WASHINGTON – Flexing their political muscle against the White House, Democrats in the House and Senate are insisting that President Bush’s top aides describe their roles in the firings of eight federal prosecutors on the record and under oath.
A House committee was to vote Wednesday to authorize subpoenas for political director Karl Rove and other administration officials despite Bush’s declaration a day earlier that Democrats must accept his offer to allow the officials to talk privately to the House and Senate Judiciary Committees, but not under oath and not on the record.
Would he fight Democrats in court to protect his aides against congressional subpoenas?
“Absolutely,” Bush declared Tuesday in televised remarks from the White House.
Democrats promptly rejected the offer and announced that they would start authorizing subpoenas within 24 hours.
“Testimony should be on the record and under oath. That’s the formula for true accountability,” said Sen. Patrick Leahy, D-Vt., chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee.