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June 28, 2007


Going nowhere?

That is waving a red flag at Conyers, Waxman and Leahy. See them in court now. I do think more subpeonas will be travelling around the Capitol very soon.

EW, what's your speculation on the next step for Leahy/Conyers, and how fast they'll move?


Clement's on the BushCo Team:

Following graduation, Mr. Clement clerked for Judge Laurence H. Silberman of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit, and for Associate Justice Antonin Scalia of the U.S. Supreme Court.


The Sanchez link took me to a statement by John Conyers.

I'd like to know: how long before Clement is asked to explain himself - and where is that likely to happen first?

Should be fixed, grays.

It is time to begin impeachment proceedings against Alberto Gonzales. There is clear evidence of impeachable offenses. The guy has almost no support in Congress. Executive privilege claims vanish in impeachment proceedings. Under more normal circumstances, a Gonzales resignation might end the matter, but I'm not so sure about it now. Here's a question for the lawyers: If Gonzales resigns, does that end impeachment proceedings or could Conyers keep it going?

Hoping that Conyers and Pelosi move rapidly to vote on holding Harriet Miers and Sara Taylor in contempt. Let the country see the activism of the "strict constructionists".

AZ Matt - Not "going nowhere" - quite the opposite (Ihope!) I see Conyers and Leahy using a two-pronged approach here - they are taking aim both at the White House , and those who cannot shield themselves from executive privilege, such as the telcos and individuals who may have to testify to matters not covered by executive privilege, but which could be equally or more damaging. As to the "soft targets" in the telcos, the executive privilege has to be asserted by the executive, not the individuals, as it does not belong to them. So, Congress can ask them about all kinds of things that are relevant to its oversight role, and not covered by EP. I do not see the general counsel or other bigwigs at any of the telcos taking a hit for Bushco in the way that "made" guys like Scooter might. I have to give SJC and HJC the benefit of the doubt here, for those who may think that this will just be an exercise in stern letter-writing. As to the second prong, Conyers & Leahy could not have been surprised at the assertion of executive privilege in fact, I see it as part of their strategy, to force the White House to pick its ground and fight. I have to think that all of the background interviews they have conducted, along with proffers for immunity, etc, have now been completed, and they are ready to go. As EW has pointed out, Comey for one seems to have been meeting with Schumer or somebody in a parking garage and providing some road maps. There could be all kinds of smoking guns that they already have from the email servers that are extremely damaging. Fred Fielding, for whose tactical ability I have nothing but respect, would certainly be aware that he doesn't know everything that SJC and HJC have. At the end of the day, US v Nixon recognizes that there is the criminal investigation exception to executive privilege (and even vice-executive or Fourthbranch privilege). We are in endgame right now, except that neither side knows how many pieces the other side has left on the board.

This is the Second use of Executive Privilege by the Bush Administration.

The First was to shield the Clinton Documents from the 2001 Congress.

There are dangers here that wiser people than in this blog may be able to see.

it's not directly relevant to this post,but

if you haven't yet read anonymous liberal's column from yesterday on "legislation thru deceit", do so.

it matches dates and events to illustrate white house machinations.

Every time I see Leahy give one of his statements calling BS on all this, I dream about the fall of the house of Bush/Cheney being karmic and real payback for Cheney's f.u. to him.

Adding, further, I do see impeachment on the horizon. Much as in Watergate, the Committees are focussing on clearly provable issues of law and criminal activity, so as to best preserve the coalition of Senators needed to keep impeachment alive. Articles of impeachment for Nioxon were debated about the secret bombing of Cambodia, among other things, but it was considered best not to get into issues of foreign policy that might divide the Committees and add nothing to the impeachment process. I sometimes think we in the progressive community can forget how terrifying it must be for Bushco to realize that a shift in the votes of only 20 or so Senators is all it will take to bring the whole thing down. This is the constituency that must be won, and to have Hatch of all people go along with the subpoena votes would be a powerful signal to Fielding et al.

As the Democrats in Congress continue to investigate wrongdoing by the Bush administration, it is critical that we explain to the public that the act of impeachment simply begins a trial conducted by the legislature. It isn't a nuclear option - rather it is an essential feature of the Constitutional structure.

The trial is a means for our democratically elected representatives to gather more information, to investigate the executive branch, and to find out what it is doing in our name.

The advantage of a using impeachment is that the investigative powers granted in connection with the trial are stronger than those that are normally accorded Congress.

