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Thursday, June 08, 2006

Advice is not well taken -By Bob Cusack

Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich (R-Ga.) and a top Bush administration official urged Republican investigators on Capitol Hill to change how they conduct probes of the executive branch in a private meeting earlier this spring.
The unusual request infuriated some of the GOP aides, who countered that the administration has repeatedly failed to cooperate with their requests for information. The staffers expressed outrage that the meeting was even taking place, calling it inappropriate for a White House policymaker to tell investigators how to scrutinize the Bush administration.
“The meeting did not go well,” a GOP source said.
Others thought the forum was somewhat productive, but acknowledged it was bizarre.
While Republican aides expressed different reactions, the pleas by Gingrich and Office of Management and Budget (OMB) representative Clay Johnson have raised new separation-of-powers questions as lawmakers and White House officials iron out their differences over the FBI raid of Rep. William Jefferson’s (D-La.) office last month.
Democrats are seizing on the meeting as proof of the cozy relationship between the GOP-led Congress and the administration.


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