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To: xzins
Isn’t Congress empowered to charge or arrest those who lie to Congress?

No. They have only legislative power and the power to impeach. The Justice Department is the only agency authorized to bring criminal charges. Congress has no power to bring any criminal charges except for impeachment. Even a contempt of congress charge must be referred to the Attorney General for prosecution. In effect, if the Attorney General has committed a federal crime, the Attorney General is the only person authorized to bring charges.

In this case, unless Holder recuses himself and appoints a special counsel, he is immune from prosecution (until a new administration comes in, or he is fired by the President).

27 posted on 10/04/2011 12:43:38 PM PDT by P-Marlowe (LPFOKETT GAHCOEEP-w/o*)
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To: P-Marlowe
Here's something about a short-term arrest by the sergeant-at-arms. It's wikipedia. Because of the source I don't know what to think of it.

What do you think?

Inherent contempt

Under this process, the procedure for holding a person in contempt involves only the chamber concerned. Following a contempt citation, the person cited is arrested by the Sergeant-at-Arms for the House or Senate, brought to the floor of the chamber, held to answer charges by the presiding officer, and then subjected to punishment as the chamber may dictate (usually imprisonment for punishment reasons, imprisonment for coercive effect, or release from the contempt citation).

Concerned with the time-consuming nature of a contempt proceeding and the inability to extend punishment further than the session of the Congress concerned (under Supreme Court rulings), Congress created a statutory process in 1857. While Congress retains its "inherent contempt" authority and may exercise it at any time, this inherent contempt process was last used by the Senate in 1934, in a Senate investigation of airlines and the U.S. Postmaster. After a one-week trial on the Senate floor (presided over by the Vice-President of the United States, acting as Senate President), William P. MacCracken, a lawyer and former Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Aeronautics who had allowed clients to rip up subpoenaed documents, was found guilty and sentenced to 10 days imprisonment.[5]

MacCracken filed a petition of habeas corpus in federal courts to overturn his arrest, but after litigation, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that Congress had acted constitutionally, and denied the petition in the case Jurney v. MacCracken.[6][7]

Presidential pardons appear not to apply to a civil contempt procedure such as the above, since it is not an "offense against the United States" or against "the dignity of public authority."[8]

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Contempt_of_Congress

31 posted on 10/04/2011 12:54:02 PM PDT by xzins (Retired Army Chaplain and Proud of It! True Supporters of our Troops PRAY for their VICTORY!)
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