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NYT Editorial: Defying The Imperial Presidency-Congress Should Use Inherent Contempt Powers

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kpete Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-26-07 06:57 AM
Original message
NYT Editorial: Defying The Imperial Presidency-Congress Should Use Inherent Contempt Powers
Edited on Thu Jul-26-07 06:58 AM by kpete
Editorial
Defying the Imperial Presidency

Published: July 26, 2007

The House Judiciary Committee did its duty yesterday, voting to cite Harriet Miers, the former White House counsel, and Joshua Bolten, the White House chief of staff, for contempt. The Bush administration has been acting lawlessly in refusing to hand over information that Congress needs to carry out its responsibility to oversee the executive branch and investigate its actions when needed. If the White House continues its obstruction, Congress should use all of the contempt powers at its disposal.

The committee really had no choice but to hold Ms. Miers in contempt. When she was subpoenaed to testify about the administrations possibly illegal purge of nine United States attorneys, she simply refused to show up, citing executive privilege. Invoking privilege in response to particular questions might have been warranted the courts could have decided that later. But simply flouting a Congressional subpoena is not an option.

...............

Congress must not capitulate in the White Houses attempt to rob it of its constitutional powers. Now that the committee has acted, the whole House must vote to hold Ms. Miers and Mr. Bolten in contempt. The administration has indicated that it is unlikely to allow the United States attorney for the District of Columbia to bring Congresss contempt charges before a grand jury. That would be a regrettable stance. But if the administration sticks to it, Congress can and should proceed against Ms. Miers and Mr. Bolten on its own, using its inherent contempt powers.

It is not too late for President Bush to spare the country the trauma, and himself the disgrace, of this particular constitutional showdown. There is a simple way out. He should direct Ms. Miers and Mr. Bolten to provide Congress with the information to which it is entitled.

more at:
http://www.nytimes.com/2007/07/26/opinion/26thu1.html?_...
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LiberalEsto Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-26-07 07:02 AM
Response to Original message
1. Just imagine if Clinton had ignored Congress
when they wanted to interrogate him about Monica.

The rethugs would have been screaming for an execution.
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Toots Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-26-07 07:42 AM
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4. He did and they took him to court, Clinton claimed both executive and attorney-client privilege
He was denied either by a federal right wing judge. His own personal attorney had to testify along with over twenty of his aides. The judge used the reasoning that the attorney was being paid by the government so it was a government attorney and not Clinton's..
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Loge23 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-26-07 07:09 AM
Response to Original message
2. It's enough already.
Not only is the administration crumbling (finally), but if Congress does not perform it's duty to impeach than the entire system is in danger of collapsing.
Forget about the comparisons, forget about the "risks", forget about the polls.
The time has come.
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spanone Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-26-07 07:35 AM
Response to Original message
3. kick & r
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DCKit Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-26-07 07:43 AM
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5. Why do they want to talk to the cleaning lady? n/t
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mmonk Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-26-07 07:43 AM
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6. The editorial has it right.
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