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Calling the Democratic response to the firing of eight federal prosecutors a "partisan fishing expedition," President Bush rejected lawmakers' call Tuesday to subpoena White House staff for testimony related to the matter.
Bush's public statement came hours after the White House offered to make political strategist Karl Rove and former counsel Harriet Miers available for interviews — but not testimony under oath — before congressional committees investigating the firings.
"We will not go along with a partisan fishing expedition aimed at honorable public servants," Bush said in a statement from the White House. "I proposed a reasonable way to avoid an impasse."
A House panel on Wednesday approved subpoenas for President Bush's political adviser, Karl Rove and other top White House aides, setting up a constitutional showdown over the firings of eight federal prosecutors.
By voice vote and without dissent, the House Judiciary subcommittee on commercial and administrative law decided to compel the president's top aides to testify publicly and under oath about their roles in the firings.
"The question they've got to ask themselves is, are you more interested in a political spectacle than getting the truth?'' Snow said of the overture Tuesday by the White House via its top lawyer, Fred Fielding.
In addition to insisting that Rove and Miers not be interviewed under oath, Fielding laid out the following demands in a March 20 letter: that interviews be conducted behind closed doors, that they not be televised or transcribed, that no subpoenas be issued following the interviews, and that questions may not concern internal White House communications.
The BBC's Jonathan Beale in Washington says the House demand for testimony under oath sets up a constitutional battle between the president and Congress which could end up in the Supreme Court.
The American people deserve Washington reporters who report the news in full historical context, not Democratic Party context. Every so-called "objective" reporter who reproduces Senator Chuck Schumer’s talking points about how this is an unprecedented Gonzales outrage without remembering Reno’s March Massacre is making a mockery of journalism, and history.
WASHINGTON, Feb. 24 — Internal Justice Department performance reports for six of the eight United States attorneys who have been dismissed in recent months rated them “well regarded,” “capable” or “very competent,” a review of the evaluations shows.
The performance reviews, known as Evaluations and Review Staff Reports, show that the ousted prosecutors were routinely praised for playing a leadership role with other law enforcement agencies in their jurisdictions.
The officials have repeatedly cited poor job performance to explain their decisions to oust the eight prosecutors, all of them Republicans appointed by President Bush in his first term.
Two months after the firings first began to make waves on Capitol Hill, it has also become clear that most of the prosecutors were overseeing significant public-corruption investigations at the time they were asked to leave. Four of the probes target Republican politicians or their supporters, prosecutors and other officials said.
"There always have traditionally been tensions between main Justice and U.S. attorneys in the districts," said Carl W. Tobias, a law professor at the University of Richmond. "But it does seem like there's an effort to centralize authority in Washington more than there has been in the past and in prior administrations."
Fired San Diego U.S. attorney Carol Lam notified the Justice Department that she intended to execute search warrants on a high-ranking CIA official as part of a corruption probe the day before a Justice Department official sent an e-mail that said Lam needed to be fired, U.S. Sen. Dianne Feinstein said Sunday.
Originally posted by RRconservative
The only thing hypocritical about this is in 1993 when alleged rapist Bill Clinton fired all 93 U.S. Attorneys, not a word was said about it.
Come on! 93 fired by Clinton and 8 fired by Bush, and Bush is getting raked over the coals? Hypocracy!
Can a President fire U.S. Attorneys or not? If Clinton had the right, then so does Bush.
BUSH ADMINISTRATION HAS AN UNPRECEDENTED RECORD OF CONTEMPT OF CONGRESS
Democratic White Houses Have Historically Cooperated: A Congressional Research Service report identified 62 instances of Democratic presidential advisors testifying before Congress in recent decades, 54 of them during the Clinton administration. [CRS Report RL31351]
* 30 Clinton aides testified 54 times [CRS Report RL31351]
Republican Advisors Appear Less: In contrast, the CRS report found zero instances of such testimony during the Reagan or Bush I administrations, and nine in the first term of Bush II, all of which involved Thomas Ridge and homeland security before the formation of a cabinet department. The only three instances in the last 30 years of an advisor refusing to testify were since 2002, under George W. Bush. [CRS Report RL31351 (emphasis added)]
Originally posted by LightWorker13
Why would the White House not want their staff to testify under oath unless they had something to hide? They dont want any transcripts either, they just want a little private closed door talk thats it, screw the judicial process. When will the White House start obeying the law?
Originally posted by RRconservative
Why take the risk? All this is is a perjury trap. That is all the Democrats are looking for. Why would the White House trust a D.C. Jury after the Scooter Libby abomination?
Look at the Valerie Plame incident. Scooter Libby didn't "out" her, she wasn't even a covert agent. They got him for perjury even though no crime was committed and there shouldn't have been a trial in the first place.
Can someone actually tell me what law was broken?