Judge Rules White House Can No Longer Protect Aides From Testimony

The federal branch of Government has made another ruling against the current Administration, further undermining the legitimacy of the Bush presidency but also opening the possibilities of bringing these war criminals to justice but we’ll see how the controlling Dems will play this hand out, after all this should bolster their attempts to snatch up Karl Rove now.

via Reuters

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – A U.S. judge ruled against the Bush administration in its fight with Congress over a probe into the firings of U.S. attorneys by refusing on Tuesday to delay an order that current and former White House aides comply with congressional subpoenas.

Federal judge John Bates ruled that he would not put off his July order that former White House counsel Harriet Miers testify to Congress, and that Chief of Staff Josh Bolten surrender documents related to the 2006 firings.

He said on Tuesday that the administration had failed to make its case that the order should be delayed while the administration appeals it.

Bates said the White House should now turn over requested documents and urged negotiations with Congress over Miers’ testimony, in what has become one of the fiercest battles in the Bush administration’s effort to strengthen presidential and executive-branch powers.

“Both sides indicated that discussions regarding an accommodation have resumed,” Bates wrote in his ruling. “The court once again urges the political branches to resolve this dispute without further recourse to the judicial branch.”

Congress has subpoenaed the two officials in its probe over whether the administration improperly fired nine U.S. attorneys for political reasons. But the White House has rejected the subpoenas, arguing that the officials immune from such orders from Congress.

Bates, who was appointed to the federal bench by President George W. Bush, ruled in July that the aides were not immune and Congress could force them to testify or provide documents. He did not specify a deadline, and noted on Tuesday that any congressional hearing on Miers was unlikely to occur until late September.

White House spokesman Tony Fratto said, “we’re reviewing the order and will respond at the appropriate time.”

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