Since the Bush administration is refusing to cooperate with Congress in its investigations, the use of impeachment as a fact-finding mechanism is appropriate and warranted. Indeed, it is the only means available to restore the historically accepted amount of transparency to the executive branch.

For reference, a wiki excerpt regarding impeachment is provided below.


"Impeachment in the United States is an expressed power of the legislature which allows for formal charges to be brought against a civil officer of government for conduct committed in office. The actual trial on those charges, and subsequent removal of an official on conviction on those charges is separate from the act of impeachment itself: impeachment is analogous to indictment in regular court proceedings, trial by the other house is analogous to the trial before judge and jury in regular courts."

Will the Republicans allow their party to go down in flames? Will they be the ones to move impeachment to the table? Their self-preservation seems to be the x factor, yes?

And therein lies the ultimate strategery of Cheney/Rover..for the past 6 years, they have quietly and not so quietly inserted their loyal minions into positions of control and all branches of gov't people who now are responsible for making decisions that "validate" what they do and how they do it...and these loyal minions do it without the slightest concern given to the idea of conflict of interest, impartiality, or objectivity. We just read the entire expose on Cheney and how he did it and Rover's been doing his part too as exposed with the USA purge and Lurita Doan scandal. It's along the lines of the "it's not who votes that count, it's who counts the votes" mentality...they've rigged the entire system in their favor in order to maintain their control and power. The media, with few exceptions, is compromised too. I can't help but wonder and believe that if they were doing their jobs, they may have shed a light earlier into this and it may have changed things. Plus they appear to shrug their shoulders over the whole Cheney/Rove USA gov't coup.

"Executive privilege claims vanish in impeachment proceedings." - WO

This is a compelling reason to commence impeachment proceedings of AbuG without any further delay. He was in the middle of the warrantless spying on Americans, the politicization of the DoJ and probably also in many other acts of abuse of power.

There are dangers here that wiser people than in this blog may be able to see.

Danger!! Will Robinson!! Can we put shit stain, the 'concern troll' and 'Clinton did it too proselytizer' at the top of the list?

Thanks, EW. Sanchez nails it.

Do you see where this is going? Yep, to court as may be indicated by soliciting Clement's opinion rather than an opinion from DOJ OLC. (IANAL sIaTooMA)

In case anyone has forgotten, one of the articles of impeachment against Nixon was refusal to respond to congressional subpoenas. Hmmm....

I'm so glad bold is seldom used by most people. It makes it much easier for me to skip over, Jodi the troll's utterly infantile comments.

still amazing there have been no special prosecutor assignments by congress into a thousand known criminal matters. do you think anything will ever move them? they know the justice department is populated and controlled by a serial liar, working for serial liar, who in turn works for another. the defender is the investigator? please convince me again that this isn't the backroom garble in a banana republic?

Impeachment has been where this has "all been headed" for years; it is just that no one would buck up and admit it. Trying to do this through a systematic approach in the courts, as has been the sad and slow ploy of Congress to date, simply plays into the hands of Bush/Cheney and their desire to gum and run out the clock. The initiation of impeachment opens up everything; and, yes, it is worth it even if a conviction on impeachment cannot be obtained in the Senate. Most, if not all, of the blocking mechanisms available to the administration are either nullified or, at a minimum, severely weakened in the face of impeachment. The regulars here know that both I and Kagro X have been saying this for quite some time. If it was not clear to everyone else before, I hope it is now. There are reasons the impeachment provisions were placed into the Constitution by the founding fathers, and there has NEVER, including Watergate, Andrew Johnson and Clinton, been a time or situation that more desperately cried out for use of impeachment powers than what we face now. If you and your elected representatives do not have the intestinal fortitude and courage to use the power of impeachment, you disrespect the very basis of our country. It is time to take the message hard and heavy to each and every house member to get on with it immediately!

Does't impeachment now seem to be the only HONEST and UNENCUMBERED avenue Congress and We the People have to hold our tax-supported government accountable?

Why let the people we must hold accountable dicate delays? Why involve the DoJ? Why waste time with The 5-4 Sumpreme Court.

If Congress does not act swiftly (criminal investigation) and continues to allow this stonewalling, I will always believe they, too, are somehow in "cahoots" with this administration and have turned their collective back on us and the USA.

I should add that the impeachment does not have to be of Bush, but at a minimum, it must be for Gonzales and/or Cheney. It must be now, to much time has been wasted already.

