White House Hits GOP's Legal 'Track Record' in Gitmo Standoff

Police remove protesters from the White House fence during a demonstration against the war in Afghanistan and torture in 2009. (CQ Roll Call File Photo)

The White House is firing back at congressional Republicans who are threatening to sue should President Barack Obama use his executive authority to close the Guantánamo Bay, Cuba, terrorist detention center.  

As the White House prepares to send Congress a plan to shutter the facility perhaps as soon as Friday, congressional leaders have dubbed it dead on arrival. The Obama administration continued Thursday refusing to rule out another option: Using an executive action to close the prison, citing the president’s war powers under Article II of the Constitution. Asked about Senate Armed Services Committee Chairman John McCain’s declaration Wednesday that such a move would be “unconstitutional,” White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest grinned and replied, “Gives you a sense of what we’re up against  even our friends on this issue are threatening lawsuits.”  

Obama's Message on CIA Torture Report: Move On

Sen. Dianne Feinstein leaves the Senate floor after speaking about the CIA torture report  released Tuesday. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

President Barack Obama really doesn't want to dwell on the torture report or the tortuous process his administration put congressional investigators through over the course of his presidency to get to this point.  

Obama issued a statement this morning when the report came out, but spent much of the statement extolling the intelligence community. The statement was so vague his spokesman Josh Earnest later was asked if the president stands by his earlier "we tortured some folks" statement. (Earnest said yes.)