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Aaron747
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Judge: White House Aides Can Be Subpoenaed

Thu Jul 31, 2008 3:50 pm

Finally, a decision that will lead to some kind of resolution for this never-ending and as-yet unresolved affair over whether or not this White House unlawfully overstepped its political bounds during the Rove days:

http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20080731/ap_on_go_ot/congress_contempt

The House Judiciary Committee wants to question the president's chief of staff, Josh Bolten, and former legal counsel Harriet Miers, about the firing of nine U.S. attorneys. But President Bush says they are immune from such subpoenas.

U.S. District Judge John Bates disagreed, saying there's no legal basis for that argument and that Miers must appear before Congress. If she wants to refuse to testify, he said, she must do so in person.

...

Bates, who was appointed to the bench by Bush, issued a 93-page opinion that strongly rejected the administration's legal arguments. He noted that the executive branch could not point to a single case in which courts held that White House aides were immune from congressional subpoenas.


If White House aides had blanket immunity from subpoena, then there would be no point to the further existence of checks and balances. This is ultimately a good decision. That said, it also seems there is no way Congress can legally compel documents that are executively privileged. In any case, if anyone under subpoena refuses to testify, at least it's on the record, and further cause for suspicion established for all who review the historical record.
 
AirStairs
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RE: Judge: White House Aides Can Be Subpoenaed

Thu Jul 31, 2008 3:58 pm

Well yesterday the House found idiot head in contempt of Congress for ignoring his subpoena, where is he to be found???
 
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seb146
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RE: Judge: White House Aides Can Be Subpoenaed

Thu Jul 31, 2008 4:06 pm

Of course anyone can be subpoenaed if their testimony is needed. That is a no-brainer. If they are ignoring the subpoena and refuse to show up for testimony, they are breaking the law. Just like lying under oath is breaking the law.

IMO, the fact people within the Bush Administration that are not testifying and breaking the law by ignoring subpoenaes shows the administration really is trying to hide something. What happened to transparency in government?

Quoting AirStairs (Reply 1):
yesterday the House found idiot head in contempt of Congress for ignoring his subpoena, where is he to be found???

Probably someplace tropical. I am sure his excuse will be "I had better things to do" or something similar and everyone in the Administration will make light of that response. He still weasel his way out of testifying.
 
MaidensGator
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RE: Judge: White House Aides Can Be Subpoenaed

Thu Jul 31, 2008 5:11 pm



Quoting Seb146 (Reply 2):
If they are ignoring the subpoena and refuse to show up for testimony, they are breaking the law

Not if they refuse to testify based on a valid privilege... Every President asserts executive privilege, not just Bush. All the judge ruled was the privilege is not absolute; he didn't rule that there was no privilege. In fact he specifically states that the Court is NOT ruling on the extent of the privilege that may be asserted, only that it is not absolute.

As stated in the link, at least one member of the Judiciary Committee realizes that if successfully appealed, this case could shrink the power of Congress...

The House Judiciary Committee's senior Republican, Rep. Lamar Smith of Texas, said he was pleased the court ruled in Congress' favor, but he cautioned that an ongoing showdown in federal court could ultimately curtail Congress' powers, and he urged Democrats and the White House to strike an agreement.

"Unfortunately, today's victory may be short-lived," Smith said in a statement. "If the administration appeals the ruling, our congressional prerogatives will once again be put at risk."


Never mind that Congress is still wasting its time on the fired US Attorneys which EVERYONE agrees was legal. It's no wonder the congressional approval rating is less than ten percent. They refuse to even debate offshore drilling but have time to investigate something they admit was perfectly legal...
 
Pope
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RE: Judge: White House Aides Can Be Subpoenaed

Thu Jul 31, 2008 6:10 pm

I haven't read the opinion but the write up appears to support the conclusion that the holding here is relatively narrow - ROVE needs to physically show up in order to assert executive privilege. The ruling doesn't say that EP doesn't exist or that Rove can't assert it in this case.

It's clear that Congress just wants a side show. They want someone in front of the cameras nothing else.
 
RJdxer
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RE: Judge: White House Aides Can Be Subpoenaed

Thu Jul 31, 2008 7:18 pm

And by wasting time on this they are ignoring moving ahead with the investigation to find out if Roger Clemens really did use steroids. I mean, what could be more important than that!!!!!
 
MaidensGator
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RE: Judge: White House Aides Can Be Subpoenaed

Thu Jul 31, 2008 7:34 pm



Quoting Pope (Reply 4):
I haven't read the opinion but the write up appears to support the conclusion that the holding here is relatively narrow - ROVE needs to physically show up in order to assert executive privilege.

