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Karl Rove Even More Influential in U.S. Attorney Firings Than Previously Known

Emails provided to the House Judiciary Committee at closed-door hearings yesterday reveal that President George W. Bush’s political adviser Karl Rove and other high-ranking officials in the former administration had even more influence over the politically charged firings of U.S. attorneys three years ago than has been previously revealed.

The Washington Post has obtained those emails and reports that they reveal contacts between Rove, Bush aides and White House lawyers about the firing of three of the nine federal prosecutors dismissed in 2006. According to The Post, those prosecutors are “New Mexico’s David C. Iglesias, the focus of ire from GOP lawmakers; Missouri’s Todd Graves, who had clashed with one of Rove’s former clients; and Arkansas’s Bud Cummins, who was pushed out to make way for a Rove protégé.”

Rove had previously described himself as “merely passing along complaints by senators and state party officials to White House lawyers.”

Rove yesterday finished his second day of closed-door testimony to the committee — testimony that was negotiated after he and former White House counsel Harriet Miers had refused to testify, and the House sued to compel their testimony. As part of the negotiation, transcripts of their testimony could be released in August.

Meanwhile, Assistant U.S. Attorney Nora R. Dannehy is still investigating whether the apparently politically motivated firings could warrant any criminal charges.

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