[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2008/images/07/31/art.karl.rove.ap.jpg caption="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?
Terry from North Carolina writes:
Jack, It’s about time this administration will be held accountable. These people are guilty of a lot more than breaking into an office in the Watergate Hotel, and those guys all went to prison. It will be interesting to see what direction this will take.
Will from San Jose, California writes:
Unfortunately it doesn't mean much. These are congressional subpoenas and following up on this would mean they might miss that big vacation they had planned.
Harry from Kentucky writes:
Nothing really. After all, you said it yourself: they can "claim executive privilege" at the hearing. That's a hearing that produces no more results than ignoring the subpoena to begin with.
It disabuses them of the notion that they are above the law. It means that his cronies, preposterous as it may seem, must abide by the law, just like the rest of the American people.
Aric from Mountain View, California writes:
Jack, Maybe it means that we can finally start charging these people for the crimes they've committed in the last 7 plus years. I doubt it, I think Rove will just show up and claim executive privilege anyway. But I would hope that this is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to holding the Bush administration accountable for their actions.
Bob from Jacksonville, North Carolina writes:
Jack, It means someone has finally read the Constitution. The three branches of government are supposed to provide checks and balances. As it stands now, all we have is gotcha politics from the two parties. I think the Founders had it right from the beginning.
Greg from Lancaster, Texas writes:
Now tell me again why the Speaker took impeachment off the table.