Enjoy: (as a side note, notice the sheer volume of advisors that spent time testifying before Congress during the Clinton era)
• Jonathan Daniels, Administrative Assistant to the President, White House Office, appeared before the Senate Committee on Agriculture and Forestry on February 28 and March 7 and 8, 1944, to discuss his involvement in the personnel policy of the Rural Electrification Administration.
• Wallace H. Graham, Physician to the President, White House Office, appeared before the Senate Committee on Appropriations on January 13, 1948, to discuss information to which he might have been privy with regard to the commodity market.
• Harry H. Vaughn, Military Aide to the President, White House Office, appeared before the Senate Committee on Expenditures in Executive Departments (now Governmental Affairs) on August 30 CRS-8
• Donald S. Dawson, Administrative Assistant to the President, White House Office, appeared before the Senate Committee on Banking and Currency on May 10 and 11, 1951, to discuss allegations he had attempted to “dominate” the Reconstruction Finance Corporation and influence appointments to that body.
• Sherman Adams, Assistant to the President, White House Office, appeared before the House Committee on Interstate and Foreign Commerce Committee on June 17, 1958, to discuss his involvement with certain lobbyists.
• Edward E. David, Jr., Science Adviser to the President, White House Office, and director, Office of Science and Technology, appeared before the Senate Committee on Interior and Insular Affairs on June 15, 1971, to discuss the Nixon Administration’s position on energy policy matters; he appeared again before the House Committee on Science and Astronautics on June 14, 1972, to discuss science policy matters relating to Soviet-American cooperation agreements.
• Virginia H. Knauer, Special Assistant to the President for Consumer Affairs, White House Office, and director, Office of Consumer Affairs, appeared before the House Select Committee on Small Business on June 25, 1971, to discuss consumer protection and advertising standards.
• Jerome H. Jaffe, Special Consultant to the President, White House Office, and director, Special Action Office for Drug Abuse Prevention, appeared before the House Committee on Interstate and Foreign Commerce on June 28, August 2, October 27, and CRS-9
• Peter Flanigan, Assistant to the President, White House Office, appeared before the Senate Committee on the Judiciary on April 20, 1972, during the course of hearings on the confirmation of Richard Kleindienst as Attorney General to discuss his involvement in apparent lobbying activities by the International Telephone and Telegraph Company.
• Bruce A. Kehrli, Special Assistant to the President, White House Office, appeared before the Senate Select Committee on Presidential Campaign Activities on May 17, 1973, to discuss matters related to the Watergate incident.
• Patrick J. Buchanan, Special Consultant to the President, White House Office, appeared before the Senate Select Committee on Presidential Campaign Activities on September 26, 1973, to discuss matters related to the Watergate incident.
• Richard M. Harden, Special Assistant to the President, White House Office, appeared before the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Treasury, Postal Service, and General Government on March 9, 1977, to discuss funds for the White House Office; he appeared
• again before the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Treasury, Postal Service, and General Government on March 15, 1977, to discuss these same matters.
• Rose Mary Woods, Personal Secretary to the President, White House Office, appeared before the Senate Select Committee on Presidential CRS-10
• J. Frederick Buzhardt, Special Counsel to the President, White House Office, appeared before the Senate Select Committee on Presidential Campaign Activities on April 10 and May 7, 1974, to discuss matters related to the Watergate incident.
• Alexander M. Haig, Jr., Staff Coordinator to the President, White House Office, appeared before the Senate Select Committee on Presidential Campaign Activities on May 2, and 15, 1974, to discuss matters related to the Watergate incident.
• Leonard Garment, Assistant to the President, White House Office, appeared before the Senate Select Committee on Presidential Campaign Activities on May 17, 1974, to discuss matters related to the Watergate incident.
• Lloyd Cutler, Counsel to the President, White House Office, appeared before the Senate Judiciary Subcommittee to Investigate the Activities of Individuals Representing the Interests of Foreign Governments on September 10, 1980, to discuss efforts by the President’s brother, Billy Carter, to influence the federal government on behalf of the government of Libya.
• Zbigniew Brzezinski, Assistant to the President for National Security Affairs, White House Office, appeared before the Senate Judiciary Subcommittee to Investigate the Activities of Individuals Representing the Interests of Foreign Governments on September 17, 1980, to discuss efforts by the President’s brother, Billy Carter, to influence the federal government on behalf of the government of Libya.
• Samuel Berger, Deputy Assistant to the President for National Security Affairs, White House Office, appeared before the Senate CRS-11
• Samuel Berger, Assistant to the President for National Security Affairs, White House Office, appeared before the Senate Committee on Governmental Affairs on September 11, 1997, concerning campaign fund-raising practices in connection with the 1996 federal
• election campaign.
• Lloyd N. Cutler, Special Counsel to the President, White House Office, appeared before the House Committee on Banking, Finance, and Urban Affairs on July 26, 1994, concerning whether White House aides had inappropriately learned details of a Resolution Trust Corporation (RTC) investigation of the failed Madison Guaranty Savings and Loan.
• Lisa M. Caputo, Press Secretary to the First Lady, White House Office, appeared before the House Committee on Banking, Finance, and Urban Affairs on July 28, 1994, concerning whether White House aides had inappropriately learned details of an RTC investigation of the failed Madison Guaranty Savings and Loan.
• W. Neil Eggleston, Associate Counsel to the President, White House Office, appeared before the House Committee on Banking, Finance, and Urban Affairs on July 28, 1994, concerning whether White House aides had inappropriately learned details of an RTC investigation of the failed Madison Guaranty Savings and Loan.
• Mark D. Gearan, Assistant to the President for Communications, appeared before the House Committee on Banking, Finance, and Urban Affairs on July 28, 1994, concerning whether White House aides had inappropriately learned details of an RTC investigation of the failed Madison Guaranty Savings and Loan.
• Harold Ickes, Assistant to the President and Deputy Chief of Staff, White House Office, appeared before the House Committee on CRS-12
• Bruce Lindsey, Assistant to the President and Senior Adviser, White House Office, appeared before the House Committee on Banking, Finance, and Urban Affairs on July 28, 1994, concerning whether White House aides had inappropriately learned details of an RTC investigation of the failed Madison Guaranty Savings and Loan.
• John D. Podesta, Assistant to the President and Staff Secretary, White House Office, appeared before the House Committee on Banking, Finance, and Urban Affairs on July 28, 1994, concerning whether White House aides had inappropriately learned details of an RTC investigation of the failed Madison Guaranty Savings and Loan.
• Clifford Sloan, Associate Counsel to the President, White House Office, appeared before the House Committee on Banking, Finance, and Urban Affairs on July 28, 1994, concerning whether White House aides had inappropriately learned details of an RTC investigation of the failed Madison Guaranty Savings and Loan.
• George R. Stephanopoulis, Senior Policy adviser to the President, appeared before the House Committee on Banking, Finance, and Urban Affairs on July 28, 1994, concerning whether White House aides had inappropriately learned details of an RTC investigation of the failed Madison Guaranty Savings and Loan.
• Margaret A. Williams, Chief of Staff to the First Lady, White House Office, appeared before the House Committee on Banking, Finance, and Urban Affairs on July 28, 1994, concerning whether White House aides had inappropriately learned details of an RTC investigation of the failed Madison Guaranty Savings and Loan.
• Lloyd N. Cutler, Special Counsel to the President, White House Office, appeared before the Senate Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs on August 5, 1994, concerning whether White CRS-13
• W. Neil Eggleston, Deputy Counsel to the President, White House Office, appeared before the Senate Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs on August 3, 1994, concerning whether White House aides had inappropriately learned details of an RTC investigation of the failed Madison Guaranty Savings and Loan.
• Harold Ickes, Assistant to the President and Deputy Chief of Staff, White House Office, appeared before the Senate Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs on August 4, 1994, concerning whether White House aides had inappropriately learned details of an RTC investigation of the failed Madison Guaranty Savings and Loan.
• Joel I. Klein, Deputy Counsel to the President, appeared before the Senate Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs on August 3, 1994, concerning whether White House aides had inappropriately learned details of an RTC investigation of the failed Madison Guaranty Savings and Loan.
• Bruce R. Lindsey, Assistant to the President and Senior Adviser, White House Office, appeared before the Senate Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs on August 4, 1994, concerning whether White House aides had inappropriately learned details of an RTC investigation of the failed Madison Guaranty Savings and Loan.
• Thomas F. McLarty III, Counselor to the President, White House Office, appeared before the Senate Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs on August 4, 1994, concerning whether White House aides had inappropriately learned details of an RTC investigation of the failed Madison Guaranty Savings and Loan.
• Beth Nolan, Associate Counsel to the President, White House Office, appeared before the Senate Committee on Banking, Housing, CRS-14
• John D. Podesta, Assistant to the President and Staff Secretary, White House Office, appeared before the Senate Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs on August 4, 1994, concerning whether White House aides had inappropriately learned details of an RTC investigation of the failed Madison Guaranty Savings and Loan.
• Clifford M. Sloan, Associate Counsel to the President, White House Office, appeared before the Senate Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs on August 3, 1994, concerning whether White House aides had inappropriately learned details of an RTC investigation of the failed Madison Guaranty Savings and Loan.
• George R. Stephanopoulis, Senior Adviser to the President for Policy and Strategy, White House Office, appeared before the Senate Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs on August 4, 1994, concerning whether White House aides had inappropriately learned details of an RTC investigation of the failed Madison Guaranty Savings and Loan.
