Bush Directs Aides to Defy Subpoenas

Cites executive privilege in bid to stop Miers, Taylor testimony

By Dustin Lushing,  Newser Staff

Posted Jul 10, 2007 4:12 AM CDT

(Newser) – In an aggressive use of executive privilege, President Bush instructed two of his former aides yesterday to disregard congressional subpoenas demanding they testify about the attorney firings scandal. In a letter to Congress, Bush's counsel rebuffed Democratic senators for encroaching on internal White House affairs, bringing the two branches closer to an possible Supreme Court showdown.

Bush’s attempt to keep former White House counsel Harriet Miers and political director Sara Taylor from testifying "goes way beyond the proper scope of executive privilege," one political scientist tells the Washington Post. If they can’t come to an agreement, Congress will likely slap Bush with contempt, leaving the matter up to the federal courts.

Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Sen. Patrick Leahy, D-Vt., right, accompanied by Sen. Charles Schumer, D-N.Y.,  discusses the committee's issuance of subpoenas for the legal basis of the Bush administration's domestic surveillance program, Wednesday, June 27, 2007, on Capitol Hill in Washington. (AP Photo/Dennis Cook)
Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Sen. Patrick Leahy, D-Vt., right, accompanied by Sen. Charles Schumer, D-N.Y., discusses the committee's issuance of subpoenas for the legal basis of the Bush administration's...   (Associated Press)
US President George W. Bush listens to an introduction prior...
US President George W. Bush listens to an introduction prior...   (Getty Images (by Event))
Video image provided by C-SPAN, taken June 24, 2005, shows former White House political director Sara Taylor in Washington, during a speech on the Republican agenda before the College Republican National Committee. The chairmen of two congressional committees have issued subpoenas for testimony from Taylor and former White House counsel...
Video image provided by C-SPAN, taken June 24, 2005, shows former White House political director Sara Taylor in Washington, during a speech on the Republican agenda before the College Republican National...   (Associated Press)
es Dharapak/File)
es Dharapak/File)   (Associated Press)
President Bush gestures while delivering remarks at the White House Conference on the Americas, Monday, July 9, 2007, in Arlington, Va.  (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert)
President Bush gestures while delivering remarks at the White House Conference on the Americas, Monday, July 9, 2007, in Arlington, Va. (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert)   (Associated Press)
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