Thursday, June 28, 2007

No, says White House. Yes, says Conyers..Or else...

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Conyers Threatens Contempt Citation After White House Asserts Privilege
By Rachel Van Dongen
Roll Call
Thursday 28 June 2007

Setting up a battle royal between Congress and the White House, the Bush administration asserted executive privilege Thursday morning in denying requests from lawmakers for documents and testimony from former top White House officials related to the ongoing U.S. attorneys probe.

House Judiciary Chairman John Conyers (D-Mich.) immediately suggested that a contempt of Congress citation may be necessary.

"The President's response to our subpoena shows an appalling disregard for the right of the people to know what is going on in their government," Conyers said.

"At this point, I see only one choice in moving forward, and that is to enforce the rule of law set forth in these subpoenas."

Senate Judiciary Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) called the move a "further shift by the Bush administration into Nixonian stonewalling."

"This White House cannot have it both ways. They cannot stonewall Congressional investigations by refusing to provide documents and witnesses, while claiming nothing improper occurred," he added.

"Increasingly, the president and vice president feel they are above the law - in America no one is above law."

Added Sen. Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.), who has been leading the U.S. attorneys probe: "The president seems to be saying: 'How can I stonewall? Let me count the ways.'"

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