As Brian Beutler reports today at TAP Online, the Senate Judiciary Committee voted yesterday to put before the full Senate the matter of contempt citations for White House Chief of Staff Joshua Bolten and former Deputy Chief of Staff Karl Rove for their refusal to comply with subpoenas for information on the controversial firings of eight U.S. attorneys.

In Big Media, this is playing as no big deal, perhaps because President Bush has said that should any such citations head for the courts, he will not permit the Justice Department to prosecute them. Presto-change-o, just like that -- instant coup! No biggie, apparently.

Whether the Senate ultimately issues these criminal contempt citations or the Justice Department stonewalls on behalf of Napolean Bonehead (a.k.a., the president), there's a more efficient route the Senate could take. It's one that former Clinton Administration Chief of Staff John Podesta told me back in September: the Senate has the option of using the Capitol Police Force to serve civil contempt citations. No Justice Department needed to prosecute those babies. Just a couple of cops dispatched by the sergeant at arms.

Now, wouldn't that be somethin'? (A girl can dream, can't she?)

--Adele M. Stan

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