June 3, 2010

Do the Sestak and Romanoff revelations warrant a special prosecutor?

The NYT writes:
The White House confirmed on Thursday that it had explored the possibility of an administration job for a Democratic politician in Colorado to sidetrack his primary challenge to Senator Michael Bennet, much as it did in a Pennsylvania primary.... Mr. Romanoff... said that while no job was formally offered, three specific positions were mentioned as possibilities last September....

It is not unusual for presidents of either party to offer political appointments to achieve political aims, such as clearing the nomination field for an ally, and Mr. Obama’s aides have said they did nothing wrong. But Republicans have called for a special prosecutor, citing a federal law making it illegal to offer a position to influence a primary election.
Either it's a crime or it isn't.  The phrase "political aims, such as" is odd. Have other Presidents offered political appointments to clear out competition in a primary or not? That phrase hides whether the NYT knows the answer to that question. Maybe the other Presidents have only offered political appointments to achieve other political aims.

In any event, if it is a crime, it has kept some Presidents from doing some things they otherwise would have done. If those things are acceptable, repeal the law and remove the constraint that binds only meticulous law followers.

But the argument that others have violated a law with impunity can't be good enough. Many federal crimes are enforced against persons who don't get too far with the defense that others have violated the same law and escaped prosecution. It's a laughably childish argument: But, mom, all the other kids are doing it. Ever try to get out of a speeding ticket by informing the cop that lots of other drivers are speeding? That sort of thing doesn't work for ordinary people, and the President owes a higher duty to the law, not a lower one.
The Justice Department so far has rebuffed calls for an investigation and even some Republicans, including former Attorney General Michael B. Mukasey and President George W. Bush’s top ethics lawyer, have said it would be a stretch to call the White House action regarding Mr. Sestak a crime. But the focus on such tactics undercuts the image Mr. Obama has tried to cultivate as a reformer above the usual politics.
So some Republicans want an independent investigation and other Republicans say — well, there's no quote — that it would be a stretch — did they say "a stretch"? — to call it a crime. Apparently, they didn't say "It's not a crime." Does anyone say "It's not a crime?" And "it" means "the White House action regarding Mr. Sestak a crime." But what exactly happened "regarding Mr. Sestak"? Without an investigation, we don't really know. And what about Mr. Romanoff? How did the NYT pose the question that procured semi-absolution from Mukasey and some — how many? who? — nameless Republicans.

Instead of that vague expert/counter-partisan opinion, what I'd like to see in the NYT is the text of the criminal statute. Or at least the statutory section number (with a link to the text). 

The Heritage Foundation has some detail on the statutes:
A 1980 opinion issued by the Office of Legal Counsel (OLC) at the Justice Department outlines the key distinction between what is legal and what is illegal under federal law. What is perfectly legal and what happens all the time in Washington is individuals being offered jobs for past political activity....

However, what is illegal and not normal practice in Washington is to promise a federal job or appointment to an individual in exchange for future political activity. 18 U.S.C. § 600 prohibits the use of government-funded jobs or programs to advance partisan political interests. The statute makes it unlawful for anyone to “promise any employment, position, compensation, contract, appointment, or other benefit” to any person as a “consideration, favor, or reward for any political activity or for the support of or opposition to any candidate or any political party…in connection with any primary election.” As the OLC opinion says, § 600 “punishes those who promise federal employment or benefits as an enticement to or reward for future political activity, but does not prohibit rewards for past political activity.”...

Another federal statute, 18 U.S.C. § 595, prohibits any person employed in any administrative position by the United States “in connection with any activity which is financed…by the United States…us[ing] his official authority for the purpose of interfering with, or affecting, the nomination or the election of any candidate for the office of…member of the Senate.” Any administration position offered to Sestak would be financed by the United States, so Rahm Emanuel offering such an appointment through Bill Clinton to interfere with the Senate race in Pennsylvania would also constitute a possible violation of this statute.
If the NYT would like us to accept the view of Mukasey and some unnamed Republicans that there is no crime — or it's hard to say there was a crime — I would like to see more depth of expert opinion. Why do those statutory words not apply? Eh, Mukasey? Explain that. What are people allowed to do behind the scenes to win elections? Instead of resorting to the childish argument that the other guys are doing it too, tell us exactly why we haven't been presented with enough evidence of a crime that an independent investigation is warranted.

65 comments:

Original Mike said...

"It is not unusual for presidents of either party to offer political appointments to achieve political aims"

Now the NYT is using the Nixon defense ("It's not illegal if the President does it").

{Snicker}

Hat Tip: Pogo

Scott M said...

For kicks, someone needs to ask Gibbs at the next White House press briefing:
What did the President know, and when did he know it?


The frustration on Gibbs' face recently has been very noticeable. If the political cache for this administration continues to ebb, don't be surprised if Gibbs is one of the first to scoot after the mid-term elections. If he sees no real down-side of bailing on an unpopular and seemingly incompetent administration (which directly makes his life hell on a daily basis), he'll jump ship.

Hillary will follow.

paul a'barge said...

Why is this not being handled like any other alleged crime?

Charge Barack Hussein Obama and his henchmen as criminals and let the courts sort this out with a criminal trial.

Is that not what we have the legal system for?

Or are prosecutions just for the little people?

Ann Althouse said...

Wasn't that NYT article a little slimy... a little mucus-y... a little Mukasey?

Meade said...

What a minute... doesn't this suggest that "Democrats" - in other words, members of the Democrat Party - perhaps, somehow, possibly, don't always behave democratically?

Shocking!

Scott M said...

Wasn't that NYT article a little slimy... a little mucus-y... a little Mukasey?

lol

The left/Dems are going to start banging their shields with rhetoric roughly equivalent to "the GOP won't stop until they destroy this administration and that's their only goal". What I'm waiting for is for someone in the administration, perhaps the president Himself, to say something along the lines of, "...get past these distractions and get back to the business of the American people".

It didn't work last time. This time, the administration is already dealing with a growing discontent and confidence gap over the handling of the oil spill.

F said...

Good analysis, Ann, and good recommendation to the NYTimes. Not that they'll take it. At what point, I wonder, do editors begin to think they have carried just about enough water for this administration?

bagoh20 said...

Being vague is a form of lying when you know you are lying.

Hagar said...

So, what does the word "illegal" as in "illegal immigrant" mean?

traditionalguy said...

Mucus-y is a great description of a weeping Rahm Imanuel as he is fired over this crime to save Obama. The key question now is what did Joe Sestack know and when did he know it. If he lies under oath, then he is probably out as a Senator.What a vortex of hard knocks are following Obama around all of a sudden.

Mick said...

NYT doesn't care. It is a Propaganda arm of the Usurper (Obama's father was never a citizen or resident of the US)

Quayle said...

Someone better call the DoJ prosecutors that are scouring the gulf coast for evidence of criminal wrongdoing, and tell them to get back to DC.

There's a bigger oil spill there, and its almost to the Potomac.

Just wait - soon we'll hear Obama say that he is shocked - shocked! - to find out there's bribery going on in his administration.

Fred4Pres said...

Yes a special prosecutor needs to be appointed. Now.

EDH said...

What has to be emphasized here is that these suspects -- I like that word --- are the ones who have imposed a Three Felonies a Day regime on the rest of us.

Jason said...

It seems to me there is more evidence of a crime - complete with criminal intent - here than there is regarding BP.

But the Obama Administration opened up a criminal investigation into BP.

I have zero confidence in Holder. He's a shill and a thug. I'm not a lawyer, but he strikes me as incompetent. He needs to go.

Scott said...

I agree with Fred4Pres. A special prosecutor would clear up the cloud gathering over Barry O.'s head.

Ann notes:

But the argument that others have violated a law with impunity can't be good enough. Many federal crimes are enforced against persons who don't get too far with the defense that others have violated the same law and escaped prosecution. It's a laughably childish argument: But, mom, all the other kids are doing it.

And yet it's the "argument" that the leftist trolls on this blog use ALL THE TIME. When their guy gets caught, well, Bush did it too. When your guy gets caught, it's evidence of the lawless ethos of the Republicans.

