had an interesting take
on the looming legal battle between the White House and Congress this morning:
In an e-mail dated Nov. 15, 2006, Kyle Sampson, former chief of staff to Attorney General Alberto Gonzales, asked then-White House Counsel Harriet Miers and her deputy, William Kelley, whether he had the green light to go forward with the firing plan.Here's The Washington Post
Miers responded that she was ânot sure whether this will be determined to require the bossâs attention.â Her e-mail ended with the words: âWe will see. Thanks.â
Sampson, who resigned last week, responded with a critical question: âWho will determine whether whether [sic] this requires the Presidentâs attention?â...
The e-mail exchange is particularly relevant to Bushâs case because the Supreme Court has provided only limited protection for executive privilege. It acknowledges the need to protect communications between high-ranking government officials and those who advise and assist them, but it has also ruled that the public interest can outweigh that need in ânon-militaryâ and ânon-diplomaticâ discussions. Critics of the U.S. attorney firings argue that Bushâs case for executive privilege would be significantly weaker if his aides never discussed the plan for the firings with him.
In response to a barrage of questions from reporters yesterday, White House spokesman Tony Snow said only that Bush had âno recollection of [the firings] ever being raised with him.â
this morning on what happens next:
If the White House refuses to comply, the judiciary committees will meet in coming weeks to decide whether to issue citations for contempt of Congress. If they do, the full Senate and House would have to follow suit.
That would set in motion the extraordinary spectacle of Congress enlisting the U.S. attorney for the District of Columbia to impanel a grand jury to seek the indictment of administration officials over their refusal to testify on the firings of eight of his colleagues.