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Harriet Miers Ignores Subpoena

Firedoglake commentary:
Also see part two of this story

Sanchez now saying that Miers has not appeared, that her counsel says that she will not appear via letters from Fielding asserting related claims of executive privilege.

Chair prepared to rule that the claims are not legally valid. And that Miers should be there to testify. Miers is no longer an employee at the WH, that Miers is relying on an invalid claim of privilege, and Miers is failing to respect the subpoena in contrast to prior precedents from other witnesses.

The President himself has not asserted the privilege -- claim through counsel is not valid.

There is no possible, proper basis for refusal to appear today. There is no citation of a single case in Miers' correspondence that she did not have to show today in response to Congressional subpoena. No official, including the President, is so above the law that they do not have to comply with a subpoena.

Update from Talking Points Memo:

Invoking a privilege is one thing, but telling a person not to show up in response to a subpoena -- if only to actually invoke the privilege -- is quite another. It's not just worse, it's a felony under federal criminal law. See for yourself.

18 U.S.C. Sec. 1505 : ... Whoever corruptly ... influences, obstructs, or impedes ... the due and proper exercise of the power of inquiry under which any inquiry or investigation is being had by either House, or any committee of either House or any joint committee of the Congress ... [s]hall be fined under this title, [or] imprisoned not more than 5 years ... or both.

18 U.S.C. Sec. 1515(b): As used in section 1505, the term "corruptly" means acting with an improper purpose, personally or by influencing another, including ... withholding, [or] concealing ... information.

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Comments (1)

Lee Ward:

I don't believe the following has been reported in, or prior to, Paul's post above...

House Democrats on Thursday took the first step toward holding former White House counsel Harriet Miers in contempt of Congress after she defied a subpoena at President Bush's order and skipped a hearing on the firing of U.S. attorneys.

Over the strenuous objections of Republicans, a subcommittee cleared the way for contempt proceedings by voting 7-5 to reject Bush's claim of executive privilege.


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