The President has invoked executive privilege to “defy Congress’s latest demand for information regarding the dismissal of nine U.S. attorneys.” AP reports:
President Bush invoked executive privilege Monday to deny requests by Congress for testimony from former White House aides Sara Taylor and Harriet Miers.
It offered once more to make the pair available for private, off-the-record interviews on any role the White House might have played in the firings of several U.S. attorneys.
In a letter to the heads of the House and Senate Judiciary panels, White House counsel Fred Fielding insisted that Bush was acting in good faith and refused lawmakers’ demand that the president explain the basis for invoking the privilege.
UPDATE: This is the third time Bush has invoked executive privilege. It marks the second time he has used the power in relation to the U.S. attorney scandal.
UPDATE II: House Judiciary Committee Chairman John Conyers (D-MI) responds:
We are extremely disappointed with the White House letter. While we remain willing to negotiate with the White House, they adhere to their unacceptable all-or-nothing position, and now will not even seek to properly justify their privilege claims. Contrary what the White House may believe, it is the Congress and the Courts that will decide whether an invocation of Executive Privilege is valid, not the White House unilaterally
Read his full letter at The Gavel.