Members of the House Judiciary Committee have said they will dust off that discarded tool of congressional inquiry, the subpoena. The committee is investigating the Justice Department’s allegedly partisan hiring and firing of U.S. attorneys.

Brad Blog:

Two media statements released from members of the U.S. House Judiciary Committee indicate that subpoenas will soon be issued in the matter of the allegedly coerced firings of U.S. attorneys in the Department of Justice. A vote will take place [Thursday] in the subcommittee on commercial and administrative law on whether to issue the subpoenas to Justice Department officials Carol Lam, David Iglesias, H.E. Cummins III and John McKay to compel them to appear before a subcommittee hearing next week.

As well, the Brad Blog has learned the Judiciary Committee will also hold hearings next week on matters related to “election reform and irregularities.”

According to a committee staffer, “subpoenas will be issued” [Thursday] in the U.S. attorney matter. If so, it would be the first time the Democrats have exercised their newly gained subpoena power since wresting control of Congress from Republicans.

[Judiciary Committee Chairman John] Conyers expressed outrage over allegations that former U.S. attorney David C. Iglesias was fired after allegedly refusing to capitulate to political pressure from higher-ups. Iglesias has charged that he had refused “to provide information on the status of a federal investigation” under Justice Department pressure to “speed it up to help Republicans fare better in the November elections,” according to the Conyers release.

“This is the most egregious allegation so far that the administration has allowed partisan politics to corrupt the selection and retention of U.S. attorneys,” said Conyers. “Worse, it appears to be part of a pattern of partisan activity in this area and should be unacceptable to anyone concerned about a fair and efficient criminal justice system.”

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