• Margaret A. Williams, Assistant to the President and Chief of Staff to the First Lady, White House Office, appeared before the Senate Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs on August 4, 1994, concerning whether White House aides had inappropriately learned details of an RTC investigation of the failed Madison Guaranty Savings and Loan.
• Mark D. Gearan, Assistant to the President and Director of Communications and Strategic Planning, White House Office, appeared before the Senate Special Committee to Investigate the Whitewater Development Corporation and Related Matters on July 25, 1995, concerning whether White House staff had engaged in improper contacts regarding the Madison Guaranty Saving and Loan Association, the White Water Development Corporation, and other matters.
• Deborah Gorham, Assistant to the Associate Counsel to the President, White House Office, appeared before the Senate Special Committee to Investigate the Whitewater Development Corporation and Related Matters on August 1, 1995, concerning whether White House staff had engaged in improper contacts regarding the Madison Guaranty Saving and Loan Association, the White Water Development Corporation, and other matters.
• Carolyn C. Huber, Special Assistant to the President and Director of Personal Correspondence, White House Office, appeared before the Senate Special Committee to Investigate the Whitewater Development Corporation and Related Matters on August 3, 1995, and January 18, 1996, concerning whether White House staff had engaged in improper contacts regarding the Madison Guaranty Saving and Loan Association, the White Water Development Corporation, and other matters.
• Harold Ickes, Deputy Chief of Staff, White House Office, appeared before the Senate Special Committee to Investigate the Whitewater Development Corporation and Related Matters on February 23, 1996, concerning whether White House staff had engaged in
• improper contacts regarding the Madison Guaranty Saving and Loan Association, the White Water Development Corporation, and other matters.
• Evelyn Lieberman, Deputy Press Secretary for Operations, White House Office, appeared before the Senate Special Committee to Investigate the Whitewater Development Corporation and Related Matters on July 26, 1995, concerning whether White House staff had engaged in improper contacts regarding the Madison Guaranty Saving and Loan Association, the White Water Development Corporation, and other matters.
• Bruce R. Lindsey, Assistant to the President and Deputy Counsel to the President, White House Office, appeared before the Senate Special Committee to Investigate the Whitewater Development Corporation and Related Matters on August 8 and November 28, 1995, and January 16, 1996, concerning whether White House staff had engaged in improper contacts regarding the Madison Guaranty
• Capricia P. Marshall, Special Assistant to the First Lady, White House Office, appeared before the Senate Special Committee to Investigate the Whitewater Development Corporation and Related Matters on February 9, 1996, concerning whether White House staff had engaged in improper contacts regarding the Madison Guaranty Saving and Loan Association, the White Water Development Corporation, and other matters.
• Thomas F. McLarty III, Counsel to the President, White House Office, appeared before the Senate Special Committee to Investigate the Whitewater Development Corporation and Related Matters on August 7, 1995, concerning whether White House staff had engaged in improper contacts regarding the Madison Guaranty Saving and Loan Association, the White Water Development Corporation, and other matters.
• Bobby J. Nash, Assistant to the President and Director of Presidential Personnel, White House Office, appeared before the Senate Special Committee to Investigate the Whitewater Development Corporation and Related Matters on January 31 and April 30, 1996, concerning whether White House staff had engaged in improper contacts regarding the Madison Guaranty Saving and Loan Association, the White Water Development Corporation, and other matters.
• Stephen R. Neuwirth, Associate Counsel to the President, White House Office, appeared before the Senate Special Committee to Investigate the Whitewater Development Corporation and Related Matters on August 3, 1995, concerning whether White House staff had engaged in improper contacts regarding the Madison Guaranty Saving and Loan Association, the White Water Development Corporation, and other matters.
• John M. Quinn, Assistant to the President and Chief of Staff to the Vice President, White House Office, appeared before the Senate Special Committee to Investigate the Whitewater Development Corporation and Related Matters on August 7, 1995, concerning whether White House staff had engaged in improper contacts
• Jane C. Sherburne, Special Counsel to the President, White House Office, appeared before the Senate Special Committee to Investigate the Whitewater Development Corporation and Related Matters on November 9, 1995, and February 9, 1996, concerning whether White House staff had engaged in improper contacts regarding the Madison Guaranty Saving and Loan Association, the White Water Development Corporation, and other matters.
• Patti Solis, Special Assistant to the President and Director of Scheduling for the First Lady, appeared before the Senate Special Committee to Investigate the Whitewater Development Corporation and Related Matters on May 14, 1996, concerning whether White House staff had engaged in improper contacts regarding the Madison Guaranty Saving and Loan Association, the White Water Development Corporation, and other matters.
• Patsy L. Thomasson, Deputy Assistant to the President and Assistant Director for Presidential Personnel, White House Office, appeared before the Senate Special Committee to Investigate the Whitewater Development Corporation and Related Matters on July 25, 1995, and May 9, 1996, concerning whether White House staff had engaged in improper contacts regarding the Madison Guaranty Saving and Loan Association, the White Water Development Corporation, and other matters.
• Margaret A. Williams, Assistant to the President and Chief of Staff to the First Lady, White House Office, appeared before the Senate Special Committee to Investigate the Whitewater Development Corporation and Related Matters on July 26, November 2, and December 11, 1995, concerning whether White House staff had engaged in improper contacts regarding the Madison Guaranty Saving and Loan Association, the White Water Development Corporation, and other matters. Charles Easley, Director of the Office of White House Security, White House Office, appeared before the Senate Committee on the Judiciary on June 28, 1996, concerning the dissemination of Federal
• Lanny Breuer, Special Counsel to the President, White House Office, appeared before the House Committee on Government Reform and Oversight on November 7, 1997, concerning White House compliance with committee subpoenas issued in the course of an investigation into alleged fund-raising abuses and the funneling of foreign money into political campaigns.
• Cheryl Mills, Deputy Assistant to the President and Deputy Counsel to the President, White House Office, appeared before the House Committee on Government Reform and Oversight on November 6 and 7, 1997, concerning White House compliance with committee subpoenas issued in the course of an investigation into alleged fundraising abuses and the funneling of foreign money into political campaigns.
• Dimitri Nionakis, Associate Counsel to the President, White House Office, appeared before the House Committee on Government Reform and Oversight on November 7, 1997, concerning White House compliance with committee subpoenas issued in the course of an investigation into alleged fund-raising abuses and the funneling of foreign money into political campaigns.
• Charles F. C. Ruff, Counsel to the President, White House Office, appeared before the House Committee on Government Reform and Oversight on November 6 and 7, 1997, concerning White House compliance with committee subpoenas issued in the course of an investigation into alleged fund-raising abuses and the funneling of foreign money into political campaigns.
• Nancy Heinreich, Deputy Assistant to the President for Appointments and Scheduling, White House Office, appeared before the House Committee on Government Reform and Oversight on November 13, 1997, concerning the White House access and political campaign donations of Johnny Chung.
• Mark Lindsay, Assistant to the President and Director of White House Management and Administration, White House Office, appeared before the House Committee on Government Reform on March 23, 2000, concerning White House mismanagement of its email system and e-mails subpoenaed by the committee.
• Dimitri Nionakis, Associate Counsel to the President, appeared before the House Committee on Government Reform on May 24, 2000, concerning White House mismanagement of its e-mail system and e-mails subpoenaed by the committee.
• Beth Nolan, Counsel to the President, White House Office, appeared before the House Committee on Government Reform on March 30 and May 4, 2000, concerning White House mismanagement of its email system and e-mails subpoenaed by the committee.
• Thomas J. Ridge, Assistant to the President for Homeland Security, White House Office, appeared before the Senate Committee on Governmental Affairs on June 20, 2002, concerning the proposed Department of Homeland Security.
• Thomas J. Ridge, Assistant to the President for Homeland Security, White House Office, appeared before the House Committee on Government Reform on June 20, 2002, concerning the proposed Department of Homeland Security.
• Thomas J. Ridge, Assistant to the President for Homeland Security, White House Office, appeared before the House Committee on Energy and Commerce on June 26, 2002, concerning the proposed Department of Homeland Security.
• Thomas J. Ridge, Assistant to the President for Homeland Security, White House Office, appeared before the Senate Committee on the Judiciary on June 26, 2002, concerning the proposed Department of Homeland Security.
• Thomas J. Ridge, Assistant to the President for Homeland Security, White House Office, appeared before the House Committee on the Judiciary on June 26, 2002, concerning the proposed Department of Homeland Security.
• Thomas J. Ridge, Assistant to the President for Homeland Security, White House Office, appeared before the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works on July 10, 2002, concerning the proposed Department of Homeland Security.
• Thomas J. Ridge, Assistant to the President for Homeland Security, White House Office, appeared before the House Select Committee on Homeland Security on July 15, 2002, concerning the proposed Department of Homeland Security.
• Thomas J. Ridge, Assistant to the President for Homeland Security, White House Office, appeared before the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions on July 16, 2002, concerning the proposed Department of Homeland Security.
• Thomas J. Ridge, Assistant to the President for Homeland Security, White House Office, appeared before the Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry on July 17, 2002, concerning the proposed Department of Homeland Security.
• Condoleezza Rice, Assistant to the President for National Security Affairs, after initially declining to testify, appeared before the National Commission on Terrorist Attacks Upon the United States on April 9, 2004, concerning the anti-terrorism efforts of the Bush Administration prior to the September 11, 2001, attacks upon the World Trade Center and the Pentagon.

