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Once again, it pays to be in the Bush administration's tight inner circle (especially when the possibility of punishment for alleged wrongdoing looms): It now seems that Karl Rove may be protected by his loyal president and may not have to face the Senate Judiciary Committee about the U.S. attorney firings scandal.

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President Bush has told his former White House counsel, Harriet E. Miers (pictured), not to even appear before the House Judiciary Committee in its investigation into the firings of U.S. attorneys, the committee chairman said Wednesday. The panel was to hear from Miers on Thursday.

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