For the first time since it came to light 2 years ago, the US attorneys scandal has gone beyond the investigative phase. The Justice Department has asked for a grand jury to hear evidence as it weighs perjury charges against a former interim US attorney, the Wall Street Journal reports. Bradley Schlozman left government last year under fire after bragging about hiring only Bush-friendly lawyers and bringing charges against a liberal voter-registration group.
Two separate probes into the scandal—which turns on allegations of political meddling by the White House and led to AG Alberto Gonzales’ resignation—will conclude in coming days. One potential target for perjury was a statement Schlozman made before the Senate that he had been “directed” to file charges; he later issued a clarification, saying he had only consulted with Justice. (Read more US attorney firings stories.)