Posted by john trevisani at March 21, 2007 2:34 PM
Comments
Comment #213041

If the Bush WH folks did nothing wrong and, hence, do not have anything to hide, why are they hiding behind Bush? The cover-up and the lying has already begun and the sh*t appears to be growing higher and deeper with each passing day. And what about those 18-days’ worth of missing e-mails? It sound an awful lot like Rose Mary Woods and the mysterious 18-1/2 minute gap in the Nixon tapes.

Posted by: allen at March 21, 2007 4:03 PM
Comment #213042

Well done, John! The source, it should be noted, is a report produced by the Congressional Research Service, an agency of Congress, that was prepared in 2004, a year when the Republicans controlled both houses.

So please, Republicans and conservatives, don’t try to put some partisan spin on this list.

Posted by: Steve K at March 21, 2007 4:08 PM
Comment #213043

I’m not opposed to using the subpoena power in an investigation, but since the offer was made to meet with the individuals in a way that would lesson the ‘spectacle’ of the situation until someone could determine if something illegal was done, shouldn’t the congress have taken that path first. THEN if they didn’t like the answers given or there was something smelly after the answers were given the could use the subpoena power still, they weren’t being asked to take it off of the table.

I’m afraid by being bull-headed about it they are going to end up with everyone being brought before the committee deciding to sit down and say ‘I plead the 5th’ to avoid getting caught up in an accidental perjury situation, the result being that congress ends up getting nowhere…

It just seems to me to be the more ‘political’ path instead of the one most likely to get cooperative answers.

Posted by: Rhinehold at March 21, 2007 4:25 PM
Comment #213045

Unless I was totally high the other night, I believe I read a post that essentially said the administration can NOT cite any kind of immunity for aides and etc. to testify, based on the nature of the case. There has to be an issue of national security, etc., that could possibly be violated or threatened by them testifying. Can anybody verify, or denounce this??
Thanks..

Posted by: Sandra Davidson at March 21, 2007 4:29 PM
Comment #213044

Johh,

“Go ahead Mr. President, stonewall the attempt to get to the truth. Play semantic games with the media. For all that is said and done, Congress has the right and should subpoena those integral to the investigation.”


The truth is already out, all this “subpoena” crap is (yet) another attempt to badger Bush and his admin. That’s all this is! Now you have the MSM out there liking this to “Watergate”; it’s the same old song and dance from the left, can’t defend our country or make it better, the only thing they can do is bash Bush. That’s it!! This is why the hatred (not dissidence) for Bush is so damaging to this country; it’s one pointless committee after another and it’s a waste of time.


Yet, what do you expect, this is the same dem party that is invested in defeat in Iraq and now there is considerable progress there; they have to fight these futile issues b/c they can’t fight the ones with the “true enemies” of this country. And, no Rocky, that’s not “Coulter and her ilk”. :-)

Posted by: rahdigly at March 21, 2007 4:29 PM
Comment #213047

I think what many are questioning now is, if someone is TELLING THE TRUTH, there should be no fear of “accidental perjury”. Nothing like laying the groundwork for your defense before you screw up !!! Makes it sound like it will be inevitable.

Posted by: Sandra Davidson at March 21, 2007 4:35 PM
Comment #213053

Rhinehold,
You would think this could be resolved in a less confrontational manner, especially if the matter of the USA firings were merely a matter of providing administration friends with rewarding positions. That is not illegal. At the beginning of an administration, it is customany for all the USAs to tender their resignation, and the new president to appoint people reflecting the legal perspectives of the new adminstration.

Dismissing USAs without cause in the middle of an administration is unheard of. It risks the appearance of obstructing justice. Big mistake. Something like only 3 USAs have been fired in the past 25 years for cause.

Unfortunately, Gonzales did himself in. He lied, and said the USAs were being fired for poor performance.

Bad move.

The problem is these USAs are Bush appointees. They have clout. They have patrons. And when someone publicly disses them, it is going to have big repercussions.

Republican congressman will not lift a finger for Gonzales… well, maybe a middle one. He lied about the reasons for the dismissals, and now everyone will have to testify under oath.

Really, really stupid.

Posted by: phx8 at March 21, 2007 5:26 PM
Comment #213054

Dosen’t the congress have anything better to do than spend a whole lot of time and money trying to find out why 8 U.S.Attorneys were fired? The last administration fired over 100 U.S.Attorneys but nothing was done about that. Is it because the democrats have the do as I say not as I do mentality? I don’t claim Rep. or Dem. I vote for the person I think can do the best Job. Right now if a decent Ind. would run I’d vote for him or her. I think both major parties should grow up and quit trying to stab each other in the back.

Posted by: KAP at March 21, 2007 5:26 PM
Comment #213057

Rhinehold-

Is it now political, in your view, to ask someone to guarantee they are telling the truth? Do you recall this administration’s track record with being open and honest?

It seems the method you prescribe would lead to them “getting the answers before the test.” Shouldn’t they just testify if they have nothing to hide? Do you think they have something to hide? If not, why not testify under oath?

Also, you said:

I’m afraid by being bull-headed about it they are going to end up with everyone being brought before the committee deciding to sit down and say ‘I plead the 5th’ to avoid getting caught up in an accidental perjury situation

Is it not the case that “accidental perjury,” as you put it, isn’t possible since they would be lacking mens rea [i.e. intent, knowledge]?

Posted by: jrb at March 21, 2007 5:35 PM
Comment #213058
Is it now political, in your view, to ask someone to guarantee they are telling the truth? Do you recall this administration’s track record with being open and honest?

I don’t understand, when the administration is saying that they could all talk behind closed doors and answer questions, why that option was not taken. No one said that if they didn’t like the answers they then couldn’t go down this path. It seems like there is a desire to just make this a big political stink. That’s how it appears to me anyway.

As for the ‘testify if you have nothing to hide’, I’ve heard similar arguments by the right saying you shouldn’t care about being spied upon if you have nothing to hide. It was wrong then and it’s wrong now. So much for the democrats being any better than the republicans. :/

Posted by: Rhinehold at March 21, 2007 5:41 PM
Comment #213062

Rhinehold:
Rove emails the Attorney General to fire certain federal prosecutors that are unfriendly to the Rove/Bush administration. Who’s playing politics here?

Posted by: john trevisani at March 21, 2007 5:51 PM
Comment #213063

Rhinehold

It seems like there is a desire to just make this a big political stink.

I couldn’t disagree with that and be honest with myself. However, I do not feel that, that is all there is here. I do believe Bush-co is … ummm … let’s just say frequently less than truthful.

I’ve heard similar arguments by the right saying you shouldn’t care about being spied upon if you have nothing to hide.

This is apples and oranges and you know it. The government has no business hearing/reading what the average American is doing/saying. Conversely, in this situation, people are voluntarily willing to talk to Congress, but not willing to swear by what they are saying. Big difference

Posted by: jrb at March 21, 2007 5:54 PM
Comment #213065
I do believe Bush-co is … ummm … let’s just say frequently less than truthful.

That’s your opinion, but I’m not sure why congress should be operating from that assumption of guilt first. There would have been nothing at ALL lost by interviewing first, not out in public, to hopefull take care of the matter without the political fanfare. It is a shame.

This is apples and oranges and you know it.

No, it isn’t. No one should be treated with hostility first before showing that they need to be treated that way. These people were willing to talk to congress, quietly, so that they could clear up the matter without the fanfare that it would have generated.

Instead, that option is now out the window, it’s become a force of wills and political battle between the Republicans and Deomcrats when it did not NEED to be.

Which means this is what the Democrats want.

I was under the impression that they wanted to try to ‘heal’ the country. Instead they avoid that option and instead create a pitched battle that could have been possibly avoided for what I can only assume, based on the rhetoric being used, are political reasons.

Which, of course, I find all to hilarious, a branch of the government using their power for political reasons to find out if another branch of the government used their power for political reasons…

Oh My, The Irony.

Posted by: Rhinehold at March 21, 2007 6:01 PM
Comment #213066

KAP:

Dosen’t the congress have anything better to do than spend a whole lot of time and money trying to find out why 8 U.S.Attorneys were fired? The last administration fired over 100 U.S.Attorneys but nothing was done about that. Is it because the democrats have the do as I say not as I do mentality? I don’t claim Rep. or Dem. I vote for the person I think can do the best Job. Right now if a decent Ind. would run I’d vote for him or her. I think both major parties should grow up and quit trying to stab each other in the back.

When a new administration takes over, many changes like new federal prosecutors, take place. That is very common. However, the problem that you are having trouble with is this change didn’t happen between administrations; this change happened within an administration. These prosecutors were hired by this administration. It was Rove and Co. that ‘re-evaluated’ their progress and determined that these prosecutors, who received high marks during review time, were no longer Bush-friendly. And such got the ax.

Posted by: john trevisani at March 21, 2007 6:01 PM
Comment #213068

J. T.
For what ever reason they were terminated WHY THE BIG FUSS. If I hire someone I should have the right to fire them for whatever reason. The Democrats are just witch hunting now. They as in another post, said it’s time to heal the country. If this is healing I’d hate to see what they consider Sick.

Posted by: KAP at March 21, 2007 6:10 PM
Comment #213069

John,

They explained a few of them and it makes sense to me, that they refused to prosecute illegal immigration cases. At a time when that issue is important to have prosecutors go against the direction of their boss in their jobs would mean that they should be let go.

For example, I could be the greatest programmer in the world. I could write beautiful code that every other programmer would envy. However, if I continue to write progams that do not meed the requirements that my boss had given me, I don’t see how I could expect to keep my job.

There is a suggestion that the firings were done because one of the prosecutors was looking into corruption charges. However, this doesn’t seem much different than the Ed Meese prosecutor getting fired as well.

I’ve also heard that it’s unheard of for prosecutors to be fired in the middle of an administration. Actually, that is not true at all, most terms are considered to be four year terms, Clinton also fired and replaced judges after the 93 initial ones (that included the one investigating Ed Meese) and I don’t think anyone had much of a problem with them…

Of course, if we do find that there was some impropriety, especially a ‘quid for pro’ kickback, then by all means, let’s hang ‘em out to dry. But why not simply ask the administration officials that offered to talk behind closed doors with congress those questions and see how it goes before making a stink about it? Sure, you could ‘hit a home run’ and get Rove fired if he did do something and you think that the dems are smart enough to catch him in it, or, which is more likely, you could pull another debacle like what the dems did with Ollie North and end up with a big public ‘nothing’.

I’m very interested to see how this turns out, but as a political observer to me it seems like the dems just screwed the pooch on this one.

Posted by: Rhinehold at March 21, 2007 6:12 PM
Comment #213071

Rhinehold-

I’m not sure why congress should be operating from that assumption of guilt first.

Maybe because they, unlike apparently you, remember the history here.

There would have been nothing at ALL lost by interviewing first, not out in public

Respectfully, you are wrong here. Congress would have lost the ability to keep their “hand” hidden until the interviewees were under oath. Also, it would have allowed those with something to hide a better oportunity to find out what is and isn’t know and get their stories straight.

Instead, that option is now out the window, it’s become a force of wills and political battle between the Republicans and Deomcrats when it did not NEED to be.

Have you not been in this country for the last six years? Bush is the most obstinate person I have ever laid eyes upon. Of course this was going to be a political battle. It is regarding politically motivated firings … Duh.

Which means this is what the Democrats want.

I agree with you, the Dems do want to show Bush he can no longer ride roughshod over the Constitution, the Congress, the Judiciary, and the American people. He is NOT, contrary to some people’s belief, our dictator. He is our … gulp … president.

I was under the impression that they wanted to try to ‘heal’ the country.

Sometimes, to heal you must first remove the infection and squeeze out the pus.

Posted by: jrb at March 21, 2007 6:17 PM
Comment #213072
Sure, you could ‘hit a home run’ and get Rove fired if he did do something and you think that the dems are smart enough to catch him in it, or, which is more likely, you could pull another debacle like what the dems did with Ollie North and end up with a big public ‘nothing’.

The only thing they did wrong with Ollie is give him immunity without first knowing what he was going to say.

Posted by: jrb at March 21, 2007 6:21 PM
Comment #213073

jrb,

Tell me, what ‘hand’ do the dems have at this point? What would they be giving away that everyone doesn’t know already?

And, what crime do they think has been committed here?

Posted by: Rhinehold at March 21, 2007 6:23 PM
Comment #213076
The only thing they did wrong

The only thing? It was a pretty big ‘only thing’ don’t you think? Basically something that they should have thought of first?

Like, oh I don’t know, being antagonistic with people who you need information from and forcing them to plead the fifth when you could have talked to them beforehand and possibly have gotten the questions answered?

You’re view only works if you assume that something wrong has been done and we are trying to find out who did it and how far up it goes. The problem is, no one has established that anything wrong has been done. Shouldn’t that be the first part of the ‘investigation’?

Or do you just assume that everyone thinks like you do? Or that they should, if they are smart.

Posted by: Rhinehold at March 21, 2007 6:27 PM
Comment #213078

Rhinehold-

That is quite a rhetorical game you’re playing. Honestly, tell you what “hand” they have that everyone [read: you and I] doesn’t know? Obviously that’s not possible.

Yet, my point stands. In an investigation you don’t ask questions you don’t already know the answer to, and you don’t provide a list of questions to those you wish to interview before you ask under oath.

Posted by: jrb at March 21, 2007 6:32 PM
Comment #213079

Rhinehold:
i’m sure your sources are valid, it just helps to post them. But to understand your point; they’re great attorneys that aren’t doing what their boss is telling to do. Is that about it?

Well, if that were the case, then how can you explain the performance reviews that some of the prosecutors presented as evidence (remember they are attorneys) to support their claim. Their performance reviews were rated highly (link) and made no mention of this ‘performance problem’ that you speak of. In fact, it appears that you’re the only holding onto the reason that they were let go was for performance reasons; even Gonzales acknowledged that he was wrong to say that.

But if you read the first part my thread, this was about Bush’s impending court battle over his Executive privilege and Congress’ right of oversight.

Posted by: john trevisani at March 21, 2007 6:33 PM
Comment #213080

Rhinehold

I was under the impression that they wanted to try to ‘heal’ the country. Instead they avoid that option and instead create a pitched battle that could have been possibly avoided for what I can only assume, based on the rhetoric being used, are political reasons.

I think you are forgetting that for years the past congress held their own republican chaired behind doors investigations with regard to questionable practices. And we all know the result of those self investigative committees. A slap on the hand and a promise to not let it happen again. In essence they made themselves self policeing entities with a different set of rules than the rest of us. I as a voter of this country think such practices are disgusting and a slap in the face to the rest of us who are supposed to be law abiding citizens and have to suffer the consequences of those actions. Wouldn’t it be great if we could all personally determine the consequences of our actions.

There are what appear to be obvious ethics problems here. Not to mention a lot of conveiniently missing information. I am sorry but these people should not be allowed an easy back door to avoid the issues again. We have seen way too much of that in the past and we all know what sort of justice it brings. Quite simply if these people have nothing to hide then they should be willing to testify under oath just the same as would be expected of anyone suspected of a crime.

Posted by: ILdem at March 21, 2007 6:34 PM
Comment #213082
You’re view only works if you assume that something wrong has been done and we are trying to find out who did it and how far up it goes. The problem is, no one has established that anything wrong has been done. Shouldn’t that be the first part of the ‘investigation’?

Well, let’s see they are “losing” documents, “losing” e-mails, and refusing to testify under oath. Nah, no reason to assume something is off here.

Or do you just assume that everyone thinks like you do? Or that they should, if they are smart.

I don’t think I’m all that smart. I do know the brain is a wonderous entity and its complex operation is well beyond my comprehension. Thus, I wouldn’t expect those who are smart to think like me. However, in this instance, I do feel that through their actions the Administration has made themselves look guilty of something.

Posted by: jrb at March 21, 2007 6:43 PM
Comment #213084
The only thing? It was a pretty big ‘only thing’ don’t you think? Basically something that they should have thought of first?

Admittedly

Posted by: jrb at March 21, 2007 6:45 PM
Comment #213087
But to understand your point; they’re great attorneys that aren’t doing what their boss is telling to do. Is that about it?

That’s my understanding of their claim. Specifically a voter fraud case was not brought in New Mexico for attorney Iglesias and in California the lack of prosecuting illegal immigration cases by attorney Lam.

If that is why they were fired, because they weren’t doing specific things that the administration wanted them to do, then I’m not sure what the fuss is about.

It may be that they were acting harshly or without the proper informaiton or just plain stupidly. But that isn’t illegal last time I looked, they didn’t cross any bounds that I’m aware of and they had the power to do it without giving cause.

So again, I don’t see the issue.

However, if someone could provide me with information that suggests that the 8 firings were to cover up the 1 that is being suggested was done because of a corruption charge, I would appreciate it because then I would have more information to work with. But it is more likely that someone wanted them fired because they weren’t going after the high profile cases someone in the administration wanted them going after and subsequently they were fired.

Which may be rude and short-sighted. But not illegal, to my knowledge. And I’m not seeing how it warrants an out of the box, being hauled to testify under oath to congress, high profile investigation. But perhaps I’m just missing something.

Posted by: Rhinehold at March 21, 2007 6:53 PM
Comment #213089
Well, let’s see they are “losing” documents, “losing” e-mails, and refusing to testify under oath. Nah, no reason to assume something is off here.Well, let’s see they are “losing” documents, “losing” e-mails, and refusing to testify under oath. Nah, no reason to assume something is off here.

Well, losing documents and emails, think about it, if you were asked to produce emails from over a year ago is it possible you might not find all of them, some may have been deleted, etc?

As for lost documents and them being missing being an assumption of guilt, do you really want me to bring up Hillary at this point?

And, again, I would fight tooth and nail to be hauled to congress and testify under oath for anything. Not that I have anything to hide, but it’s just plain rude, insulting and when done after being offered to testify quietly outside of the public microscope that is going to create it would cause me to just clam up because I would think that the other side was fishing for something and I would not be one to make a misstatement and give reason to think I was hiding anything further.

