No one ever said the Democrats were a smart bunch:
The House Judiciary Committee voted today to issue contempt citations for two of President Bush’s most trusted aides, taking its most dramatic step yet towards a constitutional showdown with the White House over the Justice Department’s dismissal of nine U.S. attorneys.
The panel voted 22-17, along party lines, to issue citations to Joshua B. Bolten, White House chief of staff, and Harriet E. Miers, former White House counsel. Both refused to comply with committee subpoenas after Bush declared that documents and testimony related to the prosecutor firings were protected by executive privilege. …
Republicans on the panel argued strongly today against issuing contempt citations, and Democrats shot down two proposed GOP amendments before voting for the contempt findings.
"I believe this is an unnecessary provocation of a constitutional crisis," said Rep. F. James Sensenbrenner Jr. (R-Wis.). "Absent showing that a crime was committed in this process, I think the White House is going to win an argument in court."
Ok, so absent any crime, the Democrats want to go on a fishing expedition by subpoenaing the Executive branch of government. The Department of Justice reminded the Legislative branch that they have no power…NONE….to file contempt charges for executive privilege absent a crime. Basic elementary school studies would have taught these Democrats this fact but alas, they must of slept through that class. Either way, they have now forced a confrontation at the Supreme Court level and mark my words….they will lose this one.
If there is no evidence of a crime the Supreme Court will not rule in favor of the Democrats, all so they can go fishing for evidence about the firings of political appointees. The near certain Supreme court ruling will actually strengthen executive privilege for generations to come.
Tony Snow layed it out forcefully today at a Press Briefing:
I want to remind people that this White House, on a number of occasions, has reached out to the House Judiciary Committee and offered accommodations: First, we offered anybody at the Department of Justice who was of interest to testify under oath and on Capitol Hill, which many did. We supplied 8,500 pages of documents, including some between the Justice Department and the White House. The Attorney General, himself, and senior members of his team also went up to testify on Capitol Hill.
In addition, we offered further that we would make available any persons of interest at the White House for full interviews by members of the committees — they’d be able to ask whatever questions they wanted to do. In each and every one of these cases, the efforts of the White House were rebuffed.
And so now we have a situation where there is an attempt to do something that’s never been done in American history, which is to assail the concept of executive privilege, which hails back to the administration of George Washington, and in particular, to use criminal contempt charges against a White House chief of staff and the White House legal counsel. Ironically, this comes as the very same committee is marking up the attorney-client privilege protection act, apparently not believing that attorney-client privilege applies to the President and his own lawyer.
In any event, it’s worth putting this in perspective in terms of the accomplishments of the present Congress. If you take a look at the 110th Congress right now, which had promised to have all of its appropriations bills done this month, here’s what we have seen since the beginning of the Congress: More than 300 executive branch investigations or inquiries; 400 requests for documents, interviews, or testimony; we’ve had more than 550 officials testify; we’ve had more than 600 oversight hearings; 87,000-plus hours spent responding to oversight requests; and 430,000 pages made available to Congress for oversight. That’s pretty significant.
In fact, the 87,000 hours that we mentioned that have been used in document production — that’s equal to more than nine-and-a-half years — and here’s your graphic of the day, ladies and gentlemen — if you took those 430,000 pages and stack them on top of each other, they would reach a height twice that of the executive mansion, itself.
The worst Congress in history is now finding new ways to bring down their approval ratings. Meanwhile the liberal left will continue to whine that Bush has brought the term executive privledge to new heights in reality ALL the previous administrations for the last fifty years, including their demigod Clinton, have done the same thing. The case at hand is EXACTLY what is supposed to be covered by executive privilege, internal discussions amongst the executive in making decisions that are made by the executive.
So, as the liberals put a whole lot of effort into the Plame disaster, and found their dreams destroyed. So will they find their dreams destroyed once more on this new journey into insanity.