White House Stonewalls on Subpoenas

Bush invokes executive privilege in Senate probe of US attorney firings
By Dustin Lushing,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 28, 2007 5:35 PM CDT
White House Stonewalls on Subpoenas
Presidential advisor Karl Rove, right, and White House Counsel Fred Fielding, center, leave the Capitol after meeting with senators Thursday, May 24, 2007 on Capitol Hill in Washington. (AP Photo/Lauren Victoria Burke)   (Associated Press)

(Newser) – The White House shot down attempts to subpoena internal documents concerning the US attorney firings today by invoking executive privilege. Though not a surprise, the refusal moved the chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee to accuse the administration of "Nixonian stonewalling." If the committee doesn't back down, the Times reports, the next step is a Congressional resolution on contempt citations.

The White House counsel said the administration was "forced down this unfortunate path"—refusing to turn over documents from the ex-counsel and political affairs director, or allow them to testify. “The president and vice president feel they are above the law," committee chairman Patrick Leahy fumed. Counsel Fred Fielding defended the move, saying 8,500 pages of documents have been released. (Read more George W. Bush stories.)

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