The Smoke Screen
Common Cause statement on Bolton, Miers contempt ruling
Common Cause applauds the decision of United States District Court Judge John D. Bates to reject the President's claim of absolute immunity from having to comply with Congressional subpoenas for former White House counsel, Harriet E. Miers, and the current White House chief of staff, Joshua B. Bolten.
"The White House's claim that current and former White House aides are immune from congressional subpoena is another example of President Bush's abuse of power," said Common Cause President Bob Edgar. "This groundbreaking decision in support of the Congress' right to enforce its subpoenas is a victory for our democracy."
In throwing out the absolute immunity argument, President Bush's own appointee to the federal bench has dealt a lethal blow to former White House aide Karl Rove's claim of absolute immunity from Congressional questioning. The House Judiciary Committee has recommended that Rove be cited for contempt for also ignoring a subpoena.
"The Executive cannot identify a single judicial opinion that recognizes absolute immunity for senior presidential advisors in this or any other context. That simple yet critical fact bears repeating: the asserted absolute immunity claim here is entirely unsupported by existing case law. In fact, there is Supreme Court authority that is all but conclusive on this question and that powerfully suggests that such advisors do not enjoy absolute immunity. The Court therefore rejects the Executive's claim of absolute immunity for senior presidential aides," Bates wrote in the ruling, citing several cases, including United States v. Nixon (1974). [more from Common Cause]
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Francis C. P. Knize and I interview Bob Edgar, President, of Common Cause:
Steven G. Erickson interviews Jonathan "Jon" Bartholomew, from Portland, Maine, on the subject of Media Reform at the Free Press Event, NCMR, National Convention on Media Reform, Minneapolis, Minnesota: