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Rove, Miers agree to testify on US attorney firings before House committee

[JURIST] Former White House advisor Karl Rove and former White House Counsel Harriet Miers [BBC profiles] will provide testimony before the US House Judiciary Committee [official website] concerning the firing of US Attorneys [JURIST news archive], allegedly for political reasons, the committee announced [press release] Wednesday after reaching an agreement with Bush administration officials. The agreement between the previous administration and chairman of the committee John Conyers, Jr. (D-MI) [official website], follows a decision [opinion, PDF; JURIST report] by US District Judge John Bates which rejected the administration's position that senior White House officials are protected from congressional subpoena by executive privilege. The committee also said that it has reserved the right to depose former White House lawyer William Kelley, who was involved in firings. Many members of Congress applauded the agreement, including Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) [official website] who said [press release], "the agreement for Karl Rove and Harriet Miers to testify upholds a fundamental principle: no one is above the law and Congressional subpoenas must be complied with."

In July, Rove refused to testify [JURIST report] before the House Judiciary Committee in defiance of a subpoena during the committee's investigation into politicization of the US Department of Justice (DOJ) [official website]. In March 2008, the House Judiciary Committee filed a lawsuit to enforce subpoenas seeking information from Miers and former White House Chief of Staff Joshua Bolton regarding the firings. In 2007, Rove refused to testify [JURIST report] before a scheduled hearing of the Senate Judiciary Committee [official website] in regards to the 2006-2007 attorney firings. The Bush administration had asserted executive privilege in allowing Miers, Bolton, and Rove to withhold testimony.

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