Live at the Miers, Bolten Contempt Hearings

This post, written by Christy Hardin Smith, originally appeared on FireDogLake

I'll try and liveblog the HJC Contempt proceedings as best I can this morning. Please, I beg you, keep comments to a minimum so we don't have to start new threads so frequently. It makes it really tough to liveblog if I'm constantly having to start a new thread. Thanks!

Some background on the HJC foundations for seeking contempt against Harriet Miers and Joshua Bolten from Amy Goldstein in the WaPo today. The hearing will be broadcast live on C-Span3.


10:20 am ET Chairman Conyers just arrived in the meeting room. Hearing should begin shortly.

10:23 am ET: Rep. Conyers gavelling the hearing into session.

REP. CONYERS: There are a number of items on our agenda today, the matters involving Ms. Miers and Mr. Bolten and various other matters. Taking care of a subcommittee assignment.

Regarding Harriet Miers and Joshua Bolten, for purposes of consideration.

Clerk now reading the resolution for Contempt of Congress.

REP. CONYERS OPENING: Today, the committee will consider a report to cite Miers and Bolten with contempt of Congress. It is not a matter that I take lightly, but it is essential to challenge improper assertion of executive privilege, and to protect the institutional prerogatives of Congress as a co-equal branch of government. The investigation we have been engaged in over the last several months is an important one -- not about whether USAttys serve at pleasure of President, they clearly do. What it is about is whether Administration officials can use the USattys to influence pending criminal investigations or influence an election, whether Admin. officials are permitted to make false statements to the Congress, and whether the American people can be certain that the laws are fairly and imparitally enforced.

This committee has done what Congress has always done: we sought documents and testimony on a voluntary procedure, and only through compulsory process when we had to do so. We have been open at all times to reasonable compromise, and fully cognizant of the prerogatives of the Executive Branch. What I am not open to is a "take it or leave it" attitude. This is the only proposal that we have ever received from WH counsel -- I hope all members, regardless of party affiliation, see the problems inherent in this proposal to the Congress for future matters.

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