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U.S. congressional committee on Wednesday ramped up its investigation of the Bush administration, subpoenaing the testimony of Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice. ccording to congressional voting records, the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee voted 21-10 to subpoena Rice as part of its investigation of the Bush administration's assertion that Iraq sought to purchase uranium in Africa -- a claim that was used to justify going to war in Iraq.

In his opening statement, Committee Chairman Harry Waxman, a Californian Democrat, said he prefers to issue subpoenas as a "last resort," adding that he felt he had "hit a brick wall" with Rice.

"For four years, I have been trying to get information from Rice on a variety of issues, including the reference to uranium and Niger in the president's 2003 State of the Union speech," Waxman said.

"My request is simple: I would like Secretary Rice to suggest a date that would be convenient for her to testify before our committee," he said.

House Minority Leader John Boehner, a Republican from Ohio, quickly denounced the committee's actions, saying it is merely a "partisan show."

The committee also passed issuing subpoenas to Republican National Committee (RNC) chairman Mike Duncan and for the e-mails White House officials composed on RNC e-mail accounts with regard to the firing of eight U.S. Attorneys.

The committee's move is part of the Democratic-led Congress's ongoing investigations of the conducts of the Bush administration.


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