by Damozel | Well, Deb was wondering. She's been following the story since we started this blog of all the ways in which the Bush administration, including -- or especially -- Rove has given the bird to Congress (and by extension to the public it represents). Yesterday she wrote:
Last time the Judiciary Committee subpoenaed him (July 2008), Mr. Rove conveniently found himself traveling out of the country. Not that he needed to be: the White House and some lawyers told Mr. Rove that he didn't have to comply with the subpoena.
The time before that (May 2008), after Mr. Rove refused to comply with a Committee subpoena, there was talk of arresting him. As far as I know, Mr. Rove has not seen the inside of a jail cell.
He got away with it when Bush was king. At HuffPost, M.S. Bellows points out how he managed it:
Rove got away with the brazen tactic during Bush's presidency, because the Congress usually relies on the U.S. Attorney General -- an Executive Branch official -- to enforce its subpoenas, and Attorney General Gonzales refused to do so. (HuffPost)
Of course, things is different now. Eric Holder has been confirmed as A.G.---"an Attorney General who has no fondness for Rove and every reason to want to enforce the law as usually understood." (HuffPost)
Has he changed his mind? According to HuffPost, not so much. According to Murray Waas, yes.
Rove's lawyer told Waas that Rove will now cooperate and in fact wanted to cooperate all along: it was Bush who was holding him back.
Rove's attorney, Robert Luskin....told me that Rove had earlier not cooperated with the Inspector General and OPR probe into the firings because "it was not his [Karl's] call... it was not up to us decide." Luskin said that Rove was directed by the Bush White House counsel's office not to cooperate with the Inspector General and OPR. (TPM)
Do you believe that? If you believed that, here's something else unexpected and --- one would have thought ---improbable: At this point, Rove's attorney says, Rove isn't thinking of raising any "personal privileges." (TPM)
Furthermore, he's already cooperating in the Siegelman case.
Regarding Siegelman, Luskin said: "At no time has he or will he assert personal privilege in that matter." While declining to discuss specifics of what Rove has told investigators regarding Siegelman, Luskin said: "What Karl has said [to investigators] is entirely consistent with what he has said publicly--that he absolutely nothing to do with this."
The Raw Story points out:
The article...did not indicate the level of Rove's potential cooperation. Though Luskin said Rove wouldn't assert personal privlege, he did not indicate whether Rove will continue to seek protection under executive privilege. Several days before President Bush left office, the White House instructed Rove not to cooperate with subpoenas or produce documents to Congress relating to the US Attorney firings.
At Huff Post, M.S. Bellow doesn't think that the indefatigable John Conyers --- who subpoenaed Rove once more on Monday --- should be holding his breath:
Karl Rove...doesn't intend to appear, let alone testify....
In a Twitter exchange Sunday evening, I asked Rove his intentions: "Sorry, but curious, + we'll all know in a few hours anyway: will you appear ... but claim privilege, or decline to appear?" He answered with a link to an earlier interview with Bill O'Reilly, in which he stands by his "don't have to appear" position.
So in response to Monday's subpoena, an unabashed Rove will call Conyers' bluff (GOP interpretation) or metaphorically slap Conyers in the face (Democratic interpretation). Why? A couple of possible theories:
(1) Simply to stay consistent with his position regarding Conyers' last (Bush-era) subpoena, which currently is on appeal. Deviating from that tack could make his position in the earlier case look less sincere.
(2) Always the political strategist, Rove might also be stoking conflict to make Congressional Democrats, and by implication Obama, look partisan, taking some of the luster off Obama's strenuous efforts to at least appear bipartisan. If so, we can at least credit Rove with being self-sacrificing: throwing himself into the flames to help his party. (Which, of course, would be appropriate, since he's the famous Architect of their current disastrous state.)
Regardless of whether his motivation is relatively noble (albeit partisan) or simply legalistic, though, Rove's last act is not likely to play out well for him.(HuffPost)
Yes, I wouldn't have thought that newly confirmed AG Eric Holder is just going to let that stand.
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