New Docs Show Effort to Oust U.S. Attorneys

After the documents were released today, Rep. John Conyers, D-Mich., said they clearly show that the firings were wrong and that they were driven by the Bush administration.

"After all the delay and despite all the obfuscation, lies, and spin," Rep. John Conyers said, "this basic truth can no longer be denied: Karl Rove and his cohorts at the Bush White House were the driving force behind several of these firings, which were done for improper reasons.

"Under the Bush regime, honest and well-performing U.S. Attorneys were fired for petty patronage, political horsetrading and, in the most egregious case of political abuse of the U.S. Attorney corps -- that of U.S. Attorney Iglesias -- because he refused to use his office to help Republicans win elections," the Michigan Democrat said.

The interviews with Rove and the additional documents fill in some of the gaps after Rove had declined to meet with the Justice Department's Inspector General during the review of the issue.

After former Attorney General Alberto Gonzales left office and was replaced by Michael Mukasey, Mukasey referred the Inspector General's findings to Nora Dannehy, a federal prosecutor to see if the case warranted criminal charges.

Tom Carson, a spokesman for the U.S. Attorney's Office in Connecticut where Dannehy is the interim U.S. attorney, declined to comment and said the matter is an "ongoing investigation."

Conyers said copies of the documents released today were given to Dannehy "to assist in her effort to determine whether federal criminal charges are appropriate and to pursue any such charges."

In a statement provided by his attorney, Rove said he welcomed the release of the interviews and documents by the House Judiciary Committee.

"They show politics played no role in the Bush Administration's removal of U.S. Attorneys, that I never sought to influence the conduct of any prosecution and that I played no role in deciding which U.S. Attorneys were retained and which replaced," Rove's statement said.

"Rather than replying on partisans selectively quoting testimony or excerpting email messages, I urge anyone interested to review the documents in their entirety," the statement said. "They speak for themselves."

The documents are here.

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