Seriously, you’re going to go with the ‘You shouldn’t fear testifying under oath if you aren’t hiding anything’ argument? You don’t see how similar that is to ‘you shouldn’t be afraid of us watching you if you have nothing to hide’ argument? That the way we should treat each other is with a little more class than that…

Posted by: Rhinehold at March 21, 2007 7:00 PM
Comment #213091

Rhinehold:
Again, your assertions would be much better served with some supporting documentation.

But again, how do you dispute the performance reviews?

It may be that they were acting harshly or without the proper informaiton or just plain stupidly
Where did this come from? i appreciate you answering your own questions, but really those hypothetical questions are just that, hypothetical.
However, if someone could provide me with information that suggests that the 8 firings were to cover up the 1 that is being suggested was done because of a corruption charge, I would appreciate it
Again… you’re asking someone to provide evidence of your own theory. Interesting tactic. But i appreciate you answering it anyway. Thanks.

But your questions and the Democratic (along with the Republican) Congresspersons question may be answered when those trusted advisors appear before Congress under oath.

Posted by: john trevisani at March 21, 2007 7:13 PM
Comment #213092

John,

What supporting documentation are you looking for here?

My question to you. Why are we investigating this for? What is the ultimate crime that someone may be guilty of that the need to ‘haul someone up under oath’ are we investigating?

Posted by: Rhinehold at March 21, 2007 7:18 PM
Comment #213093
Seriously, you’re going to go with the ‘You shouldn’t fear testifying under oath if you aren’t hiding anything’ argument? You don’t see how similar that is to ‘you shouldn’t be afraid of us watching you if you have nothing to hide’ argument? That the way we should treat each other is with a little more class than that…

THE difference that I would note is that, unlike Mr. unaware Joe Citizen, these people EXPECT to be listened to [They just don’t want to have to tell the truth]. No one is asking them to consent to being spied upon.

And, when I typed “losing,” I was using the term VERY loosely.

Anyhow, I have to go … I’ll respond more later.

Posted by: jrb at March 21, 2007 7:20 PM
Comment #213095

jrb,

They don’t have to consent to answer questions under oath either. We have an amendment about that…

You seem to be ignoring the difference between telling a group of congressment behind close doors why you fired someone and the discussions that went on about it candidly -with- hundreds of reporters hanging on your every word, a transcript created, and you made to look like a criminal by testifying in front of congress under oath.

Posted by: Rhinehold at March 21, 2007 7:24 PM
Comment #213096

This is just a big waste of time. Like I said before congress has more important things to do. Social Security, border security, health care, and many other things this country needs, but instead they worry about the firing of 8 U.S. Attorneys.

Posted by: KAP at March 21, 2007 7:25 PM
Comment #213104

Rhinehold:

It is called congressional oversight, and it doesn’t indicate they think a crime has been committed. It is normal and right that anyone who testifies before this committee testifies under oath. The oversight is perhaps to see if there needs to be a new statute or law addressing this situation. It is called an investigation, not necessarily to prove a crime, but to see if anything else needs to be done.

My understanding is that the prosecutors that are appointed at the beginning of an administration are subject to congressional approval. If that’s the case then they are trying to “back-door” these replacements without that. Congress wants to know why, and as an American citizen do to. Unless it involves state secrets of some kind, it should be public and under oath.

Posted by: womanmarine at March 21, 2007 7:59 PM
Comment #213110

This is kind of funny….
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/toby-barlow/doctors-report-rove-cann_b_43987.html

Posted by: Sandra Davidson at March 21, 2007 8:18 PM
Comment #213116

If the Prosecutors were fired because they were working on cases of corrupt republicans in lieu of being fired for performance issues then congressional oversight is mandated. To hinder the ongoing investigations is a criminal act, at least it is if you or I would do it. The only way to get to the bottom of this issue is to subpeona those that can shine a light on the reasons for the firings and allow them to testify before Congress. This crap about informal discussions behind closed doors is so “aristocracy” as to be sickening. The administration needs this Congress to reign them in for the good of the Country.

The righties will say we have things much more important to deal with, yet their actions speak louder as they have spent millions and wasted years to get Clinton for much less. What’s the difference now repubs?

Posted by: j2t2 at March 21, 2007 9:09 PM
Comment #213117

Is it possible to impeach an entire government?

Posted by: chuck at March 21, 2007 9:09 PM
Comment #213121

Make it simple, ask the fired attorneys why they got fired, under oath.

Posted by: KAP at March 21, 2007 9:58 PM
Comment #213122
The righties will say we have things much more important to deal with, yet their actions speak louder as they have spent millions and wasted years to get Clinton for much less. What’s the difference now repubs?

So, you’re admitting that the Democrats are no better than the Republicans?

Posted by: Rhinehold at March 21, 2007 10:02 PM
Comment #213123

BTW, if the Dems prove me wrong here, great. I just don’t have that much confidence that a) anything untoward was done here and b) that the Democrats are repeating the same kinds of errors they made with North/Reagan before. They seem much more concerned about the show than the truth, to me at least.

Posted by: Rhinehold at March 21, 2007 10:10 PM
Comment #213130

Rhinehold:
“My question to you. Why are we investigating this for? What is the ultimate crime that someone may be guilty of that the need to ‘haul someone up under oath’ are we investigating?”

Why do you always act like you simply can’t understand our outrage at the abuse of power Bushco has continually demonstrated for freaking years on end now? I don’t buy your befuddled act on this issue for one minute, Rhinehold. Just like I haven’t on every other issue where their abuse of power was glaring, obvious, and disgustingly unprecedented in U.S. history, and where you’ve tried to claim that people on the left were only overreacting, again.
But to answer your question: Why? Because the administration has once more overstepped their authority and has attempted to control and thwart the judicial branch rather than allow them act independently as they were meant to in our government. In much the same way that the administration has effectively controlled and thwarted the legislative branch for years, rather than allow them to do their job independently as they were meant to do.
What needs to be investigated is no less than whether America is still a country where the executive branch must occasionally deal with having checks and balances placed upon their authortity.

Rhinehold:
“However, if someone could provide me with information that suggests that the 8 firings were to cover up the 1 that is being suggested was done because of a corruption charge, I would appreciate it because then I would have more information to work with. But it is more likely that someone wanted them fired because they weren’t going after the high profile cases someone in the administration wanted them going after and subsequently they were fired.”

j2t2:
“If the Prosecutors were fired because they were working on cases of corrupt republicans in lieu of being fired for performance issues then congressional oversight is mandated.”


The answer to both of the above comments is that these US Attorneys were indeed doing a very good job, and that is why them being fired for “performance reasons” is pure horseshit. And because they have clearly lied about the real reason these hand-picked Bush-appointed US Attorneys were fired, that is the reason why this demands a Congressional investigation.

Because as it says here in an article that appeared in my local paper today, these
Fired U.S. Attorneys Ranked Above Peers

From the article:

Six of the eight U.S. attorneys fired by the Justice Department ranked in the top third among their peers for the number of prosecutions filed last year, according to an analysis of federal records.

In addition, five of the eight were among the government’s top performers in winning convictions.

The analysis undercuts Justice Department claims that the prosecutors were dismissed because of lackluster job performance. Democrats contend the firings were politically motivated, and calls are increasing for the resignation or ouster of Attorney General Alberto Gonzales.

Immigration cases — a top Bush administration priority, especially in states along the porous Southwest border — helped boost the total number of prosecutions for U.S. attorneys in Arizona, Nevada, New Mexico, San Diego, San Francisco and Seattle.

Posted by: Adrienne at March 21, 2007 11:02 PM
Comment #213136

Rhinehold, Im saying you have to fight fire with fire. At least the dems are going after possible corruption as opposed to a blowjob. I will applaud them should they actually walk the walk and enjoin W and his ilk in the court battle to decide if we the people have an imperial presidency or not.

Posted by: j2t2 at March 21, 2007 11:44 PM
Comment #213140

What fascinates me is how quickly either side—Republican or Democrat—will throw out their previous positions on the proper separation of powers when some transient occasion seems to offer their side an opportunity for a bit of political theater.

There is no “crime” here. The only potential question is Gonzalez’s claim that the firings were for “performance” instead of the routine political matters that go with being political appointees.

When it’s just a “question,” I can’t believe that Democrats, who will someday have a president in office themselves, are really going to push too hard to set a precedent where the president’s close advisors can be subpoened, put under oath, and interrogated about any and all matters under the sun in a politically motivated fishing expedition. Especially when it includes poeple who don’t even work for the department under scrutiny—Justice in this case.

If this actually happens, then ANYBODY who works for any President in the future can get the same treatment. Not for proven wrong-doing, or even potential wrong-doing, but just because the other side wants the chance to put the other side on permanent trial. It’s BS.

Posted by: Loyal Opposition at March 22, 2007 12:09 AM
Comment #213148

Rhinehold:

The analogy of this scandal to the illegal wiretapping issue is silly. People have an expectation of privacy in their own communications; if there were a Congressional body charged with the oversight of your professional behavior, you cannot reasonably have a similar expectation.

Moreover, there is no right to privacy from a subpoena.

Loyal Opp:

The precedent was already set during the Clinton administration, when his advisors were called to testify on various matters, including Whitewater.

