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FROM THIS EPISODE

The White House and Congress are moving closer to a constitutional confrontation. What’s the evidence of political interference in the Justice Department?  Is the issue likely to end up in court? On Reporter's Notebook, Al Gore challenges Congress to act on global warming.

Producers:
Andrea Brody
Dan Konecky
Christian Bordal

Main Topic Is There Constitutional Confrontation in the Works? 33 MIN, 34 SEC

Early this week, 3000 pages of internal Justice Department e-mails and other documents were turned over to Congress in the matter of the firing of eight US Attorneys. Three of the President Bush's closest advisors are deeply involved: Attorney General Alberto Gonzales, former White House Counsel Harriet Miers and political advisor Karl Rove. Today, a House subcommittee took the first step toward subpoenas for Rove and other top White House aides. The President says they can testify privately without any transcript being made, but Congress wants sworn public testimony--on the record. Insisting that there was no wrong-doing, Bush emphasized that he'd go to court to prevent his aides from testifying under oath. Whether or not the issue ends up in court, it will be judged in the court of public opinion. Has the Department of Justice lived up to its name or become a political arm of the White House? We update today’s action with journalists and legal experts.

Guests:
Ron Hutcheson, White House Correspondent, McClatchy Newspapers
Dan Eggen, Reporter, Washington Post
Wayne Slater, Dallas Morning News (@WayneSlater)
Erwin Chemerinsky, University of California Irvine (@UCILaw )
Byron York, Washington Examiner (@ByronYork)
Eric Alterman, The Nation

Making News House Panel Approves Subpoenas for Top White House Aides 6 MIN, 10 SEC

On a voice vote, a House Judiciary subcommittee has authorized subpoenas of top White House aides on the firing of eight US Attorneys. Chairman John Conyers (D-MI) rejected White House Counsel Fred Fielding's offer that Karl Rove and Harriet Miers testify behind closed doors, without being sworn and without any transcript of their testimony. Conyers will decide if the subpoenas actually will be issued. Republicans called the authorization "premature" and President Bush said he'll go to court to prevent a "public spectacle." Keith Perrine is legal affairs reporter for Congressional Quarterly.

Guests:
Seth Stern, Legal Analyst, CQ Politics

Reporter's Notebook Al Gore Goes Back to the Capitol 9 MIN, 33 SEC

Former Vice President Al Gore is back on Capitol Hill today for the first time since he certified his own defeat in the presidential election of 2002.  As a Tennessee Senator and Vice President he had trouble getting a hearing on global warming. Today, testifying before a House committee, he spoke of the growing demand for action on climate change by politicians across the board as well as religious leaders and industry.  Tom Schaller is Associate Professor of Political Science at the University of Maryland.

Guests:
Tom Schaller, Professor of Political Science, University of Maryland

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