Court Rules Bush Aides Not Immune From Subpoenas
A federal judge in Washington today ruled against former Bush White House Counsel Harriet Miers and former White House Chief of Staff Josh Bolton in a lawsuit filed by the House Judiciary Committee. (See also, Dan Froomkin on the White House Immune Deficiency and Marcy Wheeler).
The Committee subpoenaed Ms. Miers to testify in the U.S. Attorney firing scandal. It also subpoenaed He a privilege log from Mr. Bolton. At the direction of President Bush, Miers and Bolton claimed that presidential aides are immune from congressional subpoenas based on principles of separation of powers and presidential autonomy.
The Court today ruled for the Judiciary Committee and rejected the immunity claim. The 93 page opinion is here.
The decision did not address Miers' and Boltons' claims of executive privilege, only immunity.[More...]
[O]n the merits of the Committee’s present claims the Court only resolves, and again rejects, the claim by the Executive to absolute immunity from compelled congressional process for senior presidential aides. The specific claims of executive privilege that Ms. Miers and Mr. Bolten may assert are not addressed -- and the Court expresses no view on such claims.
Judiciary Committee Chair John Conyers issued this statement after the ruling.
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