Breaking everywhere the past week: 29-year-old former CIA IT guy and defense contractor Edward Snowden reveals to Glenn Greenwald that the NSA has been indiscriminately collecting everyone’s phone records and gouging into the data networks of Apple, Google, Facebook, and other mainstays of today’s social media. “The Prism program allows the NSA, the world’s largest surveillance organisation, to obtain targeted communications without having to request them from the service providers and without having to obtain individual court orders.”
Sadly, this isn’t all that surprising. There have been intimations that the NSA has been up to no good — even beyond the warrantless wiretap fiasco under Dubya — since that weird visit to John Ashcroft’s hospital bed. Nor, sadly, is it all that surprising that — despite saying exactly the opposite in 2007 — our current President is both fine with these surveillance practices and authorizing them. (And at least from my perspective, the idea that getting the rubber stamp approval of a secret FISA court that never says no makes it all ok does not hold water.)
This is exactly what I was talking about last update. Obama acts tortured about continuing all of Dubya’s most terrible civil liberties violations, but then goes ahead and does them anyway. For Crom’s sake, he’s even picked James Comey, the guy who approved warrantless wiretaps back in 2006, to be the new FBI chief. And because this president and this administration is so brazenly two-faced about their anti-terror policies, you end up with disturbing polls like this:
For example, in the Senate: On one hand, we have Ron Wyden, Mo Udall, and Jeff Merkley calling out Obama for continuing with this extra-legal, ginormous-net approach to surveillance. “‘As far as we can see, all of the useful information that it has provided appears to have also been available through other collection methods that do not violate the privacy of law-abiding Americans in the way that the Patriot Act collection does,’ Udall and Wyden said.”
On the other hand, here’s ostensibly Democrat Dianne Feinstein yesterday going full Body Snatcher about Snowden: “‘I don’t look at this as being a whistle-blower,’ Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calf.) said. ‘I think it’s an act of treason.‘” (FWIW, John Boehner and Lindsey Graham were right there with her.) Of course, it’s never “treason” when Feinstein continually does it, and, in any case, this wasn’t breaking news either: The senior Senator from California has long been a quintessential “symbol of the worthless Beltway Democrat.”
This revealing breeze stirred by the NSA revelations is coursing through media outlets too. On one hand, Slate‘s Fred Kaplan has — quite correctly — called for James Clapper’s resignation, given that he flat-out lied to Congress: “We as a nation are being asked to let the National Security Agency continue doing the intrusive things it’s been doing on the premise that congressional oversight will rein in abuses. But it’s hard to have meaningful oversight when an official in charge of the program lies so blatantly in one of the rare open hearings on the subject.” Spot on.
Meanwhile, TPM’s Josh Marshall, who likes to pretend his blog is a font of independent thinking, hems and haws about it all in classic pusillanimous Village-think fashion, all the while making sure never to say anything that might harm his establishment respectability. “I’ve made clear that I don’t see Manning as a hero or a whistleblower or really anything positive at all…Pretty early I realized that to his supporters Manning was a whistleblower who was being persecuted by the government, almost like a political prisoner or prisoner of conscience.” No, Josh, it doesn’t “seem” that way “to his supporters” — That is in fact what is %#%@ happening.
In any case, so as not to fall into the same trap, I’ll just say it outright: First, if Snowden and Manning are traitors, then so is Daniel Ellsberg and so, for that matter, is Dianne Feinstein and any other politician or government official who leaks when it’s convenient. (Also, sorry, folks. there is no substantive difference between revealing secrets to the criminal Julian Assange or to the venerable Bob Woodward. But please do let me know when Richard Armitage is put in a sweatbox for 23 hours a day.)
Second, this vast surveillance apparatus NSA has been constructing is both obviously overkill and clearly legally and constitutionally repugnant, and if this president lived up to even half the rhetoric he continually espoused before he was elected, he would have ended it years ago. Quite frankly, the doubletalk from him, and from so many other Democrats about these revelations so far, is both inexcusable and out-and-out pathetic.
“The grim truth is, not much has changed. The Bush administration continues to limit our basic freedoms, conceal its own worst behavior, and insist that it does all this in order to make us more free.” As a follow-up to her 2006 list of civil liberties violations, Slate‘s Dahlia Lithwick surveys The Bush Administration’s Top 10 Stupidest Legal Arguments of 2007.
