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Law Professor Says Bush May Not Be Protected By Executive Power

An Indiana University law professor says President Bush has not provided sufficient information for Congress as they investigate the firings of eight U.S. attorneys. Dawn Johnsen says the case comes down to whether the president is within his legal rights to claim executive privilege. She believes the president’s claim is overly broad in this case, given the serious allegations that attorneys were pressured to bring prosecutions based on political considerations. Johnsen says the courts are typically very reluctant to solve matters involving executive power, but she says it looks like this case may end that way. Johnsen says even if the courts do get involved, the case’s ending is still far from clear.

If the claims against the administration are substantiated, Johnsen says that would be a serious violation of government’s neutral role in prosecutions. Johnsen is a former acting assistant attorney general in charge of the Office of Legal Affairs under President Clinton.

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