Harvard Law Emeritus Alan Dershowitz fawned over President Donald Trump having powers “that kings have never had” as he dismissed the news that Don McGahn must testify before Congress.
Editorial from The New York Times:
Last year, Karl Rove defied a Congressional subpoena ordering him to testify about the politically driven hiring and firing of United States attorneys. The House Judiciary Committee has now issued another subpoena. Congress and the Obama administration should do everything they can to compel him to testify.
Americans deserve a full accounting. Monica Goodling, a top aide to Alberto Gonzales, admitted that she hired lawyers for nonpartisan jobs based on their politics. The Justice Department’s inspector general found that Bradley Schlozman, the onetime head of the civil rights division, politicized his staff and made false statements to Congress. Other witnesses have told investigators that prosecutors were allowed to keep their jobs or were fired based on whether they brought cases that helped Republicans win elections.
WASHINGTON (AP) — President Bush’s former chief political adviser denied meddling in the Justice Department’s prosecution of Alabama’s ex-governor and said Sunday the courts will have to resolve a congressional subpoena for his testimony.
“Congress, the House Judiciary Committee, wants to be able to call presidential aides on its whim up to testify,” Karl Rove said. “It’s going to be tied up in court and settled in court.”
Last week, the committee ordered Rove to appear July 10. Lawmakers want to ask him about the White House’s role in firing nine U.S. attorneys in 2006 and the prosecution of former Gov. Don Siegelman, D-Ala.
Also under congressional subpoena are Bush’s chief of staff, Joshua Bolten, and his former counsel, Harriet Miers. The White House is citing executive privilege, the doctrine intended to protect the confidentiality of presidential communications, in refusing to let them testify.
Lawyers for the House Judiciary Committee compared President Bush to the late President Richard Nixon in a legal motion filed today in federal court, as part of their civil contempt lawsuit against White House Chief of Staff Josh Bolten and former White House Counsel Harriet Miers for failing to comply with panel subpoenas. The subpoenas were issued as part of the committee’s probe into the firing of nine U.S. attorneys in 2006.
“Not since the days of Watergate have the Congress and the federal courts been confronted with such an expansive view of executive privilege as the one asserted by the current presidential administration and the individual Defendants in this case,’ said House General Counsel Irv Nathan and other House lawyers in their 45-page motion.
From Online Journal:
David Iglesias, the former U.S. attorney for New Mexico who was one of nine federal prosecutors fired two years ago for reasons that appear to be politically motivated, said a recent House vote to hold former White House counsel Harriet Miers and President Bush’s chief of staff, Josh Bolten, in contempt for refusing to testify before Congress about the matter was encouraging. But he said questions related to his dismissal remain unanswered.
In an interview following the historic vote, the first time in 25 years a full chamber of Congress voted on contempt of Congress citation, Iglesias called upon the White House to “do the right thing.”
“Congress is exercising its legitimate oversight role in this unfinished matter,” said Iglesias, who has written a book on the ordeal, “In Justice: Inside the Scandal that Rocked the Bush Administration,” that is due to be published in June. “I implore the White House to do the right thing and produce Ms. Miers and Mr. Bolten to the Congress.”
A Senate chairman said Thursday that President Bush was not involved in the firings of U.S. attorneys last winter, and he therefore ruled illegal the president’s executive privilege claims protecting his chief of staff, Josh Bolten, and former adviser Karl Rove.
Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy directed Bolten, Rove, former White House political director Sara Taylor and her deputy, J. Scott Jennings, to comply “immediately” with their subpoenas for documents and information about the White House’s role in the firings of U.S. attorneys.
The ruling is a formality that clears the way for Leahy’s panel to vote on whether to advance contempt citations against the four to the full Senate.
The executive privilege claim “is surprising in light of the significant and uncontroverted evidence that the president had no involvement in these firings,” Leahy wrote in his ruling. “The president’s lack of involvement in these firings — by his own account and that of many others — calls into question any claim of executive privilege.”
What happens now is not clear. Leahy did not set a deadline for the subjects of the subpoenas to comply. He could bring the contempt citations before the committee, but there were no plans to do that, according to officials close to the panel.
The ruling was the latest salvo in a nearly yearlong controversy spawned by the firings of at least nine U.S. attorneys that ultimately cost former Attorney General Alberto Gonzales his job.
[Attorney General Michael] Mukasey did not rule out allowing a federal prosecutor to take the case of any contempt citations passed by Congress. House leaders also have filed a contempt citation in their chamber against Bolten and former White House Counsel Harriet Miers, but no floor vote has been scheduled.
Leahy held off on his ruling while the committee moved Mukasey’s nomination, in part because committee officials felt there seemed little point in pursuing citations the White House seemed certain to block.
But Mukasey’s testimony and his promise to quit if Bush ignored his legal advice gives any citation — even the threat of one — more weight.
…out on a limb?
Original DVD cover.
From The Gate:
Less than two months after Dick Cheney reversed course on the claim under a congressional threat and much ridicule, the vice president is once again severing himself from the executive branch of government — this time to defy a subpoena.