“James B. Comey, the straight-as-an-arrow former No. 2 official at the Justice Department, yesterday offered the Senate Judiciary Committee an account of Bush administration lawlessness so shocking it would have been unbelievable coming from a less reputable source.” By way of Medley, the WP blanches at a ridiculous attempt by then-White House counsel Alberto Gonzales to secure warrantless wiretaps against the will of the Justice Department. “Having failed, they were willing to defy the conclusions of the nation’s chief law enforcement officer and pursue the surveillance without Justice’s authorization. Only in the face of the prospect of mass resignations — Mr. Comey, FBI Director Robert S. Mueller III and most likely Mr. Ashcroft himself — did the president back down.“
“If another nation’s leader adopted such positions, the United States would be quick to condemn him or her for violating fundamental tenets of the rule of law, human rights, and the separation of powers. But President Bush has largely gotten away with it, at least at home, for at least three reasons. His party holds a decisive majority in Congress, making effective political checks by that branch highly unlikely. The Democratic Party has shied away from directly challenging the president for fear that it will be viewed as soft on terrorism. And the American public has for the most part offered only muted objections. These realities make the Supreme Court’s decision in Hamdan v. Rumsfeld, issued on the last day of its 2005-2006 term, in equal parts stunning and crucial.” In related news, as seen at both Salon and Mother Jones (as well as the New York Review of Books), author and law professor David Cole underlines the importance of the Hamdan decision in preserving the rule of law and throttling Dubya’s unchecked power grabs of late.
Even more Snoopgate fallout: As last week’s bombshell story in USA Today makes the covers of the major newsweekies, two ABC reporters say their calls to sources are being monitored. “A senior federal law enforcement official tells ABC News the government is tracking the phone numbers we call in an effort to root out confidential sources. ‘It’s time for you to get some new cell phones, quick,’ the source told us in an in-person conversation.”
Dubya officially nominates Michael Hayden to replace Porter Goss at CIA, despite bipartisan criticism of Hayden’s military background. “U.S. Rep. Pete Hoekstra, chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, said, ‘This appointment…signals that we are not that concerned about having an independent intelligence community independent of the Department of Defense.‘” Nevertheless, some top Dems, including the House Intelligence Committee’s Jane Harman and Sen. Dianne Feinstein, have indicated that they’re both ok with the pick and will, likely, avoid the NSA wiretaps issue like the plague during the hearings.
As y’all have probably heard by now, controversial CIA chief Porter Goss was forced to quit his post yesterday, no doubt to much rejoicing at Langley. “As the normally mild-mannered Ivo Daalder, a former staff member at the National Security Council under Bill Clinton, put it, ‘Porter Goss was such an absolute disaster for the agency and our national security that his departure comes not a day too soon.’” Goss chalked up his abrupt dismissal as “just one of those mysteries,” but other reports suggest the real reason — bribes, poker, and prostitutes — is less mysterious than it is just plain unsavory. “‘It’s all about the Duke Cunningham scandal,’ a senior law enforcement official told the Daily News in reference to Goss’ resignation.” As for his replacement, Dubya has tapped former NSA chief Michael Hayden, which may mean the warrantless wiretaps may soon get another hearing in the Senate.
“‘We know the president broke the law,’ Leahy said. ‘Now we need to know why.’” With the Dems — except for Feingold and Leahy — AWOL yet again, the Senate Judiciary Committee debates Feingold’s censure resolution and hears testimony from former Nixon counsel John Dean, who is back before Congress for the first time since Watergate. Said Feingold at one point: “If you want the words ‘bad faith’ in [the censure resolution], let’s put them right in, because that’s exactly what we have here…The lawbreaking is shocking in itself, but the defiant way that the president has persisted in defending his actions with specious legal arguments and misleading statements is part of what led me to conclude that censure is a necessary step.” Said the rest of the committee Dems (Kennedy, Biden, Kohl, Feinstein, Schumer, Durbin): Nothing.
“This is clearly more serious than anything President Clinton was accused of. It is reminiscent of what President Nixon was not only accused of doing but was basically removed from office for doing.”/em> As Senator Feingold continues his lonely push for a censure resolution, the GOP go into full “soft on terror” attack mode, while most Dems — of course — commence to hemming and hawing. “Reid…commended [Feingold] ‘for bringing this to the attention of the American people. We need a full and complete debate on this NSA spying.’ Reid and Sen. Joseph I. Lieberman (D-Conn.) told reporters they wanted to examine the resolution before endorsing or rejecting it.” The world is watching, Dems: Get up and fight!
