Published June 15, 2009
In a low-key session on Capitol Hill, former White House Counsel Harriet Miers was deposed Monday by House Judiciary Committee staffers probing the alleged politicization of the Bush Justice Department.
Miers testified, behind closed doors, after months of wrangling between Congress and former members of the Bush administration.
Congress is looking into allegations that the Bush administration went after U.S. attorneys who weren't on the same political wavelength as the former president -- Miers was drawn in because former Attorney General Alberto Gonzales asked her to consider implementing a "targeted" system for "removal and replacement" in the Justice Department.
Initially, Miers refused to appear when the House and Senate Judiciary Committees subpoenaed her and other officials to testify about their role in the firings.
The House eventually voted to hold Miers and former White House Chief of Staff Josh Bolten in contempt of Congress. Despite the contempt citation, both Miers and Bolten still refused to testify, sparking a constitutional standoff between the executive and legislature, co-equal branches of government.
The House then sued the Bush administration in an effort to force Miers and Bolten to appear.
In March, Miers and former Bush adviser Karl Rove agreed to testify under oath.
Miers testified Monday, but it remains unclear when Bolten could be deposed.
A senior House Democrat familiar with the inquiry described Bolten as "a tasty little morsel." The senior lawmaker said that Rove "is really the big catch."
But there is still no agreement for Rove to appear.
Though the stakes were high, Miers' quiet visit Monday was a far cry from her trips to Capitol Hill just a few years ago.
Before her Supreme Court nomination was scuttled over questions about her experience, Miers was the subject of a media frenzy in 2005. A cadre of television cameras traced every step of as Miers traveled from meeting to meeting with senators considering whether she was qualified to fill the seat of retiring Justice Sandra Day O'Connor.
Miers withdrew and Samuel Alito was nominated for the post.
FOX News' Chad Pergram contributed to this report.