Impeach Al Gonzales first. He has no credibility or sympathy in Congress or the country. Meanwhile, move the war funding and other funding bills along to use as chips, and draw the contrast with the GOP who doesn't want to fund or pass popular programs. This is where the GOP's inability to do anything but obstruct will trip them up. Impeach Cheney second. Tie them all up so they can't attack Iran between now and the end.

Look at Sununu's reelect numbers in NH--he scores 29% to Jean Shaheen's 57%. And after Lieberman does a fundraiser that brings in $120,000 for Susan Collins in Maine, the netroots and MoveOn raise $250,000 for her Dem oppopnent, Tom Allen.

This has to be getting scary for a number of them.

Mimikatz - I am on board (like you didn't know that) just impeach somebody now; the investigative capabilities are absolutely critical.

In reply to oldtree:

I believe that now only the DOJ can appoint special counsels or prosecutors. Ken Starr was apponited under a now lapsed "Independent Prosecutor" law. He did a good job of discrediting his office, and so both sides in congress agreed not to do that again.

Has anybody sent this to Conyers, Leahy and Waxman yet?

Bmaz, Mimikatz - the impeachment of AGAG would be an excellent dry run for all the reasons you state - no support in Congress or the nation at large, no real dispute as to high crimes or misdemeanors, it could not be spun as an attack on the CIC or the CIC's Commander in the 4thbranch, and could not be short-circuited by AGAG resigning (Grant's Secretary of War tried that by resigning before he was even impeached by the House, let alone tried by the Senate, and it was ruled not to take away Congress' jurisdiction). The best part is that all the investigative options are on the table, without involvement from the courts, or even any grounds of appeal. As I said previosuly, though, I believe it is imperative to maintain the coalition of Senators and the House leadership to allow this to proceed, and that is where HJC and SJC are being so careful. I repsectfully disagree that a failed impeachment is better than none at all - as you both say, impeachment is the ultimate legislative remedy, but it is also very political, and if the issues are not kept focussed on clear breaches of law, it will never get out of committee, let alone the House.

To clarify my point, we have to have a good investigation first, and that is what I believe they are doing in HJC and SJC. Impeachment for the sake of investigation will, I believe, go nowhere with the leadership in the House or the all-important super-majority in the Senate.

That Clement might be conflicted is not in dispute. The question is, given this problem, do the State AG's recgnie their obigation to provide the legal leadership Clement cannot provide: State-level prosections of this President and Vice President.

Clement's status is ot a show stopper, but the catalyst for other lawful options. He isn't a brickwall, but a catapult.

If anyone's serious about sending this thread to Conyers and those at the State level, I encourage you to include the information here:

I just sent the post to Waxman's house e-mail. With the permalink included.

Bless you, PJ. I just called Conyers' DC office; the young man who answered may or may not have written me off as a crank, but if any of you legal eagles wanna try it, go ahead.

Ishmael - Believe me, I understand your concerns in that regard. But sometimes you just reach a point that you have to do what is right. We have, at this point, taken the ball pretty far down the field with committee investigations etc. as to Gonzales. their noses are still being thumbed at us, the American public and the Constitution. The grounds for impeachment of Gonzales are already quite well established; the availability of the investigative tools is only an extra bonus from the process. But if we don't have the guts to play this out, we will simply endure more of the same and that is unacceptable. We have enough already on Gonzales to take out five men, at some point you must step up and proceed. I will not accept the argument by the Goopers that this is political; damn right it is and it is their malfeasance and intransigence that made this necessary. The approval ratings of the Dems are plummeting because we are NOT doing enough. Lastly, there could not be a more hollow, raw political and inappropriate impeachment than that of Clinton. How bad did they suffer for that? Fuck these people, it is time to move for us, to do less is a dereliction of duty.

I've also sent 'Shall' to Big Hank. We'll see ....

After reading Clement's document, I'm starting to wonder if he didn't deliberately leave this breadcrumb trail. It seems to me he could have made the executive privilege argument without these details. Of course, that suggests that Fielding may be in on it too.

Bmaz - I think we are on parallel lines here. We need to have the passion that you so ably express for impeachment ignited in the population as well, and to do this we need to have our shit together before we take that step. A good investigation (and I admit, I am assuming that has taken place and that they have the bullets already loaded), will make it possible to express the need for impeachment effectively. It is crucial that a well-prepared impeachment of AGAG also have Articles of Impeachment drafted so carefully that proof of any H.C.A.M. against Abu will also prove the case of HCAM against Shrub and Dubya too. So, that way the political risk is minimal, and we get essentially an impeachment trial of Dubya and Big Time at the same time as AGAG. Remember, though, Big TIme will be the judge as President of the Senate!

