Rove's no. 2 to face likely subpoena threat next week
The Senate Judiciary Committee announced yesterday that it will likely authorize subpoenas for Karl Rove's top deputy in the White House. The message came as the committee authorized subpoenas for other Justice Department and White House officials, and suggests that interest has grown among investigators in Sara M. Taylor's role in the firing of eight U.S. Attorneys by the Bush administration.
"The committee is expected to vote on a similar authorization next week for Sara M. Taylor, Deputy Assistant to the President and Director of Political Affairs," the Judiciary Committee said in a press release yesterday announcing the other subpoena authorizations.
The committee had voted to give Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-VT) the authority to compel testimony from J. Scott Jennings, Special Assistant to the President and Deputy Director of Political Affairs, and William E. Moschella, Principal Associate Deputy Attorney General, and also to require the Justice Department and White House to produce more documents.
Jennings, who already faces a subpoena threat from the House Judiciary Committee, in fact serves as Taylor's deputy. His name appears frequently in emails released by the Justice Department in March on the executive branch's deliberations over the firing of 8 U.S. Attorneys.
The decision to authorize a subpoena for Taylor may suggest that she has become a person of greater interest as investigators probe the Bush administration officials involved in the Attorneys' firings. A House aide had told RAW STORY in March that Taylor's aide Jennings had immediately been of interest, but that "other subpoenas can be authorized or issued should any other names come up."
When former Chief of Staff D. Kyle Sampson testified before the Senate committee last month, he raised Taylor's name in the course of his questioning. She and Jennings had told Sampson, he claimed, that U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Arkansas Bud Cummins should be replaced by Tim Griffin, a former top Republican Party official. Their interest in Griffin led Sampson to believe that Griffin's nomination was important to Rove.
Taylor herself may soon be exiting from her years of White House service. The Washington Post and Wall Street Journal both reported that Taylor had informed friends and others that she planned to resign from her position some time this spring.
Taylor has also been implicated in the growing scandal over the use of Republican Party email accounts by White House officials. A document request sent to the Republican National Committee by the House Judiciary Committee named Taylor as one White House staffer who has used an RNC-supplied email account to possibly circumvent the official White House documentation system.