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U.S. Senate subpoenas attorney general demanding Rove e-mails involving prosecutor firings

U.S. Senate subpoenas attorney general demanding Rove e-mails involving prosecutor firings

Senators investigating the firing of federal prosecutors do not believe a White House explanation about missing evidence and ordered Attorney General Alberto Gonzales to provide all e-mails related to a top presidential adviser and the firings of the eight prosecutors.
"It is troubling that significant documents highly relevant to the committee's inquiry have not been produced," the Democratic chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, Patrick Leahy, wrote in a letter to Gonzales. The subpoena gives Gonzales until May 15 to turn over the information.
President George W. Bush's staff told the committee that the e-mails, which involve Bush's main political adviser, Karl Rove, may have been lost. Leahy's subpoena sought any in the custody of Gonzales' department. Rove's lawyer has told the committee that some of the e-mails the White House contends could have been lost were turned over to U.S. Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald during his investigation into the leak of an undercover CIA officer's identity.
It was unclear whether any were related to the dismissals of the prosecutors, but congressional investigators believe that if Fitzgerald could retrieve some e-mails for his investigation, those related to the firings of U.S. attorneys also are recoverable.
The White House has said it is trying to recover lost e-mails but has not promised to give any to congressional investigators.
A Justice Department spokesman did not immediately return a call seeking comment.
Gonzales said during his April 19 testimony to Leahy's committee that he did not know the details but would get back to the chairman.
"I have not heard from you since," Leahy wrote, urging compliance with all of his panel's requests for information "to avoid further subpoenas."
It was the committee's first subpoena issued since the firings caused an uproar last month and imperiled Gonzales' job.


Updated : 2021-07-24 12:27 GMT+08:00