July 9, 2007
President Tells Two - NO TALKING PLEASE
Peter Baker and Dan Eggen of the Washington Post report that President Bush, through his counsel, issued a statement telling former White House Counsel Harriet Miers and political director Sarah Taylor that they should hold their comments because executive privilege applies. The topic they were subpoenaed to testify about relates to the "firing" of U.S. Attorneys. This will mean that these two individuals will not be answering questions - at least for now- pursuant to the subpoenas issued to them. Or will they? The Washington Post also raises the issue of whether these two are bound by this Executive statement.
The question between the legislative and executive branches could likely end up in the courts with the issue being whether the scope of the Executive Privilege extends to their testimony, testimony that includes emails sent on a Republican National Committee email account (see here).
But what if Miers and Taylor were to defy the President and talk. Who would be charged with making them stay silent? Perhaps the more interesting question would arise if these two women decided that this country needs to hear what they have to say. But after seeing the power of the President in commuting the Libby sentence, this could make for a most difficult time.
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