Today, House Democrats attempted to hold a vote on contempt charges for White House Chief of Staff Josh Bolten and former White House counsel Harriet Miers, who refused to respond to subpoenas in Congress’s investigation of the U.S. attorney scandal.
On the House floor today, House Minority Leader John Boehner (R-OH) led Republicans in a walkout in protest of the contempt vote, alleging it is a “partisan fishing expedition.” The GOP is pushing for the House to approve the Senate’s version of the Protect America Act, which includes retroactive immunity for telecommunications firms. Boehner declared:
We will not stand for this, and we will not stay for this. And I would ask my House Republican colleagues and those who believe we should be protecting the American people, to not vote on this bill. Let’s just get up and leave. (Applause)
UPDATE II: Even without the Republicans, the House contempt vote against Miers and Bolten passed, 223-32.
http://thinkprogress.org/2008/02/14/rep ... /#comments
The only problem is, the criminal contempt charge is now referred to the DC US Attorney. That would be Jeffrey Taylor, who was appointed by Alberto Gonzales specifically to block any contempt of Congress charges related to the firings of the US Attorneys.
Instead, Congress should vote a Civil (otherwise known as Inherent) Contempt of Congress. With a civil contempt charge, Nancy Pelosi can instruct the Sergeant in Arms of Congress to arrest Miers and Bolton, and drag them to the House floor in shackles.
We should all contact our Representitives and tell them to vote Inherent Contempt of Congress charges against Miers and Bolton.
Inherent Contempt of Congress
In 1795, Congress used the power of contempt for the first time when it arrested, tried, and punished a man accused of bribing members of the House of Representatives. Then Congress acted on its own authority—subsequently called the Self-Help power, which grants Congress the right to compel testimony and punish disobedience without the involvement of a court or other government body if the individual’s actions obstruct the legislative process. By 1821, the Supreme Court recognized Congress’s power to arrest and punish individuals for contempt.
PLEASE SEND THIS TO YOUR ELECTED OFFICIALS. It’s too apparent that they are confused about their own abilities.
Click on your state for phone/fax/email info: http://www.visi.com/juan/congress/