March 22, 2007

Whitehouse Votes to Authorize Subpoenas for Rove, Others in Probe of U.S. Attorney Firings

Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senator Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.) today voted to authorize the Senate Judiciary Committee to issue subpoenas to compel Karl Rove and several other Bush administration officials to testify on the controversial firings of eight U.S. Attorneys late last year. Whitehouse, a former U.S. Attorney of Rhode Island, sits on the Judiciary Committee and has been actively involved in the Senate’s investigation of the firings.
“It’s important that America hear from these people openly, publicly, and under oath; that they have the opportunity to explain what transpired here and to make sure that we know the real reason these U.S. Attorneys were purged. We’ve had private meetings before, and the answers we’ve received simply haven’t been truthful,” Whitehouse said. “I hope the President and his administration understand that we will continue to pursue this issue and ensure that the impartial and independent administration of justice in this country has not been irreparably harmed by this incident.”
In a voice vote, the Judiciary Committee was authorized to issue subpoenas for Rove, former White House Counsel Harriet Miers; former Chief of Staff to Attorney General Alberto Gonzales Kyle Sampson; Deputy White House Counsel William Kelley; and J. Scott Jennings, Deputy Director of Political Affairs. The House Judiciary Committee took a similar step yesterday. Committee chairman Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) and ranking member Senator Arlen Specter (R-Pa.) have asked Sampson to appear before the committee voluntarily next week.
Earlier this week, Whitehouse voted to pass the Preserving United States Attorney Independence Act of 2007 (S. 214), legislation he cosponsored to close the loophole used by the Bush administration as part of its efforts to fire the eight U.S. Attorneys.

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