What’s worse – IRS abuse or a special prosecutor?

posted at 4:01 pm on June 21, 2014 by Ed Morrissey

Talk about the lesser of two evils. With the Obama administration stonewalling Congress on the IRS scandal (and Fast and Furious, and Benghazi, and …), House hearings have produced a continuous stream of outrages, including yesterday’s jaw-dropping display of arrogance from IRS Commissioner John Koskinen, who smirked as he declared that the IRS didn’t owe an apology to anyone for its targeting of conservatives. Clearly, the Department of Justice under Eric Holder has no interest in investigating abuses of power that target Barack Obama’s opponents, or investigating much of anything except how to move Gitmo detainees into federal courts for civil trials. And the House on its own hasn’t much power to do anything except expose the abuses and the arrogance.

Ron Fournier wrote a week ago that it’s time for a special prosecutor, and has been banging the drum on Twitter ever since. He offered this advice to endangered Senate Democrat Mark Pryor today:

Carl Cannon wrote last night that he’s become convinced of the necessity, but only because it has become the least bad option. He gives a lengthy read on the reasons why both parties allowed the special-prosecutor law to lapse after a series of politically abusive, ridiculously lengthy, and almost completely futile investigations discredited the position:

Watergate begat the independent counsel system, enacted by law as a post-Watergate reform by a Congress burned by the memory of the “Saturday Night Massacre” — Nixon’s firing of one attorney general after another until he found someone willing to sack special prosecutor Archibald Cox. It was only a temporary victory for the beleaguered president, but it convinced most Americans — and not just Democrats — that the Justice Department couldn’t be trusted to investigate executive branch wrongdoing.

Problems with the new reform arose from the start, however. Theoretically, special prosecutors were subject to judicial oversight, but in practice they were on their own. With no bosses, no time constraints, and no limitations on the scope of their probe, special prosecutors tended to turn into Inspector Javiers — if the villain of “Les Misérables” had had an unlimited budget and no superior.

As the abuse of executive power gave way to the abuse of prosecutors with more power than British kings wielded at the time of the American Revolution, it became clear that the reform-minded liberals swept into power in the post-Watergate Democratic landslide of 1974 didn’t actually know more than the Framers.

It took a while for Democrats to fathom the problem, which was that many of the independent counsels appointed in the 1980s lack the trait known as “prosecutorial discretion.” This was understandable: many of them had never been prosecutors. And as independent counsels they contended with none of the normal checks and balances in courthouse politics — because they never had to face the voters. Accountable to no one, they didn’t balance the alleged transgressions of their target with more serious cases — because they didn’t have other cases.

Still, Cannon wonders whether the time has arrived to relaunch the statute:

But the question is how the American people are supposed to discern the truth. One way to get those missing emails would be with a federal inspector general complete with subpoena powers. Another — and God help me for saying this — would be a special prosecutor.

I’ve raised the issue a few times too, in relation to this and other scandals. Cannon’s right about the abuse of power, and the history he presents is damning. The solution to this isn’t just to hold our noses and let loose another abuse of power, but to rewrite the independent prosecutor statutes so that its authority can be checked when abused.

How to do this? First, it’s important to understand that the authority to investigate the executive branch resides with the legislative branch, and not the judiciary or some outsider with plenary powers and no oversight. Independent counsels should be accountable to Congress and not just a judge, although the actions of the prosecutor/investigator should be monitored by the judiciary just as it would be in any other criminal investigation. A new special-prosecutor law should have as its oversight the combined House and Senate Judiciary Committees, or the joint committees for the relevant function in the executive branch (House Ways and Means and Senate Finance for the IRS, for example).

That way, the conduct of the special prosecutor will have more direct political consequences for Congress and the members of those panels, while Congress would retain its authority in an area in which it should have the full responsibility rather than pass the buck to an unaccountable prosecutor. It would be messy and political, but at least it would use legitimate authority in the legislative branch to own and constrain the use of a power that’s only legitimate to that branch.  Even more, it would allow public outrage over executive-branch conduct to pressure Congress to use an effective option to constrain the executive, making both branches more responsive to citizens.

