Does the RNC Have Launch Codes?
According to House Democrats, the White House is stonewalling on offering up e-mails sent on the RNC's servers for the U.S. Attorneys investigation.
White House Counsel Fred Fielding, in a letter today, told Rep. John Conyers (D-Mich.) and Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), chairmen of the House and Senate Judiciary committees, that the White House has not budged in its refusal to allow the panels to question several White House aides, including Karl Rove, about what they know regarding the firing of eight U.S. Attorneys, moving the two sides closer to a constitutional battle over the scandal.
"As I stated in my earlier letter to the Republican National Committee today, the Judiciary Committee intends to obtain the relevant emails directly from the RNC," Conyers said in reaction to the Fielding letter. "The White House position seems to be that executive privilege not only applies in the Oval Office, but to the RNC as well. There is absolutely no basis in law or fact for such a claim."
By the way, executive privilege doesn't extend to circumstances like this. From U.S. v. Nixon (1974):
Neither the doctrine of separation of powers nor the generalized need for confidentiality of high-level communications, without more, can sustain an absolute, unqualified Presidential privilege of immunity from judicial process under all circumstances. See, e. g., Marbury v. Madison, 1 Cranch 137, 177; Baker v. Carr. Absent a claim of need to protect military, diplomatic, or sensitive national security secrets, the confidentiality of Presidential communications is not significantly diminished by producing material for a criminal trial under the protected conditions of in camera inspection, and any absolute executive privilege under Art. II of the Constitution would plainly conflict with the function of the courts under the Constitution.
Did Rove ever deal with national security over his RNC e-mail account? Seriously? It'd be nice for some Bushie lawyer to stop combing 19th century law for justifications to draw and quarter Democrats and tackle this more pressing issue.