August 07, 2008


Court Indirectly Reminds Congress Wecht Prosecution Linked With Impeachment


The court ruling against Miers and Bolten mentions the express purpose of an investigation, which the House may investigate. Miers, Bolten, and Rove are, for now, at the heart of the Judiciary Committee inquiry into selective prosecutions.

The court reminded the government and Congress the underlying subject is not narrowly gathering information or conducting an investigation, but the removal of executive officials:

Court: "Moreover, the Executive argues, the Committee cannot rest on an implied right to investigate derived from Article I because the underlying subject matter here -- removal of executive officials -- is an issue on which Congress has no authority to legislate and thus no corresponding right to investigate."
The court rejected this argument.

Selective Prosecution Against Wecht and Others Cited in Letter to Rove Counsel

After the court ruled against Miers on privilege claims, on August 1st, 2008 House Judiciary Chairman Conyers mentioned the Wecht case in a letter to Rove's attorney, whose law firm includes DoD military analysts:
Conyers: "On October 23, 2007, the Subcommittee on Crime, Terrorism, and Homeland Security and the CAL Subcommittee held a joint hearing exploring several cases of alleged selective prosecution, including the prosecutions of former Democratic Alabama Governor Don Siegelman, Wisconsin state employee Georgia Thompson, and prominent Democrat Cyril Wecht in Pittsburgh."
The letter cites three selective prosecution hearings, footnotes 11-13, page 4 of 12:
A. Allegations of Selective Prosecution: The Erosion of Public Confidence in our Federal Justice System: Joint Hearing Before the Subcomm. on Crime, Terrorism, and Homeland Security and the Subcomm. on
Commercial and Admin. Law of the H. Comm. on the Judiciary, 110th Cong. (2007).

B. Allegations of Selective Prosecution Part II: The Erosion of Public Confidence in our Federal Justice System: Joint Hearing Before the Subcomm. on Crime, Terrorism, and Homeland Security and the Subcomm. on
Commercial and Admin. Law of the H. Comm. on the Judiciary, 110th Cong. (2008).

C. The Politicization of the Justice Department and Allegations of Selective Prosecution: Hearing Before the Subcomm. on Commercial and Admin. Law of the H. Comm. on the Judiciary, 110th Cong. (2008).
The court said "Ms. Miers is not absolutely immune from congressional process and that Mr. Bolten must produce more detailed documentation concerning privilege claims"

On impeachment investigations, there is no debate, and Congress needs to ignore the President's excuses:
Court: "[T]he Executive overlooks the fact that the Supreme Court has already construed Article I in McGrain, Eastland, and other cases to find an implied right of investigation, and indeed an implied right to compel compliance with that investigative power, accruing to Congress."
Conyers' letter says his staff is preparing for Rove's September 2008 testimony.
Conyers: "Particularly in light of yesturday's ruling by Judge Bates clearly rejecting the absolute immunity claims on which Mr. Rove relied, we expect that mr. Rove will agree to appear promptly before the Committee as the subpoena requires."
The only reasonable interpretation of the court ruling is that the court intended to remind the Congress, public, and executive branch the goal of the subpoena is not to narrowly gather facts or conduct an investigation; but to make an informed decision about whether to remove or not remove Executive Branch officials for crimes.
It is absurd for the Speaker and House Members to celebrate this victory against Miers, but then not expressly state their open intent to use this information to support an impeachment investigation or impeachment.
All information and investigations about Wecht must be couched in the proper perspective. It is not narrowly a question of political power, but whether or not the Executive will or will not be examined, and, as needed, punished for that abuse of power against Wecht and the Wecht Jury.

The Executive abuse has happened and continues. The Congress, by refusing to keep all options on the table to challenge that abuse is complicit.

This language from the court shows us why the Senate needs to take a role in conducting investigations. There is nothing stopping the Senate from gathering facts, and transmitting those to the House for their consideration:
Court: "Because the Congress expires every two years, and a subpoena issued by the House remains valid only for the duration of that Congress, it would be difficult for any House subpoena dispute to fit into that two-year window once the time for appeal is factored into the equation."
An impeachment investigation must be expressly linked in Congress with these investigations into selective prosecutions and attorney firings. Until the Congress convinces the public it understands this -- with investigations in both the House and Senate -- the public must reasonably conclude the Congress is incapable of comprehending gentle remind from the Court.

The court reminds us: Congress has the power, not the right, to investigate. An impeachment investigation, as a power, is always on the table. Congress, in refusing to keep impeachment on the table, cannot (in its own mind) convince itself why it is really conducting these investigations.

Impeachment is not the same as a removal. It is a process to gather facts, make charges, and let the Senate
decide what to do. Representative Pelosi must explain why she will not let the Senate
and the House fulfill their legal obligations. Conversely, there is nothing stopping the Senate from independently investigating.

The error isn't simply the government abuse of power; but the Congressional complicity in refusing to challenge that abuse, and the absurd arguments for inaction:
Court: "Two parties cannot negotiate in good faith when one side asserts legal privileges but insists that they cannot be tested in court in the traditional manner."
Power can -- and must -- be tested during impeachment, and Pelosi is not in charge
of Congress. She is the Speaker of the House. She must lead the effort
to investigate in the House; or we must lead an effort to find a new Speaker.
Either the executive branch officials are investigated for possible removal; or Pelosi must be removed.
Congress is lost. This is, in part, a leadership problem with the Speaker. She must convince the public she understands the gentle reminder from the court -- the investigations are about a removal decision. Without her leadership she must be removed as Speaker.

Let's turn our attention to the Senate and their ongoing collusion with the President.

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