July 10, 2008

Karl Rove a No-Show, Defies House Subpoena

Former presidential adviser Karl Rove declined to appear before a U.S. congressional subcommittee Thursday, citing executive privilege and ignoring a subpoena.

Rove was to testify before the U.S. House of Representatives Judiciary Committee's Subcommittee on Commercial and Administrative Law about allegations of politicization of the Justice Department as they related to the firings of U.S. attorneys and the prosecution of a former Alabama governor. Subcommittee Chairwoman Linda Sanchez, D-Calif., and Committee Chairman John Coyners, D-Mich., previously said Rove wasn't immune from testifying.

Sanchez Thursday argued Rove's claim of immunity was invalid, saying, Mr. Rove is required pursuant to the subpoena to be present at this hearing and to answer questions or to assert privilege with respect to specific questions.

A letter dated July 1 from Rove's attorney, Robert Luskin, said, (As) a former senior adviser to the president of the United States, he remains obligated to assert privileges held by the president.

Among the findings listed in Sanchez' ruling posted on the committee's Web site was that Rove's claims of absolute immunity directly contradict the conduct of this and past administrations with respect to White House officials appearing before Congress.

Also, the White House failed to demonstrate that the information we are seeking from him under the subpoena is covered by that privilege, Sanchez said.