As featured on p. 218 of "Bloggers on the Bus," under the name "a MyDD blogger."

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Rove A No-Show

I had a tip that Karl Rove was going to show up at a House Judiciary Committee hearing yesterday, but I held off on reporting it because I got a qualified "maybe." Turns out I was right to hesitate:

So today was the day that Karl Rove was supposed to appear before the House Judiciary committee to testify about the US Attorney firings. And of course, Rove didn't show.

That wasn't a surprise. After getting the deadline pushed back, Rove had already publicly indicated he didn't plan on being there, citing President Bush's claim of executive privilege. Rove's lawyer had then asked for a second postponement, a request that Judiciary chair John Conyers had declined to grant.

So Rove is in violation of an issued subpoena. Yet the Obama Administration has until March 4 to deliver an Appeals Court brief over what to do with the sought testimony of Harriet Miers and Josh Bolten. Emptywheel wonders about the connection between the two:

Now, I have no reason (besides noting the coincident dates) to believe that there's a connection between the additional week extension on the Appeals Court brief and any response to Rove's latest contempt for an HJC subpoena.

But I do note that if Rove were immediately held in contempt by HJC and if the House were to act with any dispatch to vote on contempt, Rove might well be in contempt by the time Obama briefs the Appeals Court a week from Wednesday. Mind you, things like that don't usually happen so quickly in the House. But it would make the discussion about the Appeal more interesting.

I think the White House is trying to make a deal acceptable to all sides. It would be good for John Conyers and HJC to force their hands. Eventually, we have to have a framework where executive privilege isn't used as a way to evade accountability.

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