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WASHINGTON (CNN) -- House Democrats voted Wednesday to give their leaders the authority to force White House officials to testify on the firings of U.S. attorneys.
The House Judiciary subcommittee vote was to authorize subpoenas. It does not mean that subpoenas will be issued; only that they could be if the four White House officials Democrats want to question do not voluntarily testify under oath.
But the act puts congressional Democrats on a collision course with President Bush. He said Tuesday that the four -- top political adviser Karl Rove, former White House counsel Harriet Miers, and their two deputies --could be interviewed in the matter, but no oath could be administered and no transcript would be taken.
Rep. John Conyers, head of the House Judiciary Committee, said during Wednesday's debate that the committee needed more than a simple conversation with Rove, Miers and their deputies.
"We could meet at the local pub to have that kind of conversation," he said. "But in my judgment it would not advance us toward uncovering the simple truth in this matter."
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isn't it interesting that Bushie and his lackey's never wanna testify under oath? remember the 9/11 Commission? no oath, no tape recorders, no reporters.... Here's what Curious George had to say about his meeting with the 9/11 Comission...
"It was wide-ranging, it was important, it was just a good discussion," Bush told reporters in the White House Rose Garden, shortly after the closed-door session ended.
The entire 10-member bipartisan commission -- known formally as the National Commission on Terrorist Attacks Upon the United States -- attended the meeting in the Oval Office.
Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney answered questions from the commissioners for more than three hours.
The president dismissed suggestions that he appeared before the panel with Cheney to coordinate stories.
"If we had something to hide, we wouldn't have met with them in the first place," Bush said. "We answered all their questions."
Bush said it was important for him and Cheney to appear together so that commission members could "see our body language... how we work together."