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Unfortunately I believe that we are limited in what we can focus on. I think that if we proceed with the partisan sideshow of prosecuting Bush admin. officials, healthcare will get lost in the brouhaha.
— Posted by denamom, Obama's Quandary...

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Contempt over U.S. Attorney Firings

POSTED: 10:48 AM ET, 02/15/2008 by The Editors

The House has approved contempt citations against two White House aides over their refusal to cooperate with an investigation into the firings of U.S. attorneys. The citations against White House Chief of Staff Joshua B. Bolten and former White House counsel Harriet E. Miers came on a 223 to 32 vote. Most House Republicans walked off the floor in protest and refused to cast a final vote. The White House, which has refused to allow testimony from West Wing aides, condemned the House vote.

The contempt citations followed allegations that the Bush administration was injecting politics into the Justice Department by dismissing nine federal prosecutors in 2006, a controversy detailed in a number of Post stories by reporter Dan Eggen and others.

By The Editors |  February 15, 2008; 10:48 AM ET
Previous: An Innocent Man | Next: Tragic Similarities


Please email us to report offensive comments.

How can this not be a major story and a major issue? Clearly this administration has injected the "legacy" of the Bush adminstration into the Justice department in an effort to continue the war against the last fifty years of reason.
For the Republicans to walk out is simply a sign that there is nothing for them to say.

Posted by: Michael Hill | February 15, 2008 11:56 AM

There is no such thing as "Executive Privilege" in the Constitution. It was simply made up later and Congress is under no obligation to pay any attention to such claims. If Miers or Bolton happen to wander by Capitol Hill, the Sargeant at Arms should throw them in a cell until they talk.

Posted by: SteveH | February 15, 2008 12:27 PM

there is no such thing as privacy in the constitution either. Its amazing how all the anti-Bush people suddenly believe in such a strict version of the constitution, but forget that the wide interpretation of this document is the only thing that keeps abortion legal. You can't have it both ways.

Posted by: Jon | February 15, 2008 12:33 PM

Reminds me of that great scene in Animal House where the fraternity walks out of the disciplinary hearing. As Otter says, "You can do what you want -- but I'm not going to stand here and listen to you badmouthing the United States of America!" At which point they all march out, humming "God Bless America."

I am so glad to see that at least the House has a spine. Between the contempt citations and their refusal to cave in on the surveillance extension, the House is actually fulfilling its role of acting as a co-equal branch of government. Way to go...

Posted by: Steve | February 15, 2008 12:35 PM

They walked out, that's good. Let's hope they don't come back.

Posted by: James Tewes | February 15, 2008 12:40 PM

Send the constitutional criminals to JAIL!

Posted by: JBE | February 15, 2008 1:16 PM

"there is no such thing as privacy in the constitution either. Its amazing how all the anti-Bush people suddenly believe in such a strict version of the constitution, but forget that the wide interpretation of this document is the only thing that keeps abortion legal. You can't have it both ways."

Somehow, I think this was SteveH's point. If there is such a desire to adhere strictly to what the Constitution does or does not say, what's good for the goose is good for the gander.

BTW, there IS an amendment (#9) to the Constitution which states that

"The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people."

While SCOTUS has avoided this amendment like the plague, it certainly suggests that the PEOPLE have rights which are NOT enumerated in the Constitution. Could privacy be one of those?

I remember something from my 8th Grade Core class relating to the idea that in the USA, everyone is subject to the rule of law, even government officials...EVEN THE PRESIDENT!. Ah, the good old days.

Posted by: bierbelly | February 15, 2008 1:19 PM

What does it say about the hearts of the Republicans that THIS is the issue that finally offends their conscience, and nothing else during these last 7 years?

The only thing they can rise to challenge is the basic rule of law. And they wonder what the administration's legacy will be...

Posted by: Mobedda | February 15, 2008 1:36 PM

The rule of law is supposed to be for everyone. The Republican Party was hijacked by the Dixiecrats in the 60's because the Southern Democrats couldn't stomache the though of minorities having the same rights as caucasians. Enter the Neo Nazi Neo Cons who used the bigotted and racist views to pander to the equally bigotted and racist views of the Religious Idiots who are in ecstacy of the idea of ramming their bastardized version of Chritianity down our throats.
That said, in order to bring back the same United States Constitution the Founding Fathers fought and died for, we must rid ourselves of All Neo Con Parasites infesting the Executive Branch, and ALL the Republican, Democratic and Independent Legislators who have pandered and sold their votes to the highest bidder to the detriment of our Citizens.
We must break down ALL the Neo Con owned Conglomerates into small companies, like what had to be done to Ma Bell.
Open up the meetings and unveil the secrecy of ALL official business pertaining to our government.
if we the people know what is going on, and have the same information as our Treasonous and Nefarious King Pinocchio and Shotgun Cheney, we would have the ability to recognize and deal with any scumbag terrorist and to prevent our wayward government from leading us into hell and damnation.

Posted by: CurtJ | February 15, 2008 1:42 PM

This administration would have us all believe that they are above the law. That cannot be, in our Constitutional form of government. The fact that the administration is so opposed to this investigation very strongly suggests that it is fully aware of its wrong-doing in this matter. Bring on the contempt proceedings and let the chips fall where they may.

Posted by: Mark In Irvine | February 15, 2008 1:55 PM

So Jon is clearly another GOP follower who doesn't know, or care, about the constitution. There is no right to privacy in the constitution, the concern troll Jon says? Well, what about the 9th amendment?

