img018 - 38 Politic by Other Mam the administration’s...

Info icon This preview shows page 1. Sign up to view the full content.

View Full Document Right Arrow Icon
Image of page 1
This is the end of the preview. Sign up to access the rest of the document.

Unformatted text preview: 38 Politic: by Other Mam the administration’s opponents in Congress demanded a full leg- islative investigation. In response, the Senate created a special com- mittee, chaired by Sam Ervin, to investigate White House misconduct in the 1972 presidential election. Investigators for the Ervin committee uncovered numerous questionable activities on the part of N ixon's aides, and these were revealed to the public dur- ing a series of dramatic, nationally televised hearings. Evidence of criminal activity unearthed by the Ervin commit— tee led to congressional pressure for the appointment of a special prosecutor. Ultimately a large number of high-ranking adminis— tration officials were indicted, convicted, and imprisoned. Im- peachment proceedings were initiated against President Nixon, and when evidence linking him directly to the cover-up of the Wa— tergate burglary was found, he was forced to resign from office. Thus, with the help of the RIP weaponry the Nixon administra- tion’s antagonists achieved a total victory in their conflict with the president. Although no subsequent president has been driven from office, opponents of presidential administrations have since used the RIP process to attack and weaken their foes in the executive branch. The RIP process became institutionalized when Congress adopted the 1978 Ethics in Government Act, which established procedures for the appointment of independent counsels (initially called special prosecutors) to investigate allegations of wrongdoing in the executive branch. The act also defined as criminal several forms of influence peddling in which executive officials had tradi— tionally engaged, such as lobbying former associates after leaving oflice. (Such activities are also traditional on Capitol Hill, but Con- gress chose not to impose the restrictions embodied in the act upon its own members and staff.) Basically Congress created new crimes that executive branch officials could be charged with. The inde- pendent counsel provision of the act lapsed during the Bush ad- ministration but was restored by Congress in 1994. The extent to which the RIP process had come to be a routine feature of American politics became evident during the Iran—contra Eleamzl Dewy and Institutional Conflict 39 conflict, when Democrats charged that the Reagan administration had covertly sold arms to Iran and used the proceeds to provide il— legal funding for Nicaraguan contra forces, in violation of the Boland amendments, which prohibit such help. After the diversion offuncls to the contras was revealed, it was universally assumed that Congress should conduct televised hearings and the judiciary should appoint an independent counsel to investigate the officials involved in the episode. Yet this procedure is really quite remark— able. Officials Who in other democracies would merely be com- pelled to resign from office are now threatened with criminal prosecution in the United States. The institutionalization of the RIP process became even more clear during the Clinton administration. RIP began with the Whitewater probe, in which the president's critics charged that he and his Wife had been guilty of a variety of conflicts of interest and financial improprieties while involved in a partnership with a shady Arkansas banker and real estate developer. An independent counsel was appointed to look into the charges, and Republicans demanded that congressional hearings on the issue be scheduled. Democrats opposed hearings, arguing that the Republicans merely sought to embarrass the administration prior to major congres- sional votes and the 1994 congressional elections. Finally, hear— ings were scheduled, but under very limited conditions that Democrats hoped would protect the president from potentially embarrassing disclosures. The president's critics also questioned the circumstances under which Hillary Clinton had been able to earn a profit of more than a hundred thousand dollars in a short time, through a series of highly risky and speculative commodities trades. Critics noted that the First Lady, who had no experience in the commodities market, had been guided by an attorney for Tyson Foods, Inc., a huge Arkansas-based poultry producer that stood to gain from the friendship of then Governor Clinton. Although the White House denied any wrongdoing on her part, the charges produced at least the appearance of impropriety. ...
View Full Document

{[ snackBarMessage ]}

What students are saying

  • Left Quote Icon

    As a current student on this bumpy collegiate pathway, I stumbled upon Course Hero, where I can find study resources for nearly all my courses, get online help from tutors 24/7, and even share my old projects, papers, and lecture notes with other students.

    Student Picture

    Kiran Temple University Fox School of Business ‘17, Course Hero Intern

  • Left Quote Icon

    I cannot even describe how much Course Hero helped me this summer. It’s truly become something I can always rely on and help me. In the end, I was not only able to survive summer classes, but I was able to thrive thanks to Course Hero.

    Student Picture

    Dana University of Pennsylvania ‘17, Course Hero Intern

  • Left Quote Icon

    The ability to access any university’s resources through Course Hero proved invaluable in my case. I was behind on Tulane coursework and actually used UCLA’s materials to help me move forward and get everything together on time.

    Student Picture

    Jill Tulane University ‘16, Course Hero Intern