Expert: Rove executive privilege claim won’t stand up in court

07/17/2008 @ 10:08 am

Filed by David Edwards and Nick Juliano

NYU professor says Bush power claims ‘wider than Nixon’

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In the waning days of George W. Bush’s presidency, it seems that every week brings a new showdown with Congress over the president’s refusal to let his aides testify in the investigation of the US Attorney firing scandal.

MSNBC host Dan Abrams discussed the latest subpoena showdowns involving former Bush aide Karl Rove and Attorney General Michael Mukasey Wednesday night. Rove ignored a subpoena to testify a a House Judiciary subcommittee hearing, and Mukasey is refusing an Oversight Committee subpoena to hand over transcripts of the FBI’s interview with Vice President Dick Cheney during its Valerie Plame investigation. So far neither committee has voted to hold the officials in contempt of Congress.

New York University law professor Michael Waldman told Abrams Congress’ threats were becoming “hard to believe” and he worried about the extent to which Congress was willing to recognize Bush’s claims of executive privilege. Abrams qualified the restrictions as “no one is allowed to testify if they work for the president.”

“It’s much wider than previous administrations have claimed, even than Nixon claimed,” Waldman said. “And the fact of the matter is I think something like that will not stand up in court.”

“If I was the president I wouldn’t be too worried about this Congress either,” Abrams scoffed. “The fact that they have taken no action against Karl Rove — almost a week after he refused to even show up to assert his privilege — sure makes it seem like they’re willing to take it on the chin and avoid taking any action to enforce these subpoenas.”



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