July 26th, 2007
01:03 PM ET
7 years ago

Rove to face subpoena

Watch Leahy announce Thursday he plans to subpoena Rove.

WASHINGTON (CNN) - Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy said Thursday he will subpoena White House political adviser Karl Rove to testify about the firings of federal prosecutors.

"We've now reached a point where the accumulated evidence shows that political considerations factored into the unprecedented firing of at least nine U.S. attorneys last year. Testimony and documents showed that the list was compiled based on input from the highest political ranks in the White House, including Mr. Rove and Mr. (Scott) Jennings, and today I will subpoena Mr. Rove and Mr. Jennings."

Jennings is deputy director of political affairs at the White House.

Filed under: Uncategorized
soundoff (35 Responses)
  1. James, Phoenix AZ

    Another subpoena that will go unanswered. But hey – it looks good, Pat! Why don't you just subpoena the President, Vice President, the entire Cabinet, the president's father, his school teachers, ......

    At least your efforts are inconsistent and purely partisan. Compare this administration firing 8 US attorneys to the last administration:

    March 1993 Janet Reno (AG for President Bill Clinton) fires 93 US Attorneys. Those attorneys fired include:

    Jay Stephens, then U.S. Attorney in the District of Columbia, was investigating then Ways and Means Chairman Dan Rostenkowski, and was "within 30 days" of making a decision on an indictment. Mr. Rostenkowski, who was shepherding the Clinton's economic program through Congress, eventually went to jail on mail fraud charges and was later pardoned by Mr. Clinton.

    Also at the time, allegations concerning some of the Clintons' Whitewater dealings were coming to a head. By dismissing all 93 U.S. Attorneys at once, the Clintons conveniently cleared the decks to appoint "Friend of Bill" Paula Casey as the U.S. Attorney for Little Rock. Ms. Casey never did bring any big Whitewater indictments, and she rejected information from another FOB, David Hale, on the business practices of the Arkansas elite including Mr. Clinton. When it comes to "politicizing" Justice, in short, the Bush White House is full of amateurs compared to the Clintons.

    Where there hearings for these? No. Presidents can/have dismissed US attorneys – for whatever reason they choose (political, job performance, etc)

    This panel is nothing more than a fishing expedition.

    July 26, 2007 01:05 pm at 1:05 pm |
  2. JWH

    About time.

    July 26, 2007 01:06 pm at 1:06 pm |
  3. DH

    Lets ask Sen.Leahy if political considerations are ever factored into the hiring/firing of his Senate and Committee Staff.

    Let it go Senator and move on to something important.

    July 26, 2007 01:10 pm at 1:10 pm |
  4. Tracy Dees Winter Haven, Fl. 33884

    This administration will learn they are NOT above the law. Go get 'um Mr. Leahy.

    July 26, 2007 01:11 pm at 1:11 pm |
  5. bob c philadelphia

    The more we see and hear about thios White House, the more I am reminded of another "great proponent of executive privilege" – Richard Nixon.

    He said:
    "When the President does it, that means that it's not illegal."

    And, we all know where that got him . . .

    July 26, 2007 01:18 pm at 1:18 pm |
  6. Steve, Lyons, Colorado

    About time!

    The Criminal behind the criminals.

    July 26, 2007 01:20 pm at 1:20 pm |
  7. Jeff, Houston, Texas

    Do not stop until each an every one of them is in jail. then fill the history books so this does not happen to our country again.

    July 26, 2007 01:20 pm at 1:20 pm |
  8. Percy Goode, Georgia

    Senator Obama, you should be careful you're beginning to sound negative. Senator Clinton made her point with one comment, and since then you have taken three or four shots.

    Senator Clinton did call your response naive and inresponsible. However, you have reinforced everyones belief of your inexperience by the way you have responded. Remind yourself of this phrase: "A hit dog will holla."

    July 26, 2007 01:23 pm at 1:23 pm |
  9. Shirley, The Villages, FL

    We already know that Bush will order Rove to ignore Congress. What else is new? Can't these crooks be arrested!!

