Rove Defends Removal of Prosecutors, Cites Clinton-era Dismissals

TROY, Ala. (AP) - White House deputy chief of staff Karl Rove
said Thursday the removal of seven U-S attorneys was based entirely on policy and personnel matters and was no different than dismissals
in the Clinton administration.

He questioned why the Bush administration's action is drawing "super-heated rhetoric" while 123 dismissals during President Clinton's terms did not.

Rove made the remarks at a journalism seminar at Troy University.

Rove, who took questions only from students during his one-hour appearance, also did not address what role he may have played - a question some Democrats in Congress want to ask him.

The dismissal of seven federal prosecutors has drawn criticism in Congress over the role White House officials played and possible attempts to politicize federal investigations.

Former U-S Attorney Redding Pitt of Montgomery, a Democrat who served as a federal prosecutor during the Clinton administration, said in a phone interview that he recalled only six or nine US attorneys being "moved out" because of issues of conduct.

(Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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