I suspect that Josh Marshall is on to something:
In the Roman Republic, particularly in its last century or so, as the system slid out of control, there was a key interplay between absolute power and legal vulnerability at the center of the political system. A consul had near limitless powers during their one year in office. But if they offended too many people during their term, they could be prosecuted for their acts once they left office.
So as they readied to leave office, consuls would try secure positions or dispensations that would protect them from their enemies.
Our system is different of course. But not altogether so. So as these various investigations move forward — how are Al Gonzales and Dick Cheney and Don Rumsfeld and a lot of other people … what arrangements are they making for their safety and immunity after January 2009? Immunity from prosecution in the US? Abroad? We should pay close attention to the details of legislation the White House puts forward over the next eighteen months. You may not be thinking about this issue. But they are.