Action Alert

Bush Administration, Congress, The Constitution, U.S. Attorneys

Make a Phone Call for the Constitution

Emails and faxes are good, too.

Update: ABC News —

A Democratic-led congressional panel defied President George W. Bush on Wednesday and authorized legal orders to force several White House aides to testify under oath about the firing of eight U.S. prosecutors.

Subpoenas! Here’s the news release from the House Judiciary Committee.

Judiciary Subcommittee Authorizes Chairman Conyers to Issue Subpoenas in US Attorney Investigation

(Washington, DC)- Today, the House Judiciary Commercial and Administrative Law Subcommittee (CAL) voted to authorize the full committee Chairman John Conyers, Jr. (D-MI) to issue subpoenas for current and former White House and Justice Department officials Karl Rove, Harriet Miers, William Kelley, Scott Jennings and Kyle Sampson, as well as documents that the Committee has not yet received.

“The White House’s offer provides nothing more than conversations. It does not allow this Committee to get the information we need without transcripts or oaths,” Conyers said. “This motion allows the Committee to pursue good faith negotiations. We are continuing our talks with the White House, along with the Senate, but we must protect the interest of the Congress and the American people by maintaining the option to move forward with our investigation with or without continued cooperation from the Administration.”

“We have worked toward voluntary cooperation, but we have to prepare for the possibilty that the White House will continue to hide the truth,” said CAL Subcommittee Chairwoman Linda Sánchez. “This Congress respects White House prerogatives as a safeguard for the internal deliberations on the legitimate creation of policy, but they are not a ‘get out of jail free’ card. There must be accountability.”

The motion authorizes the Chairman to issue subpoenas at his discretion for the officials to appear before the Committee relating to the ongoing investigation. It also authorizes Conyers to subpoena additional documents relating to the issue – specifically, unredacted documents that have not previously been provided.

My understanding is that, if people receiving subpoenas refuse to comply, Congress could bring contempt of Congress charges. However, to do that Congress has to go through a (Bush appointed) U.S. attorney. Hmm.

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  1. VJB  •  Mar 21, 2007 @1:21 pm

    There’s a parody song waiting to be sung. Tevye’s song ‘Tradition!’ morphs into ‘Sub Poenas’.

  2. justme  •  Mar 21, 2007 @3:04 pm

    Ok then here is my question.What do we know about this U.S attorney?(besides that he or she was bush appointed).It seems to me that , at least at this level, that a USA may be more shall we say “fair” since at the crux of this the case is about their own, however I would like to know more about who this person is professionally and I would sure like a gander at their record.Are we dealing with a equal to our beloved Fitz or is the point of congress going to this USA made mute by the fact that the USA in question is another gonzo?If it is a gonzo wannabe wouldn’t Congress be peeing in the wind to go looking for justice there?
    I think the left,as a whole, should be handling this as an attorney would…Don’t ask questions you don’t already know the answer to.We shouldn’t be gearing up for any showdowns without weighing whom we are expecting justice from.
    I caught a few minutes of hardball last night and there was some guy from the weekly standard(?) who suggested that the administration would just have this locked up in courts until 2009.And the right talks about how terrorists want to use our system against the American people????hmm I wonder who the terrorists got that idea from????It just makes me sick to see what our great country has been hi-jacked by…I know I should have said “who” instead of “what” but can these people be human?If so what a sad sad testimony to the human race.2008 is a long time to wait for this madness to end.
    My worst fear is that if we do nothing and allow these criminals to serve out their term without bringing them to account for their crimes this country will not survive.Future presidents will take what bush has done further and further and our country as we knew it will be gone.America has become an endangered species.

  3. wmr  •  Mar 21, 2007 @4:41 pm

    Reality Based Community has a rundown of what may happen.

    “Contempt of Congress is like contept of court: defiance means jail. In principle, the Justice Department could refuse to prosecute but at that point even the Republicans in Congress would probably have reached the limits of their tolerance. In addition, either House of Congress has (though it seldom uses) the power to order its Sergeant-at-Arms to simply arrest anyone who defies a subpoena; that power, like civil contempt of court, is coercive rather than punitive. That is, confinement lasts only as long as defiance lasts.”