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The House Judiciary Committee voted today to seek contempt of Congress citations against a top aide to President Bush and a former presidential aide over their refusal to cooperate in an inquiry about the firing of federal prosecutors.
The 22-to-17 vote along party lines escalates the battle between the administration and Congressional Democrats over the dismissals of nine United States attorneys last year, an episode that Democrats say needs airing but that many Republicans say...
“It’s not a step that, as chairman, I take easily or lightly,” the head of the panel, Representative John D. Conyers, Democrat of Michigan, said before the committee voted to cite Joshua B. Bolten, the president’s chief of staff, and Harriet E. Miers, the former White House counsel.
Wednesday a resolution citing Miers and Bolten with contempt of Congress. That would be a federal misdemeanor punishable by up to a $100,000 fine and a one-year prison sentence. If the measure wins support from a majority of the Judiciary and the full House, it would be advanced to the U.S. attorney for the District of Columbia - a Bush appointee.
And that's as far as it's likely to go, the Justice Department said in a letter to the committee late Tuesday.