Leahy Takes Next Step On White House Subpoenas, Directing Compliance By Current And Former White House Officials

by Sabrina I. Pacifici on November 29, 2007

Follow up on previous postings on U.S. Attorney firings, today’s press release: “Taking the next step to enforce subpoenas that the White House has refused to heed, Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) Thursday ruled that White House claims of executive privilege and immunity in the Senate’s investigation of the mass firings of U.S. Attorneys are overbroad, unsubstantiated, and not legally valid to block current and former White House officials from fulfilling Judiciary Committee subpoenas. Leahy directed them to comply immediately with the subpoenas that were issued by the Committee earlier this year. Leahy issued subpoenas for documents and testimony to White House Chief of Staff Joshua Bolten and former White House political director Sara M. Taylor on June 13, 2007, and to former White House Deputy Chief of Staff Karl Rove and White House deputy political director J. Scott Jennings on July 26, 2007. Bolten produced none of the White House documents compelled by subpoena and Rove failed to appear at all before the Committee to testify as required by subpoena after the White House asserted a novel claim that he was immune from testifying. While Taylor and Jennings appeared before the Committee for sworn testimony, both cited the White House’s claim of executive privilege in failing to answer many of the Committee’s questions about their roles in the dismissals of U.S. Attorneys.”

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