Will the Senate Rubber-Stamp Power’s Contempt?
by Andrew C. McCarthy
Refusing to answer proper questions in a legitimate governmental hearing is contemptuous — not just in the rhetorical sense but in the legal sense. To analogize: In court proceeding, if a witness refuses to provide a responsive answer to a question, the judge will strike the non-responsive answer from the record and direct the witness to address the question head-on. If the dodging persists, the witness can be held in contempt and imprisoned. Such episodes may also form the basis for an obstruction-of-justice charge.
It is just as illegal to obstruct a congressional proceeding.
Contempt of Congress and obstruction of the Senate’s constitutional advice-and-consent obligation is the only way to interpret the performance of Samantha Power during Wednesday’s hearing on her nomination by President Obama to become U.S. ambassador to the United Nations.
Power has a long history of decrying “crimes committed, sponsored, or permitted by the United States.” Of demanding that the United States apologize for its sundry “sins.” Of condemning “the role U.S. political, economic and military power has played in denying such freedoms to others.” Of calling for “not tweaking but overhauling” of U.S. foreign policy. Of seeking to subordinate American national interests to “the interests of the global commons.” Of expressly calling for the U.S. to surrender sovereignty to international institutions (such as the U.N. and the International Criminal Court). And of agitating for “a historical reckoning” of America’s alleged crimes. Not content with various American acts of contrition, she would have our government institute “a doctrine of the mea culpa” as a pillar of our foreign policy. By her lights, at least up until this week’s confirmation conversion, our nation is an arrogant, exploitative serial criminal with much to apologize for.
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