“This conduct is right in the strike zone of the concept of high crimes and misdemeanors….We, as a Congress, have to stand up to a president who acts like the Bill of Rights and the Constitution were repealed on Sept 11.” On This Week, Senator Feingold calls for a censure of Dubya for, “openly and almost thumbing his nose at the American people,” continuing the NSA warrantless wiretaps. (The censure resolution is here.) Catkiller Frist — flush from his straw poll win over the weekend — responded by calling the censure a “terrible, terrible signal” to give the evildoers. It’s “terrible” to show respect for the rule of law? Get real. It’s about time somebody in the AWOL Senate stood up to this administration’s repeated abuses of power. Update: Feingold writes more on the censure. (Via Medley.)
“Far from ‘reasserting responsibility and oversight,’ Congress is putting itself out of business. Sen. Jay Rockefeller, D-W.Va., suggested that, after this week, the intelligence committee will sink ‘further into irrelevancy.’ The Times went a step further today and declared the committee dead.” Century Foundation fellow Patrick Radden Keefe takes issue with the Pat Roberts “compromise” over the NSA’s warrantless wiretaps.
“‘The committee is, to put it bluntly, basically under the control of the White House through its chairman,’ [Senator Jay Rockfeller (D-WV)] told reporters. ‘At the direction of the White House, the Republican majority has voted down my motion to have a careful and fact-based review of the National Security Agency’s surveillance eavesdropping activities inside the United States.’” Once again, on a party line vote and at the behest of Chairman Pat Roberts (by way of the Dubya administration,) the GOP members of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence vote down an investigation into the NSA warrantless wiretaps….meaning presumed committee moderates Olympia Snowe and Chuck Hagel buckled under pressure again.
And, speaking of buckling under pressure, the House pass the Patriot Act 280-138. “‘I rise in strong opposition to this legislation because it offers only a superficial reform that will have little if any impact on safeguarding our civil liberties,’ [Congressman Dennis] Kucinich said…’Congress has failed to do its job as a coequal branch of government…The administration’s attack on our democracy has to be reigned in.‘”
“I did not and could not address…any other classified intelligence activities.” In a letter clarifying his recent Senate testimony on the NSA wiretaps, Attorney General Alberto Gonzales hints at a broader warrantless spying program than has yet been acknowledged. “‘It seems to me he is conceding that there are other NSA surveillance programs ongoing that the president hasn’t told anyone about,’ said Bruce Fein, a government lawyer in the Nixon, Carter and Reagan administrations.” Update: Gonzales tells Jane Harman that’s all there is.
Arlen Specter, who has clearly given up on his oversight and impeachment talk of a few short weeks ago, tries at least to bring future NSA wiretap inquiries before the FISA court. Meanwhile, the White House nixes a call by 18 House Dems to appoint an independent counsel to delve into the NSA matter, opting instead for more of their patented Shoot-the-Messenger defense: “‘I think that where these Democrats who are calling for this ought to spend their time is on what was the source of the unauthorized disclosure of this vital, incredible program in the war on terrorism,’ White House spokesman Scott McClellan said. ‘I really don’t think there is any basis for a special counsel. … But the fact that this information was disclosed about the existence of this program has given the enemy some of our playbook.’“
The WP surveys the recent White House campaign to prevent Senate oversight into the NSA wiretaps. “Hagel and Snowe declined interview requests after the meeting, but sources close to them say they bridle at suggestions that they buckled under administration heat.” Well, then, Senators, what do you want to call it?
“[T]errorism is not the only new danger of this era. Another is the administration’s argument that because the president is commander in chief, he is the ‘sole organ for the nation in foreign affairs.’” From the Right, George Will makes the conservative case against Dubya’s “monarchical” pretensions regarding the NSA wiretaps. (Via Cliopatria.)