I’d bet we’d see less smirking like this with a system like that at the ready:

koskinen arrogance koskinen-power

What we have now is obviously not working any better than what we had in the post-Watergate special-prosecutor era. Just as in Watergate, the DoJ is a political arm of the administration and uninterested in doing its job independently to investigate and prosecute abuses of power. Congress has to find a way to effectively exercise its own checks and balances on executive power to prevent and punish those abuses. Hearings alone won’t do it, and it’s long past time for Congress to start thinking creatively about its other options.

Note: Yes, I made both of those JPGs with Memegenerator.


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IRS abuse. Hands down.

Cindy Munford on June 21, 2014 at 4:02 PM

IRS abuse. No question.

Whitey Ford on June 21, 2014 at 4:05 PM

The chic holding her nose is kinda hot.

bernzright777 on June 21, 2014 at 4:09 PM

Oh, and IRS abuse.

bernzright777 on June 21, 2014 at 4:10 PM

Scooter Libby could not be reached for comment.

Del Dolemonte on June 21, 2014 at 4:10 PM

I’m truly amazed that AG Holder hasn’t appointed a special prosecutor; I thought he would jump at the chance to appoint someone like Bill Clinton or Janet Reno or Jimmy Carter to the post. That would follow the current administration’s playbook.

RoadRunner on June 21, 2014 at 4:12 PM

My, oh my, MKH is looking vey red these days…

HiJack on June 21, 2014 at 4:16 PM

People like Eric Holder, Lois Lerner, and John Koskinen deserve to have their professional careers and their personal lives ruined. I want them and their families to forever suffer the consequences of their crimes against the American People. If a special prosecutor is what it takes, then do it. And do it now.

joekenha on June 21, 2014 at 4:16 PM

Alternate photo caption:

“I’ve personally ruined more lives than you can imagine”

BobMbx on June 21, 2014 at 4:17 PM

Hey, IRS…I scan all of my financial records and receipts onto a hard drive, then destroy the paper copies.

Just sayin’

MichaelGabriel on June 21, 2014 at 4:23 PM

Maybe the Justice Department should be independent of the executive branch. Tyrants have used “justice systems” as means of tyranny for a long time.

KW64 on June 21, 2014 at 4:23 PM

It is a toss up!

JugEarsButtHurt on June 21, 2014 at 4:26 PM

Congress to oversee independent prosecutors?

Are you just insane?

“Oversight” does not include prosecution, which is a function of the executive, not the legislature. Any high school government teacher could tell you that.

Well, maybe not if they are from public school, but still.

The Attorney General can appoint a SP at any time. He can also fire him at any time.

The fact that we elected a corrupt President who appointed corrupt people to his Administration is unfortunate, but he’s already done enough damage to the Constitution. No sense seeking “solutions” that require more shredding.

Besides, how do you propose to pass a new statute that would investigate Obama? You expect Reid to bring it up for a vote? Expect Obama to sign it?

Even if we take the Senate, it takes 2/3 of both House and Senate to override a veto. You would have better odds buying lottery tickets.

Adjoran on June 21, 2014 at 4:27 PM

Special Prosecutors only work with somewhat honest people. We’re dealing with an administration that has no qualms about lying. When you think about when Fast and Furious took place and how they’ve refused to release anything about that, you begin to understand that they aren’t going to be threatened by anyone or anything. They’re riding out the clock on everything and they just don’t care. They don’t care about the Office of the Presidency, they don’t care about the constitution, and they certainly don’t care about the consequences.

The main reason this administration is so lawless is because we have a media complex that’s given up it’s responsibility to hold the government accountable. The press we have now has a 1st Amendment to protect them, which they’ve thrown away and have become Pravda and Izvestia. That’s their shame but they will pay for it.

bflat879 on June 21, 2014 at 4:28 PM

IRS abuse is worse.

rbj on June 21, 2014 at 4:30 PM

Special Prosecutors only work with somewhat honest people. We’re dealing with an administration that has no qualms about lying. When you think about when Fast and Furious took place and how they’ve refused to release anything about that, you begin to understand that they aren’t going to be threatened by anyone or anything. They’re riding out the clock on everything and they just don’t care. They don’t care about the Office of the Presidency, they don’t care about the constitution, and they certainly don’t care about the consequences.

