Thursday, June 28, 2007

La-la-la-I Don't Hear You!

Apparently Bush and Congress are headi1ng to a showdown over the subpeonas. Bush has claimed executive privilege and Congress (through Leahy) is taking steps to knock him down a notch. Fielding cites opinions by Paul Clement -- a poor choice to bolster this uber-secrecy practiced by the White House, as his conflict of interest is awfully clear. He is--already, even before we hit the courts--in a position where he is simultaneously defending the White House, and investigating it. Must be nice, eh?

Fred Fielding's letter telling Congress to f--- off is not so much a legal notice, but a lecture. It spends two paragraphs saying "no," one paragraph spinning the White House as cooperative, and then seven paragraphs talking about the exalted tradition of executive privilege.

More troubling, however, is what Fielding attaches: an opinion written by Solicitor General Paul Clement, explaining that OLC has reviewed Congress' requests and found that those requests fall squarely within the realm of executive privilege.
Paul Clement, as you'll recall, is the guy currently in charge of any investigation into the US Attorney firings, since Alberto Gonzales recused himself some months ago. He's the one who technically oversees the Office of Special Counsel investigation into whether politics played an improper part in Iglesias' firing or the hiring of career employees in DOJ, he's the one who oversees the joint Office of Professional Responsibility and Inspector General investigations into whether anything improper--including obstruction of justice--occurred in the hiring and firing of USAs. And now, he's the guy who gets to tell the President that he doesn't have to turn over what might amount to evidence of obstruction of justice in the Foggo and Wilkes case, among others.

No comments: