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Death of congressional oversight?
The Washington Times ^ | 24 July 2007 | Bruce Fein

Posted on 07/24/2007 8:18:15 AM PDT by BGHater

Congress' power to oversee the executive branch for lawlessness or maladministration stands at an abyss.

If it neglects to enact a revised edition of the lapsed Independent Counsel Act of 1978, Congress will have been disarmed by President Bush from knowing what the executive branch is doing. Secret government will flourish. And darkness invites executive machinations to violate the law and to destroy political or personal rivals. Remember President Richard M. Nixon's ill-conceived Huston Plan recommending domestic burglaries, illegal electronic surveillances and mail openings of political radicals.

President Bush has announced his intent to decline criminal contempt prosecutions of any current or former executive branch officials who refuse to testify or produce documents demanded by a congressional committee because of executive privilege. The nonprosecution policy was fashioned to benefit Bush loyalists Karl Rove, Joshua Bolton, Harriet Miers and Sara A. Taylor in stonewalling Congress over the firings of United States attorneys. A statute saddles government prosecutors with a "duty" to bring criminal contempt matters "before the grand jury for its action." But President Bush's unfettered discretion to prosecute or not trumps the statute.

The United States Supreme Court declared in United States v. Nixon (1974) that, "the Executive Branch has exclusive authority and absolute discretion whether to prosecute a case." In United States v. Cox (1965), the U.S. 5th Circuit Court of Appeals overturned a district court order directing the United States attorney to file an indictment returned by the grand jury.

(Excerpt) Read more at washingtontimes.com ...


TOPICS: Constitution/Conservatism; Editorial; Government
KEYWORDS: brucefein; bush43; congress; executive; govwatch; powers; president; term2

1 posted on 07/24/2007 8:18:17 AM PDT by BGHater
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To: BGHater

“Congress’ power to oversee the executive branch”

Does congress have any power to oversee another branch of government? We have three equal branches.


2 posted on 07/24/2007 8:20:54 AM PDT by edcoil (Reality doesn't say much - doesn't need too)
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To: edcoil

Of course, they can pass regulations and exceptions for the Supreme Court.


3 posted on 07/24/2007 8:25:49 AM PDT by BGHater (Bread and Circuses)
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To: edcoil
Congress has the power! To do nothing other than hold hearings. They are not qualified to sweep the halls where real statesmen use to roam. The Democrats could not wait to gain control and now that they have all they can do is hold hearings.
4 posted on 07/24/2007 8:26:12 AM PDT by gunnedah
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To: gunnedah
The Democrats could not wait to gain control and now that they have all they can do is hold hearings.

Yep. They do excel at hearings.

5 posted on 07/24/2007 8:28:23 AM PDT by b4its2late (Liberalism is a mental disorder.)
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To: BGHater

The POTUS is not required to turn over internal papers to Congress. This is a fishing expedition by Congress, as they try to find some dirt on the POTUS about the firing of Attorneys General. The POTUS can fire them for NO REASON! End-of-story.


6 posted on 07/24/2007 8:29:54 AM PDT by Edgerunner (If you won't let the military fight your battles, you will have to. Keep your powder dry...)
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To: BGHater

BRING BACK THE INDEPENDENT COUNCIL, JUST IN TIME FOR A DEMOCRAT PRESIDENT. DO IT DO IT.


7 posted on 07/24/2007 8:31:51 AM PDT by pacelvi
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To: b4its2late

Yes, they do excel at hearings. I believe Nancy Pelosi would mud-wrestle a gorilla - naked - in the House if she could get on the news doing it. Nothing like hearings to get your face on TV.


8 posted on 07/24/2007 8:31:53 AM PDT by twonie (Keep your guns - and stockpile ammo.)
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To: BGHater
only need the OIC when Repubs are on the bubble.
If it’s used against a RAT, it will promptly be done away with.
9 posted on 07/24/2007 8:33:05 AM PDT by stylin19a (Don't buy a putter until you have had a chance to throw it.)
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To: twonie

Eeewwwwwww!!!!!! Bad images, bad, bad, bad.....


10 posted on 07/24/2007 8:34:59 AM PDT by b4its2late (Liberalism is a mental disorder.)
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To: Edgerunner

Yep. They’ll be looking at electronic and paper documents to come up with something to leak to the press and call for more investigations... they are sneaky SOBs.


11 posted on 07/24/2007 8:38:21 AM PDT by b4its2late (Liberalism is a mental disorder.)
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To: pacelvi

The funny thing is, the dems vote out the “independent council” when a dem is pres, but want it back immediately when a rep is pres.


12 posted on 07/24/2007 8:41:29 AM PDT by MrB (You can't reason people out of a position that they didn't use reason to get into in the first place)
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To: twonie

THAT was a mental picture I could have done without!

;>)


13 posted on 07/24/2007 8:43:27 AM PDT by Mr Rogers (I'm agnostic on evolution, but sit ups are from Hell!)
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To: BGHater

Bruce Fein is correct in his negative assessment of Pres. Bush’s administration and the need for transparency to the responsible areas of Congress. Otherwise, the atmosphere of secrecy and denial of access to information makes the nightmare of the Imperial Presidency seem to be in the offing, whether or not it is in fact.


