Politics

FLASHBACK 2007: Carney rails v. Bush for ‘deliberate and aggressive efforts to expand’ power

In a March 22, 2007 Time Magazine piece co-bylined with Massimo Calabresi, then-Washington Bureau Chief Jay Carney attacked the Bush administration for “its deliberate and aggressive efforts to expand and protect Executive power.”

In the piece, Carney and Calabresi charged that “[President George W.] Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney have spent six years expanding presidential powers at the expense of Congress and the judiciary, from authorizing domestic wiretapping to limiting habeas corpus and changing bills through signing statements.”

Carney also complained about the resistance from Bush administration officials to testify on those matters, which at the time included then-White House Deputy Chief of Staff Karl Rove.

“Just getting Karl Rove and other top White House officials to testify could be as important as anything they might say, since it would set a precedent of sorts as Democrats push to investigate internal White House deliberations on everything from Iraq-war contracting to the use of prewar intelligence,” Carney and Calabresi wrote.

In a press briefing on Tuesday, now-White House spokesman Carney found himself on the other side, pushing back against reporters questioning the Department of Justice seizing journalists’ phone records and comparing the Obama administration to the Nixon administration, which was plagued with allegations of abusing and expanding government power.

“People who make those kinds of comparisons need to check their history,” Carney told the assembled reporters.

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