I’m just stunned to read that the Bush administration is refusing to comply with congressional subpoenas for testimony and documents related to the US Attorney firings. Flummoxed, flabbergasted, and gobsmacked. I think I’m going to have to lie down with a cold cloth on my head.
“I write at the direction of the President to advise and inform you that the President has decided to assert executive privilege and therefore the White House will not be making any production in response to these subpoenas for documents,” [White House Counsel Fred] Fielding wrote in the letter to Sen. Patrick J. Leahy (D-Vt.), chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, and Rep. John Conyers Jr. (D-Mich.), chairman of the House Judiciary Committee.
“With respect, it is with much regret that we are forced down this unfortunate path which we sought to avoid by finding grounds for mutual accommodation,” Fielding said. “We had hoped this matter could conclude with your committees receiving information in lieu of having to invoke executive privilege. Instead, we are at this conclusion.”
“With respect, it is with much regret…,” my ass.
In response to today’s rebuff by the White House, [Senate Judiciary Committee Chair Patrick] Leahy said: “Increasingly, the president and vice president feel they are above the law. In America no one is above law.”
He added in a statement that “this White House cannot have it both ways. They cannot stonewall congressional investigations by refusing to provide documents and witnesses, while claiming nothing improper occurred.”
[House Judiciary Committee Chair John] Conyers charged that the rejection showed “an appalling disregard” for the public, and vowed to press forward “to enforce the rule of law.”
…In his statement, Conyers said Bush’s “executive privilege assertion is unprecedented in its breadth and scope, and even includes documents that the administration previously offered to provide as part of their ‘take it or leave it’ proposal.”
“The charges alleged in this investigation are serious — including obstruction of justice and misleading Congress — and the White House should be as committed to this investigation as the Congress,” he added “At this point, I see only one choice in moving forward, and that is to enforce the rule of law set forth in these subpoenas.”
Alrighty then. Let’s get on with it.