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The Bush administration, which has been pushing presidential power to new extremes, is reportedly developing an even more dangerous new theory of executive privilege. It says that if Congress holds White House officials in contempt for withholding important evidence in the U.S. attorney scandal, the Justice Department simply will not pursue the charges. This stance tears at the fabric of the Constitution and upends the rule of law.
It is not only a matter of getting to the bottom of some possibly serious government misconduct. It is about preserving the checks and balances that are a vital part of American democracy.