Wednesday, March 14, 2007
Administration official meets with Congress on U.S. attorney issue
WASHINGTON (CNN) -- White House Counsel Fred Fielding met for about 30 minutes Wednesday with House and Senate Judiciary Committee members to discuss the congressional requests to interview White House officials under oath about the firing of a group of U.S. attorneys.
Fielding met with House Judiciary Chairman John Conyers, D-Michigan., Rep. Linda Sanchez, D-California, Rep. Chris Cannon, R-Utah and Senate Judiciary Committee member Charles Schumer, D-New York.
Schumer said Fielding told the group he "wanted to cooperate" but he was waiting to get a sign off from "higher ups." Schumer said the House and Senate committees want four current and former administration officials to be interviewed by the committees under oath -- White House Deputy Chief of Staff Karl Rove, former White House Counsel Harriet Miers and Rove and Miers' deputies, Scott Jennings and Bill Kelley.
Schumer and Conyers gave Fielding a Friday deadline to respond and vowed to issue subpoenas if the White House fails to cooperate.
"I asked him not to assert privilege," Schumer said. "That this information is going to get out one way or the other."
Conyers called the meeting "cordial" and Schumer said Fielding "did leave us with the impression that it was not their goal to stone wall, to just say no, you're not going to get the information."
Cannon said Fielding’s willingness to appear on Capitol Hill demonstrates that the administration is committed to working with Congress. And Cannon added, "This is something that will have to come out quickly."
-- CNN Congressional Producer Deirdre Walsh
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