Josh Bolten and Harriet Miers both have thumbed their noses at Congress by refusing to even acknowledge that they have been presented valid legal subpoenas to appear before a House Judiciary Committee to answer some potentially very embarrassing questions. Finally, the matter has been forward to the Justice Department. Per John Cole at Balloon Juice, guess what the response of the DOJ was?
Pelosi said the two were unresponsive to Congress’ inquiry, while the White House argues that contempt laws don’t apply to the president or any of his staffers who invoke executive privilege.
Mukasey, a Bush appointee, agreed.
“The department has determined that the noncompliance by Mr. Bolten and Ms. Miers with the Judiciary Committee subpoenas did not constitute a crime,” Mukasey wrote in a letter to Pelosi.
What a surprise. Boy, I certainly never could have seen that one coming. John Cole is a bit more forthcoming, when he actually looked up the law regarding said subpoenas.
Every person who having been summoned as a witness by the authority of either House of Congress to give testimony or to produce papers upon any matter under inquiry before either House, or any joint committee established by a joint or concurrent resolution of the two Houses of Congress, or any committee of either House of Congress, willfully makes default, or who, having appeared, refuses to answer any question pertinent to the question under inquiry, shall be deemed guilty of a misdemeanor, punishable by a fine of not more than $1,000 nor less than $100 and imprisonment in a common jail for not less than one month nor more than twelve months.
I see no exemption for “friends of or advisors to the President.” But then, laws are for little people and January 2009 cannot come fast enough.
Exactly. When did this nation become one ruled by the law of powerful and authoritative personalities and not one of actual, you know, laws written down in a document, where if you didn’t follow that law, you faced some serious consequences? An additional thought is, what would have been the reaction if someone from the Clinton adminstration would have done this, say, during the Monica Lewinski debacle? The wingnut reaction would have been overwhelming. They would have stormed the place with pitchforks and torches. Metaphorically, hopefully, but perhaps not.
God, I hate double standards.