Guest blogged by Jon Ponder, Pensito Review.
On Friday, just 10 days after the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee issued subpoenas to the Dept. of Justice (DOJ) for notes from a June 2004 interview the FBI conducted with George Bush and Dick Cheney regarding their roles in the CIA leak scandal, the House Judiciary Committee issued subpoenas for documents related to the leak as well as the department's alleged political prosecutions.
According to a news release from the House Judiciary Committee, "[Chairman] John Conyers, Jr. (D-Mich.) today issued a subpoena to the [DOJ] to provide to the committee a number of previously requested documents by July 9. The Subcommittee on Commercial and Administrative Law voted this week to authorize committee Chairman John Conyers, Jr. to issue the subpoena at his discretion. The documents the committee is seeking cover a broad range of issues including the Valerie Plame leak, allegations of selective prosecution, and other matters."
Last month, the Judiciary Committee subpoenaed Karl Rove's testimony about his role in orchestrating the DOJ's alleged political vendetta against former Alabama Gov. Don Siegelman. Siegelman was convicted on corruption charges in 2006 and sentenced to seven years in prison. He was released in March while his case is being appealed. Witnesses have claimed that Siegelman was persecuted by the Bush White House, under the direction of Rove. Siegelman believes he was targeted because, as a rare popular Democrat in a Republican bastion, he posed a threat to Rove's quixotic dream of a permanent majority for the GOP.
The House Oversight Committee, chaired by Rep. Henry Waxman (D-Calif.) was prompted to subpoena the FBI's Bush-Cheney interview notes after Scott McClellan, the former White House press secretary, said in interviews promoting his book, What Happened, that he was the unwitting conduit of false information about the involvement of Bush officials in the leaking of Plame's covert identity. Additionally, testimony in the 2007 perjury trial of Scooter Libby, Dick Cheney's former chief of staff, indicated that Cheney led a conspiracy involving Libby and Rove to divulge Plame's identity, without regard to the fact the revelation would compromise the secret CIA program and likely put the lives of foreign U.S. operatives in jeopardy.
House investigators want to know if Cheney and Bush lied to the FBI about their knowledge of the conspiracy during the June 24, 2004, interview in the Oval Office. Lying to federal investigators is crime, even when the subjects of the interview are under oath.
A PDF of the subpoena is here.