This addresses the apparent notion that impeachment would be "bad" for the DNC. This is absurd. We share the flawed basis for this thinking; and turn the argument on its head -- the excuse is admissible as evidence of recklessness for adjudicating war cries against Members of Congress, and prosecuting legal counsel and attorneys for violating their oath of office.

Disputing the Notion Impeachment Would Backfire

The GOP -- through their lackeys in the DNC -- would like to spew forth the myth that impeachment is bad. Yet, consider the dilemma. If the GOP 'really knows' that impeachment would be 'bad," why isn't the GOP pressing for the very thing that would be "bad for the DNC"?

Inconsistent GOP Inaction: Failure to "Do" What Would "Harm" DNC

The problem for the GOP is their flawed argument. Without a fair showing that they are pushing for something they can blame on the DNC; and "take credit" for, the GOP would have to do the very thing they fear: Remove their President.

The only reasonable conclusion: The GOP has no credible concerns that they "fear" a backlash; nor are they concerned about a "backlash on the DNC." Any chance the GOP has, they would remain silent, and let the DNC suffer -- if that suffering were possible.

GOP Actions At Odds With "Concerns"

Inconsistency between a standard and actions is important. Before us is the apparent "concern" by the GOP, but not matched by Actions. This suggests the GOP is being deceptive and manipulative.

GOP Real Interests: Silently Let DNC Suffer; not warn the enemies of the GOP

When the GOP does something contrary to interests -- "warning" the DNC about a "threat" -- we have to reconsider the GOP actions and motivations. The GOP's commentary on the "backlash of impeachment" is an illusion. If it were real, the GOP would remain silent, let the DNC suffer the backlash. But the GOP does the opposite: Speak about the "backlash for the DNC" not to help the DNC stay immune to a backlash, but to help the GOP stay immune to impeachment.

No other reasonable conclusion is possible. To suggest the GOP is going to "help" the DNC by "warning" them of a "problem" would ask that we believe the GOP -- that cannot help Iraqis or Katrina victims would help their political opponents. How absurd. The GOP concern is illusory; and the DNC "risk of suffering" is not related to any GOP warning, but DNC agreement to assent to this illusion.

Circumventing the Reckless Congress and US Attys

Impeachment -- and the talk of impeachment -- is good. The GOP is powerless to prevent the state AGs from prosecuting this sitting President and Vice President.

Benefit of Impeachment: Invalidates Pardon Prospect

Impeachment proceedings strip the President of option to use Pardon, or the promise of pardon, to insulate EOP-OVP personnel from supporting and engaging in illegal activity.

The language is clear in the existing Constitution: The President

""shall have Power to Grant Reprieves and Pardons for Offences against the United States, except in Cases of Impeachment".


Once Impeachment proceedings start in the House -- regardless the vote in the Senate -- the President cannot issue any pardon. Period. It does not matter, according to the Constitution, what the Senate says; impeachment proceedings only need to start in the House. Impeachment is not the same as removal. That the GOP may "control" 17 or 18 votes in the Senate is irrelevant to the House decision to impeach.

Destroy and eliminate any any notion from your mind and others that "nothing will happen" because of impeachment. No, this is false. Alot will happen: The President shall be denied the power to immunize his co-conspirators. This was the intent of the Framers; and the highest national importance now. Congress can check the President by impeachment in that it can trump his Pardon Power. That is significant. No DNC Member of Congress should forget this: The threat of impeachment is powerful; and impeachment is deadly to the President's ability to lead illegal activity. If he offers no immunity, as would be the case with impeachment, this should dissuade his followers from supporting illegal activity. Yet, despite this risk, the President has deluded people to believe he can forever give them a pardon in exchange for supporting illegal warfare. This is an illusion.

No one in the OVP or EOP should ever sleep with the false notion they are going to get away with this destruction of evidence in re RNC e-mails. That destruction is arguably linked with unlawful war crimes planning, adjudicated by the death penalty.

Impeachment Is A Legal Duty On Par With Prosecution

Precaution and impeachment are not bad: they are legal obligations of elected officials, duties, and things which must be done to enforce the law. when the GOP says that impeachment is bad, they are admitting that they want to block enforcement of the law; but have no explanation why prosecutions cannot be used.

