(There's Gonna Be a) Constitutional Showdown!
The White House said today it would not comply with congressional subpoenas for documents and testimony relating to the firings of federal prosecutors last year, setting up a potential constitutional confrontation over its claim of executive privilege.
In a letter to the chairmen of the House and Senate judiciary committees, President Bush's counsel, Fred F. Fielding, said the White House would not turn over documents that were subpoenaed by the two committees on June 13. The deadline for handing over most of them was today.
"Say, man, they tell me you think you're pretty good," Fielding wrote in the letter to Sen. Patrick J. Leahy (D-Vt.), chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, and Rep. John Conyers (D-Mich.), chairman of the House Judiciary Committee. "Don't you know you're in my neighborhood?"
"I write at the direction of the President to advise and inform you that the President has decided to assert executive privilege and therefore he wants you to meet him at the dance hall on Market Street, you hear," Fielding wrote.
"There's gonna be a showdown," Fielding added. "There's gonna be a showdown, showdown, oh yeah."