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National Briefing | WASHINGTON, D.C.

Lawyers battle over House suit

June 24, 2008|From Times Wire Reports

Lawyers for the White House and Congress sparred in federal court over whether lawmakers can force top presidential advisors to testify or produce documents for a legislative committee.

The House Judiciary Committee, which is investigating the firings of U.S. attorneys in 2006, filed a lawsuit in March seeking to force former White House Counsel Harriet E. Miers to testify about a possible White House role in the dismissals. She has refused to appear, citing executive privilege. The committee also sued to force White House Chief of Staff Joshua B. Bolten to produce documents he says are protected by executive privilege.

The lawsuit is the first time either chamber of Congress has sued the president to force compliance with a subpoena.

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