It gets tedious. Some of these trolls need to be bitchslapped. Physically. Really, really hard.

Rich B said...

Instead of that vague expert/counter-partisan opinion? Ann, if the NYT prohibited this option from their news template, the paper would be a lot thinner.

Richard Dolan said...

There is a price to pay for criminalizing the practice of politics even (perhaps especially) where as here it involvies grey areas. Many here were outraged at the calls by some on the incoming Obami team for criminal prosecutions or professional discipline against the Bush OLC attorneys (Yoo, Bradbury and others). Think also about how you reacted to the prosecution of Scooter Libby or the impeachment and threatened criminal proceedings against Clinton for perjury in the Paula Jones case, or Hillary for her denial in the grand jury of knowledge about Travelgate, all of which present closer analogies. It seems clear, at least to me, that (completely apart from the technical merits or lack thereof of the potential charges) the career DOJ atty who finally rejected the idea of taking action against Yoo and others, and the special prosecutors who declined to pursue criminal charges against both Clintons, made the right decisions. The Libby prosecution -- lying to a grand jury about his knowledge of a non-criminal leak -- struck me as a very bad precedent.

Before anyone signs on to the idea that independent prosecutors are a dandy idea here, think about how you reacted when the shoe was on the other (partisan) foot. Whether or not a technical case could be made that a statute had been violated by offering a politician a post in the Obama Administration for playing team politics, this is a situation where a sensible prosecutor (and a sensible citizen) would recognize that the exercise of discretion in refusing to pursue it was in the country's best interests.

Assuming that the NYT is accurately describing Mukasey's views, I suspect that the former SDNY judge and Atty General is expressing the same kind of skepticism about the wisdom of starting down the prosecutorial path here. Mukasey knows perfectly well that, once an independent prosecutor is named, there is tremendous pressure on that person to issue charges despite the many excellent reasons to exercise discretion in declining to do so. Unfortunately, we've seen that movie play out many, many times.

Scott said...

"Before anyone signs on to the idea that independent prosecutors are a dandy idea here, think about how you reacted when the shoe was on the other (partisan) foot."

So, in effect, you're saying that the law authorizing special prosecutors for presidential malfeasance is reserved for Democrats only.

The Drill SGT said...

I'm not a fan of special prosecutors

appoint a strong USA to investigate. The guy who ran the CIA outting thing sounds like a poetic choice

Richard Dolan said...

Scott: I'm saying it is a very bad idea generally, and has to be reserved for very bad cases. This is not one of them.

Scott said...

But wouldn't it be the special prosecutor's place to say whether or not it was a "bad case"?

edutcher said...

It's illegal only if a Republican does it, just ask Montagne/Freder/Alpha/HD/garage.

If they do appoint somebody to investigate wrongdoing in a Demo administration, given the outcome of the Plame game, Boehner, Cantor, and McConnell will probably be the ones who end up in Allenwood.

Scott said...

It's all moose farts anyway. A special prosecutor would never be appointed by Eric "Mr. Integrity" Holder. And we won't get one appointed by Congress, at least until after November.

Pastafarian said...

You know, Richard, Libby, a decent man, was convicted and disbarred because Democrats, for purely partisan reasons, wanted to follow the letter of the law.

They destroyed this man's life.

Whether you thought that prosecution was a good idea or not, it happened. I would say that this changed the rules of the game; after that, any opportunity for prosecution should be jumped at. If Obama jaywalks, I want his ass in traffic court.

Scott said...

The law authorizing special prosecutors is by design (if not intent) a tool for partisan politics. It has little to do with enforcing the law.

Quayle said...

If they do appoint somebody to investigate wrongdoing in a Demo administration

...then that somebody would automatically be a right-wing religious fanatic hell-bent on destroying the pure, innocent Democrat who only wants to help the poor and children.

Take Ken Star, for example. He was a hateful, evil Herod from birth and didn't care a whit about how much other people's pain Bill Clinton felt.

HDHouse said...

Pastafarian said...
You know, Richard, Libby, a decent man, was convicted and disbarred because Democrats, for purely partisan reasons, wanted to follow the letter of the law. They destroyed this man's life."


