Separation of Powers

Bush Firm in Privilege Dispute

Updated: President Bush is refusing to provide a log of documents being withheld under a claim of executive privilege in the firings of at least eight federal prosecutors.

Bush is citing the privilege in refusing to provide testimony by two former aides, former political director Sara Taylor and ex-White House counsel Harriet Miers.

The Democratic chairmen of the House and Senate Judiciary Committees had given Bush a deadline of 10 a.m. EDT to explain why he was asserting executive privilege and to provide logs of documents being withheld.

White House counsel Fred Fielding said in a letter (PDF posted by the Washington Post) that he would not comply, the Associated Press reports. “The committees have already prejudged the question, regardless of the production of any privilege log,” Fielding wrote. “In such circumstances, we will not be undertaking such a project, even as a further accommodation.”

Field did say the women could be made available for private interviews that are off the record.

Despite the privilege claim, Taylor may still testify on Wednesday, AP says. It’s not known if Miers will testify on Thursday.

Indications that Taylor may testify could force the administration to go to court to block her decision to appear rather than wait for Congress to enforce subpoenas, the New York Sun reports.

Originally posted on 07-09-2007 at 10:55 AM.

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