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Leahy Says He May Seek Charge Of Contempt Against President
|Last Edited||Scott³ Jul 02, 2007 03:05pm|
|Media||Newspaper - Washington Post|
|News Date||Monday, July 2, 2007 09:00:00 PM UTC0:0|
|Description||Washington Post article. |
"The chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee said yesterday that he will attempt to cite the White House for criminal contempt of Congress if it does not turn over documents related to the firing of nine federal prosecutors.
"If they don't cooperate, yes, I'd go that far," Sen. Patrick J. Leahy (D-Vt.) said on NBC's "Meet the Press." "This is very important to the American people."
Leahy's comments raise the stakes in a growing conflict between the Democrat-controlled Congress and the Bush White House, suggesting that the constitutional clash may end up in a court case that could last beyond Bush's tenure as president.
Congressional investigators want testimony, internal e-mails and other documents to clarify what role President Bush's senior staff members played in the Justice Department's removal of nine prosecutors last year. The firings have triggered bipartisan calls for Attorney General Alberto R. Gonzales to resign.
The White House has refused congressional requests for information, asserting executive privilege, a claim invoked since George Washington's time to mean that the separation of powers embodied in the Constitution allows each branch to operate freely from the control or supervision of the others."
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