Actually not. He lied. He had a fair trial and was convicted. The State or DC bar disbarred him as they generally do all convicted felons. The democrats didn't try him and it was Bush's justice department and prosecutors who went after him and if he weren't a liar they would have likely snarred the former Vice President - something we can only dream about -

but to call this a partisan effort and event is just plain silly and you should be ashamed that your mind is such a playground.

Besides, Libby isn't "ruined". I heard he was offered a job on Faux Noise in their Standards and Practices office.

Ya'betcha.

HDHouse said...

Meade said...
"members of the Democrat Party - perhaps, somehow, possibly, don't always behave democratically?"

Nothing of the sort Meade. You really need to learn to type using both hands instead of the right one only on the far right side of your mental keyboard.

Richard Dolan said...

Pastafarian: You have the history about the Libby prosecution backwards. Libby was prosecuted because the Bush Admin did not have the guts to say no to the Dem demands to appoint a special prosecutor. Patrick Fitzgerald, the appointee, took an almost religious view of his prosecutorial office. Fitzgerald has many fine qualities, but knowing when to exercise discretion to decline charges was not one of them. In taking that view, he was quite typical of how special prosecutors act. And I have no reason to believe he is an active Dem (or even a Dem at all) -- I suspect he is completely non-partisan.

The reality is that, once a staff of dozens of attys and investigators is assembled, and millions are spent on investigations, grand jury proceedings, etc., all focused on one target -- and that is the reality of special prosecutions -- the pressures to take action are enormous. The pressure is both bureaucratic and political -- everyone involved in the prosecutorial team gets caught up in the hunt, becomes a true believer (and may even want a trophy), and the downside of declining to prosecute is that your motives may be attacked as partisan.

No good can come from wishing to perpetuate that system now because it was visited upon Libby. The 'prosecution' for the political crime of practicing politics a bit too vigorously, should come from voters at the ballot box. It's just a terrible idea to pursue prosecutions for technical violations of little-used criminal statutes that have never been invoked in this context; it's much worse when the whole idea is to use the criminal process for partisan advantage. It's no answer that terrible ideas suddenly improve because the folks on the receiving end will be the other political team.

Pastafarian said...

HDHouse said: "...it was Bush's justice department and prosecutors who went after him..."

And Democrats had nothing to do with this? That's odd, then, that Bush would commute his sentence, after prosecuting him. I wonder if the government-within-the-government, the liberal lifers at the CIA, had anything to do with pushing for a prosecution, as they undercut Bush at every opportunity. Nah, couldn't be. Must have been George Bush himself that wanted to see Libby prosecuted, so that he could commute his sentence.

Ya betcha.

And I'm not sure what your latest round of "it's Boooosh's fault" has to do with my point -- Libby was prosecuted for a triviality. And sentenced to prison.

So I don't see the logic in prosecuting every tiny malfeasance committed during a Republican administration, and then overlooking them during a Democrat's. Other than pure partisan hackery.

Cedarford said...

Althouse - "But the argument that others have violated a law with impunity can't be good enough. Many federal crimes are enforced against persons who don't get too far with the defense that others have violated the same law and escaped prosecution. It's a laughably childish argument: But, mom, all the other kids are doing it. Ever try to get out of a speeding ticket by informing the cop that lots of other drivers are speeding? That sort of thing doesn't work for ordinary people, and the President owes a higher duty to the law, not a lower one."

While Ann's point is taken, at a certain point, either the law is fairly and equally enforced or it in and of itself becomes a tool of injustice and discrimination.

"But officer, all the other cars were speeding"
(Not that an officer would say it) - "That may or may not be true, sir, but you are black, and the 20 other motorists ahead of you I let go were white". (Instead) "The law is the law - and you were speeding. That 20 people in front of you were speeding is irrelevant to your situation and society's demand that law be enforced. 300 dollars, please, cash or check..or you can pay it in court.."

