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Judge mulls U.S. attorneys case decision

Judge mulls U.S. attorneys case decision
Harriet Miers seen on this October 17, 2005 file photo. (UPI Photo/Roger L. Wollenberg) | License Photo

WASHINGTON, June 24 (UPI) -- A U.S. judge Tuesday was considering whether to force White House aides to comply with Congressional subpoenas ordering them to cooperate in an investigation.

After arguments in federal District Court in Washington Monday, Judge John Bates is mulling over the cases made by lawyers for former White House counsel Harriet Miers and current White House Chief of Staff Joshua Bolten, who have been subpoenaed by a U.S. House committee to turn over documents relating to the controversial firings of U.S. attorneys.

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Irving Nathan, an attorney for the House Judiciary Committee, told Bates he should disregard the aides' claims of executive privilege and compel Miers, who left the White House in 2007, to testify before the committee and to order Bolten to turn over a log of White House documents relating to the U.S. attorney firings, The Washington Post reported.

But, the newspaper said, the Justice Department has asked Bates to throw out the suit, saying the court doesn't have jurisdiction in the argument between the two branches of government. Bates, at one point in hearing, said, "Whether I rule for the executive branch or I rule for the legislative branch, I'm going to disrupt the balance (of power)."

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