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Specter urges Gonzales to consider special prosecutor in US Attorneys firing scandal

[JURIST] US Sen. Arlen Specter (R-PA) [official website] told Attorney General Alberto Gonzales on Tuesday that he should consider appointing a special prosecutor to investigate the US Attorneys firing scandal [JURIST news archive]. In a Senate Judiciary Committee oversight hearing [committee materials], Specter said that Gonzales may have to appoint the investigator because the Bush administration has made statements that would cut off the power Congress has to investigate the firings. Specter warned Gonzales that if that happens, "the president can run the government as he chooses, answer no questions."

Last week, the White House said that the administration would not allow [JURIST report] the Department of Justice to pursue any contempt of Congress charges [backgrounder; 2 USC Sec. 192] brought against White House officials in the congressional investigation of the firings. Last Thursday, a panel of the House Judiciary Committee voted to proceed with contempt proceedings [JURIST report] against former White House counsel Harriet Miers [official profile] after she ignored a subpoena ordering her to appear and testify before the committee. The House Judiciary Committee is scheduled to consider whether to proceed with the contempt citation on Wednesday. AP has more.

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