The main reason this administration is so lawless is because we have a media complex that’s given up it’s responsibility to hold the government accountable. The press we have now has a 1st Amendment to protect them, which they’ve thrown away and have become Pravda and Izvestia. That’s their shame but they will pay for it.

bflat879 on June 21, 2014 at 4:28 PM

When you look back at the grief Special Prosecutor Ken Starr got from the Clinton Mob, it’s no surprise. They did the exact same thing, and in the end, who actually got “punished”? Starr’s successor refused to indict Clinton, because he knew he would never get a conviction in D.C.

Del Dolemonte on June 21, 2014 at 4:32 PM

a special prosecutor for this irs scandal is bad for 2 reasons:
we could get a POS like fistgerald and it will slow things down.

reliapundit on June 21, 2014 at 4:34 PM

Why is impeachment NOT an option? Start with zero, then WitHolder, then Koskinen…make them private citizens THEN let those private citizens with standing go for it via the court system.

There’s more then one way to skin a cat…

Newtie and the Beauty on June 21, 2014 at 4:38 PM

Note: Yes, I made both of those JPGs with Memegenerator.

Lolz!!! Getting out in front of this one are you Ed? Frankly I would have wiped that smirk off his face.

Bmore on June 21, 2014 at 4:43 PM

A new special-prosecutor law should have as its oversight the combined House and Senate Judiciary Committees, or the joint committees for the relevant function in the executive branch (House Ways and Means and Senate Finance for the IRS, for example).

Excellent idea. For now, we need a special prosecutor.

J.B. Say on June 21, 2014 at 4:47 PM

Apparently this is a photo of the one sponsoring the legislation. Party of R. What da ya know?

Bmore on June 21, 2014 at 4:50 PM

What’s worse – IRS abuse or a special prosecutor?

A. if prosecutor appointed by OBOZO regime —PROSECUTOR WORSE
B. If prosecutor appointed by US House —- IRS REMAINS THE WORST

MicahStone on June 21, 2014 at 4:54 PM

Apparently this is a photo of the one sponsoring the legislation. Party of R. What da ya know?
Bmore on June 21, 2014 at 4:50 PM

Where have I seen that one before…

But this is “disrespectful“…

Newtie and the Beauty on June 21, 2014 at 4:55 PM

How about Special Prosecutor Abuse of Koskinen and Holder. You know, just for fun. Then supply them both with soap, no rope..

Bmore on June 21, 2014 at 4:57 PM

Smells like a pipedream. It’s over.

The executive branch is in charge and Congress doesn’t exist.

They write the rules now. And there isn’t any way that is going to change without gunfire.

They have it wrapped up with a bow on top.

they have enough power now, to only let the rules change in favor of even more concentrated power.

It really is over. On just about every front.

wolly4321 on June 21, 2014 at 4:58 PM

The Attorney General should have NEVER been confirmed.

We knew who he was.

wolly4321 on June 21, 2014 at 5:03 PM

Congress to oversee independent prosecutors?

Are you just insane?

“Oversight” does not include prosecution, which is a function of the executive, not the legislature… Any high school government teacher could tell you that.

Well, maybe not if they are from public school, but still.

Adjoran on June 21, 2014 at 4:27 PM

Spot on. State attorneys are faced with this frequently, when there is some question of conflict. An independent counsel is brought in to lead the prosecution. It’s not perfect but that’s the system. Handing anything off to the U.S. Congress is a recipe for ultimate disaster. Flip one member on a committee and the prosecutor is fired. And that’s only the tip of the iceberg of potential abuse.

They can form joint committees (see: Benghazi) and bring in counsel to supervise the investigation if they want. They can subpoena and hold hearings under oath. That’s more than enough authority to get at any question. Can they indict? No. It’s not their function — thank heavens (it’s called separation of powers for a reason).

Your point is well made.

I will say, the gratuitous slap at public school wasn’t really necessary, IMO, having been there myself and having an astrophysics + neurobiology PhD daughter with Princeton + Cornell honors degrees — who went to public school. But, otherwise, well done post.

IndieDogg on June 21, 2014 at 5:06 PM

We knew who he was.

wolly4321 on June 21, 2014 at 5:03 PM

The same could be said about 0 with a minor tweak. ; )

Bmore on June 21, 2014 at 5:11 PM

Why is impeachment NOT an option?

