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Subpoenas Could Be Issued Today in Firing of U.S. Attorneys

Subpoenas Could Be Issued Today in Firing of U.S. Attorneys

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Gene Kennedy Reporting Despite repeated warnings from President Bush, the Senate Judiciary Committee is expected to authorize subpoenas today for White House officials in the firing of eight U.S. Attorneys.

Newly released e-mails between White House counsel and Attorney General Alberto Gonzales's former chief of staff may shed some light on the situation.

We've mentioned the name Kyle Sampson before. The BYU graduate was the deputy chief of staff for Alberto Gonzales, then resigned over these firings.

In an e-mail dating back to August, he says one of the U.S. Attorneys was treated unfairly, but a month later recommends that same man should be fired.

That flip-flop is raising some eyebrows and a House subcommittee wants to know more about it. The question is, were these federal attorneys let go because of performance or politics?

President Bush put a deal on the table to let Karl Rove and Harriet Miers testify, but only in private, unrecorded interviews. Democrats say without a recording or oath-taking, there's no way to tell if they're getting the truth.

So a Senate subcommittee could authorize subpoenas later today to force them to publicly testify.

Rep. Linda Sanchez, a Democrat from California, said, "It is clear that we are still not getting the truth about the decision to fire these prosecutors and its cover up. There must be accountability."

Kyle Sampson could be one of those forced to testify. But the President says if the members of Congress go down this road, he'll take it to court.

A House subcommittee took a voice vote on those subpoenas. It did pass, but was not unanimous.

Utah Representative Chris Cannon is on the committee and opposes the subpoenas.

He says, "The only purpose of the subpoenas is to fan the flames and photo-ops of partisan controversy for partisan gain, tactics that hamper the public's ability to obtain the truth."

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