House Judiciary Committee Subpoenas Rove

After a year of fruitless negotiation, Congress subpoenas Rove in the United States Attorney scandal.

Apparently, Chairman Conyers received yet another letter from Robert Luskin claiming that Rove can spout off all he wants about his involvement (or not) in Governor Siegelman's prosecution, but he can't or won't do so before the House Judiciary.

Conyers isn't going to wait around for more of the same.

We were disappointed to receive your May 21 letter, which fails to explain why Mr. Rove is willing to answer questions in writing for the House Judiciary Committee, and has spoken on the record to the media, but continues to refuse to testify voluntarily before the Committee on the politicization of the Department of Justice, including allegations regarding the prosecution of former Governor Don Siegelman. Because of that continuing refusal, we enclose with this letter a subpoena for Mr. Rove’s appearance before the Committee’s Commercial and Administrative Law Subcommittee at 10:00 a.m. on July 10, 2008.

(Nice touch, Chairman Conyers, having the Subcommittee vote on it without, as far as I've heard, the news getting word.)

Now, as Conyers points out, this subpoena is a bit different than the subpoena that Harriet Miers blew off. For starters, Rove has been completely willing to answer questions in writing--and at least until now, he hasn't asked Bush whether Bush wanted to protect the alleged conversations between Rob Riley and Rove and the Public Integrity Division of DOJ. And, as Conyers reiterates, Rove has been blabbing and blabbing and blabbing about this to the press, so it'll be tough to argue that he can't continue to blab under oath.

One more difference. I wonder how the Courts will feel about enforcing a subpoena issued by someone who said "Someone's got to kick his ass"?

Just off the House floor today, the Crypt overheard House Judiciary Committee Chairman John Conyers tell two other people: “We’re closing in on Rove. Someone’s got to kick his ass.”

Asked a few minutes later for a more official explanation, Conyers told us that Rove has a week to appear before his committee. If he doesn’t, said Conyers, “We’ll do what any self-respecting committee would do. We’d hold him in contempt. Either that or go and have him arrested.”

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