Newtie and the Beauty on June 21, 2014 at 4:38 PM

The reason is the Democratic “Cover Up All Illegal Actions by Fellow Democrats At All Costs” Party.

RoadRunner on June 21, 2014 at 5:12 PM

The reason is the Democratic “Cover Up All Illegal Actions by Fellow Democrats At All Costs” Party.
RoadRunner on June 21, 2014 at 5:12 PM

Articles of Impeachment should still be enough to cool the jets on the Child-in-Chief. Let him be the third Democrat president in American history to be impeached…another historical milestone for the Democrat party.

Newtie and the Beauty on June 21, 2014 at 5:14 PM

The IRS scandal.

dogsoldier on June 21, 2014 at 5:18 PM

same could be said about 0 with a minor tweak. ; ) Bmore on June 21, 2014 at 5:11 PM

True. The electorate is LIV. Congress isn’t supposed to be.

My point is,, this isn’t going to change. Not in my lifetime. Even if we win the Senate. It’s not about what’s right, it’s about power.

wolly4321 on June 21, 2014 at 5:20 PM

Newtie and the Beauty on June 21, 2014 at 4:55 PM

Thank you, Ed!

Newtie and the Beauty on June 21, 2014 at 5:23 PM

Articles of Impeachment should still be enough to cool the jets on the Child-in-Chief. Let him be the third Democrat president in American history to be impeached…another historical milestone for the Democrat party. Newtie and the Beauty on June 21, 2014 at 5:14 PM

Not this one, buddy. He’d wear it as a badge of honor to stir up even more discontent.

It wouldn’t slow him down in the least.

Don’t matter though, because he has nullified Congress. Voided it.

wolly4321 on June 21, 2014 at 5:26 PM

Don’t matter though, because he has nullified Congress. Voided it.
wolly4321 on June 21, 2014 at 5:26 PM

Oh, for a Congress that has more testosterone than arrogance and ideology, Wolly.

Newtie and the Beauty on June 21, 2014 at 5:28 PM

But this is “disrespectful“…

Newtie and the Beauty on June 21, 2014 at 4:55 PM

I don’t know. I have respect for the one that came up with it. Not quite envy, but certainly appreciation. ; ) P.S. What are you thanking Ed for?

Bmore on June 21, 2014 at 5:31 PM

Sonasoft has been backing-up and preserving IRS emails since 2005!

Here is the message I just submitted to Sonasoft about IRS e-mails. Please also send your comments to them at… …

https://sonasoft.wufoo.com/forms/w7x2x3/

“Please provide America ALL the e-mails from ALL IRS criminal bureaucRATS, including (to be convicted) criminal felons Lois Lerner and the other six IRS reprobates who conspired with OFA and the OBOZO White House to violate every law and rule restraining IRS criminal conduct. Please provide them ASAP to Darrell Issa, US House of Representatives. Thank you.”

MicahStone on June 21, 2014 at 5:31 PM

I don’t know. I have respect for the one that came up with it. Not quite envy, but certainly appreciation. ; ) P.S. What are you thanking Ed for?
Bmore on June 21, 2014 at 5:31 PM

zero looks like some tyke who experimented with Mom’s makeup case, unlike Ileana Ros-Lehtinen and GWB.

I thanked Ed for letting my more-than-three-link post make it out of moderation ;-)

Newtie and the Beauty on June 21, 2014 at 5:33 PM

Newtie and the Beauty on June 21, 2014 at 5:33 PM

Ahhh! Very well then. Three just isn’t enough sometimes. Never have understood why three is the limit. ; )

Bmore on June 21, 2014 at 5:39 PM

Bmore on June 21, 2014 at 5:39 PM

It helps cut down on spamming, too ;-)

Could be worse…could have Twitter’s 144-character limit on all posts… ;-)

Newtie and the Beauty on June 21, 2014 at 5:42 PM

Bmore on June 21, 2014 at 5:39 PM

Mom also said it was good manners… ;-)

Newtie and the Beauty on June 21, 2014 at 5:43 PM

David Burge @iowahawkblog · 2h

Yes, believe it or not, an actual 2009 tweet from the company you paid to back up IRS emails https://twitter.com/sonasoft/status/4738641591

davidk on June 21, 2014 at 5:45 PM

These are the people in charge of ObamaCare compliance, and they just ordered up a boatload of new, shiny (well, probably matte black) Mossbergs…

Somebody please explain to me how this does not end in violence…

PointnClick on June 21, 2014 at 5:52 PM

F*ck it. Let the war begin. The rest is just political masturbation.

