Pelosi on Contempt of Congress, Impeachment and Ending the War

Via recontext, this SFChronicle article has Speaker Pelosi's thoughts on contempt of Congress, impeachment and ending the Iraq Debacle:

Congress this week will take the next step to force the Bush administration to hand over information about the dismissal of U.S. attorneys and the politicization of the Justice Department, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said Saturday. . . . Pelosi spokesman, Brendan Daly, said . . . it would be former White House counsel Harriet Miers, who defied a House Judiciary Committee subpoena to appear. . . . Pelosi also reiterated Saturday that she would not engage in what would perhaps be the biggest confrontation possible with the White House -- seeking the impeachment of Bush over the Iraq war. . . . "Look, it's hard enough for us to end the war. I don't know how we would be successful in impeaching the president," Pelosi said.

Expect the howls to be deafening from impeachik quarters. I'll be howling too if Pelosi does not acknowledge the Congressional power of the purse to end the war and the power of the Congress to use inherent contempt to enforce its subpoenas.

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    Monday morning blue (dogs) (5.00 / 2) (#6)
    by BillE on Mon Jul 23, 2007 at 11:35:41 AM EST
    It would be very hard to get the vote totals to do anything in the affirmative.  Like has been said here before, only by not voting can something be defeated in either house.  See rethug obsruction via the fillibuster this year.  

    The only way is to not give the Bushies anything they want via not voting.  No judges, no war spending money, etc.  

    Only issue I see is that Bush will just ignore the spending denial and do recess appointments.  At least the recess appointments will expire with him.  The spending authority part could be another constitutional crisis.  See the discussion Military Law Review KagroX on DKos picks through it but the essential question brought up is what happens if he just ignores congress another way?  He has been doing it in everything else.

    Nice Twist (5.00 / 1) (#18)
    by squeaky on Mon Jul 23, 2007 at 02:18:57 PM EST
    .....They can be fired for any reason....

    Yes, that may be true but if the firing is done to cover up illegal activity, or they are fired for not participating in illegal activity a crime has been committed.

    I don't know about you ... (1.00 / 1) (#17)
    by chemoelectric on Mon Jul 23, 2007 at 02:15:38 PM EST
    ... but I, personally, have not been deafened by impeachniks. I don't think Nancy Pelosi is deafened, either; she hears questions and gives reasonable answers.

    Why don't you just change the channel, preferably to a channel that actually matters, and take off those headphones and turn down the volume. You don't have to read this KagroX or whatever it's called, you know; I certainly don't read it, since I only have time to read blogs that actually matter (TPM, Glenn Greenwald foremost).

    What is your problem? (none / 0) (#19)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Mon Jul 23, 2007 at 02:28:21 PM EST
    look, if this doesn't matter, then move on.

    You are quite an annoying person at this point.


    She has already said (none / 0) (#1)
    by Edger on Mon Jul 23, 2007 at 10:44:10 AM EST
    that impeachment is "off the table". It will not happen. And would be a waste of time and utterly toothless anyway. Bush  would love it if it were tried.

    She can just as easily say that no longer funding the Iraq occupation is "off the table" and will not happen. It would also have some teeth.

    erm.... (none / 0) (#2)
    by Edger on Mon Jul 23, 2007 at 11:16:48 AM EST
    ...just as easily say that continuing to fund the Iraq occupation is "off the table" and will not happen.

    Provided she has 217 supporters (5.00 / 1) (#3)
    by andgarden on Mon Jul 23, 2007 at 11:21:05 AM EST
    in the House.

    Yes. (none / 0) (#4)
    by Edger on Mon Jul 23, 2007 at 11:28:57 AM EST
    217 supporters that don't have to vote.

    If they were busy trying to oust her (none / 0) (#5)
    by Edger on Mon Jul 23, 2007 at 11:30:17 AM EST
    no funding bills would be passed while they were busy either.

    That was a bit of snark, btw (none / 0) (#7)
    by Edger on Mon Jul 23, 2007 at 11:42:50 AM EST
    She is not going to do anything against her own self interest.

    And that's part of the problem.

