Iowa Senator Tom Harkin says the battle between Congress and the White House over the firing of eight federal prosecutors could lead to a courtroom showdown. The Senate Judiciary Committee is trying to decide whether it will subpoena administration officials to testify about the firings — something the administration is against. Harkin, a Democrat, says the Senate has a Constitutional duty to provide oversight.
Harkin says, "We can’t do adequate oversight if we can’t get the proper information." Harkin says the President will likely claim executive privilege in keeping his officials from testifying, but Harkin says executive privilege only goes so far. Harkin says it could end up in the courts. Harkin says he would not settle for having administration officials testify in private and not under oath.
Harkin says he doesn’t know what good that would do, as he says they’d just hear the same things they’re hearing in the media. Harkin says, "You don’t get to the truth unless people are sworn under oath," Harkin says. A House Judiciary subcommittee Wednesday defied President Bush by voting to subpoena the officials. Harkin says a lot has to happen before the issue would go to a court showdown.