    July 26, 2007 01:29 pm at 1:29 pm |
  10. godiva, hickory, nc

    I-M-P-E-A-C-H R-O-V-E N-O-W!

    –before he designs anymore damage to our democracy.

    July 26, 2007 01:33 pm at 1:33 pm |
  11. Bruce, Franklin, TN

    All of this posturing by both sides will result in nothing substantive happening when all the dust settles. Just a lot of blah, blah, blah like always. We really need to throw all of them out in '08 and start all over again.

    July 26, 2007 01:58 pm at 1:58 pm |
  12. Tom W - Dedham, Mass

    Note to Leahy this is not "unprecedented" as you say, Clinton fired all of them because they did not believe in his political philosophy. Next liberal lie that goes unquestioned by the media.

    July 26, 2007 02:12 pm at 2:12 pm |
  13. Bob, San Francisco, CA

    Although Tony Snow will call this "pathetic", it should be noted that he and the manipulated sheep who buy into the administration's corruption are the ones who are pathetic. Having these snails receive some consequential actions will do wonders for the millions of us who have lost faith in their country.

    July 26, 2007 02:20 pm at 2:20 pm |
  14. Douglas H DeGroat, Wallkill NY

    Seems a few people have a bit of "Selective Memory" here!!! Yes President Bill Clinton "fired" all 93 US Attorney's as did the first President Bush and Ronald Reagan before him. It is NOT uncommon when a new President comes to office. It is UNPRECIDENTED to selectively fire US Attorneys during the thier appointed term unless they are negligent in thier jobs!

    When presenting what you call facts, DON'T BE SLECTIVE ABOUT IT!!

    July 26, 2007 02:29 pm at 2:29 pm |
  15. Tom - Dedham, Mass

    Hi Doug and you fellow Clintonista's:

    Did the media or anyone question Clinton when he fired them, nope, we realized it is his right and for the record his firings had some real bad ramifications (see the excellent posting above on WHY he did what he did, basically for money, power and to save his ass).

    The rule of law concerning the firing of U.S. Attorneys is set
    (a) The President shall appoint, by and with the advice and consent of the Senate, a United States attorney for each judicial district.
    (b) Each United States attorney shall be appointed for a term of four years. On the expiration of his term, a United States attorney shall continue to perform the duties of his office until his successor is appointed and qualifies.

    (c) Each United States attorney is subject to removal by the President.
    Update: To be clear, the president has the authority to remove a U.S. Attorney - per ยง 541 and Myers v. United States, 272 U.S. 52 (1926)

    July 26, 2007 02:55 pm at 2:55 pm |
  16. Tony Carrillo, San Diego, CA

    Where is the outrage in this country? Let me make sure I understand this correctly. President Bill Clinton demonized by the EXTREME right for "what he did in the oval office" voted for impeachement and yet BUSH under this adminstration is directly responsible for the deaths of over 3600 of our American soldiers. He lied to get us in the war in the first place by cherry picking intelligence, refuses to allow his SR. staff to attend supoenas and he acts ABOVE the LAW...and no one is talking about impeachment!!!! What hypocrisy!! But then again we are talking about Repulicans! IMPEACH THE CRIMINAL (KARL ROVE) AND HIS CRONIES, THE CRIMINALS (BUSH, CHENEY, RUMSFELD, RICE, GONZALEZ AND MIERS) !!!!

    July 26, 2007 03:04 pm at 3:04 pm |
  17. Douglas H DeGroat, Wallkill NY


    Seems yet again a Conservative Half-Truth here, You change the subject and refuse to acknowledge that both the 1st Bush and Reagan, probably even Carter, Ford and Nixon have all fired the entire US Attorney staff. The madia didn't question any of them either!

    Stop telling Half Truths, changing the subjects and adress EXACTLY what I stated. It's people like you who 70% of the American public have grown tired of and are seeing right through you tactics. I'm just surprised you havn't called me unpatriotic or a terrorist.

