If there are two heroes in the withdrawl of the Harriet Miers nomination, they are Sen. Majority Leader Bill Frist and Sen. Sam Brownback.
Frist and his leadership staff did yeoman’s work in keeping the Miers process fair, but tough. Frist and his staff were realistic with White House surrogates, who were pressing them to come out strongly for the nominee at a point where such an appearance might have helped the nomination. Frist and his folks did not. Yesterday, Frist met with President Bush at the White House, we should have more on that later today.
Brownback may have been the one Senator to break the nomination wide open. According to White House sources, earlier this week, Brownback sent a letter to the White House asking not only for some policy documents Miers was involved with (documents, the White House announced on Tuesday, it would release), but also Miers’ client list and billable hours records from her time as managing partner at her Texas law firm. According to White House sources, those billable hours records would not have been helpful to Miers’ cause, and the White House did not want to release them. According to Judiciary Committee sources, some Republican staffers up there believe the records would have indicated that Miers was more focused on her state bar association work, undercutting the White House argument that she had been a high-powered corporate litigator.
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