February 14, 2008 – a date which will live in almost nobody’s memory – brought the first contempt vote on an executive branch official since the 1980s. Democrats had spent the better part of a year investigating the dismissal of seven U.S. attorneys, who (it’s pretty well agreed now) had refused to jump high enough when asked to pursue voter fraud claims. White House Counsel Harriet Miers and Chief of Staff Josh Bolten refused to appear before committee, citing executive privilege on the in-demand information. So Democrats brought their vote.
This was what happened.
The vote was “bipartisan,” in the way that term now gets mangled. Three Republicans, including Rep. Ron Paul, voted for contempt. All but one Democrat joined them.
And this is our standard for the vote tomorrow.