Dannehy Questions Rove About U.S. Attorney Firings

Connecticut Acting U.S. Attorney Nora Dannehy sat down Friday with former White House aide Karl Rove as she leads the investigation that could determine if Bush administration officials face criminal charges in the controversial canning of nine U.S. attorneys in 2006.

The meeting was held at the office of Rove’s lawyer, Robert Luskin.

The former presidential adviser declined comment as he left the interview, but a spokeswoman for his lawyer said Rove cooperated and tried to answer the prosecutor's questions.

Dannehy's inquiry follows an earlier Justice Department inquiry in which Rove and other Republican officials refused to cooperate. That investigation concluded that political considerations played a role in the firings of as many as four prosecutors. 

Rove has said he will cooperate with the prosecutor's investigation. The inquiry is being conducted to determine whether Bush administration officials or congressional Republicans should face criminal charges in the dismissal of nine U.S. attorneys in 2006.

The reason for this meeting, and Dannehy’s launch into national prominence, is the controversy surrounding the firings.

In December 2006, senior Department of Justice officials told seven U.S. Attorneys to resign from their posts, according to a 392-page report issued by the U.S. Department of Justice in September 2009. Two other U.S. Attorneys had been told to resign earlier in the 2006.

When news of the firings broke, members of Congress began to raise concerns about why the nine were removed, including whether the intent was to influence some prosecutions. 

In October 2008, then-Attorney General Michael Mukasey appointed Dannehy to "determine whether any prosecutable offense was committed with regard to the removal of a U.S. Attorney or the testimony of any witness related to the U.S. Attorney removals," allheadlinenews.com reports.

Dannehy has interviewed several key former White Housers and lawmakers, the Washington Post reports.

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