[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/POLITICS/05/15/rove.attorneys/art.rove.gi.jpg caption="Former Bush official Karl Rove was questioned in May about the U.S. attorney firings."]
Washington Post Staff Writer
The dismissal of New Mexico U.S. Attorney David C. Iglesias in December 2006 followed extensive communication among lawyers and political aides in the White House who hashed over complaints about his work on public corruption cases against Democrats, according to newly released e-mails and transcripts of closed-door House testimony by former Bush counsel Harriet Miers and political chief Karl Rove.
A campaign to oust Iglesias intensified after state party officials and GOP members of the congressional delegation apparently concluded he was not pursuing the cases against Democrats in a way that would help then- Rep. Heather Wilson in a tight reelection race, according to interviews and Bush White House e-mails released Tuesday by congressional investigators. The documents place the genesis of Iglesias's dismissal earlier than previously known.
The disclosures mark the end of a 2 1/2 year investigation by the House Judiciary Committee, which sued to gain access to Bush White House documents in a dispute that struck at the heart of a president's executive power. House members have reserved the right to hold a public hearing at which Rove, Miers, and other aides could appear this fall.
House Judiciary Chairman John M. Conyers Jr. (D-Mich.) on Tuesday characterized the role of Bush White House figures in the firing episode as improper and inappropriate.
"Under the Bush regime, honest and well-performing US Attorneys were fired for petty patronage, political horse trading and, in the most egregious case of political abuse of the US Attorney corps - that of US Attorney Iglesias - because he refused to use his office to help Republicans win elections," Conyers said. "When Mr. Iglesias said his firing was a 'political fragging,' he was right."
Filed under: President George W. Bush
Anderson Cooper goes beyond the headlines to tell stories from many points of view, so you can make up your own mind about the news. Tune in weeknights at 8 and 10 ET on CNN.
Questions or comments? Send an email
Want to know more? Go behind the scenes with