The vote represents the first overt step towards finding Bolten and Miers in criminal contempt of Congress. Next would come a vote of the entire House, followed by a referral to the U.S. attorney for the District of Columbia.
But the Bush administration has made clear it intends to block prosecution of any contempt charges, arguing that a presidentially-appointed U.S. attorney cannot legally be forced by Congress to flout the president's determination that the materials and testimony sought are protected by executive privilege.
Republicans on the panel argued strongly today against issuing contempt citations, and Democrats shot down two proposed GOP amendments before voting for the contempt findings.
"I believe this is an unnecessary provocation of a constitutional crisis," said Rep. F. James Sensenbrenner Jr. (R-Wis.). "Absent showing that a crime was committed in this process, I think the White House is going to win an argument in court."
It's about time someone in DC realized there's a constitutional crisis going on and actually did something about it, especially since Bush thinks the constitution is "just a goddamned piece of paper".
Contempt of Congress is a federal misdemeanor, punishable by as much as one year in prison and a $100,000 fine.
Bring it on.