Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Rove should be held in contempt of Congress

Why shouldn't Karl Rove be arrested, hauled away in handcuffs, fingerprinted, have his mugshot taken, and face getting bailed out of jail?

Rove defends defiance of congressional subpoena


BEVERLY HILLS, Calif. (AP) — Former White House adviser Karl Rove on Monday defended his defiance of a congressional subpoena, saying he's offered lawmakers other ways to question him about allegations of political pressure at the Justice Department.

In five letters to the House Judiciary Committee, "my lawyer has offered for me to go up to visit with members of Congress, visit with the staff or respond to written questions without foreclosing any future action by Congress," Rove said.

Rove, now a Fox News contributor, was responding to questions from Television Critics Association members during a Fox News panel session.

John Moody, Fox News executive vice president, was asked if it undercuts the channel's credibility to have someone with Rove's "political baggage" in its lineup.

"No," Moody replied, calling the former Bush adviser an authority on politics and adding that the current difference of opinion with Congress is between Rove and lawmakers.

But when a reporter tried to press the point with Moody, Rove jumped in to dispute characterization of the dispute as personal.

"It's not between me and Congress. I've not asserted any personal privilege. This is between the White House and Congress," Rove said.

The issue centers on "the ability of the president to receive advice from senior advisers and for those senior advisers not to be at the beck-and-call of Congress for testimony," Rove said.

Lawmakers subpoenaed Rove in May to force him to talk about whether he played a role in prosecutors' decisions to pursue cases against Democrats, such as former Alabama Gov. Don Siegelman, or in firing federal prosecutors considered disloyal to the Bush administration.

Rove has said previously he is bound to follow the White House's guidance, although he has offered to answer questions specifically on the Siegelman case — but only with no transcript taken and not under oath.

After Rove failed to appear Thursday, the Democratic chairman of a House subcommittee ruled that Rove was breaking the law by refusing to cooperate. It was perhaps the first step toward holding him in contempt of Congress.

The White House has cited executive privilege as a reason he and others who serve or served in the administration shouldn't testify, arguing that internal administration communications are confidential and that Congress cannot compel officials to testify.

A decision on whether to pursue contempt charges now goes to the full Judiciary Committee and ultimately to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.

The above copyrighted article from the Associated Press [found here]


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