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House Judiciary Committee Moves to Hear from Former Senior Justice Department Official on U.S. Attorney Firings

April 26, 2007
Press Release
Washington - Congresswoman Linda Sánchez announced today that the House Judiciary Committee will continue its investigation into the firings of U.S. Attorneys by seeking the testimony of former Deputy Attorney General James Comey.

The Judiciary Subcommittee on Commercial and Administrative Law Subcommittee (CAL) is scheduled to vote on Tuesday to authorize Committee Chairman John Conyers to subpoena Comey, who would then testify before the subcommittee in an open hearing on Thursday morning.

Comey was second in command at the Justice Department when records indicate that discussions began between the White House and Justice Department over the mass firing of U.S. Attorneys.

“James Comey had a distinguished career as a federal prosecutor prior to becoming Deputy Attorney General,” said Subcommittee Chairwoman Sánchez. “Chairman Conyers and I believe that he can shed light on the Bush Administration’s list of targeted U.S. Attorneys.”

"Mr. Comey's testimony will help piece together critical gaps in our stream of information, particularly concerning the early phase of the process" said Chairman Conyers. "Mr. Comey's testimony is crucial."

The meeting to authorize the issuance of a subpoena is scheduled for Tuesday, May 1 at 10:00 am in the Judiciary Committee Hearing Room (Rayburn 2141). Comey is then expected to testify before the CAL Subcommittee on Thursday, May 3 at 9:30 am.

The House Judiciary Committee began the investigation with the subpoenaed testimony of six former U.S. Attorneys, which included concerns that their firings may have been driven by their refusal to make prosecutorial decisions for political reasons.

The investigation has since included numerous interviews with current and former Justice Department staffers, including former Chief of Staff Kyle Sampson, who resigned over his involvement in the firings. The Committee voted earlier this week to compel testimony by providing immunity to the former Justice Department liaison to the White House, Monica Goodling, who has also resigned in the wake of the firings.