Impeachment and War Crimes: Duty to Use Impeachment to End Geneva Violations

Nuremberg concluded nations who do not use impeachment are not civilized. War crimes tribunals consider whether legislators and legal professionals did or did not assert all lawful options when reviewing whether they did all they could to end war crimes. This Congress and legal community has not met the requirements and precedent of Nuremberg which keeps Impeachment on the table as a standard to assess complicity with Geneva violations.
Nuremberg establishes two options: Impeachment or prosecution to resolve these issues:

"Under any civilized judicial system he could have been impeached and removed from office or convicted of malfeasance in office on account of the scheming malevolence with which he administered injustice."


Lawyers in Congers have blocked both, or not permitted either. this is not an excuse, but further evidence of Member of Congress defying the Nuremberg Precedents in re Geneva and war crimes. Inaction by Congress isn't a solution or final decision, but evidence of their 5 USC 3331 violations in failing to prevent war crimes and recklessly blocking efforts to apply the precedents of Nuremberg to Addington, the VP, and President.

No Evidence GOP Concerned About DNC

The GOP assertion that impeachment would cause a backlash is a statement that is not consistent with the GOP's interests to be silent, and let the DNC suffer. No one should for a moment believe the GOP is concerned about the DNC to "help" the DNC "avoid" a problem. There is no problem for the DNC. the problem is the GOP's self evident power to induce Americans not to fully assert their power to prosecute this sitting President.

Delusional Thinking: How war Criminals Are Enabled And Disabled

Time for the national delusion to end. The GOP may have lost the election, but they have not stopped people from embracing non-sense. there is no "risk" of impeachment for anyone but the GOP and this President. Anyone who asserts we have "other" things to focus on admits they are ignoring the constitutional requirement to prosecute this President. That is recklessness, and evidence of 5 USC 3331 violations. Throw it back in their face, as has America with this absurd legal non-sense from Addington. He has no defense other than to use non-sense. He's on the wrong side of the law.

Criminals in this White house have gained and abused power because they have controlled people's minds. the law is based on reason. It can only be ignored, and not enforced, when criminals induce others not to follow the rules of reason. the same convoluted thinking used to manipulate this EOP staff has been injected into the DNC to delude them to think they might be "at risk" if they dare enforce the law.

Your job is to remind the DNC leadership and your peers: The law is on one side of the line; and this President and his delusions are on the other. The two are not aligned, as this President promised they should be. Your job is to challenge the world to decide: Choose between reason or delusion. If you choose the President's delusion, you shall be destroyed, as the President is learning the hard way in Iraq. Bungled leaders like Bush, Hitler and Napoleon will make stupid military decisions. When they go to far, and cannot sustain themselves, they are defeated. this is what has happened in Iraq; and what the President and this reckless Congress propose to do in Iran.

Beware the delusional thinking of the GOP. It has infected the DNC. Stand up to it, challenge it, and be ready to stand up again after the masses of deluded come after you. They are deluded to deny the rules of reason. These deluded ones have infected the DC Bar and legal system. Beware. Even the most "important" leaders in the legal profession have embraced this delusion. They have no excuses. They are deluded, reckless, and refuse to assert all options. The option on the table: Prosecute Members of Congress who assent to these war crimes; and lawfully target with prosecutions the legal counsel in EOP, OVP, DoJ, and DoD who have defied the law. They are the domestic enemies. They shall lose in the face of We the People and the Rule of Law -- We the People are the source of all power, which is linked with one thing: Reason. America's legal profession has well demonstrated it is the domestic enemy, especially when it is most needed. They too are subject to prosecution:

They wished this.

As long as the underlying "high crimes and misdemeanors" (which, Jodi, need not literally be "crimes", although some of this is, but rather malfeasance or betrayal of the public trust--see Madison, Federalist Papers) are serious, I don't think a failed impeachment (that is, one where the House impeaches but the Senate does not remove from office) still does significant damage to the Administration (no war with Iran, much more scrutiny) and so is a good idea to draw a line in the sand and stop the entrenching of authoritarianism and authoritarians in high places.

In the Clinton case the GOP was damaged more than Clinton, but that is because (1) the charges were petty if not bogus, compared to what Bush has done; (2) Clinton was at 50+ % popularity and left office even higher, IIRC, while Bush is hovering around 30%, depending on the poll; (3) the GOP took such a purient and yet moralistic tone that it offended a majority of the people more than Clinton's conduct; and (4) Clinton's policies were pretty popular, much more so than Bush's. Remember, in the 1998 election the Dems won House seats and the GOP had a leadership fight.

