Missive Sent Today to WH Attorney Fred Fielding from Conyers and Sánchez Warns of 'No Alternative But Compulsory Process' if Administration Continues Stonewall...
By Brad Friedman on 5/21/2007, 2:53pm PT  

A letter sent to White House attorney Fred Fielding today by top U.S. House Judiciary Committee members offers "one last appeal" for voluntary cooperation in the U.S. Attorney firing probe, or else a "compulsory process" will begin.

The letter, sent to The BRAD BLOG by committee chair John Conyers (D-MI) and the chair of the Subcommittee on Commercial and Administrative Law, Linda T. Sánchez (D-CA), takes the White House to task for their "rebuff of efforts by the Judiciary Committee to obtain voluntary cooperation" in their investigation "concerning at least nine U.S. Attorneys in 2006 and related matters."

The letter may be downloaded below.

"Even without a single document or witness interview provided by the White House," the letter charges, "it is clear that the White House played an important role in the events concerning the U.S. Attorney controversy."

By way of example, the two House chairs detail Karl Rove's admission that he intervened with both the White House Counsel's Office and the DoJ concerning the firing of New Mexico's U.S. Attorney David Iglesias.

"It is becoming increasingly clear that we will not be able to complete our investigation absent full and complete cooperation from the White House," they write, before pointing out that "it would be constitutionally irresponsible to accept your 'all or nothing' limitations" for nothing more than off-the-record interviews without transcripts or public questioning.

"If the White House persists in refusing to provide information to the House Judiciary Committee, or even to discuss providing such information, on a voluntary basis, we will have no alternative but to begin to resort to compulsory process in order to carry out our oversight responsibilities," the letter concludes.

No explanation of what such a "compulsory process" might include is offered in the letter.

The two-page letter also includes a copy of an email message from Kyle Sampson, Alberto Gonzales's former Chief of Staff, discussing strategy for the firings of U.S. Attorneys last November. The complete letter sent to today to Fred F. Fielding, Esq., Counsel to the President, may be downloaded here in full [PDF]