Paul Craig Roberts was Assistant Secretary of the Treasury in the Reagan administration. He was Associate Editor of the Wall Street Journal editorial page and Contributing Editor of National Review. He writes:
White House chief of staff Josh Bolten and former White House counsel Harriet Miers were found in contempt of Congress for refusing to comply with subpoenas and refusing to cooperate with congressional committee investigations of the Bush Regime's political firings of eight Republican US Attorneys.
Following the now established practice by the Bush Regime, Mukasey told the Speaker of the House that members of the executive branch are above the law and are not accountable to the US Congress, formerly a co-equal branch of government under the US Constitution in the days now past when the executive branch felt obliged to abide by the Constitution.
Mukasey boldly asserted in his letter to Congress that Miers and Bolton are immune from congressional subpoenas and, thereby, their "noncompliance did not constitute a crime." According to Mukasey, "The contempt of Congress statute was not intended to apply and could not constitutionally be applied to an executive branch official who asserts the president's claim of executive privilege."
The way matters stand in America today, the executive branch can falsely prosecute, frameup, and imprison members of Congress and governors of states at will, but itself cannot be held accountable to law.
Pelosi herself was instrumental in making the executive branch unaccountable to Congress or to law when she declared impeachment of Bush to be "off the table." This declaration by the Speaker of the House has effectively released the Bush Regime from any accountability, just as the Enabling Act released Hitler from any accountability to the Reichstag, the German constitution, or statutory law.
Moreover, the case for impeaching Bush and Cheney--indeed the entire administration--is by far the most powerful and necessary case for impeachment that has ever existed. By declaring Bush unimpeachable, Pelosi is giving away Congress' only remaining power to prevent tyrannical rule by the executive branch. If Bush is above impeachment, every future president will be as well.
The Democrats naively believe that just one more year and the Bush Regime horror will be gone. But that is not the case. No matter who is the next president, the Bush Regime has established that the executive branch is no longer a co-equal branch of government. It is the primary branch, armed with unaccountability and the discretion to consult with other branches of government if it so wishes. The US Congress cannot give up the powers it has given up during the Bush years and ever expect to get them back.
The US Congress cannot conspire in Bush's destruction of US civil liberty and expect a future restoration of civil liberty.