As I understand it, the fifth amendment only protects him from testifying about his own criminal activities. He can be compelled to talk about ethical violations that don’t rise to the level of criminal behavior, and he can also be compelled to talk about unethical and criminal activities that other people are engaged in.
I was thinking in terms of, you know, waterboarding. Or other forms of physical/emotional stress that fall short of the level of failure of a major organ (a level that might be somewhat higher in Rove’s case than a human’s).
47 Times during Clintons time officials testified under oath with written transcripts available. According to PBS story right now.
…and the catch is that he has to run his testimony past someone so that it may be determined whether or not his testimony will incriminate him or not, thus potentially violating his 5th Amendment rights while making the determination. That’s a bit thorny, wouldn’t you agree?
He cannot be made to give up what he knows without violating his rights or giving him some sort of immunity.
I disagree. Exposing chicanery, even if those responsible are never formally punished, is good for the workings of a free democracy. The actions of Bush and Gonzalez have called into question the integrity of the entire Justice Department. If we, as citizens, are too have faith in our government to treat us fairly, then the whole sorry mess needs to be dragged out into the light of day and exposed.
Let Rove take the 5th. Let Gonzalez take the fall. Let Bush pardon the lot of them. Fine by me. I just want the public’s business conducted in public, as it should be.
Who said he couldn’t get a lawyer? That’s what they make their money doing. There are plenty of relevant questions Congress can ask and he can answer that don’t touch his 5th Amendment rights. He should answer those under oath and his answer should public, no? His failure to answer those questions the answers to which clearly do not touch his 5th Amendment rights should get him held in contempt.
I also don’t think this will be futile. I think you seriously underestimate the propensity of low-level conspirators to sing when faced with real time and the prospect of no help from the evil empire – Bush demands loyalty but appears to return little. Best like the undersides of busses and the sting of cold steel should you swear allegiance to him, cause he might call on you to make the ultimate sacrifice. There is blood in the water and unless Osama is in a CIA camp somewhere in the Ukraine, the tail’s not going to wag the dog – who just fessed to the Cole? Who cares?
Republicans who joined in the rock hurling at Bush in an attempt to preserve some fleeting integrity all the while thinking, “this guy’s a rag, and I can’t defend him, but what real damage is he gonna do?” are starting to see the damage he can do to the GOP. How long will it take to unwind his legacy?
I’m fine with that. My comments assumed that the endgame was resignation/impeachment of Gonzales/Bush. The spectre of impeachment has been raised in the other thread, so I didn’t think I was too far off base with that assumption.
This bunch, and their remaining supporters, would more likely view a contempt-of-Congress charge as a badge of honor. The rest of us won’t be affected by it.
Well, once all the cards are on the table, who knows how it will all fall out? The White House seems to be laboring mightly to prevent testimony under oath, which suggests that there’s something pretty rotten going on. If the scandal gets big enough many Republicans in Congress may have to climb on the impeachment bandwagon to preserve their necks in 2008.
But, as I said, I’m happy at this point just for the truth to be told. If I’m looking at the cold-blooded calculus of political advantage, it’s much better for the Democratic Party for Bush to slowly twist in the wind for the next year and a half.
In certain cases White House advisors can claim executive privilege. Whether this is one of them would be for the courts to decide. The law professor said that it would be much harder for Gonzalez to do that.
As for the Fifth, is there some test to see if it applies? I’ve never heard of one, and I can’t see being forced to incriminate yourself to allowed to not incriminate yourself. It hardly matters, though, since White House advisors taking the Fifth is not going to do wonders for Bush’s popularity.
I’d say there is zero chance of a Gonzalez impeachment. No way Bush is going to take the heat to keep him around. Alberto would have to have some pretty interesting pictures to get that far …
The offer of private testimony was clearly the opener, and probably wasn’t expected to be accepted. What will be interesting is to see if the White House is going to stonewall this, or if they’re actually going to negotiate. It’s going to continue to chip away at their effectiveness, which is good.
What enforcement powers to Congress have in such matters, anyway? Say they subpoena Rove. Bush says, over my dead body. Congress says, well … OK.
Do they have the equivalent of US Marshals that they can send to bring in Rove in handcuffs?
Gonzalez is being kept on solely to quash any attempts the Congress makes to get at the truth. As soon as this latest tempest dies down, or as soon as he is put in his place, his ass is gone.
This question warrants its own thread.
The point is to expose every loathsome detail of his regime, so that in 2008, every Republican candidate will have to repudiate him to get elected. That neutralizes the right-wing die hard Bushies who have sworn to support him no matter what. America will reject them as surely as they have rejected Bush.
So what? The right-wing die-hard Bushies are politically engaged – they’re gonna vote for somebody. Even if they have to hold their noses and pull the lever or its post-Diebold equivalent for Rudy Giuliani.
The RWDHB I was talking about were the candidates (Romney, Brownback, et al), not the voters. A Republican cannot be elected by the hard core base alone. They have to get some of the center.
They’re going to anyway. No lame duck going into the stretch has any coattails. The President’s party always gives him up at that point.
That will be interesting to see, coming from those who have stayed the course with such devotion. Waffles anyone?
Relevant Pit thread.
On the plus side, Rove is no James Bond.
With Gonzales still in the AG office, I think we should extend our torture methods to include lasers.