ABC News’ Jason Ryan Reports: A House Judiciary subcommittee voted Thursday to reject the White House’s claim of executive privilege in the ongoing U.S. attorney firings investigation.
The commercial and administrative law subcommittee shot down the claim in a partisan 7-3 vote.
Subcommittee chair Rep. Linda Sanchez, D-Calif., said "The White House has thus far chosen a path of confrontation… executive privilege must be used judiciously."
Rep. Chris Cannon, R-Utah, objected to the entire proceeding, which could lead the way to contempt charges and a battle in the courts.
"There is no evidence of wrong doing," Cannon said about the firings of eight U.S. attorneys last year. "We’ve damaged the Department of Justice… there is no basis for proceeding with further investigation."
The Justice Department has released more than 3000 pages of internal documents concerning the firings but the White House has claimed executive privilege on White House documents and memos.
Last week former White House counsel Harriet Miers defied a subpoena from the Judiciary Committee and did not show up to a hearing.
Sanchez said that the White House chief of staff is required to turn over the requested documents. "The documents do not include communications from the president… Mr. [Joshua] Bolton is legally required to produce these documents," Sanchez said.
It is unclear if the full committee will vote to reject the White House’s claim of executive privilege.