I did read it and it's even more narrow than what you suggest. The opinion only holds that executive privilege is not absolute. It even states that the Court is not saying privilege does not apply in this case.

Not much of a loss for the President, but if it were to get reversed on appeal, a huge loss for Congress...
 
MaidensGator
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RE: Judge: White House Aides Can Be Subpoenaed

Thu Jul 31, 2008 7:43 pm

Quoting Pope (Reply 7):
Quoting Maidensgator (Reply 6):
I did read it and it's even more narrow than what you suggest. The opinion only holds that executive privilege is not absolute. It even states that the Court is not saying privilege does not apply in this case

Can you post a link to the ruling?

Here

[Edited 2008-07-31 12:45:31]
 
Pope
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RE: Judge: White House Aides Can Be Subpoenaed

Thu Jul 31, 2008 7:43 pm



Quoting Maidensgator (Reply 6):
I did read it and it's even more narrow than what you suggest. The opinion only holds that executive privilege is not absolute. It even states that the Court is not saying privilege does not apply in this case

Can you post a link to the ruling?
 
Pope
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RE: Judge: White House Aides Can Be Subpoenaed

Thu Jul 31, 2008 7:58 pm



Quoting Maidensgator (Reply 6):
I did read it and it's even more narrow than what you suggest. The opinion only holds that executive privilege is not absolute. It even states that the Court is not saying privilege does not apply in this case.

Yep. Page 3 of the ruling

Quote:
It is important to note that the decision today is very limited.



Quote:
The specific claims of executive privilege that Ms. Miers and Mr. Bolten may assert are not addressed -- and the Court expresses no view on such claims.

Page 75:

Quote:
The Court does not pass judgment on the propriety of either party’s negotiating
position, and does not suggest that there was anything improper about the Executive’s staunch
position in this matter.

Page 77:

Quote:
The Court re-emphasizes its limited involvement at this point. The Court has addressed
only traditional legal issues -- standing, causes of action, equitable discretion -- and has not yet been asked to rule on any particular assertion of executive privilege.



Quote:
Indeed, the ultimate disposition that the Court reaches today -- that Ms. Miers is not
absolutely immune from congressional process and that Mr. Bolten must produce more detailed documentation concerning privilege claims -- still does not address the merits of any particular assertion of presidential privilege.



Quoting MaidensGator (Reply 8):
Here

Thanks for the link.
 
Falcon84
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RE: Judge: White House Aides Can Be Subpoenaed

Thu Jul 31, 2008 8:02 pm



Quoting RJdxer (Reply 5):
And by wasting time on this they are ignoring moving ahead with the investigation to find out if Roger Clemens really did use steroids. I mean, what could be more important than that!!!!!

Classic stuff! Well done, RJ.

Maybe I'll read that document tonight, just to tell Pope "I READ IT!"  Big grin
 
AirportSeven
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RE: Judge: White House Aides Can Be Subpoenaed

Thu Jul 31, 2008 8:03 pm



Quoting Maidensgator (Reply 3):
Never mind that Congress is still wasting its time on the fired US Attorneys which EVERYONE agrees was legal. It's no wonder the congressional approval rating is less than ten percent. They refuse to even debate offshore drilling but have time to investigate something they admit was perfectly legal...

Oh, really?

The Department of Justice cannot discriminate against an employee
or applicant for Federal employment with respect to the terms,
conditions or privileges of employment on the basis of race, color,
religion, sex, national origin, age, disability, marital status or
political affiliation.


The politicization of the Justice Department was very real and should be a grave concern to any citizen of this country who values fair and impartial administration of justice for all Americans.
 
Pope
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RE: Judge: White House Aides Can Be Subpoenaed

Thu Jul 31, 2008 8:14 pm



Quoting Falcon84 (Reply 11):
Maybe I'll read that document tonight, just to tell Pope "I READ IT!"

Well that would be a first.

 rotfl   rotfl   rotfl   rotfl   rotfl   rotfl   rotfl 
 
MaidensGator
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RE: Judge: White House Aides Can Be Subpoenaed

Thu Jul 31, 2008 8:29 pm



Quoting AirportSeven (Reply 10):
The politicization of the Justice Department was very real and should be a grave concern to any citizen of this country who values fair and impartial administration of justice for all Americans.

Except that the US Attorneys in question were political appointments, not regular civil service employees. If they had been Assistant US Attorneys, I might agree with you. There is no question that US Attorneys serve at the pleasure of the President and can be fired anytime with or without cause...
 
Falcon84
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RE: Judge: White House Aides Can Be Subpoenaed

Thu Jul 31, 2008 9:19 pm



Quoting Pope (Reply 12):
Well that would be a first.



