Posted by nytexan on August 14, 2007
t r u t h o u t | Report: By Jason Leopold
- The Republican National Committee said it will not abide by a subpoena and turn over documents to a Congressional committee investigating the firings of at least eight US attorneys last year because the RNC is waiting to see if the White House will assert executive privilege over RNC documents at the center of the controversy, according to an outside law firm retained by the RNC.
Are they freaking kidding me!!! So let me see if I understand how Executive Privilege works; you don’t have to work in the White House or even be a passed employee of the White House staff, you just have to have associations with the Bush gang. Well crap that’s have the country that now claim executive privilege.
- The White House has asserted executive privilege to block senior administration officials from testifying before Congress about their involvement in the decision to fire the federal prosecutors. Moreover, the White House has cited executive privilege in declining to turn over specific documents to Congress that may shed further light on the circumstances behind the attorney firings. The US attorneys believe they were fired for partisan political reasons. In some instances, the US attorneys said they were pressured by Republican lawmakers and RNC operatives to file criminal charges against Democrats at the center of public corruption probes prior to last year’s midterm election as well as individual cases of voter fraud, which the attorneys said was based on weak evidence, in order to cast a dark cloud over Democratic incumbents and swing election results toward Republican challengers.
- Earlier this year, internal Justice Department documents related to behind-the-scenes discussions involving the US attorney firings revealed some Bush administration officials have primarily used email accounts maintained by the RNC to conduct official White House business in what appears to be a violation of the Presidential Records Act. The RNC is believed to have thousands of pages of documents from White House officials in its possession, dating back to 2005, that could answer lingering questions about the role the administration played in the decision to fire the US attorneys.
- The latest salvo between the RNC and Congress over the documents under subpoena sets the stage for a legal showdown between the House and RNC Chairman Robert Duncan, who Judiciary Committee Chairman John Conyers threatened to hold in contempt if documents and internal RNC emails relating to the Congressional probe are not turned over to his committee. Neither Conyers nor a spokesman for the congressman returned calls for comment on Monday. Presumably, any further legal action would take place when Congress returns from its summer vacation next month.
- In a letter sent on Friday to Conyers, Robert Kelner, an attorney at Covington & Burling in Washington, DC, said the White House counsel’s office instructed the RNC not to “produce Category Two documents at this time.”
Posted in Bush, Congress, Conyers, Department of Justice, executive privilege, Judiciary Committee, Oversight, Politics, RNC | 3 Comments »
Posted by nytexan on August 14, 2007
This is stunning, Alberto Gonzales the guy who can’t recall where he put his shoes will be in charge of overseeing the death penalty. Obviously there were several items that were missed by the 109th Congress when they reauthorized the Patriot Act. Interesting that the items missed have to do with the Department of Justice.
- Attorney General Alberto Gonzales could see his influence over death penalty decisions increase under new regulations expected to be approved soon by the Justice Department, the Los Angeles Times reports.
- Implementing a “little-notice provision in last year’s reauthorization of the Patriot Act,” the Justice Department rules give Gonzales authority that had previously been held by federal judges to decide whether states are providing adequate council for defendants in death penalty cases, according to the Times.
- “The move to shorten the appeals process and effectively speed up executions comes at a time of growing national concern about the fairness of the death penalty, underscored by the use of DNA testing to establish the innocence of more than a dozen death row inmates in recent years,” reports Richard B. Schmitt in the Times Tuesday.
- On the same day the Times story appeared, Gonzales addressed the Fraternal Order of Police National Conference in Louisville, Ky. Although the attorney general did not mention his soon-to-expand death penalty influence, he did invoke his nephew’s service in Iraq.
- “Recently, some in the media have questioned how I deal with the recent challenges in the Department. It’s simple. You see I have a nephew stationed in Iraq. I visited with him on Saturday and we talked about his challenges,” Gonzales said. “Yes, I face criticism, but he faces bullets. I sleep comfortably in my own bed next to my wife. My nephew sleeps with his buddies in a converted meat packing building.”