    July 26, 2007 03:06 pm at 3:06 pm |
  18. James, Phoenix AZ


    You said "It is UNPRECIDENTED to selectively fire US Attorneys during the thier appointed term unless they are negligent in thier jobs!"

    1) Whether at the end of their term or during their term... WHY were 93 US attorneys fired by Janet Reno?

    2) Please cite for us the specific code which prohibits a US Attorney (that serves at the will of the President) from being fired mid-term.

    The FACT is – a US Attorney is an at-will employee and can be terminated for whatever reason the President or AG decides. All the barking at this time is simply democratic partisans grasping at straws – or should I say subpoenas hoping something sticks against the wall.

    Nice to know witch-hunts still exist in the northeast.

    July 26, 2007 03:07 pm at 3:07 pm |
  19. Douglas H DeGroat, Wallkill NY

    PS Tom, this President Bush also fired all the attorneys when he took power also, Care to address that?

    July 26, 2007 03:07 pm at 3:07 pm |
  20. Douglas H DeGroat, Wallkill NY


    It seems that at least someone has read wht I posted and not tried to change the subject, so hear it goes.

    The controversy start when these 8 or 9 US Attorneys were fired for not acting fast enough in investigating alledged voter fraud in heavy Democratic districts or slow enough to hamper investigations into heavily republican districts. These US Attorneys were contacted either directly by Senators Offices or Offices of members of the House of Representatives, Note I say offices and not Senators or House of Representatives themselves. Once appointed these US Attorneys act independantly of the Executive and Legislative branches or our Government and are not subject to politcal pressure once appointed.

    Now that's only part of the controversy. Another part is that a clear and concise reason for firing these attorneys remains elusive, most, not all but most of the fired attorneys had just recently received positive job performance evaluations and there was no need to fire them. Once fired I believe one or two of them came out and said they had been pressured to speed up investigations that would damage the Democrats and this is why they were fired and political influence from the White House on these attorneys to pressure them to selectively prosecute certain cases and hamper others is illegal. Since these Attorneys appear to have actually done thier job and ignored this pressure caused them to be labeled "Not loyal Bushies" and they were fired.

    July 26, 2007 03:42 pm at 3:42 pm |
  21. Stee

    Folks, no one can dispute that the President can fire an US Attorney at will. However, it is illegal to do it to affect active or pending investigations. It is not that the fact that he fired them, it is reason he fired him that is being investigated. There are illegal reasons for such action. We do not know what his intent was, because he will not allow the witnesses to speak. It is like a drug dealer executing every witness to a drive-by to prevent prosecution.

    July 26, 2007 03:49 pm at 3:49 pm |
  22. Lesly, Boston, MA

    Why is hypocrisy so prevalent in our American perspective of what is right and what is wrong? It is wrong to allow political partisanship to govern the actions of law. We should stop this from happening no matter the political affiliation of the abuser.

    July 26, 2007 04:10 pm at 4:10 pm |
  23. Douglas H DeGroat, Wallkill NY


    I'm not questioning that the President can fire them US Attorneys at will, you are correct, as I have stated, there is no clear and concise reason. Some of the US Attorneys fired made alligations that they were under pressure to speed up or hamper investigations for poitical reasons, that is the heart of this investigation, Why were they fired and are these alligations true? This has become a huge controvesy for several reasons. Two big ones are: 1: The AG appears to have lied in his testimony, he has stated he was not present at the meetings were this issue was discussed, yet many people and documents have testified and show he was at these meetings. 2: The White House refuses to release documents related to these meetings, yes many have been turned over, but not all. The White House refuses to turn over all the emails related to this issue, they claim to have been erased. The White House refuses to allow people to testify under oath and in public with transcripts Why??? This just gives the appearance the White House is hiding something. Given past lies by this White House, the trust me line is no longer working.

    To use the words of the White House, if you've done nothing wrong, you have nothing to worry about.

    July 26, 2007 04:30 pm at 4:30 pm |
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