WASHINGTON – Attorney General Alberto Gonzales can expect a subpoena after the Senate Judiciary Committee voted to send him a legal request to provide all e-mails related to presidential adviser Karl Rove and the firings of eight U.S. attorneys.
"It is troubling that significant documents highly relevant to the committee's inquiry have not been produced," committee chairman Patrick Leahy, D-Vt., wrote in a letter to Gonzales that is accompanying the order to comply. The subpoena gives Gonzales until May 15 to turn over the information.
Meanwhile, senior Justice Department officials have confirmed to FOX News that the department's watchdogs have received allegations that Monica Goodling -- the former chief counsel to Attorney General Alberto Gonzales and the Justice Department's White House liaison -- engaged in improper political activity while on the job.
Goodling is at the center of the flap over the firing of the prosecutors, and invoked her Fifth Amendment right to avoid congressional testimony before the House Judiciary Committee decided to grant her immunity.
Chief amongst the allegations against Goodling is that she is said to have quizzed candidates for open career positions at the department on their political preferences and affiliations. If she ultimately made decisions to hire career employees based on their personal politics, she will have broken the law.
Senior sources told FOX News on Wednesday that the man who had temporarily replaced Kyle Sampson as Gonzales' chief of staff -- Chuck Rosenberg -- received word of several accusations against Goodling and forwarded all the information to the department's Office of Inspector General "several weeks ago." Rosenberg has since relinquished the interim post and has returned to his fulltime job as the U.S. attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia.
A statement issued by department officials also says Rosenberg forwarded the materials to the Office of Professional Responsibility to determine whether Goodling may have "taken prohibited considerations into account during such review. Whether or not the allegation is true is currently the subject of an ongoing OIG/OPR investigation."
Back on Capitol Hill, Leahy is seeking any Rove-related e-mails in the custody of the Justice Department, and has rejected claims by the White House that some of the e-mails may have been lost. Leahy pointed to Rove's lawyer's statement that some of those the White House claims might be lost had been turned over to U.S. Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald as part of the investigation into the leak of CIA agent Valerie Plame's identity.
It was unclear whether any of those were related to the prosecutor firings, but congressional investigators believe that if Fitzgerald could retrieve some e-mails for his investigation, the ones related to the firings of U.S. attorneys are recoverable as well.
The White House has said it is trying to recover e-mails that were lost but has not promised to turn any over to congressional investigators.
Gonzales said during his April 17 testimony to Leahy's committee that he did not know the details but would get back to the chairman.
"I have not heard from you since," Leahy wrote, urging compliance with all of his panel's requests for information "to avoid further subpoenas."
It was the committee's first subpoena issued since the firings caused an uproar earlier this year and imperiled Gonzales' job. A bipartisan group of Judiciary Committee senators also demanded that Gonzales turn over an internal order that granted his top aides some hiring and firing authority over political appointees below the level of U.S. attorneys.
The order compels the Justice Department to turn over "complete and unredacted versions of any and all e-mails and attachments to e-mails to, from, or copied to Karl Rove" related to the firings, written on White House, Republican National Committee or any other e-mail accounts.
The committee is probing whether Rove and other top White House officials conducted official business on RNC accounts intended for political work, then deleted them in violation of the law.
FOX News' Ian McCaleb and The Associated Press contributed to this report.