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Utter Contempt

This story in the Post today is absolutely incredible--if unsurprising. The White House has refused to let Harriet Miers testify before Congress, citing executive privilege. Congress has threatened to charge her with contempt. But now the Bush administration has responded by saying that the Justice Department will never pursue contempt charges against Miers or any other official who invokes executive privilege. Now we know why Bush wanted to keep Alberto Gonzales around.

Congress' other option, according to the Post, is to initiate inherent contempt proceedings, sending a Sergeant at Arms to arrest Harriet Miers and drag her to a trial held in the House or Senate's own chambers. (If things got really crazy, I suppose the White House could send the Secret Service to protect her.) Alternatively, Congress could start impeaching people, starting with Gonzales.

--Bradford Plumer