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GOP Wants Answers on Prosecutor Firings

  Politics  -   POSTED: 2007/03/19 09:12

Republicans on the Senate Judiciary Committee say the Bush administration needs to be more straightforward about the White House's role in the dismissals of eight federal prosecutors.

"I've told the attorney general that I think this has been mishandled, that by giving inaccurate information ... at the outset, it's caused a real firestorm, and he better get the facts out fast," said Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas.

Sen. Patrick Leahy, D-Vt., the chairman of the committee, pledged to get the public testimony of White House officials involved in the case whether they want to testify or not.

On Monday, the Justice Department planned to turn over to Congress documents that could provide more details of the role agency officials _ including Attorney General Alberto Gonzales _ and top White House officials played in planning the prosecutors' dismissals.

The White House was also expected to announce this week whether it will let political strategist Karl Rove, former White House counsel Harriet Miers and other officials testify or will seek to assert executive privilege in preventing their appearance.

Leahy delayed a vote on issuing subpoenas until Thursday as the president's counsel, Fred Fielding, sought to negotiate terms. But on Sunday, Leahy said he had not met Fielding nor was he particularly open to any compromises, such as a private briefing by the administration officials.


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