Balkinization  

Saturday, May 27, 2006

Why Did Bush Seal the Documents from the Jefferson Raid?

JB

Ostensibly Bush was worried that three of his advisors, including Attorney General Gonzales, would resign. But this is a White House known for its stringent demands of (and enforcement of) loyalty. The President might also have been worried that the House would demand that Gonzales resign, but calls for Bush cabinet officials to resign have hardly deterred this White House before (think Donald Rumsfeld).

A third, far more interesting reason-- also alluded to in Marty's previous post-- appears at the very end of this Washington Post story about the raid on Congressman Jefferson's office:

"If you tell the House to stick it where the sun don't shine, you're talking about a fundamentally corrosive relationship between two branches of government," the senior administration official said. "They could zero out funding; they could say, 'Okay, you can do subpoenas, so can we.' "

The one thing that this Administration fears more than anything is oversight.

Comments:

A fourth reason - and I think the motivating factor behind all Bush Administration actions - is winning the next election. The Republicans are afraid that the "culture of corruption" charge will doom their 2006 electoral chances, and they desparately want to have the story be that all politicians are corrupt. So they'll do anything they can to keep the Jefferson story on the front page. This explains why Congressional Republicans lent their support, and why Bush sealed the documents. To keep the story alive. No doubt they'll find another reason to get involved in Jefferson's prosecution come October, just in time for the elections.
 

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