Conyers Calls on Bush to Waive Privilege

Jul 8, 2007 12:54pm

ABC News’ Mary Bruce Reports: House Judiciary Committee Chairman Rep. John Conyers, D-Mich., said there is "suspicion" that President Bush commuted Scooter Libby’s prison sentence to keep the former White House aide from implicating others.

Conyers, who has called for hearings on the matter to begin Wednesday also said "there was some kind of relationship here that does not exist in any of President Clinton’s pardons, nor, according to those that we’ve talked to — and this is why we’re doing the hearings — is that it’s never existed before, ever."

Conyers made his remarks in an exclusive interview Sunday on ABC’s "This Week with George Stephanopoulos."

On the president’s right to executive privilege in the case, Conyers explained "we’re asking him to waive executive privilege and allow his pardon lawyers or other experts, who it appears that he did not consult, explain this in a little more detail."

Conyers also talked about the White House’s resistance to hand over materials related to the investigation of the fired U.S. attorneys. In response to reports that the White House plans to deny a request for documents pertaining to the case, Conyers said "we’re going to pursue our legal remedies to press forward with the subpoenas….We don’t have any other choice." President Bush has until 10 a.m. on Monday to comply with the Senate Judiciary Committee request.

The lawyer for former White House deputy political director, Sara Taylor, wrote in a letter yesterday to committee leaders that she wants to testify, but the White House won’t let her. Conyers said he would not hold Taylor in contempt for not testifying and added that he was still in negotiations with White House Counsel Fred Fielding about the subpoenas.

"We’re hoping that as the cries for the removal of both Cheney and Bush now reach 46 percent and 58 percent, respectively, for impeachment that we could begin to become a little bit more cooperative, if not amicable, in trying to get to the truth of these matters," Conyers said.

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