House Panel Approves Subpoenas for White House Aides - Just In Case

By Melanie Arter | July 7, 2008 | 8:32pm EDT

( - Against the advice of the president, a House panel Wednesday approved the issuing of subpoenas for President Bush's top aides, including presidential adviser Karl Rove, despite Bush's earlier offer to allow them to discuss - in private and not under oath - the dismissal of eight U.S. attorneys.

As Cybercast News Service reported Tuesday, Bush said the White House is giving "unprecedented" access to a variety of White House communications regarding the firing of the U.S. attorneys, including "more than 3,000 pages of internal Justice Department documents."

"I hope they don't choose confrontation," Bush said, noting that he would oppose efforts to subpoena his top advisers.

But on Wednesday, a House Judiciary Committee subcommittee agreed by voice vote to authorize subpoenas if Rove, former White House counsel Harriet Miers and others refuse voluntarily to testify voluntarily under oath.

The subpoenas, which have not yet been issued, require approval of the full Judiciary Committee.

Judiciary Committee Chairman John Conyers (D-Mich.) said he would talk to the White House again Wednesday in hopes of reaching an agreement.

The White House, meanwhile, questioned whether Democrats are "more interested in a political spectacle than getting the truth."

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