Midas on June 21, 2014 at 5:57 PM

The House should hire Judge Jeanine she would straighten DC out in about 2 months.

tim c on June 21, 2014 at 6:17 PM

Special Prosecutor?!?!?

What say we just cut to the chase, and pass a twenty-eighth amendment that solves the real problem:

“The sixteenth amendment is repealed.”

flyovermark on June 21, 2014 at 6:19 PM

How about Special Prosecutor Abuse of Koskinen and Holder. You know, just for fun. Then supply them both with soap, no rope..

Bmore on June 21, 2014 at 4:57 PM

you got it backwards. rope & no soap.

8 weight on June 21, 2014 at 6:23 PM

flyovermark on June 21, 2014 at 6:19 PM</blockquote

I suggested that a couple days ago. I'd take that deal all day long.

8 weight on June 21, 2014 at 6:24 PM

John Boehner was serious he would send in the sergeant at arms to arrest Lerner and force her back to Congress for a trial.

Zcat on June 21, 2014 at 6:33 PM

Hearings alone won’t do it, and it’s long past time for Congress to start thinking creatively about its other options.

Cut off funding of the IRS and DOJ.

That will get someone’s attention.

GarandFan on June 21, 2014 at 6:41 PM

If dear leader asks for a special prosecutor, this whole mess of a scandal will disappear down the memory hole. There will be no investigation and no leaks to the press. At least, with the congressional hearings going on, Fox has something to say about it.

Kissmygrits on June 21, 2014 at 6:42 PM

For the record … Javert, not Javier.

ajb3 on June 21, 2014 at 6:46 PM

8 weight on June 21, 2014 at 6:23 PM


Lolz!

Bmore on June 21, 2014 at 6:49 PM

What’s worse – IRS abuse or a special prosecutor?

What’s worse – The fact that there are millions of people who will answer this simple question wrongly, or that there won’t be any accountability for the IRS regardless?

Close call. Probably a tie. Millions of morons and an unaccountable bureaucracy with the power to destroy you. GREAT!

xNavigator on June 21, 2014 at 6:59 PM

Depends if you are the focus of the SP or not.

So I think we know the position of the Obama Administration.

Evi L. Bloggerlady on June 21, 2014 at 7:02 PM

John Boehner was serious he would send in the sergeant at arms to arrest Lerner and force her back to Congress for a trial.

Zcat on June 21, 2014 at 6:33 PM

This

dogsoldier on June 21, 2014 at 7:14 PM

John Boehner was serious he would send in the sergeant at arms to arrest Lerner and force her back to Congress for a trial.

Zcat on June 21, 2014 at 6:33 PM

.
This

dogsoldier on June 21, 2014 at 7:14 PM

.
I’ll concede to admit that I didn’t know the “sergeant at arms” had that authority.
If so, then for-the-love-of-Pete, what ‘re we WAITING for ? !
.
.
Oh, yeah . . . . . that’s right …

listens2glenn on June 21, 2014 at 7:21 PM

Also … IRS abuse is worse.

listens2glenn on June 21, 2014 at 7:24 PM

Clearly, the Department of Justice under Eric Holder has no interest in investigating abuses of power that target Barack Obama’s opponents, or investigating much of anything except how to move Gitmo detainees into federal courts for civil trials.

… And Felonious Refusal to Bake Cakes.

KS Rex on June 21, 2014 at 7:32 PM

Finally. An actual scandal.

libfreeordie on May 19, 2014 at 3:48 PM

Good to see you coming around perfesser.

slickwillie2001 on June 21, 2014 at 7:41 PM

I think getting the emails out into the public, like from Drudge or something similar… would be enough to end this administration.

I don’t think Holder is going to investigate anything, it would be a fake investigation anyway. A SP might just give them a chance to shush everything up. As soon as an investigation starts they can stop talking about it.

I want the information to be public first. Once the public knows… really knows, then figure out who to make resign.

petunia on June 21, 2014 at 7:47 PM

The IRS abuse is definitely worse and will surely get worse still unless met with some sort of response.

