In what is now an almost mocking level of contempt, Karl Rove has refused to appear before Congress despite a subpoena to do so. While claiming executive privilege, there is no justification for the failure to appear and to answer any questions on the firing of U.S. attorneys. The question is what will the Democratic Congress do beyond expressions of outrage. It is a question that I will discuss on the Dan Abrams show tonight.
Rove is claiming immunity despite the fact that there are obvious many questions that could not possibly be covered by executive privilege. He was first subpoenaed in May. Committee Chair John Conyers and Subcommittee Chairperson Linda Sanchez have already rejected the claim and threatened prosecution. However, Attorney General Mukasey has blocked giving the case to the grand jury. That leaves Congress’ inherent contempt authority, discussed here.
Congress stopped holding contempt trials after the Justice Department insisted that it would be represent the institution in court. With the open effort to protect officials by Mukasey, Congress now must choose between using its inherent authority or to accept open contempt of its authority.
For today’s story, click here.