This Wednesday, House Judiciary Committee Chairman John Conyers will hold a hearing on the use and misuse of presidential clemency power, looking specifically at whether President Bush’s commutation of Scooter Libby’s prison sentence was an abuse of power.
Appearing on ABC’s This Week, Conyers said there exists a “suspicion that if Mr. Libby went to prison, he might further implicate other people in the White House.” Conyers noted “there was some kind of relationship here that does not exist in any of President Clinton’s pardons… [and] it’s never existed before.”
Conyers said he is requesting Bush waive executive privilege and “do what President Clinton did — namely to bring forward any of his pardon lawyers or anyone that can put a clear light on this and put this kind of feeling that is fairly general to rest.” Watch it:
Conyers was also asked about subpoenas that he has issued to the White House for information relating to the U.S. Attorney’s purge. The Washington Post reports this morning, “The White House has decided to defy Congress’s latest demand for information regarding the dismissal of nine U.S. attorneys, sources familiar with the decision said yesterday.”
Conyers said the White House had failed to communicate with him about its intent to defy Congress. “Well, I’m glad The Post finds out about what the president plans to do before anybody just gives us a call. We’re going to pursue our legal remedies to press forward with the subpoenas.”
Asked by host George Stephanopoulos if “that means holding the White House in contempt of Congress?” “Well, yes,” Conyers responded. “It means moving forward in the process that would require him to comply with the subpoenas like most other people.”
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