Hot Document

The Sara Taylor Tractor Pull

Sara Taylor, who at 30 was the youngest White House political director ever, is scheduled to testify  July 11 before the Senate judiciary committee as part of its ongoing investigation into U.S. attorneygate. Taylor resigned in May and was subpoenaed on June 13. The judiciary committee would like to hear about some e-mails Taylor wrote regarding replacing Arkansas U.S. Attorney Bud Cummins with Tim Griffin, a protégé  of Taylor’s boss, Karl Rove. Taylor can likely confirm greater White House involvement than President Bush has admitted  in ousting Cummins. There’s just one little problem. According to her attorney, W. Neil Eggleston, Taylor would like to help the committee, but White House Counsel Fred Fielding won’t let her. Taylor’s former bosses argue that her testimony and that of previous White House Counsel Harriet Miers  (which has also been subpoenaed) would violate the “constitutional principle of separation of powers.” Consequently, the White House is extending to Taylor not only the right but apparently also the duty to claim  executive privilege. This creative legal construct is described in a July 7 letter that Eggleston wrote the committee chairman and ranking member and Fielding (below and on the following page). In the letter, Eggleston complains that his client’s choices are “untenable” and that she has become the “object of an unseemly tug of war.”

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