Panel seeks Bush transcript in CIA leak case

June 27, 2008 5:40:56 PM PDT
A House panel on Friday subpoenaed Attorney General Michael Mukasey for transcripts of a prosecutor's interviews with President Bush and Vice President Cheney during the federal probe into the leak of a CIA agent's identity. Signed by Judiciary Committee Chairman John Conyers, D-Mich., the subpoena requests all documents from the office of former Special Counsel Patrick J. Fitzgerald relating to interviews of Bush, Cheney and their aides that were conducted outside the presence of the grand jury investigating the leak.

The subpoena requests similar accounts of interviews with former presidential adviser Karl Rove; I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby, Cheney's former chief of staff; former White House spokesman Scott McClellan; former presidential counselor Dan Bartlett; and former White House Chief of Staff Andy Card.

The House Oversight and Government Reform Committee has subpoenaed some of the same documents but has been rebuffed by the Justice Department, according to a letter released Friday by the chairman of that panel, Rep. Henry Waxman, D-Calif.

Conyers also subpoenaed Justice Department documents on a broad range of other matters, including a phone jamming investigation in New Hampshire, the replacement of a U.S. attorney in Minnesota and the activities of the department's Civil Rights Division.

Justice Department spokesman Dean Boyd said the agency was reviewing the subpoena.

The action was the latest effort by congressional Democrats to shed light on the precise roles, if any, that Bush, Cheney and their aides may have played in the leak of Valerie Plame's CIA identity.

State Department official Richard Armitage first revealed Plame's CIA identity to columnist Robert Novak, who used Rove as a confirming source for a 2003 article. Around that time Plame's husband, former Ambassador Joseph Wilson, was criticizing Bush's march to war in Iraq.

Libby, who also was involved in the leak, was convicted of perjury, obstruction and lying to the FBI. Last July, Bush commuted Libby's 2 1/2-year sentence, sparing him from serving any prison time.

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