AG Alberto Gonzales Subpoenaed for Attorney-Purging Documents

Anne Winter
WASHINGTON — The House Judiciary Committee subpoenaed Attorney General Alberto Gonzales for documents pertaining to the firings of eight U.S. attorneys in December.

The Committee is investigating the Justice Department's motives for dismissing the federal prosecutors, and Rep. John Conyers (D-Mich.) said he is losing patience.

"We have been patient in allowing the department to work through its concerns regarding the sensitive nature of some of these materials," Conyers wrote to Gonzales in a letter accompanying the subpoena. "Unfortunately, the department has not indicated any meaningful willingness to find a way to meet our legitimate needs."

Conyers also said any further delay in receiving the documents would not serve any constructive purpose to the investigation.

The Committee initially launched its investigation in March. Initially officials at the Justice Department said the attorneys had been dismissed because of concerns about their job performance. However, the same sources now say at least some of the eight federal prosecutors were fired because of policy reasons.

Documents later released by Justice rose "new and troubling questions" regarding the firing of six of the eight prosecutors, according to Conyers.

"At a minimum, we believe these documents show a coordinated effort, initiated by the White House, to purge every U.S. attorney in the country,” Conyers said.