Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Niggling questions

Congress is readying its subpoenas, preparing to ask for open, under-oath testimony from players such as Rove, Miers, Gonzales, and their various staffers. And yet, the obvious huge question that nobody wants to address is what happens when the subpoenas are defied? It's clear that many in the Justice Department have no intention of cooperating, and it's not clear that there's anybody else to enforce such a subpoena -- judges prefer to leave the "elected branches" to sort such matters out for themselves, and there's precedent for US Attorneys refusing to bring a contempt claim against members of the executive (if "privilege" is invoked).

It may be that the subpoenas won't be served for this very reason; it's a game of chicken with a genuine Constitutional crisis that could leave our system of checks and balances in tatters on the floor.

Update: the second part of this discussion was just posted, and talks about other recourses available to Congress, as well as what may be in the works.

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