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Contempt Citations Ahead for Miers, Bolten


[...] House Democrats prepared contempt of Congress citations against two White House aides who have refused to comply with subpoenas for information on the abrupt firings of federal prosecutors.

The White House has said that Chief of Staff Josh Bolten and former legal counselor Harriet Miers, among other top advisers to President Bush, are absolutely immune from subpoenas because their documents and testimony are protected by executive privilege.

House Judiciary Committee Democrats, led by Rep. John Conyers, D-Mich., reject that claim and have drafted for a vote Wednesday a resolution citing Miers and Bolten with contempt of Congress, a federal misdemeanor punishable by up to a $100,000 fine and a one-year prison sentence.

The panel's vote is the first step on the road to a possible constitutional showdown in federal court.

If history and self-interest are any guide, the two sides will resolve the dispute before then. Neither side wants a judge to settle the question about the limits of executive privilege.

But no deal appeared imminent. White House Counsel Fred Fielding has offered to make top administration officials available for private, off-the-record interviews about the administration's role in the firings. But he has invoked executive privilege and directed Miers, Bolten and the Republican National Committee to withhold almost all relevant documents. Miers did not even appear at a hearing to which she had been summoned, infuriating Democrats.

Democrats rejected Fielding's "take-it-or-leave-it" offer and advised lawyers for Miers and Bolten that they were in danger of being held in contempt of Congress.

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Comments (10)


ex parte Grossman.

Steve Crickmore:

Sadly kim, it may come down to that but this whole exercise will be to remind Americans for the next 30 years, (until they forget again) what happens when they vote in ticket that has contempt fot anything but themselves.

Lee Ward:

The contempt citations will force a compromise. The administration won't go to the SCOTUS mat on this one.


Sadly, Steve? Did you read Taft?

On the contrary, they may be happy to go to SCOTUS. See what Roberts has to say about ex parte Grossman. You may be glad in thirty years when a Democratic President needs to right his command.

Are you all commenting without reading what I have begged you to read, repeatedly? Imagine a Democrat in power.

Steve Crickmore:

Yes, kim, I have had a little more time, but I am not much clearer; so this might be the possible 'n' game, but a Roberts court may come down in favour or not in favour to uphold the decision against Taft. It's still speculation and conjecture.

Lee Ward:

I really don't see the administration going to the SCOTUS mat over this. They have too much to lose by having a decision on executive privilege go against them -- unless of course they have more to lose by letting Miers testify, which may well be the case.


Decision against Taft? How could you be more clear?

Insinuate for lack of anything better, Lee. What if the Chief Executive were a Democrat?


Hey, aren't any of you honest? Don't you believe in our troika, with all the horses equally strong? It is useful to have a sturdy Executive.

Lee Ward:

The Executive branch always comes out on top in a time of war -- which makes the Republican party the one most interested in keeping our soldiers dying, and in wasting billions while boosting the profits of KBR/Halliburton et. al. Too bad America has caught onto this game...

No wonder they fabricated a case to enter Iraq, then pounded the "Osama's gonna get you if you don't re-elect Bush!" button throughout the 2004 and 2006 election. Makes Bush strong like Bull!

Meanwhile, the 2006 election results showed the Republican dance of a thousand knives is no longer effective at keeping the Repubs in power (insert smilie face here.)


You are daft
to have not read Taft.


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Editors: Lee Ward, Larkin, Paul S Hooson, and Steve Crickmore

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