Here we have a deeply unpopular President with a reputation for incompetence and fecklessness waging a deeply unpopular war and with his VP threatening another. The DOJ is a shambles and it is starting to affect cases. The GOP's electoral prospects, as measured in the polls, fundraising and recruiting look dismal, and their crop of presidential wannabees is a joke in terms of their "ideas".

So now is the time to strike, when Bsuh/Cheney are weakened and the GOP is running scared.

In that first sentence, that should be "I do think" that impeachment is good here even if whoever is impeached doesn't get removed. And there is a good chance Gonzo at least would get removed by the time the trial is over.

No doubt about it. MUST IMPEACH Gonzo and Cheney. That's the logical place to start, as they are 2/3 of the manipulative triad that deceives even their own president. To do any less is a derilection of duty.

Any other outstandig subpeonas should be issued first, that way the American People can see just how much snubbing of congress is really in play.

To do this would rally the Democratic Base and bring around centrist in a way that hasn't happened in a very long time. It's Both Congress' duty and good politics.

Mimikatz - Exactly. In the first place, for all the reasons you eloquently noted, and more, I do not view this as much of a political risk. Even if it is a political risk, it is one that must be taken because it is the right and just thing to do. No guts; no justice. I am tired of having the ethos of the country trampled on; I would rather fight and lose than continue to not fight at all. This moment will not survive long into the campaign season though; we must get going immediately.


This is a personal view, not a personal attack. I am not disagreeing with a person, but with hints of arguments I have heard.

I agree with the conclusion -- now is the time to act; I am concerned that some of the assumptions appear to assent to less than forceful assertion of power against a criminal faction. I would hope that the spirit of my comments below are not perceived as a personal attack. My reason for writing it to dispel any notion with these weak arguments which I respectfully disagree and rebut. I am not, repeat NOT calling anyone who supports -- in my view -- weak arguments as being in the GOP.

Concerns with following quote:

1. Vote To Start Process

We have not had an investigation: Concluding now whether the activity -- which ha not been examined -- does or does not warrant impeachment -- is premature. Arguing whether or not impeachment is warranted -- without starting any investigation or hearing -- is absurd. The vote to investigate is not an assertion of wrong doing; only a vote to "find out." This GOP would ask that we not start either on the blind faith that the criminals in the white House are above question. Wrong.

2. End Debates on Process: Start It

The role of the Senate, not the House, is to discuss the evidence. Suggesting we have a foregone conclusion of guilt, before we start an investigation or impeachment is backwards.

3. Let the Senate take responsibility for refusing to remove.

That the Senate "might" do or not do soething is meaningless. Let the Senate face the voters in 2008 and make them explain why they did not act as they should have. To ask us "not" to impeach in the House asks that we prejudge what the senate migth conclude; and what the senate would do when faced with the evidence; or what the Voters would do when the full evidence is revealed. Again, this is backwards: Force the process to find out; not use ignorance to delay needed action.

4. House Impeachment Controls the Senate: Silence, Focus Required

an impeachment lunches the issue into the Senate and compels them to be silent. Up to now, the GOP can block all conference committees and refuse to confront this issue.

5. Multiple Impeachments Possible

Impeachment is not a one-off. A sitting President can be impeached on different crimes any time the House chooses, every day if the House decides. There is nothing the GOP or the Senate or the President can do to stop the house impeaching this President multiple times.

"As long as the underlying "high crimes and misdemeanors" (which, Jodi, need not literally be "crimes", although some of this is, but rather malfeasance or betrayal of the public trust--see Madison, Federalist Papers) are serious, I don't think a failed impeachment (that is, one where the House impeaches but the Senate does not remove from office) still does significant damage to the Administration (no war with Iran, much more scrutiny) and so is a good idea to draw a line in the sand and stop the entrenching of authoritarianism and authoritarians in high places."

I respectfully disagree with the notion that impeachment could "fail" -- merely starting an impeachment would invalidate the President's pardon power. I understand some may define impeachment as "failing" if the Senate fails to remove; but the House may impeach multiple times; and let the Senate take responsibility if it refuses to remove the President for blant war crimes. Let the Senate GOP take their beating in 2008 for not doing what is mandatory: Finding the President guilty of violating the law.

