Mark Debates Eavesdropping on the Jim Greenfield Show
Mark debates the legality of illegal Presidential eavesdropping without a warrant on the Jim Greenfield show.
Mark’s comments after the debate are found by clicking on the blog below:
Just for the record — and it’s always hard to state one’s precise position in these debates, due to interruptions and the press of time. So I wish to make my position. I haven’t called for impeachment YET.
Here’s what I think the American People should demand:
1) Immediate and intense Congressional investigation by Congressional Intelligence Committees (with some hearings in secret, if necessary, but no more than necessary), using its subpoena power to require the Administration to hand over all documents relating to domestic eavesdropping. (It would be the first time this Congress has ever used its subpoena power under the Bush Administration. They subpoeaned the Clinton Administration more than 1,000 times.) If the Administration refuses or claims “executive privilege”, than articles of impeachment must be immediately drawn up and presented to the House Judiciary Committee. (The U.S. v. Nixon case shows that the President has no power to use executive privilege to shield its conduct of criminal activity from Congress.)
2) If the Adminsitration complies with an exhaustive investigation and cooperates, then it should be determined exactly what happened, what the President knew, what the Vice President, the Attorney General, the President’s Brain Karl Rove, and the White House Counsel (the hapless Harriet Miers) knew and when they knew it (including asking Administration officials questions under oath and penalty of perjury).
3) I’m quite confident that memos, if not shredded, will show that career counsel were DEEPLY concerned about the illegality of the conduct and were overruled by Cheney or Rove or Gonzales. (It is almost certainly from within the White House that heroic Americans working for the Administration leaked the information of this nefarious and illegal activity.)
4) After the investigation is concluded, then Congress can debate whether impeachment is necessary or not. I think it will end up being clearly necessary, but I’m willing to hold judgment until we see the evidence from the investigation.
5) I hope Jim Greenfield would support me in calling for the kind of extensive investigation I’ve demanded. Whether the President or the Administration is guilty of high crimes and misdemeanors or not, time will tell. But I think failure to support conducting such an investigation would be spitting on the Constitution.
6) Another option is the appointment of a special counsel. This can be done instead of or in conjunction with Congress. But I prefer the Congressional solution with open public hearings.
7) I think the Democrats need to tell the President that until the scope of the eavesdropping is determined, he needs to immediately cease and desist from warrantless, non-emergency wiretapping or risk impeachment.
8) I find it telling the President cannot even articulate a reason for not going to the FISA court. He has notably NOT insisted it was emergency “hot pursuit” (where authorities act in emergency situations and receive court authority hours later). I’m sure his lawyers are struggling mightily now working 24 hours a day trying to find some legal justification. But they can’t. Because it’s EXPRESSLY illegal in the FISA statute.
CONCLUSION) I haven’t quite called for the President’s impeachment yet. But if the Administration refuses to cooperate with the investigation, articles of impeachment must be prepared.