“Treason is a strong word, but not too strong to characterize the situation in which the Senate is the eager, resourceful, and indefatigable agent of interests as hostile to the American people as any invading army could be.” As feared — the Senate GOP, including supposed “moderates” Snowe and Chafee — vote down hearings into the NSA wiretaps. And also as feared, the Senate Dems completely collapse on the Patriot Act renewal, joining the Republicans to end the Feingold filibuster 96-3. (Only Robert Byrd (D-WV) and Jim Jeffords (I-VT) sided with Russ.) So, with the Senate in effect abdicating its responsibilty as an independent and coequal branch of government, it looks like it’ll be up to the judiciary to check Dubya’s executive powergrab.
“If some kind of inquiry would be beneficial to getting a resolution to this issue, then sure, we should look at it. But if the inquiry is just some kind of a punitive inquiry that really is not focused on finding a way out of this, then I’m not so sure that I would support that.” Bad news for congressional oversight and the rule of law: After an “all-out” campaign of White House arm-twisting, crucial Senate Republicans — including Olympia Snowe and Chuck Hagel — appear on the verge of folding up the tent on the proposed NSA hearings. The critical vote will come tomorrow, but it’s iffy. “Two committee Democrats said the panel — made up of eight Republicans and seven Democrats — was clearly leaning in favor of the motion last week but now is closely divided and possibly inclined against it.“
As critics in both parties poke more holes in Dubya’s flimsy NSA defense, Republican congresswoman Heather Wilson of New Mexico, chairwoman of the House Subcommittee on Technical and Tactical Intelligence, calls for a “complete review” of Dubya’s wiretapping program.
The Specter hearings into the illegal NSA wiretaps begin, and, so far despite Specter’s tough talk on Sunday, they’ve been pretty much a sideshow. For one, as they did with Big Oil, the GOP ensured by a 10-8 party-line vote that Gonzales didn’t have to testify under oath. For another, Gonzales has been falling back on the ridiculous Article 2 defense and saying little of import as of yet. Still, at least Republicans like Specter and Lindsey Graham are joining Feingold and others in calling out the administration’s dubious rationale for the Imperial Presidency, so perhaps these hearings may be of some service yet. Update: As the NYT points out, we’ve been here before. Update 2: Dahlia Lithwick is not amused.
With a tip-off from the Progressive Patriots Fund, I had the opportunity yesterday to catch Sen. Russ Feingold speak on the Patriot Act and the NSA wiretapping scandal over at Cardozo Law School. (Their pics are a lot better than mine — I forgot to charge my batteries, and thus only got in 2 or 3 shots before my camera died on me.) And how was he? Well, all-in-all, he came off as a convincing candidate for the election ahead, as well as an impressive, informed, and personable fellow. To be honest, I found his remarks a bit lawyerly (then again, he’s a lawyer speaking before a law school, so that’s not really a fair criticism), but, taken in full, he seemed a committeed progressive and a refreshingly candid leader, the type of dynamic, independent thinker the Senate should be teeming with, if the system came anywhere close to working these days.
The gist of Sen. Feingold’s remarks was thus: Al Qaeda is the central threat facing America and has been since 9/11. Yet, instead of bringing the nation together to eliminate this terrorist organization, the Dubya White House has chosen time and time again to endanger our national security and compromise our most fundamental American values for their own ideological or power-hoarding purposes. (Iraq, Guantanamo, extraordinary rendition, secret gulags, you name it.) Along those lines and as we now all know, the Patriot Act, which only Feingold voted against in 2001, contains some terrible provisions therein, the most notorious example affecting Middle America being Section 215 (which gives law enforcement, among other things, the right to see what you’ve been reading.)
Yet, as per the norm, Dubya has refused to admit that it’s even possible that something might be wrong with the Patriot Act now that it’s up for renewal — only that it’s necessary to defeat the evildoers and that any microscopic change in the statute could rend the fabric of freedom irreparably. (Despite this now-somewhat hoary ploy, Feingold and others have succeeded in blocking a permanent blanket extension for now, as y’all know if you’ve been visiting here lately.) And, of course, Dubya has taken this same tack of obfuscation and fear-mongering to cover up his brazen wiretapping power-grab — which, according to Congress’s own research arm, broke at least two laws and counting.
