Planning appeals, White House chief of staff Joshua Bolten and former White House counsel Harriet Miers asked a judge Thursday to delay enforcement of his ruling that they must testify before Congress.
U.S. District Judge John Bates did not immediately rule on their request to place a hold on his ruling allowing White House aides to be subpoenaed by Congress. The judge asked House lawyers to respond by next week.
Bates on July 31 rejected White House arguments that presidential confidants are protected from congressional subpoenas by executive privilege, giving free rein to Democrats who have been trying to get President Bush's aides to testify on the dismissals of nine federal prosecutors.
Without a quick stay of the ruling, Miers and Bolten may be forced to testify before an appeal can be heard, the two said in a court filing. Democrats have announced they would schedule hearings in September.