'Subpoenas will be Issued,' Says House Judiciary Aide in Advance of Tomorrow's Vote, Next Week's Hearings
ALSO: House Judiciary Committee Will Hold Hearings Next Wednesday on 'Election Reform and Irregularities'
By Brad Friedman on 2/28/2007, 4:48pm PT  

Two media statements released from members of the U.S. House Judiciary Committee indicate that subpoenas will soon be issued in the matter of the allegedly coerced firings of U.S. Attorneys in the Department of Justice. A vote will take place tomorrow in the Subcommittee on Commercial and Administrative Law on whether to issue the subpoenas to Justice Dept. officials Carol Lam, David Iglesias, H.E. Cummins, III, and John McKay to compel them to appear before a subcommittee hearing next week.

As well, The BRAD BLOG has learned the Judiciary Committee will also hold hearings next week on matters related to "Election Reform and Irregularities."

According to a Committee staffer, "subpoenas will be issued" tomorrow in the U.S. Attorney matter. If so, it would be the first time the Democrats have exercised their newly-gained subpoena power since wresting control of Congress from Republicans...

RAW STORY has posted a media release, announcing tomorrow's meeting and next week's hearing on the DoJ firings, from subcommittee chairwoman, Linda T. Sánchez (D-CA).

Further, The BRAD BLOG has since received an official statement from House Judiciary chairman John Conyers (posted in full below), which further indicates the likelihood of subpoenas.

Conyers expressed outrage over allegations that former U.S. Attorney David C. Iglesias was fired after allegedly refusing to capitulate to political pressure from higher-ups. Iglesias has charged that he had refused "to provide information on the status of a federal investigation" under DoJ pressure to "speed it up to help Republicans fare better in the November elections," according to the Conyers release.

"This is the most egregious allegation so far that the Administration has allowed partisan politics to corrupt the selection and retention of U.S. Attorneys," said Conyers. "Worse, it appears to be part of a pattern of partisan activity in this area and should be unacceptable to anyone concerned about a fair and efficient criminal justice system."

"The Judiciary Committee is committed to getting to the bottom of this and bringing checks and balances back to the federal justice system," he said.

"We need to get to the bottom of whether competency in upholding the law is being sacrificed for political ideology," Sánchez added in the release from Conyers' office.

As well, The BRAD BLOG has learned that hearings will be held next Wednesday, March 7th, by the full Judiciary Committee on election reform and irregularities in room 2141 of the Rayburn House Office building. (It's been pointed out to us that that is not the basement, but rather the main Judiciary Committee hearing room!)

Topics for that hearing, according to our source, will have to do with deceptive practices as revealed during recent elections. Such practices include the systematic dissemination of false information such as incorrect election dates and polling locations, threatening information about arrests of voters, intimidation at the polling place, harassment, as well as misleading and repeated "robocalls" as was reported across the country during the 2006 election cycle.

UPDATE 3/1/07: As reported above, the committee has today voted to issue the subpoenas. Details, statement from Democrats...

John Conyers' full statement on the U.S. attorney hearings, and the possibility of subpoenas, follows below...

For Immediate Release: February 28 , 2007

Judiciary Chairman Conyers and Subcommittee Chair
React to Former U.S. Attorney's Allegations

(Washington, DC) - Today, House Judiciary Committee Chairman John Conyers, Jr. and Subcommittee Chairwoman Linda Sánchez released the following statements in response to U.S. Attorney David C. Iglesias' allegations that he was fired because he refused to give in to political pressure. Specifically, Iglesias charged that he was asked to provide information on the status of a federal investigation and pressured to speed it up to help Republicans fare better in the November elections.

Judiciary Chairman Conyers said: "This is the most egregious allegation so far that the Administration has allowed partisan politics to corrupt the selection and retention of U.S. Attorneys. Worse, it appears to be part of a pattern of of partisan activity in this area and should be unacceptable to anyone concerned about a fair and efficient criminal justice system. The Judiciary Committee is committed to getting to the bottom of this and bringing checks and balances back to the federal justice system."

Chairwoman Sánchez said: " We need to get to the bottom of whether competency in upholding the law is being sacrificed for political ideology," said Congresswoman Linda Sánchez, Chairwoman of the House Judiciary Subcommittee on Commercial and Administrative Law. "For this reason we'll be meeting tomorrow to vote on issuing subpoenas to the fired U.S. Attorneys so that we can discover the true motivation behind their dismissal."

Sanchez's Commercial and Administrative Law Subcommittee plans to issue subpoenas for former U.S. Attorneys Iglesias, Carol Lam, H.E. Cummins, III, and John McKay to appear at a hearing next Tuesday, March 6.

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