Questions About the Power of the President

If you’ve been following the US Attorney firing story, you probably know that the White House is now asserting that it will resist any subpoenas for White House aides like Karl Rove or Harriet Miers to testify. (This Supreme Court may well side with the White House.)

I am not an attorney, but I was wondering about a few things. If this White House is correct in its interpretation of the powers of the President relative to the powers of the Congress, why did Nixon resign? What if he had chosen to stay on? Can a President simply refuse impeachment, should it come to it? And if the President has the power to over-ride some basic rights (e.g., he can order warrantless searches and seizures) because he deems it necessary to do so during wartime, what happens if he deems it necessary to stay on in office past the expiration of his term? What is the difference?



TBogg’s description of the President and yesterday’s press conference is worth a read. Here’s the ending:

Tonights performance lays to rest any notion other than the fact that he’s not a very bright man who has nothing but contempt for a world that refuses to dumb down for him.


Update 2

Atrios put up the articles of impeachment against Richard Nixon. Exerpt:

in violation of his constitutional duty to take care that the laws be faithfully executed, has failed without lawful cause or excuse to produce papers and things as directed by duly authorized subpoenas issued by the Committee on the Judiciary of the House of Representatives on April 11, 1974, May 15, 1974, May 30, 1974, and June 24, 1974, and willfully disobeyed such subpoenas. The subpoenaed papers and things were deemed necessary by the Committee in order to resolve by direct evidence fundamental, factual questions relating to Presidential direction, knowledge or approval of actions demonstrated by other evidence to be substantial grounds for impeachment of the President. In refusing to produce these papers and things Richard M. Nixon, substituting his judgment as to what materials were necessary for the inquiry, interposed the powers of the Presidency against the the lawful subpoenas of the House of Representatives, thereby assuming to himself functions and judgments necessary to the exercise of the sole power of impeachment vested by the Constitution in the House of Representatives.