Bending the Third Rail
Because We Should, We Can, We Do
Wednesday, March 14, 2007
The Gauntlet Updated
Ok Dems. Here's an opportunity to show if you're serious about oversight or just blathering:
Democrats once again said they want to hear from Karl Rove and Harriet Miers, the former White House counsel, about the role each of them played in the firings. White House Counselor Dan Bartlett said it is "highly unlikely" that the two would be allowed to testify.
Be allowed? I didn't think they had a choice if subpoenaed. Unless of course they claim executive priviledge. That would be a shock now wouldn't it?

Let the constitutional confrontation begin. Congress pursuing this without regard to rocking the boat would be a small measure of their seriousness to actually hold someone accountable. Having Rover under oath and watching him spin like crazy would be worth the price of admission.

Update: Gee, you think this might be why the White House wants to protect Rover?
The Seattle Times reports tonight that a chairman of the Washington state Republican Party with ties to Karl Rove pressured U.S. Attorney John McKay to launch a criminal probe during the hotly contested 2004 governor’s race, which had been certified in favor of the Democratic candidate. The ex-chairman, Chris Vance, “said that he was in contact with the White House’s political office at the time.”
As has been said, this whole thing has the stink of Karl Rove. Rove was trying to use the U.S. Federal Attorney's to do investigations of voter fraud supposidely perpetrated by Democrats, but really planted by Republican operatives, prior to the 2004 election. When some of the U.S. attorney's wouldn't play ball, they were axed.

Classic Rove.

Update II: I was curious about this too:
New York Times opinion columnist Paul Krugman writes: "The bigger scandal, however, almost surely involves prosecutors still in office. The Gonzales Eight were fired because they would not go along with the Bush administration's politicization of justice. But statistical evidence suggests that many other prosecutors decided to protect their jobs or further their careers by doing what the administration wanted them to do: harass Democrats while turning a blind eye to Republican malfeasance.

" Donald Shields and John Cragan, two professors of communication, have compiled a database of investigations and/or indictments of candidates and elected officials by U.S. attorneys since the Bush administration came to power. Of the 375 cases they identified, 10 involved independents, 67 involved Republicans and 298 involved Democrats. The main source of this partisan tilt was a huge disparity in investigations of local politicians, in which Democrats were seven times as likely as Republicans to face Justice Department scrutiny.

"How can this have been happening without a national uproar? The authors explain: 'We believe that this tremendous disparity is politically motivated and it occurs because the local (non-statewide and non-congressional) investigations occur under the radar of a diligent national press. Each instance is treated by a local beat reporter as an isolated case that is only of local interest.'"
We're all familiar with the Republican targets, they've made national headlines. What about the Democrats?

Update: Pat Leahy today:
“Frankly, I don’t care whether [White House Counsel Fred Fielding] says he’s going to allow people or not. We’ll subpoena the people we want,” Leahy said. “If they want to defy the subpoena, then you get into a stonewall situation I suspect they don’t want to have.” Asked whether he’ll subpoena Rove, Leahy answered, “Yes. He can appear voluntarily if he wants. If he doesn’t, I will subpoena him.”
But Pat, I want to know what you're going to do if they do stonewall? The administration has a nasty habit of not giving a shit what the public thinks about it's activities ... like stonewalling.