Rep. Brad Miller Takes Leadership Role in Contempt Citation

Washington, D.C. – Amid a GOP walkout in the U.S. House of Representatives today, lawmakers approved contempt citations against White House officials which will implement a two-part strategy that allows Congress to pursue the matter in both criminal and civil court.

Rep. Brad Miller (D-NC) worked closely with House leadership to help pass the contempt resolution. The action comes after Harriet Myers, former White House counsel, and presidential chief of staff Josh Bolton ignored subpoenas from Congress to cooperate with an inquiry into whether the firings of U.S. Attorneys were politically motivated at the direction of President Bush.

Republicans boycotted the vote and staged a walkout.

Rep. Brad Miller’s remarks today on the House floor:

Mr. Speaker, I am not overly concerned by what the courts decide executive privilege covers. The Bush Administration’s claim of executive privilege goes well beyond any privilege recognized by any court decision, but the Republic will survive a court decision on the narrow question of the exact extent of executive privilege.

But the courts must decide. The President cannot decide by decree. The President cannot announce with absolute, unreviewable authority what information the Administration will provide or withhold.

The framers of our Constitution had just fought a war against an autocratic king. It is inconceivable that they intended to create an executive with the powers that the Bush Administration now claims.

For the entire history of our Republic, our courts have recognized that Congress needs information to carry out our constitutional duties, to decide what the laws should be and how to appropriate federal funds, and that we cannot rely on the information that is voluntarily provided. Congress must have the power to require information, including information the President might find inconvenient or embarrassing. We must inquire into the need for new laws, and must inquire into how existing laws are administered.

The Supreme Court said half a century ago that the investigative powers of Congress are never greater than when inquiring into misconduct by federal government agencies.

The allegations here are very serious. Decisions to bring criminal investigations cannot be used to reward political friends or punish enemies. Elections have consequences, but elections in America must never have those consequences. Criminal prosecutions guided by political concerns are fundamentally incompatible with democracy and the rule of law.

The two resolutions we are considering will allow important constitutional questions to be decided by the courts, which is how constitutional questions should be decided in a democracy.


2005 would have been a good year for impeachment

Now I'd be happy seeing him frog-marched to the Hague for crimes against humanity.

Congressman Miller makes me proud, he genuinely represents We the People.

Thanks for this Jerimee.

No matter that patriotism is too often the refuge of scoundrels. Dissent, rebellion, and all-around hell-raising remain the true duty of patriots.

Progressive Discussions

Ah yes, he kept it polite

No, "fuck those sons of bitches" thrown in there for good measure.

Leave it to Rep. Miller to keep it above board. :)

Robin Hayes lied. Nobody died, but thousands of folks lost their jobs.

Vote Democratic! The ass you save may be your own.

Maybe he was just thinking that, Betsy.

but I guess when you're speaking in Congress, they expect a certain amount of decorum.

I was thrilled that Congress stood up to Bush today, and didn't give him a FISA bill to veto.

It's a good year to be a Democrat.

Be the change you wish to see in the world. --Gandhi

Darn all those rules and niceties

It sure would have been fun to hear them blast away.

Robin Hayes lied. Nobody died, but thousands of folks lost their jobs.

Vote Democratic! The ass you save may be your own.

me personally

I don't think I'd like for Democrats to follow Patrick McHenry's example of throwing hissy fits on the floor.

Though I can certainly think of some examples where I wouldn't blame them for it (Katrina is the first that comes to mind).

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The GOP will try to suppress the vote in 2008.

Hissy fits?

Why how can you denegrate my former Congressman so? I can't believe your disrespect. You obviously have no information on all of the hard work he's done for his constituents.

And if you find out about any, please let me know. It will be sure to have some connection with a donor.

News of the 10th district: See Pat Go Bye Bye,

Did you put on that Miss Maddie make up again?

I know you're just dying to!

Be the change you wish to see in the world. --Gandhi

Has the process begun?

We have waited for quite a while for 'our' Congressional Democrats to show themselves. But this is a good start! What is scary, while listening to Pelosi giving her speech, she was still 'hoping' Bush would be willing to negotiate! So this process may be dropped after all. So I won't get too high on this show of 'spine'. My real hope is that they get these clowns prosecuted, then do the Atty Gen for 'obstruction, by saying he wouldn't carry out the will of Congress. If they can do that, then we go for one of the 'big fish, Cheney, as you say, Anglico. I believe this process would really bring the country together with some hope for the future.