Democrats were upset that, under the Bush plan, the interviews would not be conducted under oath or with a transcript. Without being under oath, aides would not face the same level of criminal charges if they were found to have intentionally lied to Congress, the Democrats said.
I think that this is a battle the President can and ought to win, especially since U.S. v. Nixon limits claims of executive privilege only during criminal proceedings. The most that’s being alleged here is a "politicization" of some prosecutors, which no one is calling a crime. Of course, the Democrats would dearly love to turn the testimony into an occasion for criminalizable misstatements.
If, as GWB says, you want information, we’re going to be forthcoming, but we’re not going to walk into a trap or contribute to a show trial. Good for him.
The Democrats may well run the risk of overreaching here, if they push too hard for their terms. But the President has to keep hammering them on his offer and keep defending his eminently reasonable version of executive privilege. He’s surely not going to get the same kind of help from the press that Bill Clinton got in his various confrontations with Congressional Republicans. But, as I said, if he handles this correctly, there’s at least a chance that any Democratic hectoring will redound to his favor.