I think it would be a second.  Big grin
 
huskyaviation
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RE: Judge: White House Aides Can Be Subpoenaed

Thu Jul 31, 2008 9:30 pm



Quoting Seb146 (Reply 2):
IMO, the fact people within the Bush Administration that are not testifying and breaking the law by ignoring subpoenaes shows the administration really is trying to hide something.

This statement would have much more weight if there was a recognition on your part that a very real executive privilege exists, and there is rightfully a great reluctance from EVERY President not to set a precedent which would reduce its scope.

I suggest you read U.S. v. Nixon (1974), which, don't forget, was decided 8-0 (Rehnquist recused himself because he had worked in the Justice Dept. during the Nixon Administration). http://supreme.justia.com/us/418/683/case.html

Quoting Maidensgator (Reply 13):
Except that the US Attorneys in question were political appointments, not regular civil service employees. If they had been Assistant US Attorneys, I might agree with you. There is no question that US Attorneys serve at the pleasure of the President and can be fired anytime with or without cause...

 checkmark 
 
Pope
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RE: Judge: White House Aides Can Be Subpoenaed

Thu Jul 31, 2008 9:35 pm



Quoting HuskyAviation (Reply 15):
This statement would have much more weight if there was a recognition on your part that a very real executive privilege exists, and there is rightfully a great reluctance from EVERY President not to set a precedent which would reduce its scope.

I suggest you read U.S. v. Nixon (1974), which, don't forget, was decided 8-0 (Rehnquist recused himself because he had worked in the Justice Dept. during the Nixon Administration). http://supreme.justia.com/us/418/683....html

But you see, that's the problem with many on this forum. They form opinions before they've read anything about what they're talking about. They simply repeat the spin put out there by their political party and its advocates.
 
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Aaron747
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RE: Judge: White House Aides Can Be Subpoenaed

Thu Jul 31, 2008 10:40 pm



Quoting RJdxer (Reply 5):
And by wasting time on this they are ignoring moving ahead with the investigation to find out if Roger Clemens really did use steroids. I mean, what could be more important than that!!!!!

That was hilarious  checkmark  Well done sir!
 
AirStairs
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RE: Judge: White House Aides Can Be Subpoenaed

Thu Jul 31, 2008 10:45 pm

Not to veer off topic but can anyone spell out to me the reason that Congress is at all involved in steroid issues? Every time I see this on television I am absolutely BEWILDERED that there even might be any kind of mandate or warrant for Congress to be involved in this. Even all the legal issues with BALCO, etc., why not take this to the courts?

And why's it all about baseball? Maybe I am missing something but it is utterly bizarre to me.
 
MaidensGator
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RE: Judge: White House Aides Can Be Subpoenaed

Thu Jul 31, 2008 11:07 pm



Quoting AirStairs (Reply 18):
Not to veer off topic but can anyone spell out to me the reason that Congress is at all involved in steroid issues? Every time I see this on television I am absolutely BEWILDERED that there even might be any kind of mandate or warrant for Congress to be involved in this. Even all the legal issues with BALCO, etc., why not take this to the courts?

And why's it all about baseball? Maybe I am missing something but it is utterly bizarre to me.

It's mainly because of the exemption enjoyed by MLB from the antitrust laws...

http://query.nytimes.com/gst/fullpag...9C04E7DD163BF937A15751C1A962958260
 
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seb146
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RE: Judge: White House Aides Can Be Subpoenaed

Fri Aug 01, 2008 5:19 pm



Quoting Maidensgator (Reply 13):
There is no question that US Attorneys serve at the pleasure of the President and can be fired anytime with or without cause...



Quoting AirportSeven (Reply 10):
conditions or privileges of employment on the basis of race, color,
religion, sex, national origin, age, disability, marital status or
political affiliation.

Can you just imagine what would happen if Obama were president and he decided to replace the same attorneys that were replaced by Bush? Republican supporters can say, at this moment, they would not be outraged, but I can just see everyone screaming for impeachment the second it happens.

Quoting HuskyAviation (Reply 15):
This statement would have much more weight if there was a recognition on your part that a very real executive privilege exists, and there is rightfully a great reluctance from EVERY President not to set a precedent which would reduce its scope.

I realize and appriciate the fact that some things need to be kept confidential no matter who the president, no matter which party is in power. That exists. However, it seems to me, there has been more assertion of executive privilege and ignoring of subpoenaes in this administration than any other in American history. What is Karl Rove testifying on? National security proceedings or day-to-day operations of the White House? Look at the reason for the testimony, not simply "he can do that."

