Justice Dept. to White House officials: Ignore Congress – Los Angeles Times

Justice Dept. to White House officials: Ignore Congress – Los Angeles Times
WASHINGTON — In a broadly worded legal opinion, the Justice Department has concluded that President Bush’s former top lawyer, and possibly other senior White House officials, can ignore subpoenas from Congress to testify about the U.S. attorneys affair.

The three-page opinion raises questions about whether the Justice Department would prosecute senior administration officials if Congress voted to hold them in contempt for not cooperating with the investigation into the firing last year of eight top prosecutors.

The opinion was prepared this week by the department’s Office of Legal Counsel, in response to questions from former White House counsel Harriet E. Miers, who was subpoenaed to testify Thursday before the House Judiciary Committee. Miers told the panel in a letter faxed Tuesday night that she would not be appearing, citing the Justice memo and advice from the White House.

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