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Thursday, Jul 12, 2007, 11:30 am

Miers Contempt Process Begins

By Brian Zick

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Matt Apuzzo for A reports:
A House panel cleared the way Thursday for contempt proceedings against former White House counsel Harriet Miers after she obeyed President Bush and skipped a hearing on the firings of federal prosecutors.

Addressing the empty chair where Miers had been subpoenaed to testify, Rep. Linda Sanchez ruled out of order Bush's executive privilege claim that his former advisers are immune from being summoned before Congress.

The House Judiciary subcommittee that Sanchez chairs voted 7-5 to sustain her ruling. The next step would be for the full Judiciary Committee to issue a finding that Miers, Bush's longtime friend and former Supreme Court nominee, was in contempt. Ultimately, the full House would have to vote on any contempt citation.

"Those claims are not legally valid," Sanchez, D-Calif., said of Bush's declaration, made Monday. "Ms. Miers is required pursuant to the subpoena to be here now."
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