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Barron's editorial calls for Congress to consider impeachment

RAW STORY

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Barron's editorial page editor Thomas G. Donlan penned a column for Monday's edition entitled "Unwarranted Executive Power" which calls on members of the House Judiciary Committee to investigate if the Bush Administration violated the 1978 Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act and to either change the law or consider impeachment, RAW STORY has learned.

Barron's Magazine is a weekly publication for investors published by the Wall Street Journal.

Excerpts from the subscriber only editorial:

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...Putting the president above the Congress is an invitation to tyranny. The president has no powers except those specified in the Constitution and those enacted by law. President Bush is stretching the power of commander-in-chief of the Army and Navy by indicating that he can order the military and its agencies, such as the National Security Agency, to do whatever furthers the defense of the country from terrorists, regardless of whether actual force is involved.

Surely the "strict constructionists" on the Supreme Court and the federal judiciary eventually will point out what a stretch this is. The most important presidential responsibility under Article II is that he must "take care that the laws be faithfully executed." That includes following the requirements of laws that limit executive power. There's not much fidelity in an executive who debates and lobbies Congress to shape a law to his liking and then goes beyond its writ.

Willful disregard of a law is potentially an impeachable offense. It is at least as impeachable as having a sexual escapade under the Oval Office desk and lying about it later. The members of the House Judiciary Committee who staged the impeachment of President Clinton ought to be as outraged at this situation. They ought to investigate it, consider it carefully and report either a bill that would change the wiretap laws to suit the president or a bill of impeachment.

It is important to be clear that an impeachment case, if it comes to that, would not be about wiretapping, or about a possible Constitutional right not to be wiretapped. It would be about the power of Congress to set wiretapping rules by law, and it is about the obligation of the president to follow the rules in the Acts that he and his predecessors signed into law.

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The rest of the editorial can be read by WSJ subscribers at this link.

Originally published on Saturday December 24, 2005



 


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