July 3, 2007
Dear Congressman Schiff:
I need not tell you the details about the President's commutation of I. Lewis Libby's sentence. I am sure that as a former assistant U. S. Attorney you are well aware of the details. I also assume that your anger--as was so evident in your questions during the shameful testimony on the hearings on the Department of Justice--is probably in high gear once again.
May I review some salient facts? First, from the start of his trial, Libby's defense counsel made the case that he was a "fall guy" for others. Who else could these be but the Vice President or members of the White House staff, perhaps even the President himself?
Second, Prosecutor Fitzgerald has clearly stated that as a result of Libby's perjury and obstruction of justice, a "cloud" hangs over the office of the Vice President.
Third, the perjury obstructed an investigation into possible treasonous actions with the further irony that the CIA operative was involved in work on containing weapons of mass destruction.
Fourth, the President's commutation clearly allows Libby to maintain his Fifth Amendment rights and thereby continue to obstruct the truth. No one doubts the President's power to commute or pardon, but if this commutation was granted to guard against criminal investigation, or to obscure prior criminal or abuse of power activities, that commutation clearly falls under the definition, in my view, no matter how imprecise the Constitutional language, of "high crimes and misdemeanors."
For this reason I urge you to support the efforts of your colleague, Representative Kucinich, in his bill to impeach the Vice President. I also ask that you lobby the other members of the California Congressional delegation and especially the Speaker of the House to begin studying the possibility of impeaching both the President and the Vice President. I do not believe that Speaker Pelosi has any but the most political motives in play and has lost her sense of Constitutional responsibility.
This abuse of the Constitution has been steady and relentless over the past six and a half years. Please help lead the members of Congress, both Democrats and Republicans, in defending the Constitution with the tools that it provides.
Doesn't this feel like a "last straw" moment? I think it was a CNN or Keith Olberman/MSNBC clip, perhaps, that indicated that 71% of Americans thought that Libby ought to serve his time?
Unfortunately, the 29% includes many of the Plutocrats and Oligarch who run the show. Now that the commutation has been issued, at least 60% of the American public is against it.
So, don't forget to "Honk for Impeachment" on this Fourth of July if you see anyone holding up the signs. To get on the email mailing list, go to http://www.democrats.com/honktoimpeach