An open letter to Senators Elizabeth Dole and Richard Burr
I am deeply troubled by the actions of our government. At no other time in our nation's history has the executive branch laid claim to so much power, and so blatantly ignored the will of the people and the rule of law.
Not even Congress, it seems, has the authority to question the President, the Vice President, or their staff. Even its ability to pass laws has been circumscribed by the White House.
I trust you are intimately familiar with these issues, but I offer these examples as a brief summary.
- The President has attached more than 750 signing statements to Congressional bills, many negating or altering the intent of the law he has sworn to uphold.
- The President has instructed intelligence agencies to willfully ignore laws that require judicial approval for wiretaps.
- The President has refused to turn over thousands of documents involving the firing of nine US attorneys, and instructed the Republican National Committee to do the same. The central questions of who ordered these dismissals, and why, remain unanswered.
- The Attorney General has repeatedly lied to Congress or refused to answer questions about the President's or Vice President's involvement in the dismissal of the US attorneys.
- The President has instructed members of the executive branch to ignore Congressional subpoenas, and has vowed to instruct US Attorneys to ignore charges against members of the executive branch if they are held in contempt by Congress.
- The Vice President's office has unilaterally declared itself exempt from rules governing the handling of classified documents. It has declared itself exempt from any Congressional oversight whatsoever.
- * In commuting Lewis Libby's felony conviction, the President has encouraged further acts of perjury and obstruction of justice.
This is not what the founders intended.
If party affiliations were reversed, and it were a Democrat in the White House, I have no doubt where you'd stand on these matters. I am asking you to apply the same principles to our current administration. I am asking you to ignore loyalty to your party and instead demonstrate loyalty to your country.
It is time to put an end to this abuse of power before we no longer have the ability to do so.