WASHINGTON (CNN) - The White House's deputy political director skirted at least a dozen questions from a Senate committee Thursday about the firings of eight U.S. attorneys last year, asserting - as expected - a claim of executive privilege by President Bush.
Scott Jennings, who also is a special assistant to the president, arrived at the Senate Judiciary Committee hearing with his attorney, Mark Paoletta, to be sure he didn't commit a violation.
The panel had subpoenaed both Jennings and Bush's political adviser, Karl Rove, but Rove refused to show up, angering Chairman Pat Leahy, D-Vt.
"I consider that blanket claim (of executive privilege) to be unsubstantiated," Leahy said he told Jennings before the meeting.
White House Counsel Fred Fielding informed the committee Wednesday that Rove, "as an immediate adviser to the president," can't be ordered to testify and was told not to attend.