In a 7-5 vote, a House panel found that former White House counsel Harriet Miers was out of order when she rebuffed a subpoena calling for her to testify about her involvement in the US attorney firings last year. Miers declined to appear before the Judiciary Committee under orders from President Bush. The panel also found that the President's claim of executive privilege was inappropriate.
Today's decision is part of a broader face-off between Congress and the White House over the limits of executive privilege that may well end up in court. The vote is viewed as the first step by ongressional Democrats to pursue contempt charges in the widening US attorneys scandal.