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Archive of entries posted on December 2007

More on Coconut Road

           Via TPM Muckraker, Senator Tom Coburn has demanded a joint House-Senate investigation of the circumstances that led to the infamous Coconut Road earmark language, which was inserted into the 2005 Transportation Bill (allegedly on instructions of staff for then-House Transportation Committee Chairman Don Young) after final passage of the bill.  Taxpayers for Common Sense had requested [...]

When the Justice Department Takes the Fifth

From Chris Wallace’s interview of Representative Pete Hoekstra (ranking member of the House intelligence committee, also known as “HPSCI”) yesterday: WALLACE: On Friday, the Justice Department moved to block congressional investigations of the destruction of these CIA tapes, saying that it would jeopardize its own probe. Congressman Hoekstra, does that mean your committee is going [...]

Should the House and Senate Intelligence Committees Have Heard General Hayden in Public Session?

         Over at Balkinization, Marty Lederman is upset that the House and Senate intelligence committees conducted closed-door sessions to hear General Hayden’s account of how tapes of CIA interrogations were destroyed.   He asks:  “Even if some of what was on those tapes is classified, and even if occasionally some bits and pieces of the testimony [...]

Office of Congressional Ethics Should Not Need Subpoena Power

The second criticism of the (nearly) proposed Office of Congressional Ethics is that it will lack the power to subpoena witnesses and documents.  This criticism, it seems to me, is misplaced.  As a practical matter, the OCE should have adequate power to conduct preliminary investigations of ethical violations without compulsory process.              Presumably much of [...]

The Office of Congressional Ethics

Details are emerging regarding the long-awaited proposal of the House Ethics Reform Task Force, which was charged with making recommendations to the House regarding the establishment of an independent ethics office.  The proposal (which evidently has not been approved by the Republican members) will recommend the establishment of an “Office of Congressional Ethics,” which would [...]