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Wednesday, Jul 11, 2007, 3:23 pm

Miers Stiffs Committee, Conyers Says Failure to Respond to Subpoena Could Trigger Contempt Process

By Brian Zick
Jesse Lee at The Gavel reports:
Today, attorney George T. Manning, representing former White House Counsel Harriet Miers, rescinded his prior confirmation that Ms. Miers would attend the House Judiciary Committee’s hearing on Thursday in response to a subpoena and would assert executive privilege to certain questions posed by the Committee, as directed by the President.

Judiciary Committee Chairman John Conyers and Subcommittee Chairwoman Linda Sánchez responded to Mr. Manning today:
From the letter:
We are aware of absolutely no court decision that supports the notion that a former White House official has the option of refusing to even appear in response to a Congressional subpoena. To the contrary, the courts have made clear that no present or former government official – even the President – is above the law and may completely disregard a legal directive such as the Committee’s subpoena.
(...)
A refusal to appear before the Subcommittee tomorrow could subject Ms. Miers to contempt proceedings, including but not limited to proceedings under 2 U.S.C. § 194 and under the inherent contempt authority of the House of Representatives.

We are prepared at the hearing tomorrow to consider and rule on any specific assertions of privilege in response to specific questions. We strongly urge you to reconsider, and to advise your client to appear before the Subcommittee tomorrow pursuant to her legal obligations. The Subcommittee will convene as scheduled and expects Ms. Miers to appear as required by her subpoena.
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