If Congress were to call on Cheney to testify under oath about the national energy policy meetings he held behind closed doors to map out the nations energy future, would he assert executive privilege even though the closed door (read: secret) meetings were for the interest of the people at large? Shouldn't we the people know what went on in those meetings?
 
huskyaviation
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RE: Judge: White House Aides Can Be Subpoenaed

Fri Aug 01, 2008 6:26 pm



Quoting Seb146 (Reply 20):
If Congress were to call on Cheney to testify under oath about the national energy policy meetings he held behind closed doors to map out the nations energy future, would he assert executive privilege even though the closed door (read: secret) meetings were for the interest of the people at large? Shouldn't we the people know what went on in those meetings?

No, there is no reason to have a child-like need to know everything they are doing or saying all the time (despite the fact that many people insist on it), for two reasons: (1) What is it that you need to know? How would that affect what has already occurred? It's irrelevant who the meeting was intended to benefit--how the President arrives at decisions is frankly none of our collective business, you had your say during the election; (2) Executive privilege is necessary for decision-makers to have open and free discussions and it is vital for those decision-makers to receive unvarnished, candid counsel from their advisors. Further, national security must be protected--without EP, Congress or the courts could simply make ad hoc determinations of when the President and his subordinates must testify about just about anything under the sun.
 
MaidensGator
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RE: Judge: White House Aides Can Be Subpoenaed

Fri Aug 01, 2008 6:38 pm



Quoting Seb146 (Reply 20):
Can you just imagine what would happen if Obama were president and he decided to replace the same attorneys that were replaced by Bush?

If Obama is elected, there is no doubt that he will replace most, if not all, of the US attorneys... You don't seem to understand that they are POLITICAL appointments, and the President can hire and fire whomever he pleases without justifying the decision to anyone...

Even Congress admits this, but they keep wasting OUR time and OUR money investigating something that they can't do a damn thing about...
 
Pope
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RE: Judge: White House Aides Can Be Subpoenaed

Fri Aug 01, 2008 7:08 pm



Quoting MaidensGator (Reply 22):
If Obama is elected, there is no doubt that he will replace most, if not all, of the US attorneys...

Exactly like Pres. Clinton did when he was elected.

The whole uproar over this matter is just one more example of the liberal hypocrisy. When WJC fired all the US Attorneys upon taking office, it was ok. Now when GWB exercises the same right, all of a sudden its an illegal act.
 
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seb146
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RE: Judge: White House Aides Can Be Subpoenaed

Sat Aug 02, 2008 8:55 pm



Quoting HuskyAviation (Reply 21):
(1) What is it that you need to know? How would that affect what has already occurred? It's irrelevant who the meeting was intended to benefit--how the President arrives at decisions is frankly none of our collective business, you had your say during the election;

I want to know who benefited from the secret meetings. I want to know, as a citizen of the United States what the leaders in the executive branch have planned to help us, the common men and women of the United States. If it affects us in our pocketbook, we have every right to know. We did have our say during both elections. No one listened.

Quoting HuskyAviation (Reply 21):
(2) Executive privilege is necessary for decision-makers to have open and free discussions and it is vital for those decision-makers to receive unvarnished, candid counsel from their advisors.

What does executive privilege have to do with energy policy and the shape of things to be done for the people of the United States? I understand and agree executive privilege should be used in matters of national security. But, when shaping the energy policy that affects me, I don't want to be told it is none of my business.

Quoting Pope (Reply 23):
When WJC fired all the US Attorneys upon taking office, it was ok. Now when GWB exercises the same right, all of a sudden its an illegal act.

Let me ask this: How long did the attorneys fired by Gonzales serve at the pleasure of the president? Did they serve a matter of months under the Bush Administration? If not, were their performance reviews below average? What possible good reason ("I want them to think like me" is not a good reason to me) could there be for firing competent attorneys? I believe that is the question.
 
MaidensGator
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RE: Judge: White House Aides Can Be Subpoenaed

Sat Aug 02, 2008 10:19 pm



Quoting Seb146 (Reply 24):

Let me ask this: How long did the attorneys fired by Gonzales serve at the pleasure of the president? Did they serve a matter of months under the Bush Administration? If not, were their performance reviews below average? What possible good reason ("I want them to think like me" is not a good reason to me) could there be for firing competent attorneys? I believe that is the question.

What part of "he doesn't need a reason" do you not understand?

Not just Bush, ANY President, and they ALL appoint their own US Attorneys...

Frankly, I'd bet that without looking it up, you'd be hard pressed to name half of the fired Attorneys or to list the states they served in...

Quoting Seb146 (Reply 24):
want to know who benefited from the secret meetings. I want to know, as a citizen of the United States what the leaders in the executive branch have planned to help us, the common men and women of the United States. If it affects us in our pocketbook, we have every right to know.

Being a citizen does not entitle you to know what goes on in private meetings among the Executive Branch...

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