Debating whether the House "should" or "should not" enforce the law and Geneva Conventions is absurd. There is no choice. 5 USC 3331 compels Members of Congress to act, not calculate the voting outcome. This is a GOP ploy to induce inaction not assert the 5 USC 3331 oath.

"In the Clinton case the GOP was damaged more than Clinton, but that is because (1) the charges were petty if not bogus, compared to what Bush has done; (2) Clinton was at 50+ % popularity and left office even higher, IIRC, while Bush is hovering around 30%, depending on the poll; (3) the GOP took such a purient and yet moralistic tone that it offended a majority of the people more than Clinton's conduct; and (4) Clinton's policies were pretty popular, much more so than Bush's. Remember, in the 1998 election the Dems won House seats and the GOP had a leadership fight."
I find it offensive that war crimes are even considered on par with anything Clinton did. Yet, this is irrelevant. The GOP did impeach Cinton. Fine. Get over it. The DNC has refused to impeach Bush for war crimes. That is reckless. As to the "morality" of anything, Nuremberg's refrain was, "Never again," yet this Congress rubber stamps war crimes again.

The issues of popularity should not enter the decision to defend the Constitution. The reason Members of Congress take an oath is to remove discretion, and compel action where they, left to their own, would not voluntary do something.

"Here we have a deeply unpopular President with a reputation for incompetence and fecklessness waging a deeply unpopular war and with his VP threatening another. The DOJ is a shambles and it is starting to affect cases. The GOP's electoral prospects, as measured in the polls, fundraising and recruiting look dismal, and their crop of presidential wannabees is a joke in terms of their "ideas". "

Today's congress, despite taking the oath, looks to the polls to decide whether they want to assert their oath. Reckless and backwards. We chose them to lead, not require we the People to pull them like yapping dogs to the kennel.
It is irrelevant that the DOJ 'might' have problems; or that the shambles are affecting cases. This President has created this mess; DoJ is a symptom.

Reality is not the problem, but the rude reality that DoJ has hidden this bungling. It is irrelevant what might happen in 2008. We always have elections. That there might be an election around the corner is not news: The intent of the framers was to use the imminent elections as a catalyst for action not inaction, as this reckless Congress has done. Congress needs to stop pointing to the election, and starting reading 5 USC 3331, their oath of office: It is a requirement now.

What is most outrageous is this DNC -- which won the majority -- has the power of the majority behind them. they're already in charge, already in control. They could go to the well of the House -- use the platform -- and provide leadership: Press releases, statements, extended debate. Yet this crew does the opposite: Acts as if they're in the minority and still wanders around the Internet asking readers to "request" assistance of Congress Huh? Why aren't the DNC leaders taking the floor of the House and making this statement in the Congressional record? this is ridiculous. Lead! They have the majority already behind them: There's nothing more they need. The GOP isn't going to "agree" to enforcement, especially when the GOP is rewarded for blocking the DNC.

I agree:

"So now is the time to strike, when Bsuh/Cheney are weakened and the GOP is running scared."

And keep after them. This is not about the DNC going after the GOP. It is about We the People imposing Our Will on a criminal faction. The framers intended the factions to clash. But this DNC refuses to clash with the GOP. the Framers also intended that the leadership in DC would lead, not require we the People to lead the lazy faction.

Ishmael - Agreed, but if our shit isn't together by now, it is never going to be. There is plenty of factual and legal support for a rather airtight case on several grounds against Gonzales, but it is time to start the drafting and selling. Polls over a year ago indicated approximately 50% were good to go with impeachment of Bush; let alone Gonzales under the facts as they now exist. The people ARE behind action; in fact they are growing disillusioned that action is not being promulgated. The biggest risk politically, morally and constitutionally lies in NOT proceeding. The people are sick, tired and ready for this crap to be addressed; we must start the wagon rolling for them to jump on.

bmaz, I'm with you. I'm tired of hearing 'there isn't enough time to impeach'. Cr*p! There's plenty of time; (IANAL) investigation should not be that big a problem. There's all those (recorded) pressers with the evasions and the outright lies, there's the committee hearings where Gonzo amnesified (you can't say he testified, because he kept saying he couldn't remember anything), there's their own e-mails, the ones that have been dumped: I want the committees to use the stuff they have and nail these people!

