Supreme Court: Congress Can Imprison Over Benghazi

gowdy rice

With so much having already been written about Benghazi I have been hesitant to post about it, but I stumbled across something very interesting that could come into play when the Select Committee begins investigating not only what happened at Benghazi on September 11, 2012, but the cover up that followed and the continued attempts by the Obama administration to hide documents and information from Congress and the American people.  A former elected official I follow on Twitter who appears to have contacts inside the Republican caucus in Congress has said the Jurney v. MacCracken Supreme Court decision in 1935 will be playing a role in the upcoming investigation.  After reading about the case I can certainly see where this decision could have an impact on the proceedings.  With former prosecutor Rep. Trey Gowdy running the committee I have every confidence he will use every possible leverage to get at the truth and this decision by the Court could provide him (Congress) with the power to imprison.

In 1934, Congress investigated a scandal surrounding the U.S. Postmaster General and some airlines that were contracted to deliver air mail.  An attorney involved in the case, William P. MacCracken, Jr. allowed some of his clients to destroy documents that had been subpoenaed.  MacCracken was found in contempt of Congress and sentenced to ten days in jail.  He filed a habeas corpus petition and asked to be released on the grounds that Congress didn’t have the authority to imprison him for contempt outside a normal criminal proceeding.  The Supreme Court ruled that Congress did indeed have the authority to jail someone to persuade them to comply and can also jail someone for failure to comply after the fact when compliance is no longer possible, such as with the destroyed documents.

JURNEY v. MACCRACKEN, 294 U.S. 125 (1935) – Here, we are concerned, not with an extension of congressional privilege, but with vindication of the established and essential privilege of requiring the production of evidence. For this purpose, the power to punish for a past contempt is an appropriate means.

The power of either House of Congress to punish for contempt was not impaired by the enactment in 1857 of the statute, Rev. St. 102 ( 2 USCA 192), making refusal to answer or to produce papers before either House, or one of its committees, a misdemeanor.

Some evidence has apparently already found its way into Rep. Gowdy’s possession.  When he will reveal the nature of that evidence or how he obtained it is not yet known.

Newsmax – Rep. Trey Gowdy said Friday that he has evidence of a “systematic, intentional” effort by the Obama administration to withhold documents from Congress about the 2012 Benghazi attacks that killed four Americans.

“I have evidence that, not only are they hiding it, there’s an intent to hide it,” the South Carolina Republican told “On the Record With Greta Van Susteren” on Fox News. “I can’t disclose that evidence yet, but I have evidence that there was a systematic, intentional decision to withhold certain documents from Congress — and we’re just sick of it.”

When the Select Committee begins its work you can be sure that CNN will continue to report on the missing plane, MSNBC will broadcast new reports of racism in the Tea Party and the networks will do stories on toe fungus before they even mention the word Benghazi.  The media en masse will circle the wagons around Obama and especially Hillary Clinton in an attempt to protect the woman they have chosen to anoint as the next President of the United States.  Let us hope that Rep. Gowdy is able to get to at least some of the truth, if not all of it.  A crack in the dam can bring down the entire structure.  After almost two years it’s time for the American people to learn the truth about what happened at Benghazi.  Whatever horrible thing the administration is trying to cover up needs to see the light of day.

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4 comments to Supreme Court: Congress Can Imprison Over Benghazi

  • Sherryl

    The Supreme Court is not really about justice but powered by judges who have over stepped and rewritten the Constitution to rule the way they need it to.I believe they need a complete over haul. They are not the highest level of power in our government but we have been taught to believe they rule the Nation. They are the highest court.,but they are one of three parts of government and one is not more powerful than the other.But have seen them abuse it by twisting the well written Constitution.

  • LD Jackson

    It will be interesting to see how far Trey Gowdy will be willing to push this issue. Clearly, the Obama administration is hiding what they knew and when they knew it.

    This is all part of the checks and balances that are written into the Constitution. They will only work, however, if all parts of our government abide by them. The Obama administration has shown themselves to be willing to completely ignore those checks and balances. So, no matter how far Trey Gowdy is willing to push this issue, it may have no affect because Obama and company may simply ignore and demonize his attempts to reveal the truth.

    • From what I have seen of Rep. Gowdy I’m confident he will push the issue as far as he can unless he is held back by the leadership. But even if he has free rein I fully expect the Obama administration to get away with whatever they are covering up. And nothing will come from whatever Gowdy is successful in uncovering. The Democrats and the media (redundant, I know) will do all they can to label the Committee as nothing more than a Republican witch hunt. But I still expect the Republicans to at least try, instead of rolling over like a dead dog and not fighting back against what I believe is likely a treasonous administration.