a hopeful note…

Posted on Friday 20 July 2007

And here are some details they miss, from Kagro X, whose batting average on Bush obstruction has been better than anyone’s:
But has the US Attorney ever done that before? Declined to prosecute a political friend on orders from the White House? Absolutely. The case was that of Reagan administration EPA chief Anne Gorsuch Burford in 1982.
And who was the White House counsel who ran the strategy? Why, it was Fred Fielding himself:
In 1982, during current White House Counsel Fred Fielding’s first stint in the position, the U.S. attorney declined to bring a contempt charge against a Reagan administration official, instead seeking an injunction against the House.

Thinking this executive versus legislative branch showdown will have to be resolved in the courts? Maybe even the Supreme Court?

Know who helped direct Fielding’s legal strategy on the Gorsuch case?

Guy by the name of John Roberts.

But I’m sure this time it’ll work out great in the courts.

You see, there’s a reason why Bush is so confident this scheme is going to work. He has effectively reassembled the same team that ran this shell game the last time. And to add to the fun, the US Attorney for DC–Jeff Taylor–is one of the remaining PATRIOT provision USAs–plucked from among the Gonzales clique at DOJ and installed in DC just in time to prevent Democrats from exercising any real oversight.

Goldstein and Eggen miss one more thing, though. They say:

Both chambers also have an "inherent contempt" power, allowing either body to hold its own trials and even jail those found in defiance of Congress. Although widely used during the 19th century, the power has not been invoked since 1934 and Democratic lawmakers have not displayed an appetite for reviving the practice.

But John Conyers has mentioned inherent contempt twice in his correspondence with the White House, most recently yesterday when he set up a showdown over Josh Bolten and his refusal to turn over documents to Congress.
Which is where this is headed: to a showdown on Monday, in HJC over the documents and Harriet’s testimony, and in SJC over the illegal retention of Steven Bradbury in a role that he hasn’t been approved for.

Knowing, as she does, that we need a little bit of a lift after the Washington Post article this morning, emptywheel reminds us that Congress can process a Contempt charge all by itself. I hope she [and the Senators] are right!

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