Again, this story is not news to many Dems out there, but Feingold laid it out in clear, comprehensible, and systematic fashion. (The only “breaking news” made was the Senator announcing this letter to Gonzales, asking him why he, in effect, lied to the Judiciary Committee during his confirmation hearings about the NSA wiretaps.) And he had some good lines throughout — In reply to Rove’s ridiculous claim that Dems were “pre-9/11″, Feingold quipped that the GOP suffered from a “pre-1776″ mentality these days. (He also retold the recent Patrick Henry exchange.) To be honest, I’d liked to have heard more in this vein — In terms of breaking down the legislative legerdemain and legal issues at hand, Feingold was superb. But I thought the speech needed more narrative sweep and rhetorical grandeur, more explanation of why this battle matters so much to the workings of the republic. He doesn’t have to turn into Robert Byrd overnight. Still, I thought the remarks could have benefited from more dramatic heft and historical resonance: Jefferson, Madison, Adams, Lincoln, Wilson…they’re all relevant here. (Then again, as I said above, I was an historian sitting in a room full of lawyers, so I was a tougher sell than most.)
Along those lines, if there was a problem with this presentation, it’s that the Senator, while clearly outraged, at times seemed much less livid about all this than many in the audience, who occasionally sounded ready to hoist the black flag. (In fact, many will no doubt be happy to hear that Feingold was asked twice “why Democrats are so lame.” As he noted (and as the blogosphere can attest this week), if a crowd in New York City is this irate with the party, the Dems might be in serious trouble nationwide in November. Still, he also emphasized that the Democrats could be more effective fighters if they actually controlled a house of Congress — You can’t hold hearings if you’re in the minority.
In terms of other questions, Feingold said he supports and will take part in the very late-developing (and now already defunct) Alito filbuster (Roll Call.) In fact, he thought the Dems made a crucial mistake in capitulating to the original “Gang of 14″ compromise, arguing cogently that Dems have seen nothing for it and may well have had the votes to win Catkiller‘s game of nuclear chicken. Since Casino Jack and lobbying reform seemed too big a subject to address competently in the time allotted, I asked him a question about his thoughts on the NYT decision to spike the NSA story for a year, his general view of the mass media’s performance in serving as a check on these types of executive abuses, and (’cause it seemed apropos) his thoughts on the burgeoning blogosphere’s role in all this. He didn’t really go after the Times decision, and said that, in terms of the recent Patriot Act debate, he thought the press had actually done an ok job. Regarding blogs, he called the Internet “a miracle for populist politics,” which was a good enough soundbite that everyone in my row dutifully wrote it down at the same time.
And, of course, Sen. Feingold was asked — a couple of times — whether or not he was running for President in 2008. Naturally, he played it coy — After all, we still have just under two years before the Iowa caucus. But, for what it’s worth, I was impressed by him — He’s not a first-class emoter like Edwards or Clinton, of course. Instead, he comes across as a highly intelligent, capable, and nuanced thinker, a la Bradley, Kerry, or Gore on his better days. But unlike those three, he also seemed much more comfortable in his own skin, more naturally himself at the podium, and — most importantly — more content to play the maverick if his lefty principles dictate thus. (Although, as I said, I’d like to see him tone down the lawyer-ese and rev up more Wellstone-ish fire if he does make a White House run.) I suppose there’s a small, bordering-on-infinitesimal chance that Rodham Clinton, Biden, Warner, or someone else might drop all the “New Democrat” protective camouflage this time around and begin loudly and undefensively proclaiming progressive principles to the Heavens. But, until that unlikely event, my candidate in the 2008 Democratic primary is Senator Russ Feingold of Wisconsin. (Update: 1776 link via Medley.)
“This extremity of Bush’s position emerges most clearly in a 42-page document issued by the Department of Justice last week. As Andrew Cohen, a CBS legal analyst, wrote in an online commentary, ‘The first time you read the “White Paper,” you feel like it is describing a foreign country guided by an unfamiliar constitution.’ To develop this observation a bit further, the nation implied by the document would be an elective dictatorship, governed not by three counterpoised branches of government but by a secretive, possibly benign, awesomely powerful king.” As Dubya embarks on another weeklong campaign of fear and distortion (as per standard Rovian operating procedure), Slate‘s Jacob Weisberg gapes at the audacity of Bush’s brazenly unconstitutional ploy for power. “[I]n his white paper, Bush as much as declares: ‘I determine what my words mean and I alone determine what yours mean, too.’…Bush’s message to the courts, like his message to Congress, is: Make way, subjects.“
In related news, Senate opposition to the Patriot Act — All the Dems and only four measly Republicans — seems to be holding firm for now, meaning that the old, unrevised version will remain in effect for the time being. Of course, if King George actually possessed the powers he’s arrogantly allocated to himself of late, there would be no need for a Senate vote on the Patriot Act at all. Hopefully, Arlen Specter understands the danger in these breathtaking assertions of unconstitutional power by Dubya, and will make his forthcoming Senate Judiciary hearings count for something. After all, given this administration’s blatant power grab, it’s no longer hyperbole to say that our republic is at stake.