The assignment of special prosecutor, which once was used to trick the GOP cons into believing there are two major parties in government, no longer works. Now, such an assignment just reminds the GOP conservatives what an impotent mess the GOP really is.

ROCnPhilly on June 21, 2014 at 7:55 PM

The likelihood of another Lawrence Walsh anointing himself eternal prosecutor is far less likely than the IRS continuing its obvious abuses of power, perjury and betrayal of our basic Constitutional protections.

viking01 on June 21, 2014 at 8:08 PM

…it’s long past time for Congress to start thinking creatively about its other options.

It’s long past time for Congress to be completely turned over. The current reps of both parties are worthless.

Mr. Arrogant on June 21, 2014 at 8:22 PM

Treat IRS election abuse as an existential threat.

Perspicacious on June 21, 2014 at 9:42 PM

We need a way to prosecute government officials when they break the law, period! Koskinen was snarky and smug testifying before Congress. He has lied repeatedly under oath and is laughing at the committees for doing so. He, along with Obama & Lerner should at least, be facing perjury charges. Holder should be impeached for abuse of power, perjury, & dereliction of duty. This entire government is the most corrupt I can remember.

Boats48 on June 22, 2014 at 6:06 AM

But the question is how the American people are supposed to discern the truth. One way to get those missing emails would be with a federal inspector general complete with subpoena powers.

In theory they already have that as they are the individuals responsible for oversight inside an Agency and have separate prosecutorial powers to back them up. By making the individual answerable to the Executive, however, that meant that Presidents could fire them at will, as Obama has already done starting soon after he took office by firing an IG investigating an Obama crony’s influence. Other IGs took notice that Congress did not stand up for the IG’s.

The major power of the US House still has is that of granting Contract Officers spending ability. If you want to bring agencies to heel and get them to start responding, then the US House can suspend the CO’s spending power for everything from toilet paper, shotguns, FA weapons, ammo, toilet paper, pens, pencils, travel… all the way up to the Senior Executives and the large scale contract that Agencies have to help them in their work. Ground the agency, remove the helpers and require the agency to perform all of its duties without any outside help, at all.

Do that at IRS and Obamacare gets effectively grounded as the IRS doesn’t have the personnel to effectively oversee it… and that is after asking for thousands of people to help it do just that.

Do this with the entire Treasury Dept to remind them of their oversight role with the IRS. You don’t get a rogue IRS without a rogue Treasury.

As DoJ is unwilling to investigate it, curb their spending which means all of their travel is stopped for everything.

The US House can start small, with the toilet paper and other simple stuff, by suspending the lesser CO’s power… or it can start big with all the large scale contracting and SES contracts. Congress even has provisos for this as it is under the convenience of the government clauses that are in each and every single contract the government has, even those that don’t have them written in as that is what Congress wanted and got.

Yes Obama would want to inflict ‘pain’ on the American people because of this, but this is NOT A SHUTDOWN but discretionary exercise of power by the US House. It would be fun to see Obama inflict ‘pain’ because the IRS had its travel budget suspended or half of its ability to purchase toilet paper and small arms. Or to have outside ‘trainers’ and ‘speakers’ brought in to boost the ‘morale’ of the federal workers. As each of the aspects of contracting has its own CO, the House can get very, very precise in its targeting of an Agency or Department, at a very, very fine level. ID the key COs for an abusive set of offices in an Agency, suspend their power to spend, and then, as that office tries to go around that, start suspending other COs trying to help them. Congress could even begin running the training videos that were leaked from the IRS to justify its lack of oversight in federal spending… or the lack of proper accountability for internal data… lots of ways to handle this.

Or perhaps it could suspend the WH travel budget and ability to get toilet paper, pens, pencils, etc. to cut down on the golf game trips the President takes. It is a system of checks and balances, after all. If Obama wants to get petty, the US House can oblige him in return. Tit for tat works best when you have to reform an abusers as they never expect to be abused.

ajacksonian on June 22, 2014 at 6:12 AM

Yes, congress has to find a way to act to rein in the administration but would have less need to do so if the courts weren’t hiding under their desks while the constitution is being trashed.

