definition of conflict of interest?
Let’s get this straight:
- U.S. Congress investigates alleged wrongdoing to at the US Department of Justice, particularly undue political influence of the White House in firing a number of US Attorneys.
- Justice Department officials can’t remember who made the contentious decisions.
- Congress issues subpoenas to various White House officials, and others to testify under oath before Congress.
- White House claims of “executive privilege,” mean that those officials don’t have to testify.
- White House tells officials to ignore the subpoenas. (Which, by the way, is likely a felony).
- Congress threatens to find said officials, and the White House, in contempt of Congress.
So who is “right”? A conundrum, no doubt. So: who do you ask to rule on the issue?
Why not ask the very Department whose leadership is under investigation for wrongdoing…
In a broadly worded legal opinion, the Justice Department has concluded that President Bush’s former top lawyer, and possibly other senior White House officials, can ignore subpoenas from Congress to testify about the firings of U.S. attorneys.
Or would that be a conflict of interest?