As for there not being a crime, given the broad language of the obstruction of justice statute, there is at least a prima facie case for obstruction here.

No time to elaborate. Should be working.

Posted by: Yossarian at March 22, 2007 12:37 AM
Comment #213151

Yossarian, how is there a prima facie or any other kind of case for potential “obstruction” here when there is ABSOLUTELY NO legal investigation of any kind underway?

Obstruction of what?????

This is a political disagreement, and not a legal case by any stretch of the imagination. If one branch of government can haul the other into hearings on the basis of political disagreements alone, we’re going down a very dangerous road indeed.

What’s to stop Bush, if this how things are to be conducted, from ordering the Justice Department to investigate “ties between Al Qaida and the Democratic Party” just for the sheer fun and political theater of it? Make the Democrats testify, one by one, under oath, that they don’t take their orders from Osama. Nothing would come of it, and it would be highly inappropriate, but why the hell not if there’s no threshold of legality, evidence, or necessity for an ongoing legal case before subjecting people to legal scrutiny simply to humiliate them for political theater? It staggers the imagination to think of how such a precedent could be abused.

Posted by: Loyal Opposition at March 22, 2007 1:04 AM
Comment #213152

“This is a political disagreement, and not a legal case by any stretch of the imagination.”

Gonzales lied to Congress, which happens to be illegal.

Posted by: Adrienne at March 22, 2007 1:12 AM
Comment #213154

Adrienne,

If that is the case, why the need for a subpoena?

Posted by: Rhinehold at March 22, 2007 1:38 AM
Comment #213155

LO:

You’re assuming there’s no evidentiary basis for this investigation, when there is. As Adrienne pointed out, lying to Congress is a crime. And firing a federal prosecutor in order to impede or prevent their investigation into alleged wrongdoings by Congressmen is a crime.
If there is some evidentiary basis for these allegations, and there is, it’s to be investigated, as such is the mandate of oversight committees.

On the other hand, the action you’re proposing of just leveling an accusation with no evidentiary basis and proceeding to issue subpoenas is ridiculous, and it’s simply not what is happening here.

Posted by: Yossarian at March 22, 2007 1:39 AM
Comment #213157

Let me just follow up on my last post.
Here is the lie that Gonzales made under oath during his January 18, 2006 testimony before the Senate Judiciary Committee:

Gonzales: “I would never, ever make a change in a United States attorney position for political reasons or if it would, in any way, jeopardize an ongoing serious investigation. I just would not do it.”

This is exactly why the prosecutor firings are a genuine scandal. Not only does there seem to be clear evidence in the e-mails that these firings were unprecedented and purely politically-motivated, but Gonzales lied about it under oath. On top of that lie, the White House keeps trying to change it’s story, because when the scandal first broke, they tried to claim it was only a mismanagement mistake, then they blamed the firings on WH counsel Harriet Miers. Thus, we have a lie, on top of another lie — for ass covering reasons. Contrary to what they have said, and what they are still saying, the revelations in the e-mails have now shown us that these eight US attorneys were very selectively fired for not sufficiently politicizing their offices and/or for not succumbing to “Bushie-loyalty” pressure to do so. And on top of that, they were supposedly fired for “performance-related” reasons — despite the fact that every one of them received exemplary performance evaluations. So we have a lie, on top of a lie, on top of a lie.
In other words, Standard Bushco Operating Procedure.

Posted by: Adrienne at March 22, 2007 1:47 AM
Comment #213158

Adrienne and Yossarian:

In that case, accuse Gonzales of a crime, start proceedings, and then let loose with subpoenas which meet established legal thresholds of materiality in an ongoing case that can be subjected to legal scrutiny and review.

Anybody can say at any time, “Well, shucks, we think there might be crime buried here somewhere, and gosh, if there was an investigation of it, then jee-wiz, we’d want sworn testimony from all sorts of our political opponents, including X, Y and Z.”

If anybody thinks they want to pursue such a line, then let’s get on with it. Go for it, and let’s see what happens.

In the meantime, don’t put the cart before the horse unless you’re willing to see your own side stampeded by the same standard of conjecture and speculation instead of reviewable process when the time comes. As it inevitably will.

Posted by: Loyal Opposition at March 22, 2007 1:54 AM
Comment #213159

Rhinehold:
“Adrienne,

If that is the case, why the need for a subpoena?”

Isn’t it obvious? To make them repeat their lies — under oath.

Posted by: Adrienne at March 22, 2007 2:04 AM
Comment #213160

LO:

“Anybody can say at any time, ‘Well, shucks, we think there might be crime buried here somewhere…’”

Actually, no, they can’t. Only those with an investigatory mandate and the subpoena power can explore alleged wrongdoing. Which is precisely what Congress has announced its intention to do.

It sounds like you have beef with the entire notion of Congressional oversight. I know the idea that Congress has some functioning roles as a check upon the Executive is shocking news after six years of unchallenged rule-by-fiat from the Bush Imperium, but this is simply how it works.

As it stands now, this is simply an investigation, and Congress is merely seeking assurances, via oath-bound testimony, that they’re not being lied to. There’s really nothing that shocking about that, except the fact that Congress finally, after 6 years of rubber stamping and sitting idly by, is showing some balls and demanding that the Executive branch explain some of its shady dealings.

Plus, you’re still disingenuously asserting that these allegations are coming out of the clear blue sky. These subpoenas, which haven’t even been formally issued yet, are coming after Congress had received evidence that the USAs had been fired under highly suspect circumstances, and then that Gonzales had misrepresented the reasons for the firings.

Posted by: Yossarian at March 22, 2007 2:11 AM
Comment #213168

Rhinehold,

No, it isn’t. No one should be treated with hostility first before showing that they need to be treated that way.

I think Gonzales lies to Congress opened that door.

Sure it’s politics, but the Dems found a wedge here. Bush cannot seriously claim to not be playing politics here. There is a vast difference between spying and testimony, whether you are of a mind to see it or not.

Posted by: gergle at March 22, 2007 6:56 AM
Comment #213171

Gergle (et al):

There is a vast difference between spying and testimony, whether you are of a mind to see it or not.

Keep in mind that the original post is not about the comparison between spying on Americans an firing federal prosecutors. No, the original post is about Bush’s presumption that his Executive privilege supersedes Congress’ right of oversight.

What happens in these discussions is that someone who cannot defend the actual post, will latch onto an analogy in hopes to deflect the conversation away from the original post. In this case, Someone latched onto an analogy that that someone created. It was that someone that used this deflection tactic because someone said “if you have nothing to hide..”.

Facts are facts. Bush insinuated to fight, in court, the upcoming subpoenas on the Executive privilege. i’ve pointed out that there were MANY, MANY, MANY times that an advisor to the President gave sworn testimony.

Posted by: john trevisani at March 22, 2007 7:53 AM
Comment #213180

John,

It has nothing to do with deflection to point out a silly statement. The ‘why don’t they want to go under oath if they aren’t hiding anything’ arguement is bunk and I am not about to let it slide for fear of being accused of ‘deflecting’ whatever injustice you claim has occurred. If someone said “The Sky is Green” I would most likely point out that incorrect statement as well, no matter the discussion at hand.

Posted by: Rhinehold at March 22, 2007 8:38 AM
Comment #213184

Rhinehold:
Are we back on topic now? Good.

whatever injustice you claim has occurred.
Now i went back to my original post and my subsequent follow-ups and found no claim of injustice. Can you elaborate on this statement?

The original post addresses Bush’s claim of Executive Privilege with regards to his advisors. If you recall, he claimed that he has Executive privilege to have his advisors not appear under oath before Congress. Bush claimed that he would fight this in Court. Bush claimed that forcing his advisors to testify before Congress would create a precedent.

i pointed out that Congress, historically, many advisory staff have testified before Congress.

Posted by: john trevisani at March 22, 2007 9:10 AM
Comment #213185

I like how this President told the Dems that they could get the e-mails, files and (even) talk to his staff; yet, there will be no subpoenas! That just pi$$ed off the MSM; they’ve been trying to likinening this to “Watergate”. Whatever! Just proves that they are (yet again) in the tank for the left and they are not covering the story accurately or fairly.


Posted by: rahdigly at March 22, 2007 9:19 AM
Comment #213186

The Republicans don’t have a leg to stand on here. They impeached Clinton for misleading Congress. But they don’t think that a Republican AG doing the same thing even merits a serious investigation with people under oath. What’s sauce for the goose…

Is the another Watergate? Probably not. But the Republicans will get a chance to show whether they can live by anything like the standards they set for the Clinton administration. So far, they have refused to.

Posted by: Woody Mena at March 22, 2007 9:27 AM
Comment #213195

Woody,

And the Democrats now get to show that they will use their power in the exact same way they complained the Republicans did. As I said, more of the same.

Posted by: Rhinehold at March 22, 2007 10:32 AM
Comment #213201

So, John, you want to get back to the linked article? Here are the facts…

In upholding a judicial subpoena in United States v. Nixon, the Supreme Court found a constitutional basis for the doctrine of executive privilege, rejected the President’s contention that the privilege was absolute, and balanced the President’s need for confidentiality and the judiciary’s need for the materials in a criminal proceeding.
Some guidance in this regard was offered by Chief Justice William Rehnquist, when he was Assistant Attorney General in the Nixon Administration. Rehnquist distinguished between “those few executive branch witnesses whose sole responsibility is that of advising the President,” who “should not be required to appear [before Congress] at all, since all of their official responsibilities would be subject to a claim of privilege,” and “the executive branch witness … whose responsibilities include the administration of departments or agencies established by Congress, and from whom Congress may quite properly require extensive testimony,” subject to “appropriate” claims of privilege. Following a review of Rehnquist’s statement, precedents and practice concerning congressional access to executive branch information (particularly, the testimony of presidential advisers), and constitutional issues, it is possible to suggest some key legal factors that together may determine whether a congressional request for the testimony of one who advises the President will be honored. (1) In the view of the executive, the few individuals whose sole duty is to advise the President should never be required to testify because all of their duties are protected by executive privilege. (2) The executive has conceded that an official who has operational functions in a department or agency established by law may be required to testify, although at times such an official may invoke executive privilege. (3) Congress may increase its leverage if the position of the potential witness is subject to Senate confirmation.

So basically, the ANY President has the ability to claim privilege and the determination would then be sent to the courts to decide the vailidity based upon previous precedent, need, etc.

The President vowed that if subpoenas came he would claim privilege and let the courts decide, but offered to give the congress everything they needed without the subpoenas and publicity that would entail in order to expidite things. Congress refused, deciding they wanted the show rather than the ability to ask the questions and now are going to be faced with a legal battle in courts that they may very well lose.

I may be wrong, but it seems to me to have been a bad decision. Perhaps it will work out for the Democrats in the long run, I don’t know, but it doesn’t seem to look good to me, since the Executive Branch was at least trying to find a way to give the Senate what they needed (not necessarily wanted) while the Senate doesn’t appear to be flexible on this one at all. I am going to be interested to see how public perception turns on this one…

Posted by: Rhinehold at March 22, 2007 11:17 AM
Comment #213205

Rhinehold:
Glad that you’re reading the cited source.

No one is saying that Presidents aren’t allowed to invoke Executive privilege; it’s been used many times throughout its history. But with this particular case (not the selection that you cut and pasted), Bush cannot invoke EP. The fact that Rove was (apparently) poking his nose into the Justice Department’s business (when Rove is just the Political Advisor to the President (that’s his title)) and it had nothing to do with National Security, means that he’s fair game for questioning.

Just as Nixon wanted to use it and Clinton wanted to use it, the Supreme Court decided against EP.

The President vowed that if subpoenas came he would claim privilege and let the courts decide, but offered to give the congress everything they needed without the subpoenas and publicity that would entail in order to expidite things.
Come on Rhinehold; you’re smarter than that. You can’t possibly believe that this tactic by the President is an ‘awe-shucks’ attempt at being up-and-up. i’m sure there are plenty of felons in the country that would love to talk to the FBI, ummmm, off the record without a transcript. It’s just not plausible.

But i since you’re a true believer; why should i believe this administration now?

Posted by: john trevisani at March 22, 2007 12:11 PM
Comment #213207

Congress has the right to suboena if it is investigating potential criminal activities (as in Nixon or Clinton cases).

In this case, no criminal activity is possible. U.S. attorneys are “political appointees,” and can be replaced for political reasons, good or bad.

It really does not matter if you think this was a good or a bad move. This is a POLITICAL issue. Dems are trying to make it into a legal case.

Do you know why we have politics? It is to decide issues where the law does not apply. Otherwise we have law. When the Dems try to criminalize politics, they hurt the political system and damage our democracy.

Posted by: Jack at March 22, 2007 12:35 PM
Comment #213209

Jack:
An amendment of US Code was put into the 2006 revision of the PATRIOT Act that gave the Attorney General the power without Senate approval, to appoint interim US Attorneys.

On March 20, 2007, the Senate voted to overturn this provision.

Posted by: john trevisani at March 22, 2007 12:46 PM
Comment #213210

Jack,

Both Congress and the President have various powers. It seems that you want to give the President latitude to use his, but when Congress does the same then they’re playing “criminalizing politics”.

Posted by: Woody Mena at March 22, 2007 12:55 PM
Comment #213220
In this case, no criminal activity is possible.

Gonzales is accused of lying to Congress. I believe that is a crime, whether or not you are under oath.

Posted by: Woody Mena at March 22, 2007 1:52 PM
Comment #213222

Thank you John, for getting back to the question I had asked earlier. There are a number of sites that do confirm that National security is the predominant subject which will allow “EP” to be invoked.

http://www.landmarkcases.org/nixon/privilege.html

Posted by: Sandra Davidson at March 22, 2007 2:01 PM
Comment #213230

Actually, that is not what it says at all, Sandra. From your link:

In the opinion, the Supreme Court conceded that there is indeed a privilege for “confidential executive deliberations” about matters of policy having nothing to do with national security. This privilege is constitutionally based, deriving form the separation of powers. However, the Court held that this privilege is not absolute but can be overcome if a judge concludes that there is a compelling governmental interest in getting access to the otherwise privileged conversations

Which means if the Congress feels compelled to override the Executive Priviledge it will have to go before a judge.

Which begs the question, why go through that hassle, especially when it is very possible you will lose and, if you win, you are degrading the value of Executive Priviledge when the Dems are back in control of the White House some day, especially when the president has already agreed to have those individuals talk to the congress without the show and as has been asserted before it is still a crime to lie to congress, subpoena or no…

I really am just trying to make sure I understand the motivation of the Democrats here, is it to get to the information, to try to put on a show for your constituents, or to try and increase/reassert the power they do hold onto the Executive branch?

I think most americans are ok with option 1, but while 2 and 3 are most likely going to be a hit for the progressives it will most likely backfire for the middle of the road voter, and you take the chance of not getting at whatever you are after if the judge agrees that EP can be invoked.

Or… Is it that the Dems don’t feel that there is anything really there but want to create the appearance of hiding something?

I can’t speak for the Republicans here, I’m not sure what the issue is with the fired prosecutors and I would like to find out, but I’m not confident at all in this way of going about it actually doing that. We’ll just have to let their hand play out I suppose…

Posted by: Rhinehold at March 22, 2007 2:38 PM
Comment #213234

Rhinehold-

You seem to be ignoring the difference between telling a group of congressment behind close doors why you fired someone and the discussions that went on about it candidly -with- hundreds of reporters hanging on your every word, a transcript created, and you made to look like a criminal by testifying in front of congress under oath.

I was not ignoring that at all. In fact that was my whole point when I wrote:

“Yet, my point stands. In an investigation you don’t ask questions you don’t already know the answer to, and you don’t provide a list of questions to those you wish to interview before you ask under oath.”

Also, no one looks like a criminal *simply* for testifying in front of Congress under oath. They can’t be MADE to look like anything. They may be exposed as criminals. What do you have against that?

Additionally, you said:

So, you’re admitting that the Democrats are no better than the Republicans?
and
BTW, if the Dems prove me wrong here, great.

For someone who claims to be so “independent” all the time you sure do look at everything as a you vs. Dems. argument. Has it even occurred to you that some of us who are taking the opposite position to you may not even be Dems. at all? Your rhetoric has, again, shown you to be more partisan than you’ll admit.

since the Executive Branch was at least trying to find a way to give the Senate what they needed

Do you really believe the carp you typed here? While we usually disagree, I know you are intelligent. You know very well it is a political game and Bush in NO way was trying to help any investigation into wrongdoing that might in any way lead back to anyone in his Admin. What you wrote there is pure nonsense and you KNOW it! Sure, Bush is all of a sudden the most altruistic Pres. we have ever had, … Right.


Posted by: jrb at March 22, 2007 3:06 PM
Comment #213237
Also, no one looks like a criminal *simply* for testifying in front of Congress under oath. They can’t be MADE to look like anything. They may be exposed as criminals. What do you have against that?

Riiiight.

For someone who claims to be so “independent” all the time you sure do look at everything as a you vs. Dems. argument. Has it even occurred to you that some of us who are taking the opposite position to you may not even be Dems. at all? Your rhetoric has, again, shown you to be more partisan than you’ll admit.

Wow. I am not talking about the people who are disagreeing with me, I’m talking about the democratic leadership in control of congress. That is why I say ‘Democrats’. I also say ‘Republicans’ when I’m talking about the republicans in office. I’ve never implied anyone was a democrat without knowing if they are or not…

But what a stretch to try to ‘prove’ that I’m a partisan.

Of course, I fully admit that as a former Democrat I have a lot of problems with the Progressive movement that has made the current democratic party incapable of standing up for individual rights as they once did as the very nature of the philosophy tramples it, but that ire is reserved for those who are identified as progressives, not democrats.

But keep trying, I guess, to ‘prove me out as a closet republican’ or something. Because we all know there are only two sides in politics, right?

Do you really believe the carp you typed here?

Yes, most often I do…

While we usually disagree, I know you are intelligent. You know very well it is a political game and Bush in NO way was trying to help any investigation into wrongdoing that might in any way lead back to anyone in his Admin. What you wrote there is pure nonsense and you KNOW it! Sure, Bush is all of a sudden the most altruistic Pres. we have ever had, … Right.