- Gonzales has faced withering criticism from Congress over his role in firing nine US Attorneys last year and a host of other scandals. In Louisville, Gonzales joked about his and other administration officials’ frequent appearances before congressional committees investigating his conduct.
- “And as Defense Secretary Robert Gates has noted, ‘In Washington, most of my public remarks tend to begin with someone asking me to raise my right hand,'” Gonzales said.
- Among the topics that have come up during Gonzales appearances in hearing rooms on Capitol Hill was his handling of a previous death penalty case. TPM Muckraker revisits an exchange between Gonzales and Sen. Arlen Specter (R-PA), the Judiciary Committee’s ranking Republican.
- Specter and Gonzales sparred over the Justice Department’s decision to overrule a federal prosecutor who decided not to seek the death penalty for Rios Rico, who had been convicted of murder in Arizona. The US Attorney overseeing the case previously, Paul Charlton, testified that deputy Attorney General Paul McNulty and Gonzales had deliberated on the case for “five to 10 minutes” before deciding to seek the death penalty.
- Gonzales said he could not recall anything about the case of his discussions with McNulty about it.
- “Well, Mr. Attorney General, I’m not totally unfamiliar with this sort of thing,” Specter chided Gonzales. “When I was district attorney of Philadelphia, I had 500 homicides a year. I didn’t allow any assistant to ask for the death penalty that I hadn’t personally approved. And when I asked for the death penalty, I remembered the case.”
Posted in Congress, Department of Justice, Gonzales, National, Patriot Act, Politics | 1 Comment »
Posted by nytexan on July 23, 2007
- Congress this week will take the next step to force the Bush administration to hand over information about the dismissal of U.S. attorneys and the politicization of the Justice Department, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said Saturday.
- The House Judiciary Committee will bring contempt of Congress charges against the administration this week, said the San Francisco Democrat. She did not specify who the subject of the action would be, but Pelosi spokesman, Brendan Daly, said later it would be former White House counsel Harriet Miers, who defied a House Judiciary Committee subpoena to appear.
- “They have disregarded the call of Congress for information about their politicizing the Department of Justice. We can document that. Those are actual facts and we will bring the contempt of Congress forth,” said Pelosi, who spoke with reporters at a San Francisco workshop for people who want to become U.S. citizens.
- Congress has for months been seeking information about which administration officials were involved in the dismissals of the attorneys. The White House, however, has claimed “executive privilege” for many of those requests, meaning the executive branch is free from oversight of the legislative and judiciary branches of the government in those instances. A House judiciary subcommittee has voted to reject such reasoning.
- Contempt of Congress is defined by federal law as action that obstructs the work of Congress, including investigations. If both the White House and Congress stick to these positions, the matter could become a constitutional question for the courts to decide.
On Impeachment of Bush
Notice in Pelosi’s statement she doesn’t address Cheney. I think the veep is on the table. With Cheney out of the way Bush won’t know what to do.
- Pelosi also reiterated Saturday that she would not engage in what would perhaps be the biggest confrontation possible with the White House — seeking the impeachment of Bush over the Iraq war.
- The speaker said she had “no hesitation” criticizing the president about his handling of the war, but said there were more important priorities for lawmakers — such as health care and creating jobs — than the divisive pursuit of impeachment.
- “Look, it’s hard enough for us to end the war. I don’t know how we would be successful in impeaching the president,” Pelosi said.
- She did note that calls for the president’s removal are not coming just from San Francisco.
- “I’m not unsympathetic to the concern people have — I hear it all over the country. People here have said to me, ‘Well, people on the left want the president to be impeached.’ I hear it across the board across the country. It’s not just the left,” Pelosi said.
If Congress brings us the head of Cheney, I could very well look past Bush. For Bush will be lost without the puppet master.
