Way to start the week with a bang:
President Bush invoked executive privilege Monday to deny requests by Congress for testimony from two former aides about the firings of federal prosecutors.
The White House, however, did offer again to make former counsel Harriet Miers and one-time political director Sara Taylor available for private, off-the-record interviews.
Great. That “private, off-the-record interviews” thing just keeps getting better and better. Especially from my perspective as a private citizen of the country by whom the president is employed and to whose private citizens he’s meant to answer.
[White House counsel Fred Fielding] was responding to a 10 a.m. EDT deadline set by the Democratic chairmen, Sen. Patrick Leahy of Vermont and Rep. John Conyers of Michigan, for the White House to explain it’s privilege claim, prove that the president personally invoked it and provide logs of which documents were being withheld.
As expected, Fielding refused to comply. He said he was acting at Bush’s direction, and he complained that the committees had decided to enforce the subpoenas whether or not the White House complied.
“The committees have already prejudged the question, regardless of the production of any privilege log,” Fielding wrote. “In such circumstances, we will not be undertaking such a project, even as a further accommodation.”
Got that? Bush won’t even explain why it’s invoking privilege, likely because it does not have a legally valid basis for it in the first place. So their best defense is to accuse Congress of being prejudiced, despite the fact that Congress needs the information so that they can judge at all, prejudging having nothing to do with it. Of course, the White House knows full well that handing over the logs will mean they can’t continue to accuse Congress of a witch hunt, because Congress will either find something or not find something. And if they were going to not find something, well, why not hand the bloody things over and let’s be done with it?!
Meanwhile, let’s at least put impeachment back on the table, shall we, Dems?