I had a feeling the news of Cheney’s saying he is not part of the executive branch would start a fire storm. I just had no idea it would be this big.
Rahm Emanuel is showing a pair and ready to really go after Cheney in a way that sounds perfectly legal:
Following Vice President Dick Cheney’s assertion that his office is not a part of the executive branch of the US government, Democratic Caucus Chairman Rep. Rahm Emanuel (D-IL) plans to introduce an amendment to the the Financial Services and General Government Appropriations bill to cut funding for Cheney’s office.
The amendment to the bill that sets the funding for the executive branch will be considered next week in the House of Representatives.
Emanuel also suggested that Cheney needs to return his salary to the U.S. taxpayers and move out of the house paid for by us. Since that house is paid for by us and for the Vice President of the United States, who is part of the executive branch, I say Cheney be evicted immediately. Hell – I say he gets charged with trespassing!
Shortly after Bush was elected, â€œCheney preferred, and Bush approved, a mandate that gave him access to â€˜every table and every meeting,â€™ making his voice heard in â€˜whatever area the vice president feels he wants to be active in.â€™â€
According to the article, Cheney used that influence to bypass key presidential aides and thwart any dissent about Bushâ€™s authorization of the unconstitutional military commissions to try detainees. The Post reports â€œalmost no oneâ€ had seen the legal draft establishing the commissions, except Cheneyâ€™s closest aides. Cheney then took astonishing measures to ensure that internal objections would not reach the President, even resorting to spying on White House staff:
Unless Cheney is trying to put himself in the judicial branch, it is not up to him to decide what is legal and what is not. That is the job of the judiciary. As matter of fact our Constitution states just that. That means we have Cheney violating our constitution yet again, and that is grounds for impeachment.
The worse part for Cheney is that some of the administrations staunchest supporters are even against him on this. Take Glen Reynolds:
DICK CHENEY AS A LEGISLATIVE OFFICIAL: Ed Morrissey is not impressed with this gem of a legal argument. He’s right not to be, and he’s right that this is a political and legal embarrassment for the Administration, but it’s not because of the constitutional language he quotes.
Like a lot of the Bush Administration’s arguments, this is one that would make an interesting law school paper topic, or law review article, but that is politically idiotic and legally self-defeating. It’s reminiscent, as one of Capt. Ed’s commenters notes, of the Clinton Administration’s effort to stall Paula Jones’ lawsuit by claiming that as Commander-in-Chief the President is a serving member of the military. Clever, in a way. But definitely not smart.
Yup – there is now a darker cloud hanging over the administration and their generally weak umbrella of right wingers is folded up and tucked away in the trunk. Now will more people sign onto Kucinich’s papers of impeachment against Cheney?