“We had hoped our Committees’ subpoenas would be met with compliance and not a Nixonian stonewalling that reveals the White House’s disdain for our system of checks and balances…The veil of secrecy you have attempted to pull over the White House by withholding documents and witnesses is unprecedented and damaging to the tradition of open government by and for the people that has been a hallmark of the Republic.” In a “barbed” letter to the administration, Judiciary Committee Chairmen Conyers and Leahy demand that Dubya explain his rationale for executive privilege (which he invoked earlier in the week to thwart subpoenas concerning the persecuted prosecutors case.) Thus far, the White House has described the letter as “another overreach.“
“The story isn’t who picked on a sick guy or even who did or didn’t break laws. The story is who gets to decide what’s legal. And the president’s now-familiar claim, a la Richard Nixon, is that it’s never illegal when he does it.” Dahlia Lithwick drives home the disturbing message of last week’s Comey revelations. And, also in Slate, Frank Bowman offers another reason why Alberto Gonzales should be impeached: the firing of David Iglesias. Update: In related news, Specter thinks Gonzales will soon quit, particularly if the Senate passes a no-confidence vote on him. (The White House, thus far, disagrees.)
With even Republicans such as Senator John Sununu now calling for his firing as a result of the furor over persecuted prosecutors, embattled Attorney General Alberto Gonzales gets the usual heck-of-a-job from Dubya: “I’ve heard those allegations about political decision-making — it’s just not true…What Al did, and what the Justice Department did, was appropriate.” Meanwhile, side-stepping Gonzales’ misdeeds, Salon‘s Sidney Blumental sees the hand of Karl Rove at work in the firings.
With even the Republicans on the Senate Judiciary close to revolt over the issue of the persecuted prosecutors, the Dubya White House and Attorney General Alberto Gonzales are forced into an uncharacteristic retreat. “Gonzales…will no longer oppose legislation limiting the attorney general’s power to appoint interim prosecutors. Gonzales also agreed to allow the committee to interview five top-level Justice Department officials as part of an ongoing Democratic-led probe into the firings.“
So that’s how Dubya raised so much loot. According to a front page story in tomorrow’s Post, at least six GOP Attorneys General apparently used their clout to extort campaign contributions from corporations under their thumb. Looks like the Republicans learned a thing or two from Tammany Hall…this behavior reeks of bossism.