White House thumbs nose at yet another Congressional hearing. H/T to nolo for the find:
. . .Accordingly, we conclude that Mr. Rove is immune from compelled congressional testimony about matters (such as the U. S. Attorney resignations) that arose during his tenure as an immediate presidential adviser and that relate to his official duties in that capacity. Therefore, he is not required to appear in response to the Judiciary Committee subpoena to testify about such matters. . .
As nolo points out, they aren’t relying on any case law precedent to make this claim but, rather, a musty old memo that former Justice Rehnquist penned back in his DOJ days. Um…yeah…that’s some solid ground you found there. doofus.
More on this as I dig it up. In the meantime, the NYObserver has a piece on the Bush White House’s favorite nag:
In truth, the front-running Democratic candidates, all of whom favor a withdrawal of American troops from Iraq, are doing just fine ignoring Mr. Lieberman’s electoral prescription. Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama and John Edwards all generally come out on top of the likely Republican nominees in polls measuring hypothetical match-ups between specific candidates. Moreover, with President Bush’s approval ratings in the toilet—thanks mostly to Iraq—surveys show that voters lopsidedly prefer a generic, unnamed Democrat to an unnamed Republican for President.
In all, Mr. Lieberman’s This Week appearance lasted about 11 minutes, and if anything became clear in that time it’s how decreasingly relevant to the national political debate he’s becoming—a decline that not many foresaw last November, when Connecticut’s voters returned him to the Senate, prompting talk that a new power-broker, coveted equally by both parties, had been born.
Given the Senate’s partisan balance—49 Republicans, 49 Democrats (one still recuperating from a December cerebral hemorrhage), and two tie-breaking independents who caucus with the Democrats—Democrats are still technically at Mr. Lieberman’s mercy, their fragile control of the chamber dependent on his continued willingness to live up to his campaign pledge to side with his old party for organizational purposes.
But it’s now apparent that they need nothing more than that from him. Republicans have labored to portray Mr. Lieberman’s defeat in last year’s Senate primary as evidence that the Democratic Party has been overrun by weak-willed McGoverniks, a contention that Mr. Lieberman sought to reinforce on Sunday.
That game, however, has ceased to work. In years past—2004 and 2002, say—a public association with Mr. Lieberman was helpful to Democrats, a reassurance to a more hawkish electorate that they were as “tough” as the G.O.P.. But in 2007, any association with that stance is a decided political liability—evidenced most startlingly by a recent poll that found that even 58 percent of Republicans in Iowa want a troop withdrawal in the next six months. When, as he did on Sunday, Mr. Lieberman uses a national television interview to dust off old attacks on the Democratic Party’s foreign policy credentials while at the same time actually declaring that “the surge is working,” it only benefits his former party’s standing with the war-wary public.
For once, maybe all the rats will go down together on the sinking ship, eh?