They will testify, but not under oath....

CNN Breaking News:

So, exactly, what is the point of thier testimony if “not under oath”? Does this mean they are free to lie?

I just don’t understand the point, why shouldnt they be under oath?

Not really after retoric or conspiracy theories… moreso after the legal/ethical/wtf reasoning behind such a thing.

(there isnt a full article, yet, thats the breaking news headline… I figure that alone is enough to start a ‘healthy’ debate)

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.

Here’s the column I was referencing.

That;s not how I took this headline… but thanks for the link… I had read that one before.

‘Not under oath’ here would mean to me “not saying one way or the other if the stuff I’m about to say is true or not”.

But perhaps I am cynical these days.

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.

Gotta love it… no accountability…

So, I wont say if I’m telling you the truth, I wont allow any record of what I say, and you’re not allowed to follow up on it.

If they don’t have to take the oath like everyone else, why do I want to hear anything they have to say? More bullshit.

Ermm . . . yes.

That is the point.

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.

Don’t they?

They have the power to compel him to show, but they do not have the power to compel him to talk.

I think Rove should have to tell his story in public, but I’m curious as to whether the oath actually means anything. The law says:

(18 USC 1001.)

I don’t see anything that an oath is required. I don’t know if the House or Senate rules require that an oath be administered. Does anyone know more about this?

No, but Rove taking the Fifth, or stonewalling, would be kind of embarrassing. I suspect the reason they want public testimony is to see Rove sweat when he’s lying.

According to NPR yesterday, if they subpoena them, and exective privilege is claimed, it can be taken to the DoJ (fat chance) or to court.

Just like in Watergate. This is likely to fester for quite a while, and it is quickly not becoming a problem of the firing, but the lying and coverup of the reasons for the firing.

Guilty! Guilty! Guilty!

Were I in charge, and we had gotten caught in legitimate naughtiness, I’d have Rove go there and lie. Anything else will just keep raising the stakes until it gets truly out of their control.

This group of guys seems to keep misoverestimating how much power they have. Soon, I think, the theory of the Unitary Executive will take a good kicking in the nuts.


Per Wikipedia:

Of course, a contempt charge would more easily originate in the House than the Senate, because:

As I said in the parallel Pit thread, Gonzales could kill this by fiat, but it would look pretty damned bad if he did. People might think the Bushies had something to hide, y’know.

Apparently, Sen. Leahy is saying the White House offer is not good enough.

Gonzalez himself might beg to differ on that point. :wink:

Why would he start respecting the law now?

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.