    Forbes, July 20/07:

    Dismal approval ratings for the Democratic-led Congress - even worse than President Bush's - don't seem to be a threat to the party in next year's elections.

    Congress' reputation is hurt by widespread anger over the war in Iraq, and lawmakers' inability to change the war's course. On that point, Republicans are still far more vulnerable than Democrats, say strategists in both parties.
    AP's survey indicated that the war, more than anything else, was seen as the most important problem facing the country.

    So far she perceives no political risk in continuing to fund the occupation....

    John Yoo and WSJ (none / 0) (#8)
    by lawstudent on Mon Jul 23, 2007 at 12:08:46 PM EST
    For another view on contempt, John Yoo had a vomit-inducing article in today's WSJ.  If you don't have a subscription, you won't have "the privilege" of reading this one.  But the WSJ law blog sums it up: "the Democrats' attack on Bush's assertion of executive privilege shows a blatant disregard for the Constitution...President Clinton's 'personal recklessness' -- he asserted the privilege during the Monica Lewinsky scandal -- 'undermined executive privilege for all future presidents.'"  I don't even know where to begin...

    Does Yoo discuss inherent contempt? (none / 0) (#9)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Mon Jul 23, 2007 at 12:17:58 PM EST
    Nope, he ignores it (none / 0) (#10)
    by andgarden on Mon Jul 23, 2007 at 12:21:22 PM EST
    (I got a free year of access to the WSJ).

    Edger's link works (none / 0) (#12)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Mon Jul 23, 2007 at 12:41:49 PM EST
    It's a pretty useless piece. Not even crazy interesting. same old same old.

    Heck, executive privilege is necessary but it needs a neutral arbiter. Yoo foresees it in the Supreme Court.

    How exactly that is supposed to happen given what Bush is asserting is not clear.


    He's a partisan hack (5.00 / 1) (#13)
    by andgarden on Mon Jul 23, 2007 at 12:48:01 PM EST
    one wonders if he actually believes what he writes.

    I suspect that belief, for him, (5.00 / 1) (#14)
    by Edger on Mon Jul 23, 2007 at 01:00:53 PM EST
    has nothing to do with it, and that he is only about sucking up to power. He'll pretend belief if he thinks doing so will benefit him.

    Try (none / 0) (#11)
    by Edger on Mon Jul 23, 2007 at 12:39:03 PM EST
    here and you should be able to read it. I can. I am not a subsrciber.

    The Dems are either chicken or worse... (none / 0) (#15)
    by Slado on Mon Jul 23, 2007 at 01:49:24 PM EST
    I quite frankly am tired of Reid and Pelosi saying one thing and then doing another.

    I don't agree with impeachment or defunding the war but I do agree with a politician doing what they say and frankly Reid and Pelosi like to talk like their supporters but they won't do anything about it.

    They could defund the war tomorrow or they could impeach the president tomorrow.  I wouldn't agree with it but it's their right.   Instead they take political cheap shots at the president saying the war is lost, he's the worst president ever blah, blah blah, then they waste time and money with the overninght charade.

    When's it going to end?   Their approval is at 14% because republicans know they're full of it and you guys are finally realizing that they don't mean what they say.

    Do something already or just shut up.

    particularly funny coming from a wrongwinger (none / 0) (#20)
    by Sailor on Mon Jul 23, 2007 at 08:26:12 PM EST
    All the wrongwingers are just so happy to give Dems advice and be disappointed in them.

    Still Baffled (none / 0) (#16)
    by jarober on Mon Jul 23, 2007 at 02:12:55 PM EST
    The simple fact is, US Attorneys work at the pleasure of the President.  They can be fired for any reason, or no reason at all.  

    Am I to believe that the next time a Democrat gets elected, US attorneys will be treated in a sacrosanct manner?

    And no, the fact that they were fired mid term isn't relevant - they are "at will" employees.  

    bawk, bawk, bawk (none / 0) (#21)
    by Sailor on Mon Jul 23, 2007 at 08:28:12 PM EST
    US attorneys are not allowed to obstruct justice. They are not allowed to carry out a political agenda that is against the law.

    And their bosses aren't allowed to do that either.