Thursday :: Jul 5, 2007

The Libby Decision - Bush As Monarch

by Steve

In the aftermath of the Bush commutation of Scooter’s sentence, the right wing is quick to point out that Bush was simply using the powers granted unto the executive branch for commutations and pardons. But in reading one of a series of conflicting stories over the last several days about how much work Bush put into reviewing Scooter’s case before commuting his sentence, one item jumped out at me.

The White House deliberations in the case of Mr. Libby, a key architect of the war in Iraq who served as chief of staff to Vice President Dick Cheney, were scattered throughout Mr. Bush’s regular business over the past several weeks, an administration official said.
That description, along with the accounts of two Republican allies of the White House, illuminated a process that was almost clinical, with a detailed focus on the facts of the case, which stemmed from an investigation into the leak of a C.I.A. operative’s identity. Mr. Libby was accused of lying to investigators and was convicted on four felony counts, including perjury and obstruction of justice.
Because the deliberations were so closely held, those who spoke about them agreed to do so only anonymously. But by several different accounts, Mr. Bush spent weeks thinking about the case against Mr. Libby and consulting closely with senior officials, including Joshua B. Bolten, the White House chief of staff; Fred F. Fielding, the White House counsel; and Dan Bartlett, Mr. Bush’s departing counselor.
“They were digging deeply into the substance of the charges against him, and the defense for him,” one of the Republicans close to the White House said.
The second Republican said the overarching question was “did he lie?”

The executive is granted the power to commute a sentence or pardon someone. But where in the Constitution does it say that the executive is granted the power to re-try the facts of a case decided by the judicial branch?

And if the executive branch is allowed to re-try the facts of case already decided by the judicial branch, then what is the difference between our president and a monarch?

Steve :: 2:37 PM :: Comments (9) :: Digg It!