Yesterday and today’s headlines are all about Eliot Spitzer and his victimless “crime”. Without passing judgment or suggesting what next steps he should take, it is odd that if he had visited a NYC hotel instead of a Washington DC one, there would be no grounds for federal charges. Same events, different outcomes. But that’s not the important news.
Yesterday the House of Representatives filed suit in Federal Court seeking the enforcement of subpoenas for Harriet Meyers and Josh Bolton. This is potentially the makings of Constitutional crisis, and at the very least, whether the track record of unilateralism practiced by President George W Bush and his boss Vice Presdient Dick Cheney will be sustained. The post Nixonian death wish to return the Executive branch to the more equal of equals has been a cardinal principle of this Administration. Forget about wisdom and good judgment, or consideration for all of our citizens, this Administrations mantra was “we are in charge and you are not”.
On this matter (Executive Privilege), the White House has instructed Meyers and Bolton not to respond to the Congressional subpoenas. The White House claimes they are considered close advisers to the President and therefore immune to Congressional questioning. Strangely, the President has said he was not involved with the firing of 7 US Attorneys (the subject of the subpoenas) and therefore it is unclear what basis he has in mind for claiming executive privilege.
With the world falling in around him, I wonder whether this suit will bring about a change in attitude.