THE BLOG

Note to Congress: Subpoena McClellan

05/25/2011 12:20 pm ET

Are Scott McClellan's soon to be published words (already leaked by his publisher) going to be the beginning of the end for the president? If they are true, they should be. Here is what he said, according to the New York Times:

In an excerpt from his forthcoming book, McClellan recounts the 2003 news conference in which he told reporters that aides Karl Rove and I. Lewis ''Scooter'' Libby were ''not involved'' in the leak involving operative Valerie Plame.

''There was one problem. It was not true,'' McClellan writes, according to a brief excerpt released Tuesday. ''I had unknowingly passed along false information. And five of the highest-ranking officials in the administration were involved in my doing so: Rove, Libby, the vice president, the president's chief of staff and the president himself.''

The president promised, way back in 2003, that anyone in his administration who took part in the leak of Plame's name would be fired. He neglected to mention that, according to McClellan, he was one of those people. And needless to say, he didn't fire himself. Instead, he fired no one, stonewalled the press and the federal prosecutor in charge of the case, and lied through his teeth.

The American people should not have to learn the details of this offense on the website of a book publisher. It is not the responsibility of that publisher (who, after all, is just trying to sell books before Bush is out of office and McClellan is just another Republican flack out of a job) to tell us the truth. That responsibility lies with this administration, the people that committed the offense to begin with.

That it has taken so long to find out the truth is a sad reflection on our democracy. Congress must act! The judiciary committees should hold hearings immediately, subpoena McClellan, and demand that he testify under oath about the betrayal of Valerie Plame's identity.

If what he says is true (and after his willingness to lie to the press, who knows...) it will call into question the legitimacy of the entire administration. And we may see a changing of the guard at the White House sooner than expected.

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