Per Jonathan Turley: Obama’s “Become The Very Danger The Constitution Was Designed To Avoid”

Nomas on June 22, 2014 at 8:12 AM

It’s simply not true that the House Republicans can do little: they have the power of the purse, which is the greatest power within the federal government. The problem is that when they try to use it, the Democrats and the media (BIRM) accuse them of exceeding their powers and the Republicans, whimpering, retire in disarray.

What the Republicans should do is propose a ‘sense of the House’ resolution, that in cutting off funding for the already-authorized resupply of South Vietnamese forces, the then House ‘exceeded its powers’. Let that come to a floor vote and dare the Democrats to support the claim. After which, it will be hard for them to raise the ‘exceeding its powers’ argument again.

But will the Republicans do this? The question answers itself.

PersonFromPorlock on June 22, 2014 at 12:37 PM

First, it’s important to understand that the authority to investigate the executive branch resides with the legislative branch, and not the judiciary or some outsider with plenary powers and no oversight. Independent counsels should be accountable to Congress and not just a judge, although the actions of the prosecutor/investigator should be monitored by the judiciary just as it would be in any other criminal investigation.

This is the key. The independent prosecutor should be authorized and accountable to the Congress. There is a role for the judiciary branch, too, but it lies in forcing the Congressionally authorized prosecutor to follow the laws.

Generally speaking, we’ve had remarkably little real abuse of power from presidents, and that’s allowed us to act like it could never happen. But Congress has to be given some power to hold the executive branch accountable, because the president just has too much power to ignore Congress as it is.

The preferred solution would be for Congress to simply refuse to fund an out-of-control president any more, which is all the power needed to bring just about any president down to earth. Unfortunately, that only comes into play when both houses of Congress are controlled by the opposite party from the president. The founders of the Constitution just didn’t anticipate the checks and balances of Congress against the president being rendered impotent by party loyalty.

Imagine if the House and Senate were both Republican-controlled, and the House simply refused to fund the EPA or the FCC until the president reeled them back in.

But because the Senate is controlled by Democrats, who are therefore loyal to the president, the House loses the only real power it has, the power to de-fund, without shutting the government down completely.

There Goes the Neighborhood on June 22, 2014 at 2:46 PM

But because the Senate is controlled by Democrats, who are therefore loyal to the president, the House loses the only real power it has, the power to de-fund, without shutting the government down completely.

There Goes the Neighborhood on June 22, 2014 at 2:46 PM

With a little luck – God willing – and fewer LIVs, maybe that will change at the end of this year? The problem is even if that happens and we retake the Senate; it is so full of squishes like Maverick (In his own mind), Nancy Boy, Snow, Collins, MurCOWski, etc., it might not matter if we do. We wouldn’t want to make any waves you know? *Pukes*

Regarding the OP: the IRS! If we can’t stop these in your face abuses and hold the principal criminals accountable, our beloved democracy is on the way out.

Luthier on June 22, 2014 at 5:40 PM

Do I understand this in that what they are saying is that it is the Law that all “evidence of an incriminating nature of upper level management must be destroyed within 6 months of discovery of the criminal act”. After two years of discovery of the crime we are just now subpoenaed the evidence of the crime and then are shocked that it has all been destroyed some time ago.

This is appalling. No one in the world has such unprecedented protection from prosecution as do our elected officials and upper level bureaucrats. The true criminals in this are “We The People” who let them become this way.

In all of these culture of corruption after corruption NO ONE-NOT ANY ONE-NOT ONE SINGLE PERSON has been charged much less found guilty of even a minor breach of the law.

We have a political party that is solely based on lies and deceit. And another party that is based on I know not what.

Am I so wrong in this that no one else in the world can see what is happing here. In the old English law prior to the Magna Carta The king and the Nobelist could not be prosecuted, They were considered to be infallible. Is it just that we again have a King and Nobles? That can not be found with fault.

No it is that “We The People”, the peasants, the pawns the common man of society Must stand up to our suppressors and demand a new Magna Carta for the defense of American, she needs our help to survive.

WHO WHO WHO will stand up to lead. I have lung cancer with less then 6 months to live. All I ask from my country is to die knowing that my 50 years of service was not in vain. Is their anyone that will do more then lip service to this.

jpcpt03 on June 22, 2014 at 10:52 PM