White House Denies Subpoenas

‘WASHINGTON — WASHINGTON — President Bush’s decision to defy congressional demands for documents and testimony in the U.S. attorneys case leaves Democrats with a difficult choice of lowering their sights in the investigation or facing a long and uncertain court fight.

‘The White House told congressional leaders Monday that Bush was asserting executive privilege in response to the request for access to senior officials and documents about the politically charged firing of eight U.S. attorneys last year. Thedeclaration said that turning over such evidence would harm the president’s ability to obtain candid advice from aides.

‘The apparent unwillingness of the White House to engage in the sort of political compromise that has marked such previous subpoena battles has put the tug-of-war in uncertain terrain. Congress is left having to decide whether to move forward with contempt proceedings against administration officials or accept a limited offer of cooperation that White House counsel Fred Fielding renewed Monday in a letter to congressional leaders.’ (LA Times article).