"Why is my restaurant being shut down on a single fire code citation when 3 other restaurants with numerous code infractions are left open for business?"
(not that the city official would say it, but:) "They gave to the mayors campaign, and you didn't. And those owners asked the Mayor to ask my boss to tell me to roust your business good" (Instead) "The code is clear, two sprinklers were obscured by party decorations and under authority of law, you are closed for two weeks to a month until a thorough reinspection of your restaurant under the law can be done...if you are still in business."

"Other drug street peddlers are getting fines why am I up for a felony and 25 years?" "Because the law is the law, and discretion to serve justice exists" (Unsaid) "And one of your sex for drug 'hos is the daughter of a coonected university lawyer who placed one phone call to his law school chum in the prosecutors office to single you out for the maximum."

Rialby said...

Look for a very clear message coming from Mukasey over the next week or so as more details begin to emerge. I'm sure he qualified his first statement with, "if no other details emerge, this probably isn't that big of a deal". He'll need to put some distance between what looks like at least 2 very improper events and his own professional reputation.

Pastafarian said...

Richard said: "Libby was prosecuted because the Bush Admin did not have the guts to say no to the Dem demands to appoint a special prosecutor."

Oh, so I guess that is the Republicans' fault then. The Democrats can't possibly be faulted for DEMANDING A SPECIAL PROSECUTOR.

So we Republicans certainly shouldn't demand a special prosecutor now. Because that just wouldn't be right.

And then 4 years from now, if we're lucky enough to rid ourselves of the socialist cabal now in charge in 2012, the assistant deputy director of something-or-other will spit on the sidewalk; and I'll be God-damned-go-to-hell, what do you know, those Dems are....demanding a special prosecutor.

What a shocker.

Do you see my point, Richard? This shit repeats itself over and over. Republicans are held to higher standards of decorum over and over and over. It's bullshit. If you don't like the law, then repeal the son-of-a-bitch. If someone breaks the law, prosecute them. No more of these unwritten rules, that seem to apply more to one side than the other.

Pastafarian said...

And frankly, what Libby was convicted of (lying to a grand jury about some bullshit leak of a non-field CIA agent's name, ultimately tracked down to that asshole Armitage) seems pretty small compared to handing out federal jobs in order to influence the outcome of elections.

So I'm not even sure if the "petty offense" defense applies here.

Maguro said...

What did Rod Blagojevich get in trouble for, exactly, and how is this different from what Blago did?

The Secretary of the Navy position is a valuable thing you don't just fucking give it away

Rialby said...

I'm torn here. Really.

At first blush, this looks like a really egregious abuse of presidential power. It could very well bring down several advisors close to the POTUS if not the POTUS himself.

At a time when the world is in utter turmoil - see: Israel/Turkey, Israel/Iran, Europe/Europe, US/Mexico, N/S Korea, Oil Spill, etc. - I do not want to see our president focused on the distractions of a serious investigation into the wrongdoings of his administration.

On the other hand, it is Obama and his minions that potentially broke the law.

It all just sucks.

Hoosier Daddy said...

Nothing of the sort Meade. You really need to learn to type using both hands instead of the right one only on the far right side of your mental keyboard.

Well hell. Here I am, cruising along the thread and I go and step in a steaming pile of hdhouse.

I wish to hell people would learn to curb their pets.

Rialby said...

Does anyone else find it amusing that a Socialist is trying to keep a Romanoff out of power?

Pastafarian said...

Maguro -- Blago took money in return for an appointment to a government job. The Obama administration didn't take actual money -- the reward for them was their ability to influence elections.

Which seems doubly bad, to me. There's the aspect of trading something of value in return for an appointment to a government job; and there's the aspect of pulling the puppet strings on elections to the House and Senate.

If that's not serious enough to prosecute, then what is? Do they actually have to murder someone?

Pastafarian said...

Rialby, the more we can keep these assholes distracted, the better chance we have of favorable outcomes in all those other potential catastrophes you mentioned.

Hoosier Daddy said...

Does anyone else find it amusing that a Socialist is trying to keep a Romanoff out of power?

Heh...nice.

William said...

