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July 31st, 2008
04:55 PM ET

Judge: Bush officials can be subpoenaed

The House Judiciary Committee voted, 20 to 14, along party lines to cite Rove for defying its subpoena.

The House Judiciary Committee voted, 20 to 14, along party lines to cite Rove for defying its subpoena.

FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

There's a long history of the Bush administration simply ignoring subpoenas from Congress. Not that Congress has gone out of its way to exercise oversight of the executive branch. But when it does, President Bush just laughs out loud and ignores them, like unruly children who are acting up to get attention.

Well they got the attention of a federal judge. U.S. District Judge John Bates says the president's top advisers are not immune from congressional subpoenas. Bates says there's no legal basis for the administration's argument and that former legal counsel Harriet Miers must testify before Congress. However, Bates says Miers and others can assert executive privilege during their testimony.

Democrats call the ruling "very good news” and say that Miers, White House Chief of Staff Josh Bolten and Karl Rove must testify before Congress. Of course, the White House says it disagrees with the judge's ruling and will decide in the next day or two if it will appeal.

Karl Rove became the latest to raise his middle finger to the legislative arm of our government, when he defied a subpoena to testify earlier this month. The House Judiciary Committee voted yesterday to cite Rove for contempt of Congress. But this is only a recommendation; Nancy Pelosi will have to decide whether to bring it to a vote by the full House. And we all know how aggressive Pelosi has been when it comes to oversight of the Bush White House. With Madame Speaker, it's all about politics.

Here’s my question to you: What does it mean for President Bush when a federal judge rules his people are not immune from congressional subpoenas?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?

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