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Contempt of Congress, or Bravo Senator Leahy!

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robinlynne Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-14-07 12:58 PM
Original message
Contempt of Congress, or Bravo Senator Leahy!
I received this email from Patrick Leahy's office. A tiny ray of democracy in the midst of so much caving and republicanizing....

Dear DU,

It should never have had to come to this.

Yesterday, on a bipartisan vote of 12-7, the Senate Judiciary Committee ruled that White House Chief of Staff Joshua Bolten and Deputy Chief of Staff Karl Rove are in contempt of Congress for refusing to comply with subpoenas issued in the U.S. Attorneys investigation. As Chairman of the Committee, I have gone to real lengths to avoid this sort of legal confrontation, but after many months the White House has yet to cooperate with these requests from our investigation -- and the American people deserve the truth.

The President denies any involvement in the political firings of Justice Department officials. Yet he and his staff continue to hide behind the veil of "executive privilege." They have essentially asserted that this privilege -- historically applied very narrowly -- covers all documents and information in their possession. It's a dramatic departure from precedent, and the Bush-Cheney administration's blanket claim of immunity from congressional subpoenas flies in the face of our system of checks and balances.

This is not about pulling a partisan "gotcha" or scoring political points. After all, Committee members of both parties supported yesterday's ruling. No, this is about defending Congress's oversight function and protecting the right of the American people to know the whole truth about the mass firings of attorneys at the Justice Department. Withholding critical evidence requested by a subpoena is a serious crime, and it's time we reminded the President and his staff that they are not above the law.

The White House's refusal to cooperate with our investigation casts further doubt on its contention that it had nothing to do with the political firings of Justice Department officials. In fact, it's now quite clear that political officials in the White House pressured federal prosecutors to bring partisan cases and sought retribution against those who refused.

Since World War II, presidential advisers have testified before Congress 74 times, either voluntarily or compelled by subpoenas -- never once refusing to comply. Executive privilege should not be invoked to prevent investigations into wrongdoing, and certainly should not prevail.

Thank you for your support for holding the Bush-Cheney Administration accountable as we get to the bottom of the mass firings of U.S. attorneys.

Sincerely,

Patrick Leahy
U.S. Senator
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Blue_In_AK Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-14-07 01:00 PM
Response to Original message
1. Too bad Senator Leahy isn't in Senator Reid's position.
I've about had it with Reid.
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LakeSamish706 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-14-07 01:01 PM
Response to Original message
2. I sure hope that they are going for Inherent Contempt and not just Contempt! n/t
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babylonsister Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-14-07 01:01 PM
Response to Original message
3. I hate to bust your bubble, but I read this this a.m. I don't know
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robinlynne Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-14-07 01:08 PM
Response to Reply #3
7. voted out of committee, means passed by the committee. which is what my
post says. 12-7. (Most committee votes have been 9-10 with the wrong side always winning.)
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babylonsister Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-14-07 01:17 PM
Response to Reply #7
10. I had caught Leahy's comments about yesterday.
So what do you think the results will be if the whole Senate gets to vote on whether contempt charges will fly? Or am I just totally confused, which is very possible! :crazy:
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robinlynne Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-14-07 01:30 PM
Response to Reply #10
13. don't know. But 12-7 was better than usual.
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BOSSHOG Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-14-07 01:02 PM
Response to Original message
4. I always chuckle at conservative logic
Way back when the lawyer scandal was the big news, all the honchos at the White House said Bush didn't know anything about, talked to no one about it, no one talked to him about it. So what conversations have to be "executivelly privileged??" Go get em Senator Leahy!

ANY CRIMINAL ACTION MY ADMINISTRATION DOES IS IMMUNE FROM INVESTIGATION. Just another bush legacy.
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tularetom Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-14-07 01:02 PM
Response to Original message
5. That's great so far
but the real question is what is Sen Leahy gonna do when the WH tells him to go piss up a rope. Another strongly worded letter perhaps? do we dare hope he'll finally develop a backbone and have them frog marched from the white house to testify in front of his committee and throw their ass in jail if they refuse?
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cali Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-14-07 01:08 PM
Response to Reply #5
6. of for the love of reason
All Senator Leahy can do is urge Reid to schedule a floor vote. He doesn't have a magic wand and he doesn't, as far as I know, practice hypnotism.

He's got a great strong backbone, and a very good brain. He fucking can't have them frog marched anywhere. Period. But don't let your ignorance stop you from your sliming.

It's utterly predictable that a thread commending Leahy who is truly one of the good guys and who has stood up repeatedly to bushco, will end up being a Leahy bashing thread.

Pathetic.
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tularetom Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-14-07 01:17 PM
Response to Reply #6
11. In spite of the mean things you said about me
I hope you are correct about him. Unfortunately all I ever see from him is a lot of bluster and tough talk followed by backing down. He can do a lot more than he's done. He's a committee chairman for chrissakes.
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cali Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-14-07 01:24 PM
Response to Reply #11
12. He passed the FISA bill out of the JC by exercising his Chairmanship
privileges and stripping immunity from it. What more could he have done. He authored the Habeas Resolution. He wrote and passed out of committee the strong bill against war profiteering. He's crusaded for years against land mines and cluster bombs. He's recognized and honored by all kinds of organizations for being one of the leaders on privacy. You keep saying he can do a lot more than he's done, but being a committee chairman doesn't make him god or a magician. Mean or not those are facts. You haven't presented a single one.
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cali Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-14-07 01:09 PM
Response to Original message
8. thanks for posting this robinlynne,
nice to see.
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AndyA Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-14-07 01:13 PM
Response to Original message
9. Yeah, and I read somewhere that Reid just might do something about it in January,
but he's not sure.

Worse representation than our current batch would be hard to find.
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