At the turn of the last century in New York there were laws against opening saloons on Sunday. Nonetheless, all the saloons routinely opened on Sunday. The purpose of the law was not to close the saloons but to allow Tammany to collect bribes for allowing them to open.....Like the blue laws, this law, so speciously enforced, might have a latent purpose.

edutcher said...

Libby was convicted for something done by someone else that wasn't even a crime.

One presumes HD's idea of an honest judge is Roland Friesler.

Lynne said...

Rialby said...
Does anyone else find it amusing that a Socialist is trying to keep a Romanoff out of power?


For my money, this wins the thread. Well played, sir.

dave in boca said...

Looks like the ObamaCrew is getting out the old Leona Helmsley "taxes [laws] are for the little people" attitude and the shills in the stenographic White House Press are likely to try to give Gibbs, the incompetent Holder ["I haven't read the AZ statute"] and his man-chile boss a pass unless the public uproar starts to wake the pressies from their zombie-coma mode.

I think the new Gallup giving the Republicans almost 50% generic over 43% for the Dems may grease the skids for the reluctant Gibbs to take a hike.

dave in boca said...

Does anyone else find it amusing that a Socialist is trying to keep a Romanoff out of power?

Replace Socialist with Menshevik and I'd agree!

GMay said...

"At a time when the world is in utter turmoil - see: Israel/Turkey, Israel/Iran, Europe/Europe, US/Mexico, N/S Korea, Oil Spill, etc. - I do not want to see our president focused on the distractions of a serious investigation into the wrongdoings of his administration."

Come on guy, do you really think the President is focused like on those things? A few plagiarized speeches should get all those things cleared up in a jiff. Then He can get back to talking about how totally super awesome he is.

You know, the important stuff.

MayBee said...

Good heavens. Remember the stink that was kicked up over the perfectly legal firings of political appointee U S Attorneys?

A.G. said...

The issue is really not whether "other politicians were doing it" in the past when it comes to "clearing the nomination" in today's political landscape. Senate campaigns these days, even unlike in recent decades, are now hundred million affairs in some cases. "Clearing the nomination" frees up money to give parties a fiscal edge in other, more hard fought races.

Thus, whether "George Washington probably had somebody twisting arms" as many Dems complain isn't relevant anymore. And it's a slap in the face of the notion of participatory democracy; it's really more a throwback to the old "smoke filled rooms".

And if this is what we really want as a democratic society- party insiders deciding for themselves who will serve us- then why don't we just be honest about it, and repeal the 17th Amendment? I doubt most people (Alan Keyes, excepted) would go for that. If not, then let's appoint a special prosecutor to investigate- despite our collective memory loss and/or lack of knowledge of history, the laws did have an intent when they were passed.

Trooper York said...

We definitely need a special prosecutor. Maybe two or three. One for Sestak. One for the Oil Spill. Hell one for Al Gores divorce and that call at first base. Anything to distract the Big O. To keep him from screwing up even more of the economy.

Hey it has worked before.

c3 said...

I'm not a fan of special prosecutors

appoint a strong USA to investigate. The guy who ran the CIA outting thing sounds like a poetic choice


I second that!

HDHouse

Hagar said...

Pastifarian and Edutcher:

Libby was convicted of lying about who told him about Valerie Plame, not about who he told. (It was apparently Cheney, not Tim Russert.) They said this was lying to an FBI agent and obstruction of justice. And I think he also repeated this before the Grand Jury, but I am not sure.

That whole thing was pretty raw, as Novak, being no dummy, immediately told the FBI who the culprit was when they asked him, and Armitage promptly confirmed it. The DoJ told both of them to keep their traps shut or else, and went ahead with their well-publicized phantom investigation anyway.

As for special prosecutor, I think no, but by all means have the media keep after it and let us see what else may come to light!

Jacq said...

We are told that to allow corporations merely to speak politically would "drown out the voices of ordinary Americans," and is a mortal threat to the fabric of our society, it is a torpedo aimed at the sacred core of our hallowed democracy, it is a buzzsaw to the roots of the Tree of Liberty in whose beneficent shade we dwell and whose fruits nourish and sustain the civil society, it imperils everything that is good and wholesome about America, like (rationed) motherhood, (sugar-free) apple pie, and (unfettered)Government.

