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House ups the ante on Gonzales

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Congress is rushing headlong into its confrontation with the executive branch.

The House Judiciary Committee has voted to issue contempt citations for Joshua Bolton and Harriet Miers. If the full House approves the citations — and it could be weeks before that occurs, thanks to Congress’ upcoming summer break — they will be referred to a U.S. attorney for possible prosecution. That will trigger a court battle when the president cites executive privilege as reason for the attorney to ignore the citations.

Although the committee vote was along party lines, that doesn’t mean Republicans weren’t up for a fight with Bush. James Sensenbrenner, the former chairman of the committee, said Congress instead should have filed a suit challenging Bush’s executive privilege claim.

The text (pdf) of the committee memo (all 70 pages of it) outlines not only the reasons for the citations but also the Democratic case for the investigation into the prosecutor firings.

According to the WaPo summary, it’s mostly a compilation of everything that has come up in this whole flap, as well as a lot of fingerpointing at Rove and a rebuttal of Bush’s most recent assertion that federal prosecutors cannot undermine an executive privilege claim.

Having nothing better to do, I read through the report. Here are a few key excerpts:

(continued over at Midtopia)