Monday, July 9, 2007

Remembering John Sirica

For those of us who lived through Watergate, today is a good day to remember John Sirica, former Chief Judge of the United States District Court for the District of Columbia. That is because of the lead for the story Laurie Kellman just filed for Associated Press:

President Bush invoked executive privilege Monday to deny requests by Congress for testimony from two former aides about the firings of federal prosecutors.

This was the Nixon gambit back in the day of Watergate (probably under the advice of Fred Fielding, who is now advising Bush). Sirica's response was one of the memorable quotations from the whole Watergate saga: "Executive privilege is executive poppycock!" Of course Watergate was also a time when the Judiciary had a bit more balance to it and the reason for investigation did not involve upsetting that balance!

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