Imus Suspended, Gonzales Docs Subpoenaed, Obama Nixes VP Bid In The MTV NewsFeed

Also: John McCain tries to put a positive spin on April Fool's Day visit to Baghdad.

The Associated Press reports that the House Judiciary Committee has served Attorney General Alberto Gonzales with a subpoena for new documents related to the firings of eight U.S. attorneys last year. "We have been patient in allowing the department to work through its concerns regarding the sensitive nature of some of these materials," Democratic Representative John Conyers wrote in a letter that accompanied the subpoena. "Unfortunately, the department has not indicated any meaningful willingness to find a way to meet our legitimate needs." The Justice Department has yet to comment. Kyle Sampson and Monica Goodling, Gonzales' respective chief of staff and top aide, previously resigned in the wake of the ongoing controversy. ...

Sometimes people send each other nasty notes about their boss via personal e-mail accounts so they're not visible on the company server. Well, the White House apparently tried a variation on that trick — but it didn't work. The White House is being accused of improperly trying to hide e-mails about government business — including communications about the December firing of eight U.S. attorneys, and one from jailed former lobbyist Jack Abramoff — by using unofficial e-mail accounts, CNN reports. Those e-mails were discovered on a Republican National Committee e-mail domain called — get this — gwb43.com, which is not part of the official White House communication system. The Presidential Records Act, passed during the Nixon administration, requires the preservation of all official records of and about the president, and Democrat Henry Waxman, the chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, has sent letters to the RNC and the former head of the Bush-Cheney re-election campaign claiming that the e-mails are subject to the act. A White House spokesman defended the method as an appropriate way of separating official business from political campaign work, but perhaps more revealing is an e-mail from Abramoff after he learned that one of his messages had been forwarded into the White House e-mail system: "Dammit. It was sent to Susan [Ralston, an aide to Karl Rove] on her RNC pager and was not supposed to go into the WH [White House] system." ...

MSNBC and CBS radio will suspend host Don Imus for two weeks in the wake of his controversial description of the Rutgers University women's basketball team as "nappy-headed hos," on Wednesday, CNN reports. The suspensions begin on Monday, and MSNBC's "future relationship" with Imus will be decided by "his ability to live up to his word," according to a statement from NBC News released Monday; CBS followed suit shortly afterward. Imus has apologized several times for his remark, and dedicated Tuesday's (April 10) show to a discussion of the matter, in which he said, "We ought to have a black person on the show every single day to add some perspective." The Rutgers team held a press conference Tuesday to address the matter, with the captain of the team, Essence Carson, saying she and her fellow players will meet with Imus in the near future, CNN reports. "We just hope to come to some type of understanding of what the remarks really entailed, his reasons why they were said," Carson said at the news conference. "And we'd just like to express our great hurt, the sadness that he has brought to us." While many — including the Reverend Al Sharpton and New Jersey Governor Jon Corzine and presidential hopeful Barack Obama — have slammed Imus for his comments and/or called for his dismissal, at least one person is supporting him: faltering presidential hopeful John McCain, who said he'll continue to appear on Imus' show, adding "I'm a great believer in redemption." ...

McCain would do well to believe in redemption as he continues to weather fallout from his and fellow senators' much-mocked April Fool's Day trip to a Baghdad market — in which the senators spoke of the market's safety as they were protected by helicopters, body armor, Humvees and soldiers, although The Associated Press reports that McCain said he would have walked through the market without guards. A new Gallup Poll of Republicans' preferences for their party's 2008 presidential nomination shows Rudy Giuliani continuing to lead, with McCain's support at its lowest level to date: It's gone from 28 percent in December and 21 percent in March to 16 percent last week, just after the Baghdad trip. According to CNN, the Arizona Republican said his support of the war is undeterred by any damage it may be doing to his campaign. "I believe that we have to succeed. Otherwise, this country will have much greater problems than anything to do with my political ambitions. I'd rather lose a campaign than lose a war." ...

Senator Barack Obama dismissed a suggestion from David Letterman on Monday night that he might accept the role of Hillary Clinton's vice president, as noted in the Chicago Sun Times. "You don't run for second. I don't believe in that," he said on the "Late Show With David Letterman," but did not elaborate substantially on the issue.

[This story was originally published at 11:31 am E.T. on 04.10.2007]