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Defying the Odds

Defying the Odds
New book about the 2016 election.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Obama, Subpoenas, and Hauntings

Referring to congressional hearings on the gate-crasher incident, presidential press secretary Robert Gibbs said: "I think, you know, that, based on separation of powers, staff here don't go to testify in front of Congress."

Last year, the president took a very different position. A reporter asked about congressional efforts to get Bush White House aides to testify about the firings of U.S. attorneys. Then-candidate Obama said:
I think that nobody is above the law. If there are specific assertions of executive privilege, then, you know, those can be examined. But I think this notion, this blanket notion that you can't subpoena White House aides, where there's evidence of genuine wrongdoing, I think is completely misguided.
You know, as I recall, Richard Nixon mounted similar arguments. That's not how we operate. We're a nation of laws and not men and women. So, you know -- and my -- that's a precedent I don't mind living with as president of the United States.
CQ reporter David Nather nailed it in his lead: "This could come back to haunt him someday."