Across the Capitol, meanwhile, former White House political director Sara Taylor found out what Miers may already have known: It's almost impossible to answer some committee questions but not others without breaching either the subpoena or Bush's claim of executive privilege.
After first refusing to answer questions about Bush's possible role in the firings, Taylor later told the Senate Judiciary Committee that she knew of no involvement by the president. Further, she said, she knew of no wrongdoing by administration officials in the controversy that has hobbled the Justice Department and imperiled Attorney General Alberto Gonzales. ...
On almost every question, Taylor hesitated to consider whether answering would cross Bush's order to not reveal internal White House deliberations.
''I'm trying to be consistent and perhaps have not done a great job of that,'' Taylor said. ''I have tried.''
The committee's ranking Republican, Sen. Arlen Specter, said that may not be enough to protect her from a contempt citation for failing to answer many of the committee's questions.
''There's no way you can come out a winner,'' said Specter, R-Pa. ''You might have been on safer legal ground if you'd said absolutely nothing.''
Did Specter say this for the benefit of Harriet Miers (or her lawyer)? It sure didn't help Sara Taylor.
Or was the whole scene just that pathetic? Apparently none of Specter's Republican colleagues could bestir themselves to appear at the hearing.