A RAPIDLY growing scandal over the sacking of eight US government lawyers reached the Oval Office today amid evidence that the White House tried to cover up the involvement of President George W. Bush and his top aides in the dismissals.
The revelation transformed what had been a simmering controversy into a full-blown scandal after emails showed that top aides to Mr Bush were deeply involved in the dismissals – and at a much earlier date than they had previously admitted.
The eight federal prosecutors, all Republican appointees, were sacked unexpectedly last year by the Justice Department. The official explanation was that they were removed for poor performance.
A congressional investigation has revealed that some of the prosecutors had received allegedly intimidating phone calls from Republican politicians, asking them to be more aggressive in pursuing claims of Democrat voter fraud in their states. The calls were made shortly before last year’s midterm elections when Republicans were desperately seeking evidence of Democrat corruption.
Nearly all the federal prosecutors, it has also emerged, had exemplary records, fuelling Democrat claims that they had been victims of a political purge.