The Senate Judiciary Committee has given itsÂ approval to Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-VT) to sign subpoenas that would force the White House to turn over hundreds of new documents and require two administration officials, Associate Deputy Attorney General William Moschella and White House political aide Scott Jennings, to testify about their roles in the firing of eight U.S. attorneys last December. Leahy has not issued subpoenas yet, but he now has the authorization to compel testimony from all eight fired U.S. attorneys as well as several White House and Justice Department officials who were named in emails.
In a separate development, the White House and Democrats are still battling over an administration claim that several emails about the attorney firings that were sent over Republican Party accounts have been lost. Leahy doesnâ€™t believe that those emails are gone forever. “They say they have not been preserved. I don’t believe that! You can’t erase e-mails, not today. They’ve gone through too many servers. Those e-mails are there, they just don’t want to produce them. We’ll subpoena them if necessary.” For an older guy, Leahy knows a little bit about technology. Those emails are stored on somebodyâ€™s server somewhere. They didnâ€™t just vanish. Plus, destruction of emails that involve official government business is against the law.
Leahy also said in a Judiciary Committee statement that, â€œThe refusal of the White House to provide relevant documents and access to White House staff who played a role in these firings and replacements are other obstacles. Â The announcement by the White House last night that they and the Republican National Committee have lost an undisclosed number of relevant emails that political operatives were using on RNC accounts presents yet another obstacle. Â I am beginning to wonder whether the White House has any interest in the American people learning the truth about these matters.â€
This fight is turning bitter and angry. Alberto Gonzales is going to be walking into a hornetâ€™s nest when he testifies on Tuesday. Between Gonzalesâ€™ upcoming testimony and the battle over a war funding bill, relations are very contentious between Congress and the White House right now. Of course, this White House had a terrible relationship with the GOP controlled Congress too, so it really shouldnâ€™t be any surprise that they canâ€™t get along with the Democrats either. I still am standing by my prediction that Gonzales will testify on Tuesday, and if this investigation is still going strong, he will resign shortly there after.
Â Jason Easley is the editor of the politics zone at 411mania.com.Â His news column The Political Universe appears on Tuesdays and Fridays at www.411mania.com/politics