From NBC's Pete Williams
The U.S. Senate's Judiciary committee voted today to recommend that Joshua Bolten, White House chief of staff, and former top aid Karl Rove be found in contempt of Congress.
The committee voted 12-7 to send the contempt issue to the full Senate. The votes follow refusals by Bolten and Rove to comply with committee subpoenas for documents and testimony about the fired US attorneys. The White House has asserted executive privilege for both of them.
Two Republicans, Arlen Specter and Charles Grassley, joined the committee Democrats in the contempt vote. Today's action means contempt citations are now pending in both the House and Senate. The House Judiciary Committee has recommended finding Bolten and former counsel Harriet Miers in contempt.
If either the full House or Senate vote to cite Rove, Bolten, or Miers for contempt, that would send the question to the Justice Department and, ultimately, to court, beginning a process that would very likely take at least two years to resolve.