Two weeks ago, the House took a bold step demanding accountability for the Bush/Cheney Administration by holding former White House Council Harriet Miers and White House Chief of Staff Josh Bolten in Contempt of Congress for blatantly ignoring congressional subpoenas for over 8 months.
Though it was not a surprise, Attorney General Michael Mukasey, wrote a letter to the House of Representatives stating that he refuses to call a Grand Jury to enforce those contempt citations.
The Attorney General's letter, effectively claiming that members of the executive branch are immune from congressional subpoenas, calls for quick action.
Click HERE to watch my latest video discussing Mukasey's outrageous response.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Judiciary Chairman Conyers have smartly decided to pursue a civil lawsuit to force Bolton and Miers to appear before Congress. We should pursue a lawsuit – but I think we can do even more.
While a court may order – months from now –that Miers and Bolten must appear before Congress, by then George Bush and Dick Cheney will have largely accomplished their goal of running out the clock on the investigation into this Administration's politicization of the Justice Department. Even a successful outcome in federal court might only mandate that they appear, at which time the witnesses are likely simply to continue their obfuscation by claiming executive privilege of the 5th Amendment in person.
The House of Representatives must re-establish its legitimate rights as a co-equal branch of government. Congress cannot allow its power to be summarily ignored and justice delayed.
The House was correct to hold these renegade White House officials in contempt, and much credit should be given to Speaker Pelosi and Chairman Conyers for pushing for that outcome. Now, we must go further: The House must immediately consider taking the following actions:
- Initiating impeachment hearings that would likely break through the reckless claims of executive privilege made by the Bush Administration.
- Approve a resolution that calls for an inherent contempt citation which would give the House Sergeant at Arms the power to bring Miers and Bolton before Congress.
As you may know, 17 of my colleagues, including four of my fellow members of the Judiciary Committee have joined my call for impeachment hearings.
This is not an issue between Democrats and Republicans. As members of Congress, we have an absolute duty to enforce the checks and balances prescribed by our Constitution.
We have ceded too much for too long, enabling George W. Bush to assume a unitary imperial Presidency. It is long past time to secure accountability for those who have, by all appearances, committed significant breaches of our laws and trust.
Mukasey's claims are simply the latest in a long line of outlandish legal arguments ranging from the idea that we can selectively cherry-pick from torture laws to the concept that the Vice President is no longer part of the Executive Branch (except, of course, when he needs to claim Executive Privilege).
Over the past months, I have received tens of thousands of emails and letters from you expressing your great support for my efforts. Your encouragement and activism on these causes are much appreciated. I continue to work hard on your behalf and hope you feel these updates are valuable.
With kind regards,
Congressman Robert Wexler
Paid for by Congressman Robert Wexler