House committee hits RNC with e-mail subpoena, threatens Miers with contempt
After former White House Counsel Harriet Miers failed to attend a Thursday hearing of the House Judiciary Committee on the firing of 8 US Attorneys, House Democrats issued a subpoena for e-mail accounts supplied by the Republican National Committee and used by senior White House staff.
The committee's chairman, Rep. John Conyers (D-MI) also explicitly warned Miers that she may face criminal contempt charges for failing to comply with earlier subpoenas
"The White House has been stonewalling this investigation at every turn," said Rep. Conyers in a statement. "[W]e hope that the RNC - unlike Ms. Miers yesterday - will choose to comply with the legal obligation set out in this subpoena, as opposed to the opinion of the White House."
Conyers also warned Miers through her attorney that she could face a criminal contempt citation for failing to appear before the House Committee in a separate letter.
"This letter is to formally notify you that we must insist on compliance with the subpoena, and that your client's continued failure to promptly remedy her noncompliance could subject her to contempt proceedings," he wrote to George T. Manning of the Jones Day law firm.
He went on to set the deadline for compliance at 5 PM on July 17.
"If I do not hear from you in the affirmative by then, the Committee will have no choice but to consider appropriate recourse," he stated.
Conyers' subpoena offered further details of the document sought by the Judiciary Committee, also with a deadline of July 17.
"[T]he RNC has identified, collected, and processed what I understand to be a substantial number of e-mail documents relevant to our investigation," he notes. "As I understand the circumstances, these documents are ready and available for production, and it is for this reason that I am comfortable issuing a subpoena with this relatively prompt return date."