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  House Approves Contempt Citations Against Bolten, Miers
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Last EditedRBH  Feb 14, 2008 03:35pm
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MediaNewspaper - Washington Post
News DateThursday, February 14, 2008 09:00:00 PM UTC0:0
DescriptionThe House today approved contempt of Congress citations against White House Chief of Staff Joshua A. Bolten and former White House counsel Harriet E. Miers for their refusal to cooperate with an investigation into the mass firings of U.S. attorneys and allegations that administration officials sought to politicize the Justice Department.

The House voted 223-32 in favor of the citations, the first against the executive branch since the Reagan administration. The vote came after a morning of tense partisan fights over procedural motions and bickering over parliamentary rules, capped off by most House Republicans walking off the floor and refusing to vote. Republicans said the chamber should instead be approving a surveillance law passed by the Senate and supported by President Bush.

But Democrats said they were left with no choice but to engage in a constitutional showdown with Bush because he has refused for nearly a year to allow any current or former West Wing staffers to testify in the congressional inquiry. Citing executive privilege, the president has offered their testimony only if it is taken without transcripts and not under oath.

"This is beyond arrogance. This is hubris taken to the ultimate degree," Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) said in the closing moments of the debate.
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