Sara Taylor will be testifying today in front of Congress, but will be keeping to herself any information she feels falls under Bush's invocation of executive privilege:
Former White House aide Sara M. Taylor will refuse to testify today about matters President Bush has deemed shielded by executive privilege, but she will offer to respond to other questions from senators that do not breach White House confidentiality, her attorney said yesterday.
The Senate Judiciary Committee subpoenaed Taylor to testify this morning about the dismissals of nine U.S. attorneys last year and the Bush administration's response to the controversy that followed. Bush this week invoked executive privilege, and White House counsel Fred F. Fielding sent Taylor a letter directing her not to discuss internal communications.
The senators are gearing up to play tough guy on Sara:
"I hope Ms. Taylor chooses to reject the White House's insistence that she carry out their stonewalling and, instead, works with us so that we can get to the bottom of what has gone on and gone wrong," Leahy said in a statement last night.
Sen. Charles E. Schumer (D-N.Y.), a committee member, said: "With no one in the Justice Department claiming responsibility for the U.S. attorney firings, the arrow points more and more strongly at the White House, and that's where we're headed. We would hope that Sara Taylor tells us everything she knows."
Vee haf vays of making you talk. As I said yesterday, I'm sure this will go over well for the 14-percent Congress.
Taylor will be politely declining to answer certain questions, which will no doubt bring out Schumer's and Leahy's inner demons, who will play out their anti-Bush fantasies on this young, successful public servant. Brilliant P.R., guys. Here's snippet from Taylor's prepared remarks for the committee:
The current dispute between the Executive and Congressional branches of our government is much bigger than me or my testimony here today. In light of the President's direction, I will answer faithfully those questions that are appropriate for a private citizen to answer while also doing my best to respect the President's directive that his Staff's communications be privileged. To the extent that I am not able to answer questions because of the President's directions, I commit to abide by a judicial determination that may flow froma subpoena enforcement action against the White House. While I may be unable to answer certain questions today, I will answer those questions if the courts rule that this Committee's need for the information outweighs the President's assertion of executive priviege.
I look forward to answering those questions not covered by the President's assertion of executive privilege. I understand that during this hearing, we may not agree on whether answers to particular questions fall within the prohibitions of Mr. Fielding's letter. This may be frustrating to both you and to me. I would ask the committee not to infer that an invocation of Mr. Fielding's letter signals knowledge on my part. Within the constraints of Mr. Fielding's letter, I will do my best to respond to your questions.
Thank you for your understanding.
I look forward to seeing Schumer's head explode.