The House Judiciary Committee announced today that it will meet Wednesday to vote on issuing contempt citations for former White House counsel Harriet Miers and White House chief of staff Joshua Bolten over their refusal to testify and provide documents related to the firings of U.S. attorneys.
Judiciary Committee chairman John Conyers, D-Mich., had given Bolten until 10 a.m. today to produce the subpoenaed documents after he failed to bring them to the committee hearing last Thursday, citing executive privilege. But things got even more complicated the next day, when it was reported that the Bush administration upped the ante in the ongoing executive privilege battle by warning that if Congress issued contempt citations, the White House would forbid the Justice Department from enforcing them.
But Conyers appears unbowed by this new assertion of power by the executive branch. He issued this statement today: "This investigation, including the reluctant but necessary decision to move forward with contempt, has been a very deliberative process, taking care at each step to respect the executive branch's legitimate prerogatives ... I've allowed the White House and Ms. Miers every opportunity to cooperate with this investigation, either voluntarily or under subpoena. It is still my hope that they will reconsider this hard-line position, and cooperate with our investigation so that we can get to the bottom of this matter."