Charges possible against White House
Jul 02,2007 00:00 by UPI

WASHINGTON - U.S. Sen. Patrick Leahy said he would consider contempt charges against the White House if he isn't provided documents related to the firings of U.S. attorneys.

"If they don't cooperate, yes, I'd go that far," Leahy, D-Vt., and chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, said Sunday on NBC's "Meet the Press." "This is very important to the American people."

The possibility of criminal contempt of Congress charges means the scandal over the White House and U.S. Justice Department's handling of the nine federal prosecutors could land in court, The Washington Post reported.

Leahy's committee and the House Judiciary Committee is seeking testimony and documents from the White House, which has offered private conversations with the officials and the committee chairmen.

Leahy said on NBC that public testimony is important in the matter, the Post reported.

"The bottom line on the U.S. attorneys investigation is that we have people manipulating law enforcement," he said. "Law enforcement can't be partisan. Law enforcement can't decide, 'Well, we'll arrest this person because they're a Democrat but not this person because they're a Republican,' or the other way around."

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