House Judiciary Committee to Hold Hearings on Misuse of Presidential Clemency for Executive Branch Officials

After hearing the news of George Bush’s decision to commute the sentence of Lewis Libby, I called for a Congressional investigation of the actions by the Bush administration to intentionally lie to get the country into the Iraq war and their actions to retaliate against those, such as Joseph Wilson, who revealed the truth. I recommended that such investigation be aimed at the impeachment of George Bush and Dick Cheney assuming that the actions we already have seen ample evidence of is proven in light of the inability of the criminal justice system to hold them accountable.

The first step is falling into place. The Corner reports that the House Judiciary Committee will be starting hearings next week:

The House Judiciary Committee has officially announced its plans for a hearing into President Bush’s commutation of Scooter Libby’s prison term.

The hearing will take place next Wednesday morning; titled “The Use and Misuse of Presidential Clemency Power for Executive Branch Officials.”

“In light of yesterday’s announcement by the President that he was commuting the prison sentence for Scooter Libby, it is imperative that Congress look into presidential authority to grant clemency, and how such power may be abused,” John Conyers said. “Taken to its extreme, the use of such authority could completely circumvent the law enforcement process and prevent credible efforts to investigate wrongdoing in the executive branch.”

While some Democrats such as Nancy Pelosi have backed away from impeachment in the past, I could see Conyers leading hearing which ultimately result in a recommendation to impeach. At that time, Pelosi will need to reconsider her previous position.

Digby also discusses impeachment, and is reluctant to take this path for many of the reasons I was reluctant to call for impeachment before this week. It is true that the Senate is unlikely to convict, but an impeachment and trial of George Bush and Dick Cheney is the only mean to bring out the full details of the crimes they committed to allow the American people and history to judge what has occurred.

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