But bribing a candidate to sit down and shut up, lest the misguided voters should, God forbid, deign to elect the unselected... pah! Let's not criminalize politics!

P.S. If we wish not to criminalize politics, we should not elect criminals.

Blue@9 said...

Nixon's apologists also claimed that what he did was no different than what JFK and LBJ had done. And they were probably right. But Nixon still deserved what he got.

edutcher said...

Hagar said...

Pastifarian and Edutcher:

Libby was convicted of lying about who told him about Valerie Plame, not about who he told. (It was apparently Cheney, not Tim Russert.) They said this was lying to an FBI agent and obstruction of justice. And I think he also repeated this before the Grand Jury, but I am not sure.

That whole thing was pretty raw, as Novak, being no dummy, immediately told the FBI who the culprit was when they asked him, and Armitage promptly confirmed it. The DoJ told both of them to keep their traps shut or else, and went ahead with their well-publicized phantom investigation anyway.

As for special prosecutor, I think no, but by all means have the media keep after it and let us see what else may come to light!


I stand corrected.

Rialby said...

Blue@9 ... Nixon

You're absolutely right. Joe Kennedy paid good money to have the dead of Chicago vote for his son and complained about the cost. Nixon's henchmen commit a 3rd rate burglary and it brings down a presidency.

Of course it had been done before but good ole Dick got caught and got strung up - rightfully - for it. Just tough luck.

jr565 said...

Most open and transparent administration, new type of politics indeed.

HDHouse said...

Pastafarian said...
"And I'm not sure what your latest round of "it's Boooosh's fault" has to do with my point -- Libby was prosecuted for a triviality. And sentenced to prison."

Where did I write it was Bush's fault? guilty conscience?

lying isn't trivial or perhaps it is to the right wing. I rest my case.

His sentence was the federal guidelines not a democratic witch hunt.

You guys would do better to get some sort of A-game together instead of posting such cheap and silly bullroar. You are way too easy.

New "Hussein" Ham said...

"If the NYT would like us to accept the view of Mukasey and some unnamed Republicans that there is no crime — or it's hard to say there was a crime — I would like to see more depth of expert opinion."

The New York Times frankly doesn't much give a fuck what you want Althouse. Who do you think you are? Pinch Sulzberger?

They're going to cover up for their guy. If you don't like it, don't vote for Barack Obama again. Those of us here warned you not to vote for him the first time and you didn't listen, so maybe you'll be more intelligent this time.

The only way anyone is going to investigate the crimes of this criminal regime is if the Republican Party takes control of the appropriate committees of the Congress, subpoenas the President and his aides and forces them to testify under threat of prison if they refuse to cooperate.

Then we'll get to the bottom of the cover-up that the New York Times and the Obama regime are perpetuating on the American people.

Until then, we just have to live with this illegitimate regime.

Michael said...

"Lying isn't trivial" said HD House. That depends on the meaning of the word "isn't" .

Iapetus said...

According to the memorandum filed by Robert Bauer, the White House counsel, the offer extended to Sestak to be on the president's intelligence advisory board presumed he would take both that position and, simultaneously, his seat in Congress. That's a no-no. As a member of Congress, Sestak would be ineligible to be on the advisory board. Whoever in the WH made the offer either knew that already (and Sestak smelled the big double-cross would come when the "whoops! mistake" eventually got noticed) or else someone in the WH was trying to do an end-run around the law.

Ann Althouse said...

@Iapetus Or they are lying about what the offered position was. I think that's much more likely.

Fen said...

I do not want to see our president focused on the distractions of a serious investigation into the wrongdoings of his administration.

He's already distracted by his own corruption. Iran, Iraq, AfPak, Korea will fall apart wether he's selling senate seats or perjuring himself before the House.

AST said...

If this really goes on all the time, it's about time to put a stop to it, and the way to do that is to prosecute it as a crime or make the statute more explicit by including that "offering, dangling or discussing possible government appointments or otherwise trying to persuade a person to withdraw from a candidacy or refrain from filing for one."

Ignorance of the law is no excuse.