House Judiciary Subpoenas Karl Rove

The House Judiciary Committee on Thursday served a subpoena on former top Bush aide Karl Rove in another showdown with the White House. He is being called to answer questions about the firing U.S. Attorneys and the politicization of the Justice Department. His lawyer had earlier indicated he would testify. The real question is the stomach of the House for taking real action in wake of the likely failure to appear.

Rove was ordered to appear July 10th, but his lawyer wrote a letter telling the Committee that he would not appear voluntarily: “”While the committee has the authority to issue a subpoena, it is hard to see what this will accomplish, apart from a ‘Groundhog Day’ replay of the same issues that are already the subject of litigation.”

Judiciary Chairman John Conyers, D-Michigan, said in a written statement:

“It is unfortunate that Mr. Rove has failed to cooperate with our requests,” Conyers said. “Although he does not seem the least bit hesitant to discuss these very issues weekly on cable television and in the print news media, Mr. Rove and his attorney have apparently concluded that a public hearing room would not be appropriate. Unfortunately, I have no choice today but to compel his testimony on these very important matters.”

Now the question is what will Congress do in face of an every lengthening list of acts of open contempt. Congress clearly has authority to demand his appearance and the White House has wildly over-extended executive privilege. The White House, however, is hoping that the calendar rather than the constitution will end the matter.

For the full story, click here and here.

12 thoughts on “House Judiciary Subpoenas Karl Rove”

  1. The Power of Inherent Contempt hasn’t been used for a long time – I can imagine that there are a few dozen staffers, legal consultants and legal historians making haste on a Virtual Private Network.

    JT was out and about last night and had pretty much had the same interview on the subject as 3 previous times, when this came up. I’m not being critical of our host – or Olbermann – the fact his – this is apparently a tool of Congress that was last used in the 1930’s and it resulted in 10 days imprisonment for Contempt.

    Then there seems to be some additional confusion and ambiguity about whether contempt of Congress is a crime against Congress or against the United States, to what distinction appears only to put it out of reach of a Presidential pardon.

    Lastly, it doesn’t seem important whether or not Karl Rove can be prosecuted, convicted or pardoned – in contrast to the importance of restoring some propriety to our Government. We only have a glimpse of the wreckage this insurgency has inflicted.

    The insurgents:

    Looted the treasury
    Infrastructure in decay
    Many without healthcare
    Many need financial assistance
    Many have perished without a competent plan for rescue
    Corruption in military and civilian military leadership is abundant
    Corruption in General Servcie
    Corrupt religious operatives infiltrated justice system resulting in persecution of opposition
    Less powerful political opponents denied fair trails
    Corrupt politicians running in concert with extremist religious leaders
    Political Partisans engaged in furious propaganda and obstruction

    And this isn’t Iraq – That’s right here at home.

    Indeed … our government needs to prove to the American public that it can act on behalf of the American people and wrestle control of the remnants of the coup, before the next election.

  2. Rove probably has some skeletons in his closet that could be found if the Media actually did their job. With a little leverage, Rove will squeal like a pig to the committee.

  3. Jill:

    Jack Anderson, the muckraking columnist, used to say that most of his best information came from secretaries and busboys and doormen. Mid-level people still are the best sources of truth because power, money, and influence doesn’t “modify” their ethics, and, finally some news-people are re-discovering that fact. Anderson said something else germane too: “The incestuous relationship between government and big business thrives in the dark.” Who is Rove working for now?

  4. Rove has many enemies. Although he thinks the “big” ideas and is a detail man as well, others still have to do some of the work-others not well placed as himself.

    I suggest Congress take the McClatchy news service approach to rove. They were one of the few larger newspapers to actually investigate the run up to the Iraq war. They did so by talking to mid level people. Those people kept telling the facts but no one was much listening in the bigger newsrooms because those idiots felt mid level people weren’t “sexy” enough to hear out. Big mistake. They name reporters kept their “insider” “”status””(–ha, ha) and wrote what they were fed. Congress should find these mid-level people. They don’t know everything but they know a lot. Each and every time they get information they need to splash it all over the media along with anaylsis of why this stuff matters to this nation. They need to be out in front of the whitehouse spin machine, with both accurate information and analysis.

    Most people are not happy with cheney-bush and minions. Congress should go to this nation and lay out the case. I believe a talk with the mid level people who did Rove’s bidding would be interesting and informing to the people of the U.S.

  5. rafflaw

    Spot on! I concur word for word. Thanks for saving me some typing.

  6. Don’t believe there is anything Congress can do to Rove that is worse than being relegated to Fixed News.

  7. The only way that they will get Rove to appear under oath is through the Congressional power of Inherent Contempt. Will they have the stones to use it? I don’t know, but Conyers has been getting visibly pissed at Rove and the other felons so it is possible that he just may pull the trigger. It would be sight to see. I have my fingers crossed, but I am not holding my breath.

  8. $20,000 Dollar Pyramid

    “Go!”

    “Okay…. anemic…impotent…loathsome…

    “Things that are slander per se”

    “Impotent… anemic… loathsome”

    “Things that are libel per se”

    “Useless … powerless by design…”

    “All things Congressional”

    That’s right!

  9. Binx, I agree. Isn’t there some kind of criminal charge for deliberate refusal to appear before Congress when Rove has in fact been summoned? If it were anyone else but Rove, or some other former (or current) White House official that person would probably be under some kind of arrest, correct? Of course, JT, you can answer this one too, for those who missed your appearance on COUNTDOWN this evening. I just made it, this time. 🙂

  10. I thought I would drop by again before the students show up with their absurd comments under the popular names to drive the conversation away. I find it to be the Internet version of book burning.

    I digress –

    You wisely offered the rhetorical question about Congress having the nerve to move ahead with the tools at their avail. While this is a judiciary committee matter – all of the parties involved are politicians. It is difficult for me to even shadow box with the rationale of how pursuing this matter ( which no doubt requires pursuit) is politically expedient or effective considering the calendar – the political races – and – the likely dust storm of misinformation that neocon operatives, (I refuse to name them except for their poster child Kevin James which makes me simultaneously laugh and cringe)bunkered srategically all over the press, radio and TV.

    It is a Constitutional responsibility, that is further complicated with its high likelihood to be a political nightmare, unless they charge Rove and others with a crime very swiftly.

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