I put Middle Earth Journal in hiatus in May of 2008 and moved to Newshoggers.
I temporarily reopened Middle Earth Journal when Newshoggers shut it's doors but I was invited to Participate at The Moderate Voice so Middle Earth Journal is once again in hiatus.

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Constitutional Crisis?

I assume this isn't going to cut it.
White House Offers Interview With Rove
WASHINGTON Mar 20, 2007 (AP)— The White House offered Tuesday to make political strategist Karl Rove and former counsel Harriet Miers available for interviews but not testimony under oath before congressional committees investigating the firing of eight federal prosecutors.

Sen. Charles Schumer, D-NY, said he would still press for White House aides to testify under oath, saying that White House counsel Fred Fielding "indicated he didn't want to negotiate" whether Rove and others would have to appear in a full hearing. "That doesn't mean we're not going to try," Schumer said.
I would like to hear some stronger words from Schumer and the Democrats like NO, that's not enough. If it's no to under oath it's yes to subpoenas. Karl Rove will lie - make him lie under oath.

I really think the White House wants subpoenas and wants a Constitutional crisis. Their battered hubris needs a boost and that they have enough tyrant loving federalists on the Supreme Court to eventually win. Sadly they may be right.

We will see what Bush himself has to say at 5:45 PM (EST)

Well it looks like I was right!
Bush warns Dems to take offer in firings
WASHINGTON - President Bush warned Democrats Tuesday to accept his offer to have top aides testify about the firings of federal prosecutors only privately and not under oath, or risk a constitutional showdown from which he would not back down.
Bush to Congress: You can talk to them off the record but don't expect them to tell the truth. If that's not enough; "bring it on". Leahy seems to be ready to do just that.
Democrats' response to his proposal was swift and firm. "Testimony should be on the record and under oath. That's the formula for true accountability," said Patrick Leahy, chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee.

Update II
As I mentioned above I think the courts will probably uphold executive privilege and John Cole agrees.
My second thought is that I am siding with Bush on the subpoena nonsense (despite my snarky post last night, which was actually more about the other administration misbehaviors/power grabs and how they were excused), and so will the courts. They will not allow aides to come forward and testify, and the courts will side with him. The Democrats will have to use the document dumps and other means to find out what really happened, and I am not willing to throw aside a necessary precedent that has served previous Presidents well.
I'm inclined to agree. There is a danger in castrating the office because of one really bad person who holds the office. That doesn't mean I don't think the Democrats should try - they should. While the President does have the authority to reject congressional demands it will only make things worse for the administration, convincing even more voters that the administration has something to hide. While the subpoena works it way through the court system the Democrats should continue to investigate using everything else at their disposal. Remember when it came to Nixon's tapes the Supreme Court made an exception to executive privilege because there was so much evidence that the Nixon administration was trying to conceal illegal activity.

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