Conyers, Sánchez Disappointed in White House Response; Conyers Schedules Vote on Subpoenas

March 16, 2007
Press Release
(Washington, DC) - Today, House Judiciary Committee Chairman John Conyers, Jr. (D-MI) and Subcommittee Chairwoman Linda Sánchez (D-CA) issued the following statements in response to the White House's failure to comply with today's deadline to produce documents and schedule interviews for White House staff regarding the ongoing US Attorneys scandal.

Conyers: “The White House Counsel’s office advised my staff this afternoon that the White House would not be providing documents to the Committee, or providing the White House’s position with respect to the Committee securing the testimony of White House officials today. This is contrary to earlier assurances that the Committee would receive these answers and documents today and is, therefore, very disappointing. The Counsel’s office has assured me that they will continue to work in good faith to get answers to those questions by early next week.

"Despite those assurances and my continued hope that the White House will resolve these questions in a cooperative fashion, the Committee must take steps to ensure that we are not being stonewalled or slow walked on this matter. I will schedule a vote to issue subpoenas for the documents and officials we need to talk to. Allegations that our criminal justice has been undermined by partisan politics and that the Congress was deceived about these activities are among the most serious this Congress will consider and we expect immediate answers.”

Sánchez: “The White House is playing a dangerous game of chicken. The House Judiciary Committee has been operating in good faith to get to the bottom of this growing scandal, and Chairman Conyers has shown particular restraint in working towards voluntary cooperation.

“Today, however, the White House has chosen to ignore the deadline for information on its role in firing federal prosecutors, after publicly stating a commitment to finding the truth. This commitment - like the Bush Administration’s ever-changing version of what actually happened - seems to have a very short shelf-life.

"We will not stop our investigation until we know who ordered the purge of federal prosecutors, why they did it, and who is trying to cover it up. The White House can’t ignore this investigation."

A vote will be scheduled next week and subpoenas could be issued for White House Deputy Chief of Staff Karl Rove, Special Assistant to the President and Deputy Political Director Scott Jennings, former White House Counsel Harriet Miers, Deputy Counsel William Kelley, and possibly others.