July 19th, 2007
03:18 PM ET
4 years ago

Subcommittee votes to charge Bolten with contempt

White House Chief of Staff Josh Bolten.

WASHINGTON (CNN) - A House Judiciary subcommittee Thursday voted 7-3 to recommend contempt charges against White House Chief of Staff Josh Bolten.

It is the latest salvo in the ongoing battle between Democrats in Congress and the White House over the release of documents related to the controversial firings of eight U.S. attorneys.

The charges must still be voted on by the full committee, among other steps, before they could officially be filed.

Chairman John Conyers, D-Michigan, said in his opening statement to the committee, “The White House must understand that executive privilege is by no means absolute, and it must respect the important oversight obligations that we have to the American people. Non-compliance with our subpoena has stalled our ability to get to the heart of this very serious matter. It is regrettable that this process has reached this point, and it will undoubtedly cause us to consider further actions.”

White House spokeswoman Dana Perino told CNN, “It's unfortunate that the committee continues down this path, rather than accepting our offer of accommodation. That a president should be able to receive candid and confidential advice from his aides rests on solid legal ground. This principle, embedded in the separation of powers in the Constitution, applies equally to all three branches. We've seen this before – it's the umpteenth act in their ongoing show.”

– CNN Political Desk Managing Editor Steve Brusk


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soundoff (4 Responses)
  1. Brian Prosser Maine

    This has got to be the worst Congress in History. Democrats do nothing but fight, fight, fight. Disgusting!

    July 19, 2007 07:15 pm at 7:15 pm |
  2. Bob, San Francisco, CA

    What is she talking about with the separation of powers? All three branches until recently were dominated by one power–those loyal to the administration!

    These people make me ashamed of my country.

    July 19, 2007 07:33 pm at 7:33 pm |
  3. Jon, Washington, DC

    Which subcommittee? Come on CNN, I expect better than this.

    July 19, 2007 09:42 pm at 9:42 pm |
  4. Rick, Chicago Illinois

    Brian Prosser Maine ... This has got to be the worst Congress in History. Democrats do nothing but fight, fight, fight. Disgusting!

    What's disgusting Brian?

    That the fight to make sure out legal system isn't run by partisan political agendas is being obstructed by the current administration?

    Is that it?

    Or maybe WHAT this administration is trying to hide – the partisan politics behind the selective dismissal of U.S Attorneys for “performance related” reasons – after favorable job reviews?

    Is THAT it?

    Or is it the WAY they are trying to hide it, behind: fuzzy memories of DOJ officials; Gonzales blatant lies; the (illegal) use of unofficial e-mail accounts and servers for government business to hide e-mails; the "lost" and redacted emails and documents from the official servers; Dubya wanting oath-less and transcript-less testimony behind closed doors; Dubya using executive privilege to protect White House aids from testifying; others promising to plead the 5th and then abruptly resigning; Goodling admitting she broke civil service laws by inappropriately taking political considerations into account but not knowing specifically how; Sampson saying Gonzales testimony was “innacurate”; Goodling saying Deputy Attorney General Paul McNulty’s testimony was "not fully candid"; etc?

    Or is it ALL THREE above Brian?

    July 20, 2007 02:24 pm at 2:24 pm |