(Washington, D.C.) Congressman Robert Wexler (D-FL) has drafted and will file a Congressional resolution censuring President George W. Bush for his egregious and politically motivated commutation of Scooter Libby's prison sentence. The censure resolution, which is attached below, will be formally introduced in the House of Representatives on Tuesday July 10, 2007 when Congress reconvenes from the 4th of July recess.
You can read the text of the resolution on Wexler's site.
Here's the last "whereas":
Whereas in commuting Mr. Libby’s sentence, President Bush has finally and unalterably breached any remaining shred of trust that he had left with the American people and rewarded political loyalty while flouting the rule of law: Now, therefore let be it --
Resolved, That the United States Congress does hereby censure George W. Bush, President of the United States, and does condemn his decision to commute the portion of Mr. Libby’s sentence that required him to spend thirty months in prison, his unconscionable abuse of his authority with regard to the deceitful chain of events concerning the falsifying intelligence on Iraqi nuclear capabilities and the exaggeration of the threat posed by Iraq, his involvement in the clear political retaliation against former Ambassador and Ms. Wilson, and his decision to reward the perjury of Mr. Libby, which effectively protected President Bush, Vice President Cheney, and other Administration officials from further scrutiny.
This comes on the heels of the announcement that the judiciary committee will hold "a full committee hearing next week titled, “The Use and Misuse of Presidential Clemency Power for Executive Branch Officials.”
Now, I don't know why it's taken Libby's sentence commutation to finally push the Dems into doing something to punish this pResident considering there are so many crimes they should be impeaching him for, but it's about damn time.
And, as a sidenote:
Before the holiday, U.S. District Judge Reggie Walton asked lawyers on both sides of the Lewis "Scooter" Libby case to submit briefs outlining their positions as to whether the former White House aide should still be required to spend two years on probation now that President Bush has decided to overturn his 30-month prison sentence.
"Strictly construed, the statute authorizing the imposition of supervised release indicates that such release should occur only after the defendant has already served a term of imprisonment," Walton wrote Tuesday.
So, even though Bush said Libby would be on probation (after admittedly not consulting with experts on these issues in his justice department) the only punishment Libby may actually "suffer" is the fine he paid today.
Censure via wiki:
Censure is a procedure for publicly reprimanding a public official for inappropriate behavior. When the President is censured, it serves merely as a condemnation and has no direct effect on the validity of presidency, nor are there any other particular legal consequences. Unlike impeachment, censure has no basis in the Constitution, or in the rules of the Senate and House of Representatives. It derives from the formal condemnation of either congressional body of their own members.
If the Dems can't even manage to find a majority to support this slap on the wrist censure, they might as well pack their bags and sit out the rest of their terms at home.
Don't hold your breath on this one though. The Dems refused to get behind Feingold's call to censure Bush over the illegal wiretapping last year - a crime he admitted to.
Feingold, defending his censure plan today on Fox News, said: “I’m amazed at Democrats, cowering with this president’s numbers so low. The administration just has to raise the specter of the war and the Democrats run and hide…too many Democrats are going to do the same thing they did in 2000 and 2004. In the face of this, they’ll say we’d better just focus on domestic issues…[Democrats shouldn’t] cower to the argument, that whatever you do, if you question administration, you’re helping the terrorists.”
Well Russ, they're still doing it. Having the majority hasn't changed a damn thing.
Related: The Center for American Progress has more about Libby's commutation.