By Desi Doyen on 7/26/2007, 12:28pm PT  

Guest blogged by DES...

The Hill reports that Senate Judiciary Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-VT) has issued a subpoena to White House adviser Karl Rove, the next step in the escalation of the standoff between the White House and Democrats over their attempts to assert congressional oversight and investigation over the executive branch. Scott Jennings, a White House aide, was also subpoenaed.

The latest subpoenas come on the heels of the contentious Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on Tuesday, in which Attorney General Alberto Gonzales was openly derided by both Democrats and Republicans on the committee for his perceived misleading testimony; several members of the committee alleged the testimony borders on perjury and today asked the U.S. Solicitor General to appoint a Special Prosecutor.

Comparing current Bush White House tactics to the embattled Nixon Administration, Leahy said:

The evidence shows that senior White House political operatives were focused on the political impact of federal prosecutions and whether federal prosecutors were doing enough to bring partisan voter fraud and corruption cases,” Leahy said. “It is obvious that the reasons given for the firings of these prosecutors were contrived as part of a cover-up and that the stonewalling by the White House is part and parcel of that same effort...

Not since the darkest days of the Nixon administration have we seen efforts to corrupt federal law enforcement for partisan political gain and such efforts to avoid accountability...

I am left to ask what the White House is so intent on hiding that it cannot even identify the documents, the dates, the authors and recipients that they claim are privileged.

Rove and Jennings have one week to appear before the committee to testify under oath.

Hold your breath.