what did we learn from the clinton years?
According to the Congressional Research Service, under President Clinton, 31 of his top aides testified on 47 different occasions. The aides who testified included some of Clinton’s closest advisors:
Harold Ickes, Assistant to the President and Deputy Chief of Staff - 7/28/94
George Stephanopoulos, Senior Adviser to the President for Policy and Strategy - 8/4/94
John Podesta, Assistant to the President and Staff Secretary - 8/5/94
Bruce R. Lindsey, Assistant to the President and Deputy Counsel to the President - 1/16/96
Samuel Berger, Assistant to the President for National Security Affairs - 9/11/97
Beth Nolan, Counsel to the President - 5/4/00
In contrast, between 2000 and 2004, Bush allowed only one of his closest advisers, then-Assistant to the President for Homeland Security Tom Ridge, to appear in front of Congress. He has also refused three invitations from Congress for his aides to testify, a first since President Richard Nixon in 1972. Clinton did not refuse any.
March 20th, 2007 10:43pm
not testifying is what you do if you are guilty as hell and desperately dont want anyone to know.
a president intent on dealing honourably with congress (and thereby his country) would allow his staff to testify under oath except in _extreme_ circumstances.
fuck bush. seriously. he deserves a trip to Iraq and a bomb up his ass. he is an incompetent, corrupt, useless tool.
March 20th, 2007 10:45pm
>>> not testifying is what you do if you are guilty as hell and desperately dont want anyone to know.
That's the way it used to be. You missed the lesson of Martha Stewart.
Martha Stewart wasn't convicted of anything to do with insider trading or any other securities offense. Her crime was lying to FBI agents when they were asking her questions. Not under oath, not lies about anything that was serious enough to charge her with, but lies nonetheless.
Sure, it was worse than the example I'm about to give, but effectively it's as if they were questioning her about a car crash she was involved in and she tried to cover up by saying she was out of town that day despite being questioned at the scene. In the end, she isn't charged with anything to do w/ the accident, she's charged w/ lying to the FBI. She didn't do anything wrong in the driving, but still goes to jail.
So the correct way to behave now is to refuse to answer questions unless you have a lawyer with you. Because if you get confused or lie about anything - even if it's unrelated to a crime - they could nail you on it.
March 21st, 2007 2:39am
Before we erect any statues celebrating Madame Stewart, let's recall that she avoided a loss of about $50k by selling ImClone the day before regulators rejected the company's application for a cancer drug. Maybe not illegal, but not right.
March 21st, 2007 8:46am
What did we learn from the first 4 years of the W. Bush administration?
That Congress MUST subpoena AND require testimony under oath. Otherwise, required oversight (like the FBI's utilization of the Patriot Act) does not happen.
Otherwise, "informal meeting" "clear and complete" testimony is revealed in the press a few days later not to have been clear or complete. Otherwise, the Bush administration uses Meet The Press and targeted leaks to support questionable intelligence, and tear down the credibility of critics. Otherwise, the Bush administration uses targeted firings of THEIR OWN APPOINTEE prosecuting attorneys when they "don't support the administration" enough.
Sure, the Clinton years were subject to repeated subpoena's in a witch-hunt over White-water. And in that case the process worked -- it was annoying, it slowed down progress, Clinton lied about an affair -- but the process worked.
Why should Bush now get a free ride, when there's WAY more indication that "mistakes have been made"?
March 21st, 2007 10:32am
Well duh, he's a republican. Of course he shouldn't be investigated. Nothing he could have possibly done wrong is at the level of sexual harassment, or *gasp* personal indiscretion of a sexual nature. Afterall it isn't as if he has even lied about such mundane things. It's in the interests of national security and protecting presidential empowerment that he not even speak of it at all.
It is very crucial that we ensure our presidents do not smack the asses of their aides or otherwise take advantage of them. Such immoral acts tower over any petty falsified accusations involving nuclear weapons, exposing our intelligence agents, and peddling mass murder to fill the coffers of ourselves and our friends and family.
We're talking about murdering brown people in a foreign land for crying out loud. Who'd possibly think that was of any more concern than lying about consensual sexual acts with a subordinate? She was an American, you unpatriotic swine!
March 21st, 2007 11:09am
> So the correct way to behave now is to refuse to answer questions unless you have a lawyer with you. Because if you get confused or lie about anything - even if it's unrelated to a crime - they could nail you on it.
She DID have a lawyer with her.
> Before we erect any statues celebrating Madame Stewart, let's recall that she avoided a loss of about $50k by selling ImClone the day before regulators rejected the company's application for a cancer drug. Maybe not illegal, but not right.
Getting involved in insider trading over $50k is such an enormous risk for a billionaire to take for relatively little reward.
Her real crime was making donations to the Democrats.
In fact, just for some perspective, the IRS has this rat-out-a-tax-evader tip program.
If you Google for documents about this program, you'll find oversight committee reports about the program that says they don't act on any tip unless more than $50k in taxes are being dodged. And this is if you make the case for them!
A huge government investigation over insider trading claims of a private citizen regarding $50k is just ridiculous. It's a shareholder lawsuit at best.
Actually, Martha wasn't the target of the investigation and the amount of money involved was quite a bit higher than $50,000. IIRC the investigation centered on the president of the company who tipped her off - but I could easily be wrong and, as usual, I'm too lazy to look it up.
She was questioned as part of the investigation and tried to cover up her involvement for which she got nabbed. On the other hand I'm not sure why lying to the FBI should be a crime.
March 21st, 2007 12:06pm
Obstruction of justice? Interfering with a criminal investigation?
Some states, you can be jailed a minimum of 24 hours for lying to a police officer...
March 21st, 2007 12:20pm