Bmaz & PJ - For the sake of argument, say Congress impeaches and convict AGAG for lying to Congress, relying on the stuff on the public record that is easy to prove and easy to understand. AGAG is gone and, perhaps, can never hold executive office again. Then what? Is it not better to impeach AGAG with charges that Bush and Cheney are both guilty of, with the same factual background and dates, times etc, like FISA violations? Sad as it may be, I don't think the torture and war crime charges will keep the Republicans in the camp, but FISA is different if we can show they were spying on Americans, domestic political opponents, etc. Make AGAG's impeachment a shadow trial of Bush & Cheney, with fewer problems in keeping the votes together, and then if it comes to impeaching Bush & Cheney, how can the Senators not vote again in favour with the same evidence? I'm not counselling this out of a wish for delay, far from it. There's no reason it cannot be done quickly with AGAG, but it has to be done knowing you have the witnesses already lined up, immunized if necessary, and the documents as well. Do any of you see any downside to what I am suggesting?

I would encourage a comparison with Clements' assertions with those of Ralston at her deposition. It appears Clements assertions are false; and Ralston wanted to hide "patterns" of communication. That does not appear to be true.

It's more likely Clement's assertions were the very things Ralston would know are not true; if they were true, Ralston would have said so. It's most reasonable to Conclude Ralston invoked silence for a dubious reason; that the RNC e-mails were related to illegal activity; and Clements has lied to Congress in writing.

Links here to Ralston deposition:

[ Ishmael | June 28, 2007 at 18:16 ]

There's little reason to offer immunity to anyone when the RNC-OVP-WH is cotradicting itself. Let them disclose more evidence. We got trash from Ralston and Goodling: No reason to grand more immunity to people who are offering dubious grounds for that immunity.

The information contained, and supposedly the reason for the immunity, doesn't square with other public information. we don't need to see the evidence when the statementes are not consistent; and the reasonble inferences are Ralston and Clements are both lying or invoking dubious claims. there's other evidence which will support or reject these conclusoins. Immunity is needed when we have no clue what we're dealing with. Inconsistent statements give a fair signal what the crimes are.

Ishmael - Yes. There are a couple of problems. First is time. There is not room for delay; I don't care if you have photos of Cheney shooting the Pope in the face, you are not going to get movement if you are deep into the campaign season. Secondly, sometimes you have to take what you can get and work upwards (think how Fitzgerald historically operates). Gonzales is there for the taking now and the investigative modalities available from that impeachment process are absolutely crucial to effectively going further against other actors such as Cheney and Bush. I really can't emphasize this enough. We have reached a roadblock on many fronts without going through the court process, a process that will literally drag this out until they are gone. In the first place, Federal courts are quite soon to be on summer recess, the DOJ will assist the administration in sandbagging this, and the process, being effectively civil in nature stands little chance of being accelerated, especially in the DC Circuit. To continue playing this out the way it has been to date, without interjecting impeachment proceedings is a road to nowhere. Also, I return to the founder's rationale behind the impeachment process; it was not to use for maximum political advantage or to only be used when it was of no political risk. Impeachment was designed to address wrongs and cancers in the government for the protection of the people and the rule of law. We are obligated to use it now. Lastly, the administration is killing us every day through destruction of evidence, entrenching of their minions in the system and obfuscation of the harm. They have to be boxed in and put on their heels to minimize these factors. NOW.

Wow. That anon has rallied you together. Now we are getting some Action Items.

I will vote to impeach Bush. And bring our boys home.

The rest of the Administration are just lackeys.

Without Bush, they would just be clerks..

What is that old joke my Dad told me?

"I had two sons. One went to sea, the other became vice-President. Neither were ever heard of again."

Shit stain Jodi was here.




You only got a year and a half of raw time, less than a year with the elections coming. You got to get it rolling!

as a public service -- though
it did cause me to throw up in
my mouth a little -- i have set
both the clement coniption-fit, and
the fielding flatulence, as fully-
seachable plain texts on mine, at
the above-two-links. . .

i'll comment on each in due course,
but for now, know that the searchable
text makes it easy to find, and point
up, the places where clement's analysis
may present powerful arguments against
the positions taken by lawrence robbins on
behalf of scooter libby. . . fun stuff!

p e a c e

I heard Clement give false testimony to the justices in the Padilla oral argument in the spring of 2004. He assured the justices they could be confident the executive branch does not torture. That on the same day in the evening of which CBS broadcast the Abu Ghraib photographs.

Clement claims he was misinformed by the administration. But, shortly after that debacle, Solicitor General Olson resigned. Deputy Solicitor General Clement did not resign, but instead accepted a promotion to Solicitor General.

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