Washington D.C.--Finally, finally, finally, the Democrats get some guts. Not one committee member of the GOP was present for this move on the House Judiciary committee, but that's because they know that the game is over.
Nobody is impressed with this "symbolic gesture." For at least four years (longer for Foley), the former GOP majority in Congress had obstructed justice in the investigations surrounding the Bush administration, as well as within their own ranks: Mark Foley, Randy "Duke" Cunningham, and Bob Ney are just a few examples of this fact.
The US Attorney who convicted former congressman Cunningham was part of the mass of firings by President Bush (Attorney General Gonzales will appoint new ones "indefinitely" under a law the GOP had hidden in a renewal of the Patriot Act at the end of the 109th Congress).
But, the subpoenas aren't for anyone in the Bush administration--yet. They're being issued to question all of the US Attorneys who were fired, to get their side of the story. We've already begun to hear about some of what happened from former US Attorney David Iglesias of New Mexico.
He has stated bluntly he will tell the committee the names of two GOP congressmen who pressured him to investigate a Democratic congresswoman under oath. It's going to be pretty hilarious to see their reactions. They'll be the next-ones being subpoenaed.
Democrats contend the removals were politically motivated. They say a flaw in the Patriot Act allows the president to sidestep Senate confirmation of U.S. attorneys in some cases. "Is this an effort to diminish the independence of the people who uphold our laws? It's very troubling to me that there seems to be this undercurrent here," said Rep. Linda Sanchez (D-Calif). She heads the subcommittee on commercial and administrative law. Republicans said the hearing was a case of "political grandstanding." The committee's top Republican, Rep. Lamar Smith of Texas, said the GOP would not help "provide votes for political subpoenas." (AP, 03.02.2007)Funny, the vote was 7-0, so he must be lying again and the subpoenas are going through. After all, you're not driving the bus now.
Blather all you want GOP, but the truth is coming-out. Former US Attorneys "Carol Lam of California, David Iglesias of New Mexico, H.E. "Bud" Cummins of Arkansas and John McKay of Seattle" (ibid) are all going to testify. Corrupt congresspersons can expect the worst, and the GOP is going to get their jaw-jacked. The committee meeting on the subject lasted less than five minutes, which is impressive.
In the case of Iglesias, he was never told of why he was fired, but he had a pretty good idea why:
Two months after the firings first began to make waves on Capitol Hill, it has also become clear that most of the prosecutors were overseeing significant public-corruption investigations at the time they were asked to leave. Four of the probes target Republican politicians or their supporters, prosecutors and other officials said. (Washington Post, 02.19.2007)Yeah, I know, the laws don't work in your favor, so you violate, obstruct, and change them. If Democrats are guilty, investigate and convict them too. It's indefensible in any developed nation that claims to be one of law and order to have these firings.
These claims of upholding the law no longer have any weight with the GOP that they used to, and this is just one example of why. You hire a man, and he tries to do the job you hired him for--what the hell were they thinking? Jaw-jack time is coming, yet it's really all about upholding the law of the land.