Subpoena issued in probe of firings

April 11, 2007|By Richard A. Serrano | Richard A. Serrano,LOS ANGELES TIMES

WASHINGTON -- The House Judiciary Committee issued a broad subpoena yesterday for additional documents concerning the abrupt firing of eight U.S. attorneys, and Chairman John Conyers Jr. warned Attorney General Alberto R. Gonzales that time has run out for disagreements over how much material will be handed over.

"We have been patient," said Conyers, a Michigan Democrat, but the Department of Justice has not shown "any meaningful willingness" to cooperate with the widening investigation by congressional Democrats.

More than 3,400 pages of e-mails and other documents were released to the committee last month. Now the panel wants more information about other prosecutors who were considered for removal and about whether politics played a role in the decisions about who was fired and who was kept on.

"This information is clearly relevant," Conyers wrote to Gonzales in a cover letter accompanying the subpoenas.

The subpoena gives the attorney general until Monday afternoon to provide the material, the day before he is to testify before the Senate Judiciary Committee.

Bush administration officials responded that they have been cooperating.

"The Justice Department has been working very hard to be fully responsive to the request for more documents, as the president asked them to do," said White House spokeswoman Dana Perino.

Richard A. Serrano writes for the Los Angeles Times.

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