Fight between House and Miers goes to court

Might the Bush administration keep former White House counsel Harriet Miers from testifying before congress by simply running out the clock?


That is what federal judges wondered yesterday at a hearing on whether Miers should be compelled to testify before congress about the firings of U.S. Attorneys, which Democratic lawmakers believe was politically motivated.

As House Judiciary Committee Chairman John Conyers., Jr., watched, a panel of judges from the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia wondered whether continuing a stay keeping Miers from testifying would allow the executive branch to appeal the matter until January – when the administration ends. That, the judges said, could essentially twart the actions of Congress, which subpoenaed her.

Continuing the stya could mean “mooting the victory the House committee won,” said Judge David S. Tatel, the Associated Press reported.


The Judiciary Committee ordered Miers to testify and White House chief of staff Josh Bolten to turn over documents related to the 2006 prosecutor firings. When they refused, the House voted to hold Miers and Bolten in contempt of congress.

“It is very important to get to the bottom of the U.S. attorney firings, and the extraordinary White House efforts to keep Harriet Miers from testifying only underscore the committee’s need to hear from her,” said Conyers yesterday.


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