Posted in Bush, Cheney, Congress, Constitution, Contempt, Conyers, Department of Justice, executive privilege, Harriet Miers, Headlines, Impeach, Inherent Contempt, Judiciary Committee, News, Pelosi, President, Republican | 6 Comments »
Posted by bosskitty on July 21, 2007
No other former president in the nearly 50-year history of the Fifth Republic has been questioned by a judge investigating criminal activities.
PARIS — A judge questioned former president Jacques Chirac for more than four hours Thursday in an investigation into a party financing scandal that dates to his time as mayor of Paris, his attorney said.
Mr. Chirac lost his presidential immunity from prosecution on June 16, a month after he left office. He has denied committing any wrongdoing during his time as mayor of Paris.
In light of these developments surrounding France’s Ex-President prior criminal activities, this country must have the resources to do the same to the Bush Crime Syndicate! Someone, please, gimme a legal take on what we must do to hold them accountable if impeachment fails!
Beware! Bush has a terrorist production in the wings to postpone coming elections! He is laughing from his ass now that the polyps are gone …
Posted in Accountability, Anti-War, “Corporate Corruption”, betrayal, Bill of Rights, Bush, Cheney, civil liberties, civil rights, Constitution, Corruption, criminal, Democracy In Action, Department of Justice, Election, Evil, Executive Branch, Executive Orders, executive privilege, Fear, Federal Court, Homeland Security, Hypocracy, immunity, Impeach, indictment, Inherent Contempt, Jacques Chirac, Judiciary Committee, Law, President, resonsibility, Scandal, terrorists | Leave a Comment »
Posted by nytexan on July 20, 2007
I am sick and tires of this administrations constant stonewalling and lying. If you have nothing to hide and if you did nothing wrong, one would cooperate. Isn’t that what honest descent people believe. But then we are speaking of Bush.
- Bush administration officials unveiled a bold new assertion of executive authority yesterday in the dispute over the firing of nine U.S. attorneys, saying that the Justice Department will never be allowed to pursue contempt charges initiated by Congress against White House officials once the president has invoked executive privilege.
What an intersting statement coming from an administration. That statement alone proves that the White House is running the DoJ, which has been the claim of Congress from the beginning.
- The position presents serious legal and political obstacles for congressional Democrats, who have begun laying the groundwork for contempt proceedings against current and former White House officials in order to pry loose information about the dismissals.
- Under federal law, a statutory contempt citation by the House or Senate must be submitted to the U.S. attorney for the District of Columbia, “whose duty it shall be to bring the matter before the grand jury for its action.”
- But administration officials argued yesterday that Congress has no power to force a U.S. attorney to pursue contempt charges in cases, such as the prosecutor firings, in which the president has declared that testimony or documents are protected from release by executive privilege. Officials pointed to a Justice Department legal opinion during the Reagan administration, which made the same argument in a case that was never resolved by the courts.
- “A U.S. attorney would not be permitted to bring contempt charges or convene a grand jury in an executive privilege case,” said a senior official, who said his remarks reflect a consensus within the administration. “And a U.S. attorney wouldn’t be permitted to argue against the reasoned legal opinion that the Justice Department provided. No one should expect that to happen.”
Not only is the administration telling the justice department how to do their job, they’re also saying that that DoJ can not argue the reasons the administration has put forth. We have now officially arrived at dictatorship level.
- Mark J. Rozell, a professor of public policy at George Mason University who has written a book on executive-privilege issues, called the administration’s stance “astonishing.”
- “That’s a breathtakingly broad view of the president’s role in this system of separation of powers,” Rozell said. “What this statement is saying is the president’s claim of executive privilege trumps all.”
King George giving himself more power. I think he’s planning a coupe against America.
Read the rest of this entry »
Posted in Bush, Congress, Constitution, Contempt, Conyers, criminal, Democracy, Department of Justice, dictatorship, executive privilege, Gonzales, Harriet Miers, Impeach, Inherent Contempt, National, News, Pelosi, Politics, Reid, Senate, Waxman | 2 Comments »