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The Justice Department has a simple message for Congress: If you want Karl Rove's emails, talk to Rove.
The boys at Justice say they can only find two of the missives that some say will prove Rove was up to his keister in the scandal over politically-motivated firings of U.S. attorneys.
The Justice Department on Wednesday told an angry Senate Judiciary Committee chairman it does not have documents described in a subpoena that demands all materials relating to Karl Rove's possible involvement in the U.S. attorney firings.
Instead, it said, Rove's lawyer must have them. Rove is the chief political adviser for President Bush.
The response from a top Justice Department official came just hours after the chairman, Vermont Democrat Sen. Patrick Leahy and the panel's top Republican, Sen. Arlen Specter of Pennsylvania, chastised Attorney General Alberto Gonzales in a letter for ignoring the subpoena's Tuesday deadline.
"You ignored the subpoena, did not come forward today, did not produce the documents, and did not even offer an explanation for your noncompliance," the two senators wrote in the letter, sent Tuesday night.
"The committee intends to get to the truth."
A top Justice Department official responded Wednesday, saying a further Justice Department search yielded only two documents — internal communications sent to Rove and others about a planned news conference in New Mexico by dismissed U.S. Attorney David Iglesias.
The newly released memo shows that Rove aide Scott Jennings was concerned about allegations Iglesias was politically pressured to resign.
Jennings told Rove and others he doubted "they can make an allegation such as this go away so easily."