Bush prepares exit strategy on Miers nomination

Bush is refusing to release papers containing Harriet Miers' advice to him in her white House adviser role. He refused on Monday to turn over documents requested by Republicans and Democrats related to Harriet E. Miers's work in the White House, setting up a potential confrontation with the Senate Judiciary Committee over her confirmation to the Supreme Court.He is thereby laying the groundwork for the withdrawal of Miers' nomination because yielding the papers would breach executive privilege. The Senate Committee will persist in asking for the papers. The only way out of the impasse will be to withdraw the Miers nomination as a matter of "principle" rather than because of her obvious lack of competence for the position.

"It's a red line I'm not willing to cross," Mr. Bush told reporters after a cabinet meeting, referring to the presidential right of executive privilege. "People can learn about Harriet Miers through hearings. But we are not going to destroy this business about people being able to walk into the Oval Office and say: 'Mr. President, here's my advice to you. Here's what I think is important.' "

In his remarks, Mr. Bush said turning over Ms. Miers's White House documents would undermine the ability of presidents to receive confidential, unfettered advice from White House officials who might be constrained by the knowledge that such advice could be made public.

Giving in to the requests, he said, "would make it impossible for me and other presidents to be able to make sound decisions."

No comments: