Bush White House claims of executive privilege took a major hit today when a federal judge ruled that presidential aides Josh Bolten and Harriet Miers must testify before Congress.
U.S. Judge John Bates found that Bolten and Miers must honor a Congressional subpoena. Bates ruled that the Bush aides could invoke executive privilege in regards to specific questions, but they could not simply ignore the subpoena and fail to appear before the U.S. House Judiciary Committee.
The judge also found that Bolten and Miers must supply all non-privileged documents requested in the subpoenas and they must supply specific descriptions of any documents withheld on the grounds of executive privilege.
Democratic leaders in Congress hailed the decision as a victory in their efforts to investigate the firings of nine U.S. attorneys and other issues related to politicalization of the Justice Department under Bush.
What does today's decision mean for former White House strategist Karl Rove and his efforts to avoid testifying about his role in the Don Siegelman case and other possible political prosecutions?
House speaker Nancy Pelosi said Bates' decision could pave the way for Congress to approve a contempt citation for Rove.