Can we call it a Constitutional crisis yet? Or have we moved past that?
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 U.S. attorneys affair.
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.
The opinion was prepared this week by the department’s Office of Legal Counsel, in response to questions from former White House counsel Harriet E. Miers, who was subpoenaed to testify Thursday before the House Judiciary Committee. Miers told the panel in a letter faxed Tuesday night that she would not be appearing, citing the Justice memo and advice from the White House.
And as if to show his true grasp of the law when it comes to himself and his fellow blue bloods, here’s what Bush had to say today about the Libby pardon*:
“And, you know, I’ve often thought about what would have happened had that person come forth and said, ‘I did it.’ Would we have had this, you know, endless hours of investigation and a lot of money being spent on this matter?”
He’s thought about that. Often.