Friday, October 21, 2005

Be Careful What You Ask For

Senators Lindsey Graham and Sam Brownback have requested that the White House release documents relating to Miers service as White House Counsel. I'm terribly torn by this request. On the one hand, Republican Senators suggesting that such documents are fair game sets an absolutely horrible precendent. On the other hand, there simply is nothing else available. Even an attorney's work product privilege can give way in the absence of any other way to obtain critical evidence. There is no similar caveat, so far as I know, for the attorney-client privilege. Virtually every non-public document Miers has created during her tenure has White House Counsel fall into one or the other category.

So, what to do? Easy. The White House should refuse to release the documents. As Charles Krauthammer explains, this might just be the out everyone is looking for. And what should be done in the real world, where the President appears ready to go down with this sinking nominee? I don't know. My hunch is that, in the end, the White House will turn over certain work product documents that don't trench too deeply on advice given the President. And thus will the President's ability to obtain frank legal counsel from his lawyers be even further diminished. Not a good result.

See also: Daly Thoughts and Project Nothing. As usual, ConfirmThem has all the latest.