If the House REALLY wants to press the contempt issue...
There is the "inherent contempt" power, where the House orders the arrest of the defendant, and can try him then and there, and pass sentence. It hasn't been used since 1934, when the Senate sentenced a fellow who destroyed evidence to ten days in jail. It was upheld by the Supreme Court in Jurney v. MacCracken, 294 U.S. 125 (1935). ("Here, we are concerned, not with an extension of congressional privilege, but with vindication of the established and essential privilege of requiring the production of evidence. For this purpose, the power to punish for a past contempt is an appropriate means.") The House sends out its Sergeant-at-Arms to arrest the defendant, he is tried on the spot, and the House decides whether to convict.
All the more ironic, in that not too many years ago the Demos were suggesting its use against a Republican administration. One pointed out that the the Capitol has an unused jail cell for just that occasion.
Hat tip to Jim Norell, a husband of the late Nancy Norell and a former Senate staffer who reminded me of the Capitol "dungeon."
Holding Holder in contempt of Congress. Well deserved.
Obama claiming executive privilege over documents he denies ever seeing. Astonishing.
Holder having his arrogant perjurious ass thrown in the Capitol jail. Priceless.
Posted by: George L. Lyon, Jr. at June 28, 2012 09:56 PM
Actually "convicting" him does nothing. He'll be in there for, what, 10 days? They're not going to toss him in the black hole of Calcutta and throw away the key and he's not going to surrender the documents until he loses his sponsorship and gets tossed under the bus. Political blackmail being what it is, that's not going to happen. Obama and Holder are conjoined at the hip and Holder's festering sores are slowly spreading rot into Obamas veins.
As soon as Holder gets arrested and thrown in jail by Congress, Congress loses its moral authority and it's just another tribal dispute in the eyes of the country.
No, much better to let him walk around and try to do his job, make public appearances, speechify about policy -- so that every time he pops his head up to talk about anything, Fast-and-Furious is the first question.
Sooner or later, "What did the President know and when did he know it," will be the question of the day every day.
Posted by: Jim D. at June 29, 2012 09:09 AM
I believe they can actually imprison him untill the next session of Congress starts.
Posted by: ParatrooperJJ at June 29, 2012 10:13 AM
Lyon, that was great! Now lets do it!..lol.
Posted by: 5thofNov at June 29, 2012 10:34 AM
"I believe they can actually imprison him untill the next session of Congress starts."
DO IT! DO IT NOW!
Posted by: Zermoid at June 29, 2012 01:44 PM
Here's the (recent best law review article) skinny on what the House could (and should) do with Holder:
Posted by: Veracitor at June 29, 2012 02:10 PM
Veracitor, that is a fascinating document! I appreciate your bringing it to our attention - I think I learned a great deal about the mess we find ourselves in..
Posted by: Hartley at June 29, 2012 09:37 PM