Cecil once wrote an article that explained how, in U.S. courts, it was A-OK to testify without swearing an oath on the Bible. A different kind of affirmation is given instead. Let me see if I can dig it up.
It’s my understanding that “lying to Congress” is a crime. Does that crime extend to lying in interviews with Congressional committees?
If they offer sworn testimony to the committee, I’d assume it’s perjury, but they might be able to (legally) get away with lying if they’re not under oath. I’m hard pressed to come up with another reason for them to refuse to be sworn in.
I can easily see why they would not want to do so. Talking to committee staff under oath would mean that they are liable for prosecution if the facts in the case turned out differently than what Rove or Miers said. Now, to prove perjury it would have to be proven that they lied. However, a prosecutor can easily put them through the wringer if Rove or Miers merely misspoke or misremembered. Not talking to them under oath removes any prospect of them being harassed down the line.
Just like poor little Scooter Libby, right? :rolleyes: But the rationale does make sense. The White House has already lied about what went on with these firings, so they certainly wouldn’t want to put anybody in legal trouble over them.
Yes, well, the story says the WH is offering the committee an unsworn, unrecorded private interview with Rove. I see no reason why they should take that offer when they do, after all, have the power to subpoena him and compel his sworn testimony.
How’s that? The 5th Amendment right of self-incrimination is pretty much inviolable if he doesn’t waive it, and they certainly won’t offer him any sort of immunity. Barring that they can’t even get him for contempt of Congress. He’s an untouchable. They all are. All they can do is attempt to impeach on what they have and what they can get in the future, and Gonzales can resign and defuse the whole thing. They can try to incriminate Bush, but what’s the point? First off, his term is almost over. Second, even the Democrats don’t want President Cheney. Last, Bush has the right of pardon, and I have no doubt that he’ll use it if his friend Gonzales gets any sort of conviction. He’ll probably even pardon Libby in the 11th hour.
All this is is posturing. It might be for the right reasons, it might be 100% justifiable, but in the end it will be for naught. The only thing remaining will be the perception of shenanigans, and that cloud has been lingering for years now.