I never said any such thing. Only that he was willing to make them available in return for not creating the public spectacle that it has now become. I never once suggested it was because he was altruistic or even because he wanted to help get to the bottom of it. But, knowing that the threat is out there he was willing to meet the congress halfway, giving them what they needed in exchange for a little political cover, hoping that the perception would be different since he doesn’t feel he did anything wrong.

Now, what we learned is that is not what the Dems were after, they wanted the show. So now they get it, how it turns out for them (and to make you feel better, when I say Dems and them here I mean the Democratic Leadership of Congress) will play out over the next few months. I just don’t think it’s the ‘slam dunk’ that a lot of people seem to.

Posted by: Rhinehold at March 22, 2007 3:24 PM
Comment #213247

Rhinehold-

Also, no one looks like a criminal *simply* for testifying in front of Congress under oath. They can’t be MADE to look like anything. They may be exposed as criminals. What do you have against that?
Riiiight.

Soooo, when Greenspan testified in front of Congress he always looked like a criminal? When Plame testified she looked like a criminal? When Curt Schilling testified in front of Congress he looked like a criminal? How about Iraq vets do they now look like criminals for testifying? How about Gore?

But what a stretch to try to ‘prove’ that I’m a partisan.

I am not trying to prove anything of the sort. I simply wanted to point out to you that your rhetoric makes you seem that way.

Of course, I fully admit that as a former Democrat I have a lot of problems with the Progressive movement that has made the current democratic party incapable of standing up for individual rights as they once did as the very nature of the philosophy tramples it, but that ire is reserved for those who are identified as progressives, not democrats.

What????? Are you saying that somehow the Dem’s are a spoiled party and it is because of those who identify themselves as “progressives?”

Dems. call themselves progressives because Conservatives made them believe “liberal” was a pejorative term.

But keep trying, I guess, to ‘prove me out as a closet republican’ or something. Because we all know there are only two sides in politics, right?

Never tried. Just thought you might want some constructive feedback. But, you are awfully sensitive about it.

And, BTW, your condescending style is less than appreciated. Since I just got done suggesting to you that there may be more than simply R and D viewpoints being expressed to you, you couldn’t possibly be being intellectually honest with your last “question” there. Once again, your sardonic wit has exposed you.

Wow. I am not talking about the people who are disagreeing with me, I’m talking about the democratic leadership in control of congress. That is why I say ‘Democrats’. I also say ‘Republicans’ when I’m talking about the republicans in office. I’ve never implied anyone was a democrat without knowing if they are or not…

You typed:

As for the ‘testify if you have nothing to hide’, I’ve heard similar arguments by the right saying you shouldn’t care about being spied upon if you have nothing to hide. It was wrong then and it’s wrong now. So much for the democrats being any better than the republicans. :/

Since I had made the “testify if you have nothing to hide” argument to you just prior to your response, I think you might be able to see how I could have read it that way. If it truly was unintentional then, so be it.

Now, what we learned is that is not what the Dems were after, they wanted the show.

I don’t think the “show,” as you like to put it, is all they wanted. They want this to be on the record. They don’t want, after the dust settles, if there is evidence of prosecutable wrongdoing for anyone to avoid taking responsibility or suggesting they didn’t say what they actually said. [Because we all know they have a habit of saying things then pretending they never said them—i.e. they never said: mission accomplished, stay the course, Iraq attacked us on 9/11, no one could have thought the towers would be attacked by planes, etc …]

Posted by: jrb at March 22, 2007 4:10 PM
Comment #213252

Rhinehold, I’m sure there are many others who would agree there is

compelling governmental interest in getting access to the otherwise privileged conversations
…times 8…to justify that if necessary.

Posted by: Sandra Davidson at March 22, 2007 4:27 PM
Comment #213254

It IS illegal to fire an attorney for refusing to pursue a case for political reasons, or for not pursuing a case for political reasons. So those that keep claiming, “firing them is no crime, discretion of the president” might not be correct.

They might also be right and there is no worngdoing nor laws broken. I guess we won’t know unless those involved, who already lied about it, testify under oath. We know they lied when not under oath, hence the need for the sworn testimony.

And Rhinehold, the claim that “nothing to hide” is the same in this case as being illegally spied upon is horse puckey. One, illegally spying is…illegal. Asking someone to give sworn testimony, in a case in which their was at minimum an abuse of presidential power, and possibly criminal actions…not illegal. One violates the Constitution, one helps defend it. Get the difference.

Posted by: Boomer at March 22, 2007 4:52 PM
Comment #213264

And again..
http://afj.org/executiveprivilege.pdf

Rhinehold, are all these wrong?? It’s clear that you and many more on the right are just not willing to accept the fact that the house needs to be cleaned !!!
What I will concede is that there is the real possibility that even under oath, these people can, and will, continue to LIE. It has become a way of life for so many of them.

Posted by: Sandra Davidson at March 22, 2007 6:06 PM
Comment #213269

Once again Rhinehold continues to claim he is non-partisan and independent, yet every time he posts, he sounds exactly like a “Loyal Bushie.” Wait, make that: a “Loyal Bushie” who becomes offended whenever anyone can’t go along with his spin regarding Bushco’s unlimited executive authority to be as lawless and dishonest as they choose to be.

Kind of reminds me of Tony Snow, who btw just came out and admitted what he really believes:
Congress Has No “Oversight Responsibility over the White House”
I guess in Bushworld everyone is supposed to buy that.

Anyway, as usual, Josh Marshall does a good job of summing up this entire issue over at his Talking Points Memo blog:

Back up a bit from the sparks flying over executive privilege and congressional testimony and you realize that these are textbook cases of the party in power interfering or obstructing the administration of justice for narrowly partisan purposes. It’s a direct attack on the rule of law.

This much is already clear in the record. And we’re now having a big public debate about the politics for each side if the president tries to obstruct the investigation and keep the truth from coming out. The contours and scope of executive privilege is one issue, and certainly an important one. But in this case it is being used as no more than a shield to keep the full extent of the president’s perversion of the rule of law from becoming known.

It’s yet another example of how far this White House has gone in normalizing behavior that we’ve been raised to associate with third-world countries where democracy has never successfully taken root and the rule of law is unknown. At most points in our history the idea that an Attorney General could stay in office after having overseen such an effort would be unthinkable. The most telling part of this episode is that they’re not even really denying the wrongdoing. They’re ignoring the point or at least pleading ‘no contest’ and saying it’s okay.

Lefties might want to read that whole entry — it’s a really good one.

Oh, and when it comes to the humorous way of summing up this issue, no one does it better than the Daily Show:
“White House Is Adamant That Their Advisors…Retain The Right To Lie”

Posted by: Adrienne at March 22, 2007 6:58 PM
Comment #213272

Leahy tells us why subpoenas are necessary.

Posted by: Adrienne at March 22, 2007 7:37 PM
Comment #213293
Once again Rhinehold continues to claim he is non-partisan and independent,

Actually, I claim to be a Libertarian. It usually helps when you get the facts straight if you are about to attack someone personally.

yet every time he posts, he sounds exactly like a “Loyal Bushie.”

Hmm, was that when I posted in the past that:

  • I think that the administration has screwed up the war in Iraq.
  • I am against the use of torture, spying and many of the Patriot Act extensions of the Rico statues, which I was against as well.
  • I against the use of organized religion into politics
  • I am against the insane prohibition laws that are in place in this country
  • I am against the rampant spending that the Republican administration perpetuated onto our country, moreso than the Democrats because they pretended to be against that sort of thing
  • I was glad that Libby was found guilty of perjury
  • … I could go on but…
  • Yeah, that makes me a “bushie”! In fact, it appears that I get the label because I don’t unquestioningly support the Democratic agenda and in fact think that they are being more moronic than the Republicans in some areas. But it’s ok, I get labelled a liberal when I post in the Republican column so I guess it balances out.

    My issue with the current Democratic Leadership is this:

  • No listing of the law that is suppose to have been broken by the firings, yet we are told they are illegal.
  • The Democrats could have gotten what they said they wanted by taking the President up on his compromise, something that for 6 years they said that they wanted, and instead went for the gold ring of subpoenas
  • The Democrats are taking a chance of losing any chance to question the officials now if a judge determines that Executive Priviledge is used properly in this instance
  • They could end up losing their support with the voters by being the ones appearing to be unyielding and playing politics
  • But, no big deal I suppose, the leadership has spoken and this is the path they have chosen. I hope it works out for them but in my view I don’t think it looks very good. Of course, that’s why I’m not in the leadership of the Democratic party (that and I am diametrically opposed to the progressive agenda).

    Posted by: Rhinehold at March 22, 2007 11:44 PM
    Comment #213296

    jrb,

    What????? Are you saying that somehow the Dem’s are a spoiled party and it is because of those who identify themselves as “progressives?”

    I am saying that the Dems are a party that supports the violation of individual rights for the progressive agenda of progressive rights. I am opposed to this thinking.

    Dems. call themselves progressives because Conservatives made them believe “liberal” was a pejorative term.

    Then you don’t even understand the history of the Democratic party or the progressive movement on it. You could take a look at Wikipedia’s Article on Classical Liberalism and several other articles on the progressive movement to see the difference between the two, but the basic issue is summed up in my articles The Seven Principles of Government and The Real Power of Government if you want to get a head start on your investigation…

    Posted by: Rhinehold at March 22, 2007 11:56 PM
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