Operation Run-Out-The-Clock Begins

4 comments July 1st, 2007at 12:30pm Posted by Eli

I wish there were another (faster) way…

The Senate Judiciary Committee chairman said Sunday he was ready to go to court if the White House resisted subpoenas for information on the firing of federal prosecutors.

”If they don’t cooperate, yes I’ll go that far,” said Sen. Patrick Leahy, D-Vt. He was asked in a broadcast interview whether he would seek a congressional vote on contempt citations if President Bush did not comply. That move would push the matter to court.

”They’ve chosen confrontation rather than compromise or cooperation,” Leahy said. ”The bottom line is in the U.S. attorney investigation, we have people manipulating law enforcement. Law enforcement can’t be partisan.”


Separately, the Senate has subpoenaed the White House and Vice President Dick Cheney’s office for documents related to the administration’s warrant-free eavesdropping on people in the United States.

Legal experts have been somewhat divided over the scope of a president’s power to shield information and ensure candid advice from top aides. The dispute, if it does head to court, could take months and ultimately outlast the remaining term of Bush’s presidency, which ends in January 2009.

Last week, White House counsel Fred Fielding said Bush was claiming executive privilege in refusing to turn over documents. Bush also was invoking the privilege to prevent Harriet Miers, the former White House counsel, and Sara Taylor, the former political director, from testifying publicly under oath.

The White House has urged the House and Senate Judiciary committees to withdraw the subpoenas and accept Bush’s offer to provide information in private briefings with lawmakers without a transcript.


On Sunday, Leahy dismissed the White House’s proposal for private briefings because, he said, it forecloses Congress’ right to subpoena additional information should officials fail to provide meaningful information.

Leahy said he might be open to an offer in which White House officials were to agree to private briefings that were both sworn and committed to a transcript. But ultimately, the public have a right to hear what’s been done, he said.


”The president and vice president are not above the law anymore than you and I are,” Leahy said.

I think that’s news to them, Pat.

So here’s my question: If BushCo. does successfully run out the clock, and assuming the Democrats retain control of the Senate, what then? Does Leahy drop the investigation or keep going? He should still be able to pursue criminal charges, right? I’m thinking perjury, obstruction, Hatch Act, plus the violations of FISA in the wiretapping case. It would actually be easier to prosecute an ex-president and/or ex-vice-president, yes?

But would the Democrats have the nerve to do it in the face of all the Republicans screaming “Witch hunt!” and all the Broderpundits soberly intoning that “We must move forward and put all of this unpleasantness behind us”?

Entry Filed under: Bush,Constitution,Corruption/Cronyism,Democrats,Politics,Republicans


  • 1. virgotex  |  July 1st, 2007 at 8:41 pm

    Fuck these cynical fuckers.

    Not eloquent I know, but jesus god, I hate them.

    and fuck the Dems if they don’t carry through.

    Dishonor above and beyond any spin control and/or jail. This is what they deserve.

  • 2. whig  |  July 2nd, 2007 at 12:01 am

    We push the impeachment, the Democrats may protest they do not want to follow through, but we demand it and that also gives them political cover so they can’t be accused of partisan witch-hunting. But the facts will come out and inexorably they will condemn the administration.

  • 3. Eli  |  July 2nd, 2007 at 7:20 am

    I would actually be okay with pushing the investigations until the public starts *demanding* impeachment. Then the Democrats can oh-so-reluctantly accede to the people’s will, in a very statesmanlike, more-in-sorrow-than-in-anger kind of way.

  • 4. Eli  |  July 2nd, 2007 at 7:21 am

    And I want to see as much as possible come out, so that the Republicans are disgraced and distrusted for the next 20 years.

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