even from those wacky “unitary executive” theorists,
this development seems over the top. . . tonight
we learn that special counsel to the president
has directed the r.n.c. to not comply with
a request of the house judiciary committee — a
request to turn over relevant e-mail to that
committee — until the white house counsel
has a chance to “review“ it. . .
this. is. astonishing.
the president seems to believe he
possesses the power to tell supposedly-
independent third parties to disobey
the orders of congressional committees.
he doesn’t. so — what’s next?
a “microwaved” subpoena may issue tomorrow
from rep. conyers’ committee, in rejoinder.
it would seem a fool’s errand, then, for the
r.n.c. to risk a contempt of congress charge,
the charge being willful refusal to comply
with a lawfully-issued subpoena duces tecum.
but that may well be the next logical counter-
move to the white house’s latest act of hubris.
otoh, it may be that the president is in-
tentionally angling for the constitutional
crisis moment, in the forum, and on the issues
he’d most like to beat the congress back on,
all in order to avoid the far-messier, and
likely impotent attempts to prevent the sworn
testimony of one monica goodling, and others. . .
quoth tonight’s nytimes.com:
. . .Meanwhile Tuesday, Emmet Flood, special
counsel to the president, asked a lawyer for
the Republican National Committee to withhold
any e-mails sought by Conyers committee until
Fielding can review them. Conyers said Flood’s
request is an impediment to the investigation. . .
[ed. note — from a separate nyt story:]
. . .One House official said the committee
wanted to learn about the February 2006
appointment of Rachel K. Paulose as the
United States attorney in Minnesota,
particularly the reasons for her move
from a post at the department’s headquarters. . .
now let’s address that second nyt paragraph, above.
note that rachel paulose’s role in the en-masse
defection of minnesota USA managers — each accepting
demotions, effectively back to trial prosecutors — is
inevitably going to be vetted by this series of interviews.
it will also likely lead to some interesting
questions about what constitutes a “plus-factor”
for promotion in alberto gonzales’ attorney general
corps. . . the federalist society, anyone?
let me just say, one more time, that it truly
“chaps my hind-parts” that the president thinks
he can tell congress which of its orders are
enforceable, and which aren’t. last time i
looked at article iii, section 2, of the
constitution of the united states, that
power was reserved to one branch:
and, that is a branch mr. bush does
not — and will not ever, fully — control.