April 27, 2007

Rice “not inclined” to obey subpoena

Filed under: politics — ubikcan @ 7:55 am

Here’s a fairly wonky question: if Congress subpoenas you, are you obliged to obey it?

I was put in mind of this today by the news that although Congress has subpoenad Condi Rice, she has released a statement saying that she’s “not inclined” to obey it. Her argument appears to be that she’s a member of the Executive branch and reports to the President, not to Congress.

What happens if she maintains this position?

Kagro X at the Great Orange Satan outlines the situation: basically it would have to be enforced by the US Attorney. Could the US Attorney refuse? Yes, it’s happened before.

Then what? Kagro X says that the “current thinking” in Congress is to go to the courts, but he points out that this itself a dangerous concession (because it grants the interpretation that the Congress doesn’t have the same authority as the Executive branch).

The conclusion of the piece is that in practice, Condi (and any other Bush administraiton official) may get away with it.

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