User:Woozle/2008-06-26 webmail supporting Rove compulsion
Subject: I can has rule of law bak plz?
On July 10, the U.S. House Judiciary Committee will hold a hearing to investigate the firings of nine U.S. Attorneys in 2006 and the questionable prosecution and imprisonment of former Alabama governor Don Siegelman. Karl Rove, a potentially key figure in both incidents, has been issued a subpoena to testify before the committee. Rove’s lawyer has said that Rove will not appear.
Congress has a few options here. First, if Rove fails to appear, you could pass criminal contempt charges against him, as the House did against White House chief of staff Josh Bolten and former White House counsel Harriet Miers. This is good, but will not result in immediate testimony.
The second option is to have Karl Rove arrested, under the theory of inherent contempt, and brought to Congress to testify. This is better, but may still be eventually unsatisfying if Rove ends up testifying yet asserts executive privilege repeatedly in order to avoid disclosing important information.
A third option, and by far my favorite, is to tell the president immediately that he will be impeached if members of his administration do not provide full testimony before Congress by a specific date (sometime in July seems reasonable). This has historical precedent as one of the three articles of impeachment ultimately brought against President Richard Nixon was based on his refusal to comply with congressional subpoenas.
The final option is to do nothing and set a precedent for the future by which any administration can claim that Congress does not have the ability to force executive branch officials to testify before Congress. This would be an affront to our Constitution and Congress is dancing perilously close to this line already; we, the people, cannot allow Congress to become subservient to the executive branch.
Lately, Democrats seem to have bought into the idea that standing up to Bush and company will "hurt" them politically; they should bear in mind, however, that the 110th Congress was given a Democratic majority by people who were mad as hell at Bush and wanted something to be done. The decision NOT to do anything will surely hurt the Democrats the most, if that is the choice they make.
Please do your best to urge your colleagues not to let the Bush administration get away with breaking the law, regardless of *any* excuses including "executive privilege" and the "War on Terror". They have had a free pass for far too long. For the sake of our nation and the principles upon which our government was established, I urge you to take whatever steps are necessary to compel testimony from Karl Rove and others.