Thursday, February 5, 2009

Rove says he won't comply with congressional subpoenas

Rove says he won't comply with congressional subpoenas

John Byrne

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Lawyer signals Rove cooperating with Justice Dept.

Former White House Deputy Chief of Staff Karl Rove "won't comply" with congressional subpoenas, according to a newspaper report of an event held in Los Angeles earlier this week.

Rove spoke Tuesday evening at Loyola Marymount University, a Jesuit institution in Los Angeles, as part of the school's "First Amendment Week."

"One man loudly denounced Rove as a 'traitor' before he was escorted out," the Loyola Daily Breeze noted. "A woman held up a pair of handcuffs and said she would like to see Rove wearing them."

Rove mounted a "sprited defense" of Bush policies: warrantless wiretapping, Guantanamo Bay and so-called harsh interrogations. But among the questions bearing relevance on Rove's current predicament -- one answer stood out.

One questioner asked Rove whether he would comply with Congressional
subpoenas. Rove was subpoenaed last month to testify to the House Judiciary Committee about his knowledge surrounding the firings of US Attorneys and the prosecution of former Alabama Gov. Don Siegelman.

Rove "said he would not, and cited Janet Reno, President Clinton's attorney general, as his authority in resisting Congressional infringements on executive privilege."

His answer seems to contrast the sentiment of his Rove's lawyer, Robert Luskin, who told an investigative reporter earlier this week that Rove was cooperating with two Justice Department probes into the US Attorney firings and the Siegelman case.

"I can say that he would cooperate with the [Justice Department] investigation if asked," Luskin said. He made no such specific commitment to an investigation by the House Judiciary Committee, or the Senate Judiciary Committee, both of which have subpoenaed him to testify on the cases.

Luskin told Raw Story Thursday that while he hadn't seen the specific remarks, he was "confident that I've accurately expressed his position in this matter and it's consistent with what I have conveyed to [House Judiciary Chairman] Conyers and to the White House."

Rove also told the Los Angeles crowd that media coverage leading up to the election was "unbelievably tilted toward Obama," and "not healthy for the system."

"That coverage is putting a finger on the scale," Rove said, adding that most members of the national press corps live in Washington and New York and went to schools with a liberal bent.

The following video is Karl Rove's response to a Loyola Marymount University student when asked about the subpoena issued to him by House Judiciary Chairman John Conyers Jr. on Tuesday, Feb. 3, 2009:

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