Saturday, February 14, 2009

Conyers issues second Rove subpoena

From The Hill:
House Judiciary Committee Chairman John Conyers Jr. (D-Mich.) has issued a second subpoena in his efforts to compel former White House adviser Karl Rove to testify before his panel.

Conyers issued the legal summons to Rove Friday demanding that he appear for a Feb. 23 hearing relating to allegations that the Bush administration improperly politicized the Justice Department.

“Like every citizen subject to compulsory process, I believe it is Mr. Rove’s obligation to appear in response to the subpoena and answer the questions he is asked or assert a valid legal privilege in response to individual questions,” Conyers wrote Rove’s lawyer, Robert Luskin.

Conyers is interested in knowing what role, if any, Rove played in the firings of nine U.S. attorneys and the government’s prosecution of former Alabama Gov. Don Siegelman (D) on public corruption charges.

Friday’s subpoena is the latest effort to force Rove to testify before Congress. Both the Senate and House Judiciary Committees tried to compel Rove to testify last Congress, but President Bush invoked a broad executive privilege to protect his top aides from publicly appearing before the committees.

Before Bush left office he said that blanket executive privilege applies to former administration aides as well. In late January, Conyers subpoenaed Rove to appear at a Feb. 2 deposition, but that appearance was postponed to Feb. 23 so Luskin could confer with Bush lawyers.

In a Jan. 26 e-mail to the House Judiciary panel, Luskin said because Bush had only asserted executive privilege over the U.S. attorneys matter, Rove could discuss the Siegelman case. At the time, Conyers rejected that distinction.

“I do not believe it is acceptable for the committee to allow witnesses to unilaterally determine what they can and cannot testify [about] ... absent assertion of a valid privilege,” Conyers wrote Luskin.
Any bets on whether Rove testifies?

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