For immediate release:
Susan Lehman, 212–998–6319
Maggie Barron, 212–998–6153
The opinion is a setback for the Administration which argued that executive privilege absolutely immunized White House advisors from Congressional subpoena power.
Click here to download opinion.
“The executive’s current claim of absolutely immunity from compelled Congressional process for senior presidential aides is without support in the case law,” Judge Bates wrote in his opinion.
“Despite the Bush Administration’s view, the President is not above the law, nor are his advisors,” said Brennan Center for Justice Attorney Emily Berman, “Today’s opinion affirms fundamental ideas about the limits of executive power within our constitutional system.”
As part of a bi-partisan coalition, The Brennan Center for Justice, Rutherford Institute, Judicial Watch and CREW submitted a joint amicus brief in support of the House Judiciary Committee and its authority to compel testimony from Miers and Bolton.
Judge Bates’ opinion pertains solely to the conflict between Miers, Bolten and the House Judiciary Committee but nonetheless has wider implications, notably for Karl Rove who advanced similar claims of executive privilege when called, by the same committee, to testify about possible politicization of prosecutions within the Department of Justice.
Last week, the House Judiciary recommended contempt charges against Rove in connection with his refusal to testify. The full House has not yet acted on this recommendation.
Brennan Center Attorney Emily Berman is available to talk about today’s opinion and questions it raises about executive privilege and traditional notions about separation of governmental power.
To schedule an interview with Emily Berman, please contact Susan Lehman at 212 998 6319 or firstname.lastname@example.org or Maggie Barron at 212 998 6153, email@example.com