For Immediate Release Wednesday, September 3, 2008
Last week, U.S. District Court Judge John D. Bates rejected the Bush administration’s attempt to shield its officials from congressional scrutiny when he ordered former White House Counsel Harriet Miers to testify and White House Chief of Staff Joshua Bolten to turn over documents about the firing of U.S. attorneys. ‘In doing so, Judge Bates affirmed the basic constitutional principle that no one, including the president, is above the law,” notes Bob Barr, the Libertarian Party’s presidential nominee.
“The fact that this administration has made such extravagant claims as to its executive authority makes it even more important than usual for Congress to exercise strict oversight,’ Barr says.
‘Yet President George W. Bush continues to resist any accountability to Congress or the public,’ observes Barr. ‘Rather than comply with the court order, his appointees plan on appealing Judge Bates’ decision. The administration isn’t likely to win the case, but it hopes to run out the clock. If the president can delay the case, it won’t be decided until he’s out of office.”
Barr says that it is “striking” that the administration has not sought to negotiate a compromise, in which it provided Congress with much of what the latter wanted in return for which legislators dropped their suit. Barr says that for this president and his appointees, “there is no compromise; he apparently really believes that the Founders gave him the power to be above the law.”
‘Unfortunately, Sen. John McCain, other than occasionally criticizing the administration’s torture policy, has backed President Bush’s extravagant claims of executive power,” observes Barr. “Sen. Barack Obama has criticized administration abuses, but voted for legislation that legitimized the same administration’s illegal surveillance of phone calls and email traffic. Neither Sen. McCain nor Sen. Obama can be trusted to defend our liberties.”
‘The American people deserve to have a president who believes that the law applies to him just like everyone else,’ Barr says. ‘As president, I will ensure that my appointees understand that they must obey the Constitution and the law, and that their most important responsibility is to protect the people’s liberties. And I, along with my appointees, will obey the law.’
Libertarian Party presidential candidate Bob Barr represented the 7th District of Georgia in the U. S. House of Representatives from 1995 to 2003.
The Libertarian Party is America’s third largest political party, founded in 1971 as an alternative to the two main political parties. You can find more information on the Libertarian Party by visiting www.LP.org . The Libertarian Party proudly stands for smaller government, lower taxes and more freedom.