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The Attorney General gets his first subpoena

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In what will probably be the first of many, the Attorney General, Alberto Gonzales, was subpoenaed today by the House Judiciary Committee:

The House Judiciary Committee issued a subpoena to Attorney General Alberto R. Gonzales today seeking hundreds of pages of new or uncensored records related to the firings of eight U.S. attorneys last year, officials said.

It is the first subpoena to be issued in connection with the dismissals and escalates the confrontation between Democrats and the Bush administration, which has resisted demands for more documents and for public testimony from White House aides about the dismissals.

"We have been patient in allowing the department to work through its concerns regarding the sensitive nature of some of these materials," Rep. John Conyers (D-Mich.), the judiciary panel's chairman, wrote Gonzales in a letter that accompanied the subpoena. "Unfortunately, the department has not indicated any meaningful willingness to find a way to meet our legitimate needs."

Conyers added that "further delay in receiving these materials will not serve any constructive purpose."
In other words, stop screwing around. The Democrats on the House Judiciary Committee -- and their staff -- play hard ball. Very hard ball. This is getting good.

This, again, is why having the majority matters.

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