“The curtain got pulled aside, and there’s not even a wizard behind it…these people are incompetent.” As you probably heard, Karl Rove emerged from hiding to offer his blueprint for Republican resurgence in 2006. Yep, you guessed it: terror, terror, terror, 9/11, 9/11, 9/11, garnished with a smattering of tax cuts. But, to their credit, it sounds like Dems are relishing this coming fight, with Intelligence Committee Dem Jane Harman pushing back once more on the illegal wiretaps, and, in keeping with the recent trend of presidential also-rans finding their voice, John Kerry taking off the gloves on the Sunday shows. “Osama bin Laden is going to die of kidney failure before he’s killed by Karl Rove and his crowd.“
The non-partisan Congressional Research Service finds — again — that Dubya’s warrantless wiretapping was illegal. In this case, the Dubya White House violated the 1947 National Security Act, by neglecting to inform the entire House and Senate intelligence committees of their shenanigans. Put it in the impeachment file, Sen. Specter.
“The president of the United States has been breaking the law repeatedly and insistently…A president who breaks the law is a threat to the very structure of our government.” I’ve had my issues with the guy, but, y’know, when he’s right, he’s right. As the ACLU and Center for Constitutional Liberties plan lawsuits against the NSA wiretaps, a revived Al Gore calls out Dubya on Snoopgate (Transcript.) Interestingly enough, “Gore was supposed to have been introduced, using a video link, by former congressman Robert L. Barr Jr. (R-Ga.) — a bitter adversary of Gore and President Bill Clinton during the 1990s who now shares Gore’s concern over the surveillance program. That strange-bedfellows moment was thwarted by a technological breakdown.“
“It appears unlikely that a court would hold that Congress has expressly or impliedly authorized the NSA electronic surveillance operations here,’ the authors of the CRS report wrote. The administration’s legal justification ‘does not seem to be…well-grounded.’” A 44-page nonpartisan report by the Congressional Research Service finds Dubya’s dubious reliance on presidential prerogative to explain away the NSA wiretaps doesn’t hold up.
“‘The fact is, the federal law is perfectly clear,’ Turley says. ‘At the heart of this [NSA wiretap] operation was a federal crime. The president has already conceded that he personally ordered that crime and renewed that order at least 30 times. This would clearly satisfy the standard of high crimes and misdemeanors for the purpose of an impeachment.’” Salon‘s Michelle Goldberg assesses the current political temperature for Dubya’s impeachment. “‘For Republicans to suggest that this is not a legitimate question of federal crimes makes a mockery of their position during the Clinton period. For Republicans, this is the ultimate test of principle.‘” Update: Slate‘s Dahlia Lithwick also muses on Dubya’s distaste for the rule of law.
“What I’ve heard some of the judges say is they feel they’ve participated in a Potemkin court.” Allegedly in protest over Dubya’s illegal use of wiretaps, US District Judge James Robertson resigns from the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (or FISA court.) Meanwhile, the NYT reports that, despite what the administration is saying, some purely domestic calls were overheard via Dubya’s warrantless wiretaps.
Team Dubya spent the weekend on the offensive regarding the recent disclosure of illegal NSA wiretaps, with Bush saying over and over again that disclosing the wiretaps was “a shameful act” that “damage[d] our national security.” Sheah. That Dubya and his cronies would try to pass off these egregious violations of civil liberties and due process with more dissent is disloyalty garbage (and a frisson of 9/11, 9/11, 9/11) speaks once again to how corrupt and out-of-control this administration has become. Let the investigations commence. Update: Newsweek‘s Jonathan Alter weighs in: “Bush was desperate to keep the Times from running this important story — which the paper had already inexplicably held for a year — because he knew that it would reveal him as a law-breaker…If the Democrats regain control of Congress, there may even be articles of impeachment introduced.”