Idiots and apologists for illegal actions, methinks. Another GOP excuse for not enforcing or obeying law. I agree with the person who said the Sergent at Arms should arrest and hold the lawbreakers - Bolton, Meyers, and other Bush cover-up artists. In fact, they should go out and do so immediately. This was typical practice 100 years ago; time to bring it back. If Bush refuses to faithfully enforce (i.e. execute) the laws he should be impeached. He has broken his oath. But meanwhile let's arrest the Bush henchmen and lawbreakers and hold them (and I do mean HOLD them) for examination by Congress.

GOP - the party of torture, illegal spying, unprovoked war, and the Imperial presidency.

Thank God their days in power are numbered.

Posted by: JD | February 15, 2008 2:17 PM

JD is correct.. GOP.. Grand Old Pedophiles.. Gross Old Pedophiles.. Closeted homosexuals who are battling with their demons who are raring to escape the closet.. And as punishment to themselves and blaming other homosexuals for their homosexual desires, continue to pass laws demonizing their desires and others and subjecting all to their bigotted and misbegotten idealogies.
Reminds me of the goose stepping, pontificating Nazis who changed their laws and led their government into secrecy and backdoor dealings which led up to the hundreds of millions of dead peoples almost 70 years ago.

Posted by: CurtJ | February 15, 2008 3:09 PM

Ignorance must surely be bliss because there seem to be a lot of happy people here. Take JD and CurtJ for instance. Perhaps if you took a class or two on Constitution Law you might actually engage in a thoughtful discussion vs. resorting to ad hominem attacks. Neither Congress or the President want to limit Presidential powers as you suggest. But there is no surprise here because you are blinded by partisanship. The sad part is that you are being manipulated by the DC politicians to get your vote, and you don't even realize it.

Posted by: PT | February 15, 2008 4:15 PM

Even if there is such a thing as "Executive Privilege," it belongs to the Executive, not to his minions. And in no case does it trump one's first amendment right to free speech, so Miers and Bolten MAY testify if they want to. Thus, they should be held in contempt.

Posted by: Gasmonkey | February 15, 2008 4:51 PM

Let me see. hmmm. Bill Clinton is above the law, Hillary is above the law, now George can't be. This sounds fair...Ha Ha Ha. I grew up in a house where my father trashed anyone he didn't like. I guess he got Steny Hoyer, and deserves him. Maybe all of the spine our congress has really does belong to the Republicans. I know, let's not vote, and go on vacation....12 days should be plenty.

Posted by: Mark in The Real World | February 15, 2008 10:37 PM

Would'nt do any good to convict these unamerican criminals their sneaky double dealing boss would only pardon them or commute their sentences. Libby lied under oath for him he will protect his loyal ratpack.

Posted by: MaryS | February 15, 2008 10:43 PM

What's the point of arguing? It's now been esablished that conservatives are genetically intellectually inferior. To argue with an idiot makes one a bigger idiot.

Posted by: Anonymous | February 15, 2008 10:54 PM

The Soviets walked out of the U.N. in the early 60s in protest to some U.S. sponsored vote. The U.N. got more work done in that single day than the prior 6 months. The Soviets never missed a U.N. session afterward. As usual, the Dems missed a golden opportunity to bring their key legislation to the floor for voting during the Repub.'s absence.

Posted by: Leschatdeux | February 16, 2008 12:13 AM

Interesting..... When you or I consult with legal counsel, that process is considered immune from such questioning. What Congress is doing is attempting to deny the President the Fourth Amendment rights that citizens have.... And that is supposed to be constitutional? At some point, we will regret this because a Cabinet member will fail to speak because they could be forced to testify. What other Congress has done THAT in history?

Posted by: omarkhyam1951 | February 16, 2008 1:44 AM

Every citizen is given the right to privileged communication with counsel. What is constitutional about denying the President that protection?

Posted by: omarkhyam1951 | February 16, 2008 1:59 AM

Executive Privilege not in Constitution. Correct, not explicitly, but it is implicit in Separation of Powers.

From Wikipedia:

"Washington sets precedent

In 1796, President George Washington refused to comply with a request by the House of Representatives for documents which were relating to the negotiation of the then-recently adopted Jay Treaty with Great Britain. The Senate alone plays a role in the ratification of treaties, Washington reasoned, and therefore the House had no legitimate claim to the material. Therefore, Washington provided the documents to the Senate but not the House."

Posted by: Tspafford | February 16, 2008 6:32 AM

One by one, the loyal Bushies must learn, the meaning of American justice.

Posted by: Mel Carnahan | February 16, 2008 7:47 AM

Executive privilege is appropriate when the President has legitimate National Security concerns, and certainly the President has the right to receive confidential counsel; but Executive privilege may not be used to cover up any wrongdoing, as it is being used in this case.
Isn't it curious that the same administration that wants to spy on us ALL, takes the position that if you have done nothing wrong then you have nothing to hide, also hides everything.
Put them in Jail (all of them) until they tell the truth!

Posted by: Funky P | February 16, 2008 9:59 AM

It is a mystery why this is so under reported. Once the citations were issued the legalities on many levels needed a natioal airing. The story lies not so much in contempt of congress but in contempt for congress. Don't let this issue die . To the American public it is nearly as important as Britney Spears. We get the government we deserve.

Posted by: Florida old guy | February 21, 2008 10:07 AM

The dems have set themselves up to lose in November with just this kind of nonsense

Posted by: Karl Boots | May 13, 2008 10:33 AM

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