Democrats Will Investigate Bush…They Hope

Congressional investigations of the current administration is EXACTLY what the electorate wanted when they put Democrats in power in all three branches. I’m so glad the Democrats are in touch with the voters in a way the Republicans just aren’t.

The New York Times reports:

Topics of open investigations include the harsh interrogation of detainees, the prosecution of former Gov. Don Siegelman of Alabama, secret legal memorandums from the Justice Department’s Office of Legal Counsel and the role of the former White House aides Karl Rove and Harriet E. Miers in the firing of federal prosecutors.

Mr. Bush has used his executive powers to block Congressional requests for executive branch documents and testimony from former aides. But investigators hope that the Obama administration will open the filing cabinets and withdraw assertions of executive privilege that Bush officials have invoked to keep from testifying.

“I intend to ensure that our outstanding subpoenas and document requests relating to the U.S. attorneys matter are enforced,” said Representative John Conyers Jr., Democrat of Michigan and chairman of the House Judiciary Committee. “I am hopeful that progress can be made with the coming of the new administration.”

Also, two advocacy groups, the American Civil Liberties Union and Human Rights First, have prepared detailed reports for the new administration calling for criminal investigations into accusations of abuse of detainees.

It is not clear, though, how a President Barack Obama will handle such requests. Legal specialists said the pressure to investigate the Bush years would raise tough political and legal questions.

Because every president eventually leaves office, incoming chief executives have an incentive to quash investigations into their predecessor’s tenure. Mr. Bush used executive privilege for the first time in 2001, to block a subpoena by Congressional Republicans investigating the Clinton administration.

So, the Democrats want their own President (Barack Obama) to tie his own hands during a time of war and get their permission to prosecute it, too? This issue is going to put Obama in a serious jam. The party faithful are out for blood, but these investigations will piss off most fair-minded Americans.

It will be interesting to see how many self-inflicted wounds Obama will take in order to appease his rabid base.

Cross-posted at

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