Thursday, February 28, 2008
Could it be that House Democrats are finally going to fight the Bush administration on its rampant abuses of power? It's hard to applaud anything coming out of the government these days, even after the 2006 election returned Democratic Party majorities to both chambers of Congress. But some credit apparently is due to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi of San Francisco, who today called on the Justice Department to begin a grand jury investigation into two top White House insiders who ignored Congressional subpoenas during the controversy over the politically motivated firings of nine U.S. Attorneys in 2006. The controversy led to the resignation of former Attorney General Alberto Gonzales last year. Then-White House Counsel Harriet Miers declined to testify about the firings, and Chief of Staff Josh Bolten refused to turn over documents demanded by the House. The House voted 223-32 this month to hold Miers and Bolten in contempt of Congress in a vote boycotted by House Republicans. Pelosi gave Attorney General Michael Mukasey one week to respond and said the House would file a lawsuit if he did not, according to the Associated Press. Predictably, Pelosi's move was greeting with bombastic criticism from the White House, where a spokesman called it "truly contemptible." That may turn out to be a truly regrettable choice of words.