Could Rove face a subpoena in the future?
WASHINGTON (CNN) – As congressional subpoenas flew Wednesday morning over last year's controversial firings of eight U.S. attorneys, two Democratic congressional sources explained to CNN why House and Senate Judiciary Committees elected not to subpoena White House Deputy Chief of Staff Karl Rove.
Both sources told CNN the committees are building their investigation and – like any investigation – they want to build their case by talking to and gathering information from lower level witnesses and officials before they possibly move to the more senior witnesses.
“We want to build up and get documents to have basis to ask questions of Rove,” one Democratic congressional source explained. “It’s the way you do it in any investigation.”
But the source conceded it is likely the investigation will lead to a constitutional showdown with the executive branch and the likelihood is Congress will never get a chance to talk to any of these White House witnesses.
The committees have tried, with no success, to persuade Rove to testify at the hearings on the investigation. In May, the Senate Judiciary Committee subpoenaed several e-mails from Rove to Attorney General Alberto Gonzales regarding the controversial firings.
As part of the congressional probe into last year’s firings, both Judiciary Committees issued subpoenas Wednesday for two other former White House employees. The Senate panel, chaired by Sen. Patrick Leahy, D-Vermont, issued a subpoena to Sara Taylor, former White House political director and a key deputy to Karl Rove, the top political adviser to President Bush. She resigned a few weeks ago. The House Judiciary Committee, chaired by Rep. John Conyers Jr., D-Michigan, subpoenaed former White House Counsel Harriet Miers. (Read full story)
- CNN Congressional Correspondent Dana Bash