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MAY 03 2008

Judiciary Dems threaten to subpoena Rove
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Judiciary Dems threaten to subpoena Rove
by Carrie Sheffield, Web Editor of the Washington Times

House Judiciary Chairman John Conyers, Michigan Democrat,
threatened to subpoena Karl Rove, former deputy chief of staff for
President Bush, if he continues to refuse to testify before Conyers'
committee about the firing of former U.S. attorneys.

Here is the letter Conyers and several other members of the
committee sent to Rove's attorney, Robert Luskin at Patton Boggs.
(You can also view the letter Luskin sent Conyers yesterday below.)

<link to source>

....................................................................................................................................................
May 1, 2008


Via Fax and U.S. Mail
Mr. Robert D. Luskin
Patton Boggs LLP
2550 M Street, N.W.
Washington, D.C. 20037-1350


Dear Mr. Luskin:


We were very disappointed to receive your April 29 letter declining the invitation to
Karl Rove to testify voluntarily before the House Judiciary Committee concerning
the politicization of the Department of Justice, including allegations regarding the
prosecution of former Governor Don Siegelman. Particularly since your client has
made a number of on-the-record comments on this subject to the media, and in
light of your (now modified) statement that Mr. Rove would be willing to testify, we
can see no justification for his refusal to speak on the record to the Committee.
We urge you and your client to reconsider this refusal no later than May 12, or we
will have no choice but to consider the use of compulsory process.


Mr. Rove has previously spoken to the media and on the record concerning both
the Siegelman case and the firings of U.S. Attorneys in 2006. Your letter,
however, offers to make Mr. Rove available only for a non-transcribed staff
interview, not under oath, and limited only to the Siegelman matter. This offer is
completely unacceptable.


Initially, an interview conducted without a transcript and not under oath would
frustrate a full and fair inquiry. An interview without a transcript is an invitation to
confusion and will not permit us to obtain a straightforward and clear record, as
several of us have explained in response to a similar offer by White House
counsel Fred Fielding in the U.S. Attorney matter. As Republican former
Congressman Mickey Edwards has written, "[n]o Congress, indeed no lawyer,
would ever agree to such an outrageous" proposal. We simply do not understand
why anyone who is prepared to tell the truth would object to an oath and a record
of what is said. This is particularly true in this case, where Mr. Rove has already
spoken on the record on this subject.


Indeed, your proposal is even more restrictive than Mr. Fielding's offer, since you
would explicitly exclude any questioning concerning the U.S. Attorney firings. As
your own letter appears to recognize, the Siegelman and other selective
prosecution matters and the U. S. Attorney firings are clearly related as part of the
concerns our Committee has been investigating on the politicization of the
Justice Department under this Administration. It would further impede our inquiry
to seek artificially to separate these issues. We can see no reason why Mr. Rove
would be willing to testify as to whether he put improper pressure on a federal
prosecutor to bring a prosecution, but would not be willing to testify on whether
he improperly sought to retaliate against federal prosecutors by having them fired.


Your letter also raises concerns about possible executive privilege claims with
respect to Mr. Rove's testimony. The proper way to address such concerns,
however, is on a question-by-question basis as current Administration officials
have done in testifying before the Committee, not by a blanket refusal to testify.


We hope you and your client will reconsider the decision not to testify on a
voluntary basis. Please direct any questions and your response to the Judiciary
Committee office, 2138 Rayburn House Office Building, Washington, DC 20515
(tel: 202-225-3951; fax: 202-225-7680).


Sincerely,


John Conyers, Jr.
Chairman
____________________________________

Linda T. Sanchez
Chair, Subcommittee on Commercial and Administrative Law

____________________________________

Artur Davis
Member, Committee on the Judiciary

____________________________________

Tammy Baldwin
Member, Committee on the Judiciary


cc: Hon. Lamar S. Smith
Hon. Chris Cannon



















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