As the Obama scandals continue to unfold, almost every article or broadcast segment now seems to included some politician calling for a Special Prosecutor. I've followed events closely on Red State, and elsewhere, but I've yet to see a cogent discussion of the merits, and pitfalls of each approach.
I am NOT a lawyer, and no expert on these matters, but I thought I would attempt to distill the salient arguments for and against each approach, to invite discussion.
Allow House committees to continue their investigations:
At present, 5 House committees are investigating the various Obama scandals. I do feel that Issa is doing a superb job, and learned much from the Fast & Furious hearings. I believe that he, and the other c hairs, know much more than they are at present divulging...i.e. I believe they already know who issued the STAND DOWN order, and from where it originated much further up the chain of command.
Multiple, ongoing hearings could cause a sense of "scandal-fatigue" in the public. There is also bound to be considerable overlap among the various committees, and having the same witnesses appear before several committees could be counterproductive...and of course, allow the Democrats to claim that it is all a political witch-hunt. Also, the committees are limited in their ability to compel witness testimony and documents from the administration.
If Issa and others already know the answers to the as-yet-unasked questions, then they should continue, as long as the carefully coordinate among the various committees. However, they MUST find a way around the 5 minute limit for questioning..maybe they should give up this approach...it's impossible to develop a serious line of questioning, and to get at the truth, in that time constraint. Who among us doesn't want to see Trey Gowdy have 30 minutes of uninterrupted questioning of Lois Lerner?
Form a Special Select House committee:
Let me say up front that I'm not very well versed in how this works. I gather that one super-committee would supersede all the others, and would have far greater ability to get at witnesses and documents. However, I believe that they would need the concurrence of House Democrats to take this course, and at what cost? Right now, it's obvious that the Democrats on Issa's committee aren't the sharpest tools in the shed, by far, and that will only help the GOP.
Also, since we are dealing with three separate scandals, if they were all investigated by one committee, that would tend to get them all jumbled up and confused in the public perception.
Appoint a Special Prosecutor:
I'm almost tempted to say that ANYTHING that Lindsay Graham is FOR, I'm AGAINST. Given that, I do see multiple problems with a special prosecutor:
1. Holder would need to appoint the prosecutor.
2.Do we have ONE for all three scandals, or multiple special prosecutors.
3. Here's my biggest problem with an SP. Right now, the scandals are front and center, and the administration is forced to confront them every minute. They can't ignore it. It occupies most of their time, and the Obama agenda is stymied.
Appoint a Special Prosecutor, and all you will hear, ad nauseum, from EVERYONE in the administration, from Obama on down, is, "while the investigation is underway, I can't comment about any of this." It will disappear from the public perception.
Apologies in advance for any factual misstatements. Please correct.