WASHINGTON — In a broadly worded legal opinion, the Justice Department has concluded that President Bush’s former top lawyer, and possibly other senior White House officials, can ignore subpoenas from Congress to testify about the firings of U.S. attorneys.
The three-page opinion raises questions about whether the Justice Department would prosecute senior administration officials if Congress voted to hold them in contempt for not cooperating with the investigation into the firing last year of eight top prosecutors.
Forgive me, but I can’t keep from yelling for a moment:
RULE OF LAW! RULE OF LAW! RULE! OF! LAW!
Ahh, I feel better…
IMHO, this type of Nixonian scenario – where the “Justice” Department completely breaks free of legal constraints and attempts to protect the Administration at all costs – is exactly why the Democrats went after the DOJ right away.
If “Justice” were still operating unchecked, as it was until January 2007, the political hacks that infested it would still be there. (Instead, the DOJ is like a war zone, with all top officials but the endlessly corrupt Alberto Gonzalez having to resign in disgrace.) Vote caging and other nefarious election-stealing schemes would be proceeding apace. And the “integrity” (I’m just unable to stop air-quoting, because these words have no meaning to the loyal Bushies) of the Attorney General would remain unquestioned.
What can be done about it? The words “special prosecutor” come to mind. (Hmmmm, I wonder if Bill Clinton is available…)
At this point, I picture the Administration collectively as the Black Knight in “Monty Python’s The Holy Grail.” They’re standing in the road with their arms and legs chopped off, yelling “Nyah nyah nyah nyah nyah! I win! I win! I win!” These delusional criminals still believe they’re creating their own reality. But the American people have caught on. The spin isn’t working any more.
And in a democracy, which we still barely have, if you don’t have the support of the people, you don’t win. You lose. And very often, you wear an orange jumpsuit.