View Full Version : House Holds Bush Confidants in Contempt

02-14-2008, 03:27 PM
By JULIE HIRSCHFELD DAVIS, Associated Press Writer 52 minutes ago

WASHINGTON - The House voted Thursday to hold two of President Bush's confidants in contempt for failing to cooperate with an inquiry into whether a purge of federal prosecutors was politically motivated.
Angry Republicans boycotted the vote and staged a walkout.
The vote was 223-32 Thursday to hold presidential chief of staff Josh Bolten and former White House counsel Harriet Miers in contempt. The citations charge Miers with failing to testify and accuse her and Bolten of refusing Congress' demands for documents related to the 2006-2007 firings.
Republicans said Democrats should instead be working on extending a law set to expire Saturday allowing the government to eavesdrop on phone calls and e-mails in the United States in cases of suspected terrorist activity.
The White House said the Justice Department would not ask the U.S. attorney to pursue the House contempt charges.
It is the first time in 25 years that a full chamber of Congress has voted on a contempt of Congress citation.
The action, which Democrats had been threatening for months, was the latest wrinkle in a more than yearlong constitutional clash between Congress and the White House.
The Bush administration has said the information being sought is off-limits under executive privilege, and argues that Bolten and Miers are immune from prosecution.
Still, the resolution would allow the House to bring its own lawsuit on the matter.
If Congress doesn't act to enforce the subpoenas, said Rep. Steny Hoyer of Maryland, the No. 2 Democrat, it would "be giving its tacit consent to the dangerous idea of an imperial presidency, above the law and beyond the reach of checks and balances."

Breaking news. If anyone thought that the firing of the federal prosecutors thing was over, it's starting to heat up once again.

02-14-2008, 03:29 PM
And the Repugs walked out of the building during the memorial service for Tom Lantos because they were pissed about the whole thing.

Bipartisanship hits an all-time low.

Keith Wilson
02-14-2008, 03:33 PM
Congress is just catching up; I've held the buggers in contempt for years.

John of Phoenix
02-14-2008, 03:40 PM
Still, the resolution would allow the House to bring its own lawsuit on the matter.
At a time (in the not too distant future) when cheney et. al. can't hide behind executive privilege.

Nicholas Scheuer
02-14-2008, 06:20 PM
Bush can't pardion himself from being a Moron.

02-14-2008, 07:10 PM
Bushes last words on the way out: "Pardon me".


02-14-2008, 07:27 PM
See now, I'm all for the house going after that kinda BS. There's a bunch of dicey stuff in the background of this presidency, and the house should go after it, hammer and tong. A much better use of that power than digging into Senator Craig's sexual foibles.

How does one get elected to the Congress? It's called "The People's House" but how much is it anymore? Don't you need a little bundle of money, and minor endorsements, to get there?

C. Ross
02-14-2008, 09:17 PM
not even then, John.... Bush is likely to grant pre-emptory pardons to his entire senior staff when he exits the office... as well as to Cheney.

I know what you're getting at, but a pre-emptory pardon seems like a stretch. A pardon overturns a conviction. I don't think a pardon can prevent someone from being prosecuted or charged with a crime.

Vince Brennan
02-14-2008, 10:09 PM
Let's us explore that concept for a minnit. I have no legal training, but I suppose that the Cleekster and some others here might be able to enlighten us on the finer points... is it possible for King George the Second to grant some sort of pre-emptory ukase that would protect him and his hemmhorr.... I mean, cronies, from any future legal persecutions by ([outraged] [disillusioned] [unbelieving] [wrathful]) ([citizens] [Congressmen] [Senators] [Attourneys-General] [Presidents])? (pick one from column A and one from column B)

It's unlikely that a Democratic President, should (s)he be elected, would be of a mind to grant a "Nixon" to KG2 or associates. While a Republican President might be more inclined to do so, I rather doubt he would, given the present mind-set of the country, so KG2 is sorta hanging out there if he can't come up with some suitable whitewash job "antes-departio", as it were.

An interesting question. I await your replies with bated breath.

C. Ross
02-14-2008, 10:15 PM
I may be wrong. This excerpt from Wikipedia (a completely authoritative legal source <grin>)

A presidential pardon may be granted at any time, however, and as when Ford pardoned Nixon, the pardoned person need not yet have been convicted or even formally charged with a crime. Clemency may also be granted without the filing of a formal request and even if the intended recipient has no desire to be pardoned. In the overwhelming majority of cases, however, the Pardon Attorney will consider only petitions from persons who have completed their sentences and, in addition, have demonstrated their ability to lead a responsible and productive life for a significant period after conviction or release from confinement.[ (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pardon#_note-4)


SWMBO used to be an attorney. I'll go ask her. It'll be perfect Valentine's Day topic!

Osborne Russell
02-14-2008, 10:30 PM
We have space on the calendar today for a politically charged fishing expedition, but no space for a bill that would protect the American people from terrorists who want to kill us," said Minority Leader John A. Boehner, R-Ohio.

"Let's just get up and leave," he told his colleagues, before storming out of the House chamber with scores of Republicans in tow.

The vote, which Democrats had been threatening for months, was the latest wrinkle in a more than yearlong constitutional clash.

President Bush has invoked a blanket executive privilege covering the testimony of all former and current White House officials and documents subpoenaed by Congress on the controversial firings.

So the Republican House Leader says, we can't have an investigation now, we have to wait -- that was a year ago. When it finally comes up, he says there's still no time, and besides, there's no evidence because there's been no investigation [because my party has prevented it].

Entirely in character for a red honky moron theocrat Bush leaguer.


We are fighting [in Iraq] to preserve and defend our sacred way of life.

-- House Minority Leader John A. Boehner (R-Ohio).

For a president who asserts a blanket executive privilege not to grant a blanket pardon might seem inconsistent to someone without the red talent for cognitive dissonance.