Leahy to Subpoena Karl Rove

Sen. Patrick Leahy was on CNN's The Situation Room. Speaking of Karl Rove, he said (no link, received from show by e-mail):

BLITZER: The White House counsel, Fred Fielding, was up on the Hill today. I don't know if you had a chance to meet with him. But he's not necessarily ruling out allowing some White House staffers, maybe even Karl Rove to come and testify. Do you want Karl Rove to testify before your panel?

LEAHY: I've never met Mr. Fielding. Frankly, I don't care whether he says he's going to allow people or not. We'll subpoena the people we want. If they want to defy the subpoena, then you get into a stonewall situation I suspect they don't want to have.

BLITZER: Will you subpoena Karl Rove?

LEAHY: Yes. He can appear voluntarily if he wants. If he doesn't, I will subpoena him. The attorney general said, Well, there are some staff people or lower level people -- I'm not sure whether I want to allow them to testify or not. I said, Frankly, Mr. Attorney General, it's not your decision. It's mine and the committee's. We will have subpoenas. I would hope that they wouldn't try to stonewall subpoenas.


On Alberto Gonzalez and deputy attorney general, Paul McNulty:

LEAHY: I believe that they misled my committee; whether it was deliberate or not is what we are going to have to find out. We're finding more and more e-mail traffic with the White House, we're finding more and more evidence of political manipulation of prosecutors.

I told the attorney general, yesterday, I was furious about it. I wanted to find out exactly what happened…

BLITZER: Do you think someone committed perjury?

LEAHY: We'll find that out. That's a -- not always the easiest thing to prove. But we can certainly prove that we have not gotten complete answers. There's a lot more. I think the American public deserves to have answers on this, instead of every day a little bit more dribbling out. Let's get all the facts, but let's have it under oath.

It's interesting, sometimes, when people are sworn in. It focuses their attention a little bit more.

Update: The Chicago Tribune reports that Sen. Peter Fitzgerald said thar Rove pressured him in 2001 to recommend U.S. Attorney from inside the state of Illinois. He took it as a sign Rove and the White House didn't want someone who would attack corruption inside Illiniois. Fitzgerald didn't listen and nominated Patrick Fitzgerald from New York (no relation).

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  • Display: Sort:
    Apples and Oranges (5.00 / 1) (#2)
    by Jeralyn on Wed Mar 14, 2007 at 05:15:10 PM EST
    U.S. Attorneys are traditionally replaced after a presidential election where the party in power changes. They are only appointed for four year terms. The Senators from the District make recommendations for replacement.

    What's different here is that Bush did it mid-term, to those of his own party, whose terms were not expiring, bypassing the Senate confirmation process and using the new provision of the Patriot Act to do so in a way that wasn't contemplated by Congress.

    Bets on Rove (5.00 / 1) (#4)
    by Jeralyn on Wed Mar 14, 2007 at 05:17:10 PM EST
    claiming executive privilege anyone?

    Can't imagine (none / 0) (#5)
    by squeaky on Wed Mar 14, 2007 at 05:31:32 PM EST
    any other scenario.

    If he doesn't (none / 0) (#6)
    by Edger on Wed Mar 14, 2007 at 05:35:42 PM EST
    he might as well plan to join Alberto for a vacation. And if he does he might as well plan to join Alberto for a vacation.

    Either way (none / 0) (#7)
    by Edger on Wed Mar 14, 2007 at 05:36:31 PM EST
    his job won't change.

    If they invoke it, this story won't go away. n/t (none / 0) (#9)
    by cal11 voter on Wed Mar 14, 2007 at 06:29:32 PM EST
    He'll likely make noises like that (none / 0) (#11)
    by scribe on Wed Mar 14, 2007 at 08:52:07 PM EST
    but I suspect the Senate will take the position that disclosure of the emails has vitiated any privilege.

    Also, I think the Lard Lad will get raked over the coals if he tries stonewalling too hard, and would make this from a bad story into arterial bleeding.

    KO had the author of "Bush's Brain" on tonight; question:  the chances whether Bush will dump Alberto, or Alberto quit.  His answers, in short:  none and slim, respectively.  Loyalty is all to this crew.

    My analysis:  Here's where misplaced loyalty (to person, rather than impersonal principle- the Admin's syndrome) becomes (and has become) The Fatal Flaw.  They will do what they know - stick together, and stick to and with each other.  Digging in their heels will only make things worse.  I suspect that if Gonzo is not gone by this time next week (and I'm being generous) some Senator - maybe a Rethug up for re-election in a bluing state - will ask why the House has not started impeachment proceedings against Gonzo.  That will be "Katie bar the door" time.

    And, with the KSM "Confession" in his show trial only now coming out - convenient, that, trying to play the terra card - that opens a whole new can o' worms for the committees to ask Gonzo about.


    Actually, thinking about impeaching Gonzo (none / 0) (#12)
    by scribe on Wed Mar 14, 2007 at 09:07:37 PM EST
    I'd suggest a highly appropriate question for every Senator and Congresscritter interrogating him would be:

    "Given the history of your performance (and non-performance, if your denials of knowledge are to be believed) in this Administration, why should you not be impeached, convicted, and removed?"

    Reverse the presumption, reverse the burden - make them justify their continued existence.

    The presumption ("Frame") everyone seems to have been viewing impeachment through, has been that it is like climbing the mountain.  I suggest that the better frame for considering impeachment of high government officials is along the lines of:

    - You are in a highly responsible job.  
    • You would not have come to hold this position if you had not demonstrated some level of competence, intelligence and a pretty-deep understanding of the subjects taught in 8th grade Civics, not to mention probably having passed the bar, gotten an advanced degree, and so on.  
    • You have no entitlement to this job and, if you come before us and hold out your hands in the pose of an incompetent, you should be impeached.

    Make impeachment for incompetence the default - not the ultimate.

    A colleague, now departed, used to love trying plaintiff's personal injury/defective products liability cases.  He had a stock leadoff question for deposing the expert engineer whom the defending company would put forward to tell how good and non-defective the offending product was:

    What is more important:  safety or profit?

    There was no "right" answer for the expert.  "Safety" meant the company had obviously failed - there was an injured person there, and no dispute it was the product at fault.  "Profit" meant the company deliberately chose to sacrifice consumers' bodies to line their pockets.*

    It's time to start treating Rethugs the same way.
    *One time, he managed to get a young "expert" to give an answer that took almost five minutes, and in which he went from "safety" to "profit" and back, twice.  I watched that twirp - and the defense - fall apart.


    Really? (1.00 / 1) (#1)
    by Slado on Wed Mar 14, 2007 at 05:06:43 PM EST
    Didn't Clinton fire a bunch of US