Bush tells Congress to accept compromise on White House US Attorney testimony Ryan Olden at 7:43 PM ET
[JURIST] US President George W. Bush [official profile] warned Congressional Democrats Tuesday to accept his compromise [text] to allow top White House aides to testify about the firings of US Attorneys [official website] before the Senate Judiciary Committee [official website]. The Senate Judiciary Committee had called for Bush's close ad visors, including former White House Counsel Harriet Miers and Deputy Chief of Staff Karl Rove [official profile], to testify under oath about their involvement in the recent Justice Department scandal [JURIST news archive]. In response, Counsel to the President Fred Fielding proposed a private questioning session, not under oath. Leading Senate Democrat Chuck Schumer (D-NY) [official website] argued against the compromise, saying testimony would be "almost meaningless" without the threat of perjury and an accompanying transcript. Calling the move a "partisan fishing expedition," Bush has now declared that he will fight any attempt to subpoena his advisors.
Congress wants Miers and Rove to testify on allegations that the firings of several US Attorneys by US Attorney General Alberto Gonzales [official profile] were politically motivated. The accusations have led Congress to consider restricting [JURIST report] the Attorney General's power to appoint interim US Attorneys. Despite Bush's assertions that Gonzales has "got support with me," reports have surfaced that the White House is considering potential replacements [JURIST report]. AP has more.
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