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House panel asks Rove to testify on alleged role in DOJ Siegelman prosecution

[JURIST] The US House Judiciary Committee Thursday called [press release] upon former White House Deputy Chief of Staff Karl Rove [official profile] to testify concerning any involvement in the prosecution of former Alabama Governor Don Siegelman [official profile; JURIST news archive] on federal corruption charges in 2005. In a letter [PDF text] to Rove, the committee expressed concern over allegations that the prosecution had been politically motivated, citing a sworn affidavit [PDF text] signed by Alabama lawyer Jill Simpson in which she alleged that Rove had assured Republican operative Bill Canary that Siegelman was being pursued by the Department of Justice (DOJ) [official website].

The committee's examination of Siegelman's case is part of a larger investigation into what it alleges is a pattern of politically influenced selective prosecutions by the DOJ. In a report [PDF text] released on Thursday, the committee highlighted a number of cases it says were brought as a result of political pressures, including those against former Allegheny County coroner Dr. Cyril Wecht and former Wisconsin procurement official Georgia Thompson. The report also said the DOJ has refused to cooperate with its investigation. The committee Thursday asked [letter, PDF] US Attorney General Michael Mukasey to turn over all DOJ documents and case materials pertaining to the matters. AP has more.

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