Presidential Signing Statements under the Bush Administration: A Threat to Checks and Balances and the Rule of Law?

Congress Announces First Investigation Bush Administration

After Downing Street
Thu Jan 25, 2007 21:48

Congress Announces First Investigation into the Crimes of the Bush Administration

Submitted by davidswanson on Thu, 2007-01-25 19:47. Congress

HOUSE JUDICIARY COMMITTEE Oversight Hearing on: "Presidential Signing Statements under the Bush Administration: A Threat to Checks and Balances and the Rule of Law?"

10:15 a.m., Wednesday, January 31, 2007, Room 2141 Rayburn House Office Building

PLEASE THANK Congressman John Conyers: (202) 225-5126,

Executive Order Expands Presidential Power Over Agencies
Submitted by davidswanson on Thu, 2007-01-25 20:29. Media

By Michelle Chen, New Standard

Jan. 24 – The White House has quietly amended a key executive order to tighten the president's grip on federal agencies that enforce health, safety and environmental protections.

The new order, issued last Thursday, gives the White House's Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs (OIRA) enhanced tools to oversee and interfere with federal regulations on everything from warning labels on medicines to safety standards for construction worksites.

Feingold to Introduce Bill to Cut off the Funding for the Illegal War: Go Russ!!!

Submitted by davidswanson on Thu, 2007-01-25 17:10. Congress


WASHINGTON — Sen. Russ Feingold had a message for colleagues who thought they were accomplishing something significant with a nonbinding resolution on Iraq Wednesday: They weren’t.

“My fear, Mr. Chairman, is this is slow walking,’’ Feingold said at a meeting of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, which passed the resolution 12-9. “This is not a time for legislative nuancing. This is not a time for trying to forge a compromise that everybody can be a part of.’’

Libby Trial: Oncoming Train
By Christy Hardin Smith @ 2:25 pm

Christy Hardin Smith

About Me: Christy is a former attorney, who earned her undergraduate degree at Smith College, in American Studies and Government, concentrating in American Foreign Policy. She then went on to graduate studies at the University of Pennsylvania in the field of political science and international relations/security studies, before attending law school at the College of Law at West Virginia University, where she was Associate Editor of the Law Review. Christy was a partner in her own firm for several years, where she practiced in a number of areas including criminal defense, child abuse and neglect representation, domestic law, civil litigation, and she was an attorney for a small municipality, before switching hats to become a state prosecutor. Christy has extensive trial experience, and has worked for years both in and out of the court system to improve the lives of at risk children. Email: reddhedd AT firedoglake DOT com


As a lawyer, your most valuable commodity in terms of courtroom and professional currency is your reputation for honesty, integrity and sticking to the agreed upon rules and the law, whatever the stakes of your case at bar. This morning, that question came running headlong like an oncoming train into the legal team representing Scooter Libby.

To set the scene, prior to the testimony of Craig Schmall, the CIA briefer for Dick Cheney and Scooter Libby, there had been a series of hearings and motions filed by the government, led by Patrick Fitzgerald, and Libby's legal team, primarily led in these matters by John Cline and Ted Wells, over the last few months preceding the trial. Judge Walton heard arguments on these matters under the CIPA rules and regulations, and then issued orders and memoranda laying out the procedures by which any of this information — relating to highly classified national security documents and intelligence — could be admitted, if at all, in the course of these legal proceedings.

In order to introduce the "memory defense" that Libby's legal team wants to use to defend Libby — the "my difficult job made me lie and forget" defense — Mr. Libby himself will have to take the stand because it is ultimately his memories which are at issue in terms of his state of mind and his alleged falsehoods to the FBI and the grand jury. During Mr. Schmall's testimony, the Libby defense team is trying to slip that memory defense and the national security information which has already been ruled, in part, to be very limitedly admissible, if at all, into the minds of the jury through a back door and a completely unrelated witness.

In effect, as prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald argued this morning, to "bootstrap" the evidence and the arguments into the case.

I can certainly understand wanting to defend your client with every legal weapon in your arsenal. I can also understand feeling constrained in terms of your defense because national security considerations require you to be circumspect in how you can or cannot introduce certain evidence into the trial proceedings. But the CIPA hearings in this matter occurred over a series of weeks, months even, and the Libby legal team has had quite some time ot work out their witness questions and other strategies to overcome this obstacle.

In fact, Judge Walton has bent over backward in a number of his rulings, pressing the government repeatedly for more expansive summary information to be provided as evidence for the jury's consideration — so much so that Fitzgerald and his team, and attorneys from the CIA had to start from scratch and re-draft and re-redact documents in order to fulfill the judge's orders. Posted in Uncategorized, CIA Leak Case, Libby Trial Live




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