Monday, October 17, 2005

VPs can be indicted

The meme is in play that Vice Presidents can't be indicted; hence the term 'unindicted co-conspirator'. Guess what? Not true:

Nixon had quipped that Agnew was his insurance against impeachment, arguing that no one wanted to remove him if it meant elevating Agnew to the presidency. The joke took on reality when Agnew asked House Speaker Carl Albert to request that the House conduct a full inquiry into the charges against him. Agnew reasoned that a vice president could be impeached but not indicted. That line of reasoning, however, also jeopardized the president. For over a century since the failed impeachment of President Andrew Johnson, it had been commonly accepted reasoning that impeachment was an impractical and inappropriate congressional tool against the presidency. Agnew's impeachment would set a precedent that could be turned against Nixon. A brief from the solicitor general argued that, while the president was immune from indictment, the vice president was not, since his conviction would not disrupt the workings of the executive branch.

Heh. My favorite part is that about 'not disrupting the working of the executive branch'. Who's going to make the puppet dance and sing?

Bloomberg is reporting that people were being asked about Cheney's knowledge of, and possible activity in, the Get Joe Wilson campaign. Suddenly Bush and Cheney insisting on testifying without being sworn to 'tell the truth' takes on new meaning. It was widely joked at the time that Bush needed his puppeteer with him to make his mouth work. Now it looks like Cheney was hiding behind the Boy King's puny skirts like a Little Girl.

Money Quote:

In an interview yesterday, Wilson said that once the criminal questions are settled, he and his wife may file a civil lawsuit against Bush, Cheney and others seeking damages for the alleged harm done to Plame's career.

If they do so, the current state of the law makes it likely that the suit will be allowed to proceed -- and Bush and Cheney will face questioning under oath -- while they are in office. The reason for that is a unanimous 1997 U.S. Supreme Court decision ruling that Paula Jones' sexual harassment suit against then-President Bill Clinton could go forward immediately, a decision that was hailed by conservatives at the time.

Insert obscene yet rich and juicy metaphor about petards here.


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