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View Diary: Looking ahead: what happens when the subpoenas are defied? (222 comments)

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  •  Inherent Contempt of Congress (4+ / 0-)

    Congress does have the power to hold someone in compemt and try them before either the Senate or the House. This "inherent" power was last used in 1935, but it is very much a real power. The other day TerribleTom wrote an excellent informative diary about this power and the history of its use.

    MacCracken's bad day. WTF is "inherent" contempt of Congress? This diary is MUST reading for everyone interested in this issue.

    Some say (channelling Katie here)... some say that Congress would be unlikely to use this option since it has not been used for so long and upset the long standing precedent of refering contempt charges to the DOJ. BUT, in this case it is the DOJ itself that is the subject of the corruption inquiry. This investigation is already moving into uncharted waters. It is the DOJ that is being suspected of coopting the rule of law in this country. What could be a more powerful argument for reevaluating a long standing precedent of refering matters to the DOJ when it is the DOJ that is corrpted? This is a full blown constitutional crisis. Heavey times demand heavy measures.

    If the DOJ refuses to pursue the contempt charges, Congress must act to reestablish their rightful oversight role. A powerful option is to invoke their inherent power to prosecute Contempt of Congress.

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