Sen. Trent Lott is supporting Bush’s claim of executive privilege when it comes to Congress’s investigation into the firings of eight US Attorneys. I guess that means he’s had a change of heart, given that he warned President Clinton against claiming the privilege when the Republican congress was investigating everything including the White House Christmas card list.
2007: On the March 25 edition of Fox Broadcasting Co.’s Fox News Sunday, Sen. Trent Lott (R-MS) claimed that President Bush would be “making a huge mistake” if he allows “his close advisers in the White House to testify before Congress under oath,” adding: “There is a thing called executive privilege.” Host Chris Wallace pointed out that “a lot of these Clinton aides testified under oath,” referring to a Congressional Research Service study he had referenced earlier that found 31 aides to President Clinton “spoke to Congress a total of 47 times.” Lott responded that “that doesn’t mean it was a smart thing to do or that it should have been done.”
1998: …Lott — then the Senate majority leader — argued that the Clinton administration “made a mistake by trying to assert executive privilege when it doesn’t involve national security or national interest conversations.”
…Lott also asserted, “It looks like they are hiding something, so I think they shouldn’t have done it.” Also, a March 2, 1998, article in The New York Times on Blumenthal’s invocation of executive privilege before the grand jury noted Lott’s assertion that “[i]f this White House is intent on phony claims of executive privilege as a means to hide facts from the American people, then it’s going to be time for us to get off the sidelines.”
Uh, yeah, Trent, it does look like the White House is hiding something, and it is time to get off the sidelines. This isn’t a blow job or a trumped up real estate scandal. The Bush administration’s actions, and the lying that followed, have made our federal justice system suspect. That is not in our national interest. Our citizens need to know that the Attorney General’s office won’t tolerate, much less encourage, targeting people based on their party affiliation. And if it takes a congressional investigation to clean up this mess, then get busy and do your job.