House Democratic leaders are mulling a criminal contempt resolution against White House Chief of Staff Joshua Bolten and former White House Counsel Harriet Miers for disregarding congressional subpoenas in the U.S. attorney investigation, according to a report by Politico.com.
According to the report, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., would be able to gather 218 votes needed to push through the resolution from Democrats alone.
Pelosi is on record that she will take whatever steps are needed to enforce the subpoenas -- but Democrats have so far balked at a potential constitutional confrontation with President Bush over executive authority.
Meanwhile, House Judiciary Committee Chairman John Conyers Jr., D-Mich., says the contempt motion could be brought to the House floor “as early as next week.”
The Judiciary Committee subpoenaed Miers and Bolten this past summer, seeking to query Miers on the role of the White House in the firing of nine U.S. attorneys last year. Bolten was summoned to Capitol Hill to authenticate White House documents related to the prosecutor firings.
Michael Mukasey, the former federal judge nominated as Attorney General has signaled the Senate Judiciary Committee that a legal battle between the executive and legislative branches wasn’t a fight he was eager to wage.
“I hope and pray for a lot of things,’’ he said, “and one of them is that I won't have to make that decision.”
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