Former George W. Bush aides, Karl Rove and Harriet Miers, have finally agreed to testify under other before Congress on the firings of U.S. attorneys during the Bush administration.
The Bush White House had fought attempts to force Karl Rove and Harriet Miers to testify, and the agreement — steered by aides to President Barack Obama — ended that constitutional standoff with Congress. Both the White House and lawmakers, especially now that Democrat Obama has replaced Republican Bush — were leery of having a judge settle the question about the limits of executive privilege, for fear of losing.
Under the negotiated agreement, Rove and Miers will be allowed to testify at closed depositions “under the penalty for perjury.”
Rep. John Conyers said in a statement:
“This is a victory for the separation of powers and congressional oversight. It is also a vindication of the search for truth. I am determined to have it known whether U.S. attorneys in the Department of Justice were fired for political reasons, and if so, by whom.”
AP reports that the Congressional committee will “probably make the transcripts public, said a committee aide, who wasn’t authorized to immediately disclose committee plans.”
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said the agreement “is a great victory for the Constitution, the rule of law and the separation of powers.”
“Congress now has the opportunity to uncover the truth and determine whether improper criteria were used by the Bush administration to dismiss and retain U.S. attorneys,” she said.
Maybe now we will finally get to the bottom of what really went on at “Mad Max’s Justice Department.” I will however, remain skeptical on that frame of thought. It will be a long, long time before we get to the truth, if we indeed ever do.