14 posted on 07/24/2007 8:46:38 AM PDT by Maeve (Do you have supplies for an extended emergency? Be prepared! Pray!)
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To: Maeve
Bruce Fein is correct in his negative assessment of Pres. Bush’s administration and the need for transparency to the responsible areas of Congress. Otherwise, the atmosphere of secrecy and denial of access to information makes the nightmare of the Imperial Presidency seem to be in the offing, whether or not it is in fact.

An Imperial Presidency worries me far less than an Imperious Congress and a Permanent Bureaucracy.

15 posted on 07/24/2007 8:55:07 AM PDT by Logophile
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To: Maeve

We have three equal branches of government period. Congress has no constitutional right to oversee the executive branch. If a President is secretive and abuses his power. He will not be re-elected, or possibly impeached, or forced to resign as Nixon was. You can not twist the constitution into knots because you don’t trust elected leader. We need to elect leaders we can trust.

The Democrats are on a witch hunt-they are out to destroy the Bush administration and have been since day one. Personnally, I hope Bush tell them to pound sand. I am sick of the endless investigations-wast of money. We have more pressing needs that congress should address.


16 posted on 07/24/2007 9:42:45 AM PDT by nyconse
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To: Logophile

Are you saying that Hillary Clinton as an “imperial president” doesn’t worry you, or is it just George Bush who doesn’t worry you?


17 posted on 07/24/2007 10:06:56 AM PDT by ga medic
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To: ga medic
Are you saying that Hillary Clinton as an “imperial president” doesn’t worry you, or is it just George Bush who doesn’t worry you?

What I am saying is that presidents come and go, but Congress, the bureaucracy, and the courts continue on.

What worries me about Hillary Clinton is what she stands for. She would greatly expand the power and reach of the Federal Government, and further gut the Constitutional ideal of limited government. That so many Americans would vote for her (despite her unattractive personality) is just an indication of how far the country has declined. As a symbol of that decline, Hillary is worrisome indeed.

18 posted on 07/24/2007 11:22:10 AM PDT by Logophile
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To: BGHater
Remember President Richard M. Nixon's ill-conceived Huston Plan recommending domestic burglaries, illegal electronic surveillances and mail openings of political radicals.

Clinton's plan to spy on poliical opponents would've been a better example, but I think the author is right to be afraid of the Clinton's.

19 posted on 07/24/2007 11:29:41 AM PDT by <1/1,000,000th%
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To: Logophile
An Imperial Presidency worries me far less than an Imperious Congress and a Permanent Bureaucracy.

And an Imperial Presidency by Her Heinous Hillary Clinton terrifies me.

20 posted on 07/24/2007 11:52:36 AM PDT by Maeve (Do you have supplies for an extended emergency? Be prepared! Pray!)
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To: nyconse

No. President Bush’s Executive Orders and his plan for martial law in the event of a catastrophe must be transparent to those organs lawfully set up to review such material. If it were Clintons pulling these stunts we would be in the streets making so much noise Washington, D.C. would shake to its foundations. What President Bush is doing by Executive Order is unConstitutional and must be stopped.


21 posted on 07/24/2007 11:55:49 AM PDT by Maeve (Do you have supplies for an extended emergency? Be prepared! Pray!)
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To: Maeve

Transparency? What’s that supposed to mean? I see nothing in the Constitution about the Executive being “transparent” or even “responsible” to the Congress.

Screw Congress, it has no right to the information it’s asking for. There is no “Imperial Presidency” only a “Demogogic Congress”.


22 posted on 07/24/2007 12:08:12 PM PDT by pacelvi
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To: pacelvi

Read Bush’s Executive Orders. They are reprehensible violations of the Constitution.


23 posted on 07/24/2007 1:18:25 PM PDT by Maeve (Do you have supplies for an extended emergency? Be prepared! Pray!)
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To: Maeve

You just proved it.. I dont need Congress to read a EO.


24 posted on 07/24/2007 3:07:37 PM PDT by pacelvi
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To: pacelvi

But you can’t read the plan for Martial Law after catastrophe, and neither can the members of Congress. Wouldn’t you like know what the Executive has planned for you?


25 posted on 07/24/2007 8:18:52 PM PDT by Maeve (Do you have supplies for an extended emergency? Be prepared! Pray!)
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To: gunnedah

Does anyone remember how so many witnesses from the Clinton Administration simply did not show up at hearings? Why they were not compelled, fined, or jailed is a mystery to this very day.

So, when the Stalinistas in Congress complain about DOJ folks reluctance, I say remember the Clinton boobs.


26 posted on 07/24/2007 8:35:53 PM PDT by bioqubit (bioqubit, conformity - such a common deformity)
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To: Maeve

well i hope to God there’s a plan for emergency posture after a catastrophe! jesus christ... do you even know the meaning of the word?


27 posted on 07/24/2007 9:03:17 PM PDT by pacelvi
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To: bioqubit

I have said all along there is no significant difference in either party of Congress. I see where there is momentum gaining from both parties for a Special Prosecutor for Attorney General Gonzales. Of course I do not know what he has done but I do know there is more concern from Congress over the firing of 8 Lawyers and the Administration keeping Americans on American soil safe than there was when the Government under Clinton and Reno kidnapped Elian Gonzales and when Clinton,The FBI, Reno and the military burned 80 American citizens to death on American soil. Just what is going on in DC and why not kick all of these craps out? There never will be a more corrupt pair than these two and we are worried about protecting Americans and firing Lawyers.


28 posted on 07/25/2007 5:58:48 AM PDT by gunnedah
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