Impeachment, Pardons, Congressional Testimony
Will removing impeachment from the table induce witnesses to commit perjury before Congress, under the mistaken belief that they may get a pardon?
Impeachment would eliminate the possibility that pardons could be used.
Consider this fair warning by the same people who have removed the imepachment option from the table:
"If the present Administration is willing to flaunt, if not break, the law in order to achieve its political objectives in Iraq, and Congress is unwilling to confront or challenge their hegemony, many of our cherished democratic principles are in jeopardy."Ref
Hearings only mean something if the witnesses do not believe they have other options. Taking impeachment off the table sends a clear message -- you may be able to get a pardon:
Article II Section 2[H]e shall have Power to Grant Reprieves and Pardons for Offenses against the United States, except in Cases of Impeachment
It is meaningless to talk about what may or may not happen when there is no incentive for any witness to cooperate; and the risk of perjury is perceived to be zero. It doesn't matter whether the DNC does or doesn't get it right: Once witnesses believe that they can commit perjury, not cooperate with Congress, and get a presidential pardon, a DNC victory doesn't mean anything.
"Confronting" and challenging the GOP-RNC hegemony is meaningless as a standard whether the principles are or are not in jeopardy. It is inappropriate to message to witnesses that they can rely on a pardon for their false or misleading testimony; or noncooperation with Congress during hearings.
Congress appears more interested in inducing witnesses to commit crimes, then possibly prosecute them for misconduct, than in ensuring there is reliable information presented to fully inform the public.
If the witnesses are not willing to fully cooperate, why bother having hearings? Use the evidence you have to impeach the individuals; then expand the inquiry based on who comprehends that they are not going to get a pardon under any circumstances.
They way forward is to do the opposite: Have multiple impeachments not only against the President, but also the civil officers and those who permitted the abuses to continue.
Just as the Nazis dreamed of glory despite their defeat after WWI, the NeoCons have not given up their goals. They view their goals, however illegal, as being just. Giving them a way out doesn't close the loop, but creates another loophole. Hardly any sign the Congress is serious about confronting or challenging anything.
Playing nice doesn't work with the NeoCons. Only the lawful threat of criminal sanctions, devoid of any possibility of pardon, might wake them up. War crimes may be linked with the death penalty; if you remove the impeachment options, and highlight the possibility of war crimes this might wake some of them up.
You're dealing with criminals, not with people who want to help you.