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Justice Dept. Would Have Kept 'Loyal' Prosecutors
Sampson resigned this week after the Justice Department said he did not inform other senior officials of his communications with the White House in 2005 and 2006 about firing the prosecutors. That may have led them to provide incomplete information in testimony to lawmakers.
The first e-mail, dated Jan. 6, 2005, is from a White House counsel's office assistant. It indicates that Rove had stopped by that office to ask lawyer David Leitch whether a decision had been made to keep the U.S. attorneys in their jobs. The e-mail does not suggest that Rove advocated one outcome over another.
White House spokeswoman Dana Perino said the e-mail matches Rove's account earlier this week that he vaguely remembers hearing about the idea of firing the 93 U.S. attorneys shortly after the 2004 election from Harriet E. Miers, then the nominee to replace Gonzales as White House counsel.
Rove once again defended the firings yesterday in a speech to students at Troy University and said the "super-heated rhetoric" criticizing the administration was not justified, the Associated Press reported.
Also yesterday, the Justice Department notified the Senate Judiciary Committee that four senior aides, including Deputy Attorney General Paul J. McNulty, would be made available to Senate investigators. The committee had authorized subpoenas for the four officials and Sampson.
Subpoenas for Rove, Miers and deputy White House counsel William Kelley were delayed for a week as the Judiciary Committee continued negotiations with the White House over their testimony.
Staff writers Michael Abramowitz and John Solomon contributed to this report.