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Rove accused of involvement in scheme to fire US Attorney: federal prosecutor

[JURIST] Former White House advisor Karl Rove [official profile] was allegedly involved in a 2004 scheme to have Chicago-based US Attorney Patrick J. Fitzgerald [official website] fired, a federal prosecutor said Wednesday. According to the prosecutor, a witness at the corruption trial of political fundraiser Antoin "Tony" Rezko [Chicago Tribune backgrounder] will testify that Rove, Rezko and Republican national committee chairman Robert Kjellander had conversations about removing Fitzgerald from his job.

Rezko faces charges of using his position with Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich's administration to launch a $7 million kickback scheme. At the time of the alleged conversations, Fitzgerald had been appointed as Special Counsel in the CIA leak investigation [JURIST news archive]. The Bush administration came under fire last year for the firings of eight US Attorneys [JURIST news archive] for alleged political reasons, and the ensuing scandal was one factor contributing to the resignation [JURIST report] of former Attorney General Alberto Gonzales. CBS News has more.

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