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And, yes, I DO take it personally: Contempt of Congress? Ok, fine, so DO it already, goddamit
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Friday, June 22, 2007

Contempt of Congress? Ok, fine, so DO it already, goddamit

i don't want to hear any goddam WARNINGS... the time for WARNINGS is long over... we want ACTION... this lawless, megalomaniacal presidential administration needs to face some ACCOUNTABILITY...
House Judiciary Committee Democrats warned yesterday they would pursue a contempt of Congress motion if the White House fails respond to subpoenas for testimony and documents related to the firings of U.S. attorneys last year.

The deadline for a response is Thursday, June 28. If the White House does not comply, it opens the possibility of a constitutional showdown between the two branches. In an ironic twist, the Department of Justice (DoJ) would be called on to enforce the contempt motion.

it looks like we have yet another opportunity to re-visit inherent contempt... (previous posts here and here...)
the most widely-discussed option, contempt of congress, would entail automatic involvement of the justice department, which, as we now so clearly realize, would be problematic to say the least... however...
Under the inherent contempt power [PDF], the individual is brought before the House or Senate by the Sergeant-at-Arms, tried at the bar of the body, and can be imprisoned. The purpose of the imprisonment or other sanction may be either punitive or coercive. Thus, the witness can be imprisoned for a specified period of time as punishment, or for an indefinite period (but not, at least in the case of the House, beyond the adjournment of a session of the Congress) until he agrees to comply. The inherent contempt power has been recognized by the Supreme Court as inextricably related to Congress’s constitutionally-based power to investigate.

here's kagro x's thoughts...
The most obvious benefit of inherent contempt is that it's conducted entirely "in-house," that is, entirely on the authority of the legislative branch. The most obvious drawback? Spending time on a trial. Well, that and the scene of having the Sergeant at Arms and the Capitol Police physically barred from entering the White House to arrest those who've defied subpoenas.

But is there another choice? What other power, besides impeachment, does the Congress have in its arsenal to enforce the "subpoena power" we were all told this election was about? There are no other direct options, only oblique approaches to using indirect leverage.


Let's face it: if the "administration" simply refuses to budge, the Congress either has to fold its tent and go home, or enforce on its own authority the subpoena power the American people voted for. Given that we've reached this impasse -- and we knew it was coming -- over an investigation into the hyper-partisan and hyper-politicized nature of the U.S. Attorneys, inherent contempt proceedings would appear to be the first and most direct resort of Congress in enforcing its mandate.

contempt of congress, inherent contempt, whatever... let's git 'er done...

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