WATERGATE: A Bipartisan End to Patience

The House Judiciary Committee finally lost patience last week with the cavalier and inconclusive White House responses to its six-week-old request for presidential tape recordings. Acting with impressive bipartisanship after a tense week of backstage maneuvering, the committee voted, 33 to 3, to subpoena the evidence.

In a sense the committee's historic action—it was the first resort by the House to a subpoena for evidence from a President in an impeachment inquiry—was more symbolic than practical. Although the committee was on solid legal ground in issuing the subpoena, it has no effective way...

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