White House aides have no immunity, U.S. judge rules

WASHINGTON - A federal judge yesterday rejected President Bush's contention that senior White House advisers are immune from subpoenas, siding with Congress' power to investigate the executive branch and handing a victory to Democrats probing the dismissal of nine federal prosecutors.

The ruling undercut three presidential confidants who have defied congressional subpoenas for information that Mr. Bush says is protected by executive privilege. Democrats swiftly announced they would set hearings in September, at the height of election season.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said the House soon could vote on a contempt citation against one of the three officials, Karl Rove, formerly President Bush's top adviser.

"It certainly strengthens our hand," she said. "This decision should send a clear signal to the Bush Administration that it must cooperate fully with Congress and that former administration officials Harriet Miers and Karl Rove must testify before Congress."

That wasn't clear at all to the White House or Mr. Rove's attorney. Bush Administration lawyers were reviewing the ruling and were expected to appeal. They also could seek a stay that would suspend any further congressional proceedings.

"We disagree with the district court's decision," White House spokesman Dana Perino said.

The case marked the first time Congress has gone to court to demand the testimony of White House aides.


No votes yet

"Democrats swiftly announced they would set hearings in September, at the height of election season.

So what I'm hearing is party politics. Does this mean they will repeal it when a Democrat is elected prez? I'm just curious - not defending Bush Administration at all.

Hopefully, this is a step in leading Congress back to it's proper role as a check on the Executive Branch. Whoever becomes President, one thing is certain---the Executive Branch has become far too powerful and needs to be brought down to it's rightful place---as a co-equal branch of gov't with the Legislative and Judicial

Pink Slip

true that....true that.

Bush has repeatedly tried to place the Executive Branch above and beyond both the Courts and Congress. His blatant disregard for the legal process and balance of power is frankly shocking, and needs to see its time in court.

Makes me sad that this is playing out now. Shows how ineffective the Dems have been in Congress, and this is a way to convey an image of "accomplishing something", and trying to blacken the Repub's eye going into election season. Silly.

Bush has putsched the constitution. It's been a bloodless, internal coup that has put him over and above the courts and legislature and set the US up for a dictatorship in the future. This administration has done more harm to the constitution and balances of power than anyone since the Civil War.

What's the big deal ? The attorney general should have just admitted that he flat out fired them . All administrations do this.

When Bubba Clinton fired 90 federal prosecutors, it was OK. Not one word was said.

Now it's a problem

When Bubba Clinton LIED under oath to a Grand Jury about an affair, it was OK because "it was only about sex. Everyone lies about sex" ( a direct quote from Democrats on this very website)
Yet now, when Marc Dann or James Hartung have an alleged affair and when Kwame Kilpatrick has an affiar and lies under oath to a Grand Jury, it is BAD.

When Libs/Dems loose an election in 2000 they screech about "count every vote" in Florida. But when Dems have a Primary Presidential Election in Florida and Michigan that the DNC doesn't want them to have, then THOSE VOTES DON'T COUNT.

Don't blame me,
I didn't vote for a

Is it any different for either party?

No, not really.

Both claim this or that and do the opposite.

Both have enough scandals to keep us amused for years and years. Iran/Contra, Watergate, Whitewater, S&L Scandal, etc....

Clinton's scandal in 1996 was okay?

All for the public to review, as well as Bush's scandals in the not too distant future.


The Bush Justice Department didn't just fire some attorneys. If memory serves me right, they were fired in the midst of the term because they were not considered to be partisan enough for the White House AND they were fired in the midst of important investigations. The Justice Department is supposed to be blind regarding political affiliation. Most administrations get rid of the old attorneys when they come into office.

Your point about lying about sex is incomplete. Kwame paid out several millions of taxpayers' dollars in hush money to keep that affair a secret. Now that's criminal. If it's true, Hartung paid out hundreds of thousands to a consultant he was porking. Maybe a conflict of interest?

But the real point of this thread is the wide range of powers that this administration has consistently claimed for itself. It claims at all times executive privilege in all matters. Bush also attaches signing statements to just about every bill that clears the congress that basically says he will ignore the law. I won't go into conducting illegal wars and ordering the torture of combatants. The list goes on and on.

I'm not saying that Democrats haven't aided and abetted this administration. As far as I am concerned, they are as guilty as the administration. A pox on both their houses. Both the Dems and the Republicans are morally bankrupt.

Agreed Pete. This isn't about one administration cleaning house of the former administration's attorneys. These were Republican appointees being fired for not going after false trumped-up charges of voter fraud. The fired attorneys were Republican--but they weren't crooked. And that spelled their demise.

Pink Slip

Comment viewing options

Select your preferred way to display the comments and click "Save settings" to activate your changes.