This from Reuters<$NoAd$> …
The White House said on Tuesday that the 9-11 commission agreed to terms that would allow national security adviser Condoleezza Rice to give sworn public testimony on the Sept. 11 attacks, and President Bush and Vice President Cheney to meet in private with the full panel.
White House spokesman Scott McClellan told reporters the commission had agreed to state in writing that neither appearance would set a precedent under the constitutional separation of executive and legislative powers.
Isn’t this more face-saving than precedent-blocking? To the extent that this precedent issue is even a real issue, what consequence does something in writing from the commission possibly have? Setting aside the logical problems with viewing this as a separation of powers issue (namely the fact that the commission is not an arm of congress) jurists decide what’s a precedent, not some slip of paper a cornered White House extracts from people it appointed.