Thursday, January 29, 2009

Loose Ends

By Dan Froomkin
The fact remains that some former Bush officials still owe us some answers.

Carrie Johnson writes in The Washington Post: "House Judiciary Committee Chairman John Conyers Jr. (D-Mich.) issued a new subpoena yesterday to former Bush White House aide Karl Rove, months after Rove deflected an earlier effort to compel his testimony about the firing of nine U.S. attorneys and other political disputes that swirled around the Justice Department.

"Conyers's committee subpoenaed Rove on May 22, calling on him to testify about his contacts with department officials in the Bush era. But Rove rebuffed the summons, saying he was barred from testifying because of executive privilege.

"Yesterday's subpoena may test the limits of that power for the first time since George W. Bush left office, legal experts said. Some Democratic lawyers have suggested that an executive order issued by President Obama last week governing presidential records could make it easier for citizens and lawmakers to gather information about Bush administration controversies.

"'Change has come to Washington, and I hope Karl Rove is ready for it,' Conyers said. 'After two years of stonewalling, it's time for him to talk.'"

Meanwhile, NPR's Liz Halloran reports on former attorney general Alberto Gonzales's interview with Michel Martin.

"'I deeply regret some of the decisions made by my staff,' he said, referring directly to former Deputy Attorney General Paul McNulty, who resigned over the controversy after telling a Senate committee that the attorney firings were performance-related. . . .

"'Sometimes people identify someone to target. That's what happened to me,' said Gonzales, who served as President Bush's White House counsel before becoming attorney general in 2005, replacing John Ashcroft.

"'I'm not whining,' he said. 'It comes with the job.'"

Mark Silva blogs for Tribune with more from that interview, including Gonzales's expression of confidence that neither he nor others will be prosecuted for the administration's interrogation practices.

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