Thursday, June 28, 2007

The ongoing battle to enforce the rule of law in the U.S.

Latest salvo...the White House flips the bird to congress. Nope, no testimony or documents from former White House counsel Harriet Miers or former political director Sara Taylor in the U.S. attorney scandal investigation. Executive privilege means never having to account for your alleged political interference in matters that should be off limits to politics. Namely, U.S. attorney tenure and criminal investigations that some of them were pursuing against Republicans. The White House's refusal to allow its people to testify suggests they've got stuff to hide. And thankfully, Conyers and Leahy are not giving in:
In his statement, Conyers said Bush's "executive privilege assertion is unprecedented in its breadth and scope, and even includes documents that the administration previously offered to provide as part of their 'take it or leave it' proposal."

"The charges alleged in this investigation are serious -- including obstruction of justice and misleading Congress -- and the White House should be as committed to this investigation as the Congress," he added "At this point, I see only one choice in moving forward, and that is to enforce the rule of law set forth in these subpoenas."
In response to today's rebuff by the White House, Leahy said: "Increasingly, the president and vice president feel they are above the law. In America no one is above law."

He added in a statement that "this White House cannot have it both ways. They cannot stonewall congressional investigations by refusing to provide documents and witnesses, while claiming nothing improper occurred."
Each time the White House has rebuffed these chairmen, they've pushed back. Keep on pushing, guys. The record of stonewalling and obfuscation by the White House and its cronies speaks volumes. They're hanging themselves.

And in a similar vein, here's Josh Marshall's latest video on the allegations that Rove and other political actors were involved in the prosecution of former Democratic Alabama Governor, Don Siegelman. The revelations in the U.S. attorney scandal suggesting political reasons for the removals of a number of the attorneys and the use of the Justice Department to achieve political ends appear to be coming too late for Siegelman, however. His sentencing hearing continued today and he's likely facing a stiff sentence. An investigation - yes, another one - should certainly be undertaken into the circumstances surrounding this prosecution, in light of the evidence that has come to light of political motivation behind his prosecution by his Alabama political enemies. That sworn affidavit by a lawyer on a phone call who heard reference to Rove having ensured the Justice Department would be pursuing Siegelman is certainly worth a look into...