Showdown: Judge Orders Harriet Myers to Testify and Congress Moves to Call Her to Hearing

U.S. District Judge John Bates has ruled that former White House Counsel Harriet Miers must testify in Congress — another ruling rejecting the arguments of Attorney General Michael Mukasey. Bates ruled that the House Judiciary Committee may proceed to schedule a hearing with Miers and Chairman John Conyers has indicated that he is going to do precisely that.

Conyers issued the following statement:

“Today’s ruling clearly rejects the White House’s efforts to run out the clock on the Committee’s investigation of DOJ politicization this Congress. I am heartened that Judge Bates recognized that the public interest in this matter is best served by the furtherance of the Committee’s investigation. The Committee intends to promptly schedule a hearing with Ms. Miers and stands ready as always to consider any reasonable offer of accommodation with the White House.”

Bates rejected a requested stay by the Justice Department to allow for an appeal. For a copy of the opinion, click here. Mukasey’s argument was always transparently weak and seemed designed to delay any final ruling until after the end of the Bush Administration — when many in the White House hope will make the matter moot. Mukasey’s arguments are wildly extreme in claiming that all of this testimony is privileged and he must know that it is unlikely to be sustained on appeal. Nevertheless, he continues to block any submission of the contempt cases to the grand jury and to block any serious criminal investigation into this and other scandals, including the torture program and the unlawful surveillance program.

For the full story, click here.

16 thoughts on “Showdown: Judge Orders Harriet Myers to Testify and Congress Moves to Call Her to Hearing”

  1. Update on one of the last people who still loves Bush! (from talkingpointsmemo)

    A federal appeals court has blocked former White House counsel Harriet Miers from testifying about the firing of nine U.S. attorneys until judges decide whether they have authority to wade into a battle that pits Congress against the Bush administration.

    Miers is supposed to testify at a House Judiciary Committee hearing next Thursday.

    . . . The three-judge panel gave House lawyers until 4 p.m. next Wednesday to make its case on why the court should uphold an earlier ruling forcing Miers to testify. The Justice Department must submit its own argument — why she should not — two days earlier, on Monday.

  2. Mr. Turley;

    Thank you for your great work and contribution to the School of Law!

    I found this on the youtube website and God forbid if there are more of these folks, it’s got to make you feel faint in your line of work. Just to think of the former Attny. General’s responses (let alone all else) severely contradicts and scar our US Justice System and Government reputation?

    P.S. I thought that ignorance of the Law was not an excuse? Doesn’t “I don’t call” fall into this category especially for one who know’s better?

  3. martha h
    1, August 27, 2008 at 7:40 pm

    Somebody let the asylum door open again I see ’cause the two percenters are back posting their BS again

    I’m going to have to second Gyges there with regards to rhetoric.

    This is thorougly vague statement that posseses no issues, redress, topics, or points even, other than a general “neener neener” declaration.

    Do you have these saved as a text file, and just post them randomly? Perhaps some auto-bot? Or program does it for you?

    What point were you attempting to refute, or address to support this general declaration of disdain? Was there a point?

    Or is this what they mean by “blogger Tourette’s”?

  4. I do not think that Miers will ignore another subpoena, but I would be surprised if an appeal isn’t immediately filed by the InJustice Department. Mukasey will continue to try to play out the clock. Conyers and Congress has the power to arrest Miers if they have stones to use it.
    A tes-tify is a Texan horse fly.

  5. Who cares if Meyers “must” testify? She will ignore her orders with Bush’s blessing, just like Rove did. The people who serve Herr Bush are above the law, while people are more concerned about how Paula is going to get along with the new judge in American Idol.

  6. If this is not pursued to the very end so that all involved are revealed, I officially give up on the government and people in general. If finding out who Bill Clinton had relations with was of such critical importance, certainly a deliberate and demanding investigation of unlawful and unethical government conduct is not just acceptable but mandated!

  7. Martha,

    I must have slept through “political rhetoric shorthandof ” day, two percent of what?

    Also, if wanting oversight of the executive branch is crazy, then I’d like to request a room next to Chief Bromden.

  8. Somebody let the asylum door open again I see ’cause the two percenters are back posting their BS again.

  9. At least a member of one of the three branches of the Govt. believes that they should be equal.

  10. When Harriet Miers was ordered to testify, she responded to Judge Bates by saying; “What’s a testify?”

  11. It has been frustrating for those who know the law and those who lived through Watergate that executive privilege “doesn’t”(cannot) trump Congressional rights to investigate.


  12. It has been frustrating for those who know the law and those who lived through Watergate that executive privilege doesn’t trump Congressional rights to investigate. The requests for Miers, et. al’s. testimony was certainly reasonable and the Executive was claiming unheard of powers to frustrate these requests to cover up its’ unlawful dealings. The failure of Republic Congresspeople and some of their Democratic counterparts to protect the independence of Legislative powers is a disgrace and a dereliction of duty.

  13. This is encouraging – the subpoenas will expire with a new Congress in Jan ’09 even though the matter should not.

  14. The decision is online at the District Court’s website;

    I don’t think the Supreme Court’s decision is a foregone conclusion. Bates’s original decision (also at the Court’s website) is a summary of settled law, much of it based on Justice Department opinions from Republican administrations.

    They will now try to get a stay from a panel of the Court of Appeals, but that, too, is unlikely, since stays pending appeal are not favored. The Supreme Court may well decline to grant cert, since the decision does not seem to break any new ground.

    I doubt if the matter will become moot with a new administration. The Judiciary Committee is likely to continue its pursuit.

  15. Well, we know what the US Supreme Court will rule and that is where it is headed.

    More political theatrics to head off protests from the left that never got to see Carl Rove frog marched.

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