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US House Judiciary Committee has launched a lawsuit against the Bush administration for abusing protections of executive privilege.
Believing that the White House has abused the protections of executive privilege to protect itself from legitimate oversight, the committee filed the lawsuit in the federal court in Washington DC yesterday, pressuring the White House to hand over documents and provide testimony shedding light on the role of executive-branch officials in the dismissals of nine US attorneys in 2006.
The suit follows the refusal of the Justice Department to pursue criminal contempt charges against White House Chief of Staff Joshua Bolten and former White House counsel Harriet Miers.
Although last year, the House Judiciary Committee subpoenaed Bolten and Miers during the firing investigation, neither of them cooperated, making the full House to vote to hold them in contempt and referring the case to the Justice Department last month.
Meanwhile Attorney General, Michael Mukasey, refused to prosecute the case, arguing the two confidants of President Bush were protected by the doctrine of executive privilege.
"The House is taking action today to uphold the rule of law and to protect our constitutional system of checks and balances," said House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, a California Democrat.