One Subpoena, Two Subpoena, Three Subpoena, Four!
This was the tune that I was singing yesterday upon reading this from the AP:
The Senate subpoenaed the White House and Vice President Dick Cheney’s office Wednesday, demanding documents and elevating the confrontation with President Bush over the administration’s warrant-free eavesdropping on Americans.
Separately, the Senate Judiciary Committee is summoning Attorney General Alberto Gonzales to discuss the program and an array of other matters that have cost a half-dozen top Justice Department officials their jobs, committee chairman Patrick Leahy announced.
So of course this morning I couldn’t do anything but roll my eyes and sigh when I learned this from the AP:
WASHINGTON (AP) — President Bush, moving toward a constitutional showdown with Congress, asserted executive privilege Thursday and rejected lawmakers’ demands for documents that could shed light on the firings of federal prosecutors.
Bush’s attorney told Congress the White House would not turn over subpoenaed documents for former presidential counsel Harriet Miers and former political director Sara Taylor. Congressional panels want the documents for their investigations of Attorney General Alberto Gonzales’ stewardship of the Justice Department, including complaints of undue political influence.
The Democratic chairmen of the two committees seeking the documents accused Bush of stonewalling and disdain for the law, and said they would press forward with enforcing the subpoenas.
“With respect, it is with much regret that we are forced down this unfortunate path which we sought to avoid by finding grounds for mutual accommodation,” White House counsel Fred Fielding said in a letter to the chairmen of the Senate and House Judiciary Committees. “We had hoped this matter could conclude with your committees receiving information in lieu of having to invoke executive privilege. Instead, we are at this conclusion.”
Thursday was the deadline for surrendering the documents. The White House also made clear that Miers and Taylor would not testify next month, as directed by the subpoenas, which were issued June 13…”Increasingly, the president and vice president feel they are above the law,” said Senate Judiciary Chairman Patrick Leahy, D-Vt. He portrayed the president’s actions as “Nixonian stonewalling.”
Sound familiar? Bush has been taking notes from The Cheney Branch of Government. 18 months to go…AND COUNTING.
I couldn’t help but think of the really bad Steven Seagal movie “Above The Law” from the late ’80’s – not that it has anything to do with The White House…but still, the title comes to mind.