Tuesday, February 10, 2009
The Dark Knight Returns
"I went over some of the parameters of it and they were well aware at the White House of what I'm talking about," Leahy told the Huffington Post. "And we just agreed to talk further."
The dialogue between the Vermont Democrat and the president's office is a new phase in a delicate process concerning how best to handle potential crimes in the previous White House. Leahy proposed an investigatory commission on Monday, after which the president -- speaking at his first news conference -- said he did not currently have an opinion on the plan. Obama went on to say that he would rather look forward than backward, but he promised to prosecute any crime -- whether committed was a former White House official or everyday citizen.
Asked about the President's response, Leahy said that he believed the White House was right to maintain its focus on economic matters at this moment. "But I do intend to follow up and talk with him about this," he said. "I'm not wedded to any part of the plan so long as we get all the facts out. I would hate to see us take the attitude that that was then and this is now, let's not worry about any of the mistakes or the abuse of the law and give it a pass ... because it is my experience that you continue to make mistakes until somebody calls you on it."
Leahy did add an important ripple to the story in the interview with the Huffington Post: Congress will likely proceed with investigations regardless of whether Obama is on board.
Be nice to have Obama on board, but the Legislature is a coequal branch with responsibilities that the Executive doesn't necessarily have, so it's good to see Pat make note of that. It's high time Congress reassert itself as dominant over the office of President, past and current.
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