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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Democrats Want Rove To Testify on Dismissals

WASHINGTON -- U.S. Senate Democrats are pressing their campaign to have White House political guru Karl Rove field questions under oath before a congressional committee on the dismissal of eight federal prosecutors.

Subpoenas for Rove and other top White House aides were expected to be authorized Thursday by the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee. A congressional panel took similar action Wednesday, but held off on issuing the subpoenas.

Facing a potential constitutional showdown, the White House showed no inclination to compromise, saying U.S. President George W. Bush would only allow his aides to hold limited private interviews with certain lawmakers, and not under oath.

White House press secretary Tony Snow on Thursday accused supporters of the subpoenas of wanting "a Perry Mason scene where people are hot-dogging and grandstanding and trying to score political points."

In another television appearance, Snow said the constitutional tug-of-war would never have ensued had members of Congress been "interested in fact-finding as opposed to brow-beating a White House aide. What they're missing now is a televised spectacle."

On Wednesday, Snow said Bush's proposal, which he called the White House's final offer, could be rescinded. "If they issue subpoenas, yes, the offer is withdrawn," Snow said. Democrats "will have rejected the offer."

Bush is standing by embattled Attorney General Alberto Gonzales, even as Republicans and Democrats question his leadership. The president insists that the firings of the prosecutors over the past year were appropriate.