| March 22, 2007 |
| As the White House prepares for a constitutional showdown over subpoenas of top administration aides to testify about the firings of U.S. attorneys, the viability of President Bush’s executive privilege argument may come down to the time-worn question: How much did the president know, and when did he know it?|
Democratic sources say that investigators in Congress have taken note of a brief e-mail exchange, released by the administration Monday night, which touches on this topic. But the exchange raises more questions than it answers.
In an e-mail dated Nov. 15, 2006, Kyle Sampson, former chief of staff to Attorney General Alberto Gonzales, asked then-White House Counsel Harriet Miers and her deputy, William Kelley, whether he had the green light to go forward with the firing plan.
Miers responded that she was “not sure whether this will be determined to require the boss’s attention.” Her e-mail ended with the words: “We will see. Thanks.”
Sampson, who resigned last week, responded with a critical question: “Who will determine whether whether [sic] this requires the President’s attention?”