Bush Claims Executive Privilege re: U.S. Attorney Firings

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The president refused today to hand over subpoenaed documents related to the U.S. attorney firings, or to allow the subpoenaed testimony of former White House counsel Harriet Miers and former political affairs advisor Sara Taylor. Bush claimed that doing so would violate his executive privilege to obtain candid advice from his administration. Every president since World War II has eventually complied with congressional subpoenas, although Nixon and Clinton went to court and lost before acquiescing. There is little constitutional precedent establishing how far the privilege really extends, and Congress is standing firm in its demands, so a showdown is in the making.

Bush’s exact words were: This violates my legislexecutive—what is it again, Dick? My executive prilivege—just leave me the hell alone, okay, y’all? Damn! I’m the decider! (Note: This last part may or may not actually have occurred.)

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