Former White House political adviser Karl Rove was deeply involved in the firing of a U.S. attorney in New Mexico, according to White House e-mails and transcripts of closed-door testimony released Tuesday.
The House Judiciary Committee released more than 5,400 pages of White House and Republican National Committee e-mails, along with transcripts of closed-door testimony by Rove and former White House Counsel Harriet Miers.
The documents show that staffers in Rove's office were actively seeking to have U.S. Attorney David Iglesias removed. In one e-mail in 2005, Rove aide Scott Jennings sent an e-mail to another Rove aide, saying, "I would really like to move forward with getting rid of NM US ATTY."
Miers testified that Rove complained to her about Iglesias, but she could not recall whether he specifically said he should be fired.
Iglesias was one of nine U.S. attorneys fired in part for apparently not being sufficiently loyal to the Republican administration.
The ensuing uproar led to a series of damaging revelations about the Bush administration's political meddling with the Justice Department and the eventual resignation of then-Attorney General Alberto Gonzales.
Iglesias said in an interview Tuesday he was nauseated by the whole affair.
"It's exactly what I feared. Over two years ago, I said that all roads lead to Rove," Iglesias said. "I've said consistently that he was highly involved, and now the evidence is there."
Rove's lawyer, Robert Luskin, did not immediately return a call for comment.
Miers was interviewed by House Judiciary Committee lawyers on June 15. Rove was interviewed July 7 and 30.
‘The driving force’
"After all the delay and despite all the obfuscation, lies, and spin, this basic truth can no longer be denied: Karl Rove and his cohorts at the Bush White House were the driving force behind several of these firings, which were done for improper reasons," said Rep. John Conyers, chairman of the House Judiciary Committee.
Conyers said he provided a copy of the documents released Tuesday to acting U.S. Attorney Nora Dannehy, who questioned Rove earlier this year to determine his precise role in the Bush administration's politically tinged firings of U.S. attorneys.