As we reported in our last post about former White House Political Director Sara Taylor’s currently ongoing appearance before the Senate Judiciary Committee, near the start of her testimony Taylor declined to answer three questions from Sen. Pat Leahy, D-Vt., the chairman of the committee because of the president’s assertion of executive privilege in regards to her testimony. But the committee has just returned from a recess, and when Leahy began questioning her again, things went more than a little differently.
Before the recess, in responding to Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse, D-R.I., Taylor had said that she “was a deputy assistant to the president… a commissioned officer,” and because of that position, she said, “I took an oath. And I take that oath to the president very seriously.”
But, in fact, as Leahy pointed out after the recess, the oath that Taylor took was to the Constitution, not the president, and Taylor conceded that she had been wrong. At that point, Leahy repeated his earlier questions, and this time Taylor answered.
“Since the 2004 election, did you speak with President Bush about replacing U.S. Attorneys?” Leahy asked first.
“I did not speak to the president about replacing U.S. Attorneys,” Taylor responded.
“Did you attend any meeting with the president since the 2004 election in which the removal and replacement of U.S. Attorneys were discussed?” Leahy asked.
“I did not attend any meetings with the president where that matter was discussed,” Taylor said.
And finally, Leahy repeated the third question he had asked earlier:
“Are you aware of any presidential decision documents since the 2004 election in which President Bush decided to proceed with a replacement plan for U.S. Attorneys?”
“I am not aware of a presidential decision document,” Taylor responded.