It's been a busy day
at the Senate Judiciary Committee:
A U.S. congressional panel investigating the firing of federal prosecutors authorized subpoenas on Thursday for e-mails the White House has declared may be missing.Update
Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy, D-Vt., challenged the White House assertion, saying, "It's not a question of e-mails being lost, it's e-mails they don't want to retrieve."
The White House disclosed on Wednesday some of its staffers, including President George W. Bush's senior political adviser, Karl Rove, and several of his deputies, wrote e-mail messages on official business on Republican Party accounts, and some may have been wrongly deleted.
On a voice vote, the Judiciary Committee authorized subpoenas for these and other White House documents as well as for records it has sought from the Justice Department.
The panel also authorized subpoenas for Associate Deputy Attorney General William Moschella, and Scott Jennings, an aide to Rove, permitting Leahy to sign subpoenas compelling the Bush administration to surrender hundreds of new documents and force Moschella and Jennings to reveal their roles in the firings.
The votes authorize subpoenas to be issued if the administration records are not turned over and if Moschella and Jennings decline to appear before the panel.
: Here's the rundown, from a press release from the committee:
The authorization approved Thursday covers all documents in the possession, control or custody of the Department of Justice and the White House related to the committeeâs ongoing investigation. Another authorization for subpoenas was approved by the committee for J. Scott Jennings, Special Assistant to the President and Deputy Director of Political Affairs; and William E. Moschella, Principal Associate Deputy Attorney General.Update
The Committee is expected to vote on a similar authorization next week for Sara M. Taylor, Deputy Assistant to the President and Director of Political Affairs.
: Here's video
of Leahy this morning expressing his, ahem, skepticism
about the White House's story on the emails.