U.S. lawmakers vote to hold Bolten and Rove in contempt

WASHINGTON Thu Dec 13, 2007 3:41pm GMT

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WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee voted on Thursday to hold two top aides to President George W. Bush in contempt of Congress for refusing to cooperate in its probe of fired federal prosecutors.

On a largely party-line vote of 11-7, the Democratic-led panel sent contempt citations against White House Chief of Staff Josh Bolten and former Deputy Chief of Staff Karl Rove to the full Senate for consideration.

As with many of Bush's battles with the Democratic-led Senate, the president may ultimately prevail since his fellow Republicans may be able to block the citations with a procedural hurdle.

Bush has claimed executive privilege to protect aides from complying with congressional subpoenas demanding documents or testimony in an investigation into the firing last year of nine U.S. attorneys. The committee has rejected his privilege claim as unfounded.

(Reporting by Thomas Ferraro; editing by David Alexander)

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