The Justice Department already found
, in its report
on the U.S. Attorney firings, that the White House engineered the firings, and that inappropriate political concerns had played in to several of the dismissals.
Still, the Senate Judiciary Committee released a report on the episode today that goes a little further. Its "Majority" (that is, Democratic) section concludes:
The evidence...shows that the list for firings was compiled with participation from the highest political ranks in the White House, including former White House Deputy Chief of Staff Karl Rove.
The evidence shows that senior officials were focused on the political impact of Federal prosecutions and whether Federal prosecutors were doing enough to bring partisan voter fraud and corruption cases. It is now apparent that the reasons given for these firings, including those reasons provided in sworn testimony by the Attorney General and Deputy Attorney General, were contrived as part of a cover-up.
In a separate section, several committee Republicans strongly disagreed with that view, and, perhaps unsurprisingly, took the opportunity to highlight allegations of voter fraud against ACORN.
The report was released to accompany contempt resolutions against Rove and White House chief of staff Josh Bolten passed by the committee last year. The two have refused to testify or provide documents to the committee as part of its investigation.
In a statement accompanying the report committee chair Pat Leahy, of Vermont, said:
The findings of the Senate Judiciary Committee in the course of its investigation into the hiring and firing of U.S. Attorneys have been echoed by the Justice Department's own internal oversight offices. Further, the White House's unsupported claims of executive privilege and immunity designed to shield the President's advisors from complying with congressional subpoenas have been rejected by the federal court.