Saturday, May 19, 2007

What If Ashcroft Signed?

The testimony of Former Acting Attorney General James Comey (the same fellow who appointed the special prosecutor who nailed Scooter Libby by the by) of a middle of the night run by Alberto Gonzales to the hospital sick bed of a man who wasn't the Attorney General to get him to sign a piece of paper that only the Attorney General was authorized to sign would be incredible on an episode of Battlestar Gallactica.

Yet it happened.

I have no way of knowing this, but it is reasonable to assume that if Gonzales could have somehow gotten Ashcroft to sign the document, Gonzales might have had a document that was signed on a date when Ashcroft was not the Attorney General, but not dated on the date that Ashcroft signed the document. If Comey had not been in the room, might the description of the document that Ashcroft was asked to sign been different as well?

It was only the integrity of Ashcroft, and a lucky act of timing on the part of Comey, that prevented this from happening. For his trouble, Ashcroft was forced out in 2004, and all his supporters are now being purged for being too fond of the rule of law.

I don't know if inducing someone to impersonate the Attorney General is a high crime or misdemeanor. I don't know if fraud against Congress for failure to disclose the incident when failure to the Congress in response to a direct question is a high crime or a misdemeanor. They are one or the other or something in between.

Whatever they are, they are impeachable offenses.

I agree with Tony Snow. A vote of no confidence or whatever Senator Schumer calls it, is worthless grandstanding.

If I couldn't find a member of the House to start an impeachment proceeding against the Attorney General, I'd drop the subject.

As I said here , in a system of checks and balances, you can only have expanded executive powers, a unitary executive, if the Congress is willing to impeach for any reason or next to no reason at all. What's a misdemeanor? Isn't what Alberto Gonzales did -- attempting to induce someone to impersonate the Attorney General --- a misdemeanor?

"It shall be unlawful for any person, directly or indirectly ... to make any untrue statement of a material fact or to omit to state a material fact necessary in order to make the statements made, in the light of the circumstances under which they were made, not misleading" \
Rule 10b-5 under the Exchange Act of 1934