Inherent Contempt

Cenk Uygur was interviewing Newsweek reporter Michael Isikoff and talking about the Harriet Meyers contempt situation, and Isikoff who brought up a concept that been thrown around by bloggers for a couple of weeks now – inherent contempt. Maybe the idea is hitting the mainstream now. Bring it on.

As most people already know, they could hold Harriet Miers, Josh Bolten, Karl Rove and Scott Jennings in contempt of Congress for not testifying about what they know in regards to the US attorney firings. Then they would take it to the courts and wait for the judiciary to resolve executive privilege claims. But that process would drag out for a long time and might not have a practical effect.

But there is another option. They could order the Sergeant at Arms to arrest Harriet Miers and bring her in. I want to be absolutely clear here, Isikoff is a reporter and he is not suggesting that they carry this option out. He is simply pointing out that it is possible.

Here’s the relevant part of the transcript:

Michael Isikoff: There is, very quickly, another option. There’s something called inherent contempt where they can enforce contempt themselves. They can have the Sergeant at Arms arrest Harriet Miers in the state of Texas and bring her to Washington for trial before the House, and incarcerate her. That’s an option that hasn’t been used for years. But it is a Constitutional option.

Cenk Uygur: Michael Isikoff: Congress Could Arrest Harriet Miers – Politics on The Huffington Post

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