House Judiciary issues subpoenas to RNC, warns Miers

Continuing the showdown with the White House over the investigation into the firing of U.S. attorneys, the committee demands RNC e-mails and that Harriet Miers comply with a subpoena.


Alex Koppelman
July 13, 2007 10:23PM (UTC)

The House Judiciary Committee has just issued subpoenas to the Republican National Committee. Authorized on Thursday, the subpoenas require the RNC to turn over any e-mails sent by White House officials on RNC accounts that might relate to the investigation into the firing of nine U.S. attorneys.

The subpoenas require that the RNC turn the e-mails over to the House Judiciary Committee by Tuesday, July 17, at 10 a.m. The committee had requested the e-mails in April, and have already given guidance to the RNC's lawyer as to which e-mails fall under the subpoena; in a letter sent to the RNC's lawyer, committee chair Rep. John Conyers Jr., D-Mich., says he understands that the RNC has already gone through and identified those e-mails. But in a letter earlier this month to the RNC, special counsel to the president Emmett T. Flood "direct[ed] the RNC not to disclose ... without prior authorization of the White House" the majority of the e-mails requested.

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Separately, Conyers also wrote to George T. Manning, the lawyer for former White House counsel Harriet Miers, who failed to appear as scheduled yesterday for a subcommittee hearing for which she had been subpoenaed.

"Federal law makes it very clear that recipients of a congressional subpoena must appear -- regardless of whether or not they intend to assert privilege once they arrive," Conyers writes. "... This letter is to formally notify you that we must insist on compliance with the subpoena, and that your client's failure to promptly mitigate her noncompliance could subject her to contempt proceedings."

In the letter, Conyers gives Miers and her lawyer until 5 p.m. on Tuesday to respond in writing as to whether Miers will comply.

"If I do not hear from you in the affirmative by then," Conyers writes, "the Committee will have no choice but to consider appropriate recourse."


Alex Koppelman

Alex Koppelman is a staff writer for Salon.

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