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Thursday, March 22, 2007

Senate Judiciary Committee subpoenas Rove, Miers, DOJ aides in US Attorney probe
Joshua Pantesco at 2:47 PM ET

[JURIST] The US Senate Judiciary Committee [official website] on Wednesday authorized subpoenas for former White House Counsel Harriet Miers [official profile], Deputy White House Chief of Staff Karl Rove [official profile], and several DOJ aides to testify and provide documents to the committee regarding the recent US Attorney firing scandal [JURIST news archive]. Last week, the Committee subpoenaed five other DOJ aides [JURIST report] to testify. Democratic committee members roundly rejected President Bush's offer [PDF text; JURIST report] to allow the committees to question Miers, Rove, and Sampson during a private questioning session, not under oath. On Wednesday, a House Judiciary Committee panel subpoenaed Rove, Miers, and several aides [JURIST report] to testify in a concurrent investigation. Read the statement [text] delivered by chairman Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-VT) [official website] to the Committee on Thursday. AP has more.

Both committees want Miers and Rove to testify on allegations that the firings of several US Attorneys by US Attorney General Alberto Gonzales [official profile] were politically motivated [JURIST report]. The accusations have led Congress to consider restricting the Attorney General's power [JURIST report] to appoint interim US Attorneys. Despite Bush's assertions that Gonzales has "got support with me," reports have surfaced that the White House is considering potential replacements for Gonzales [JURIST report].

Last week, reports emerged that Rove originally suggested firing all 93 US Attorneys in January 2005, according to an e-mail conversation [JURIST report; e-mail text] released by the DOJ. The e-mails appeared to contradict the White House's prior assertion that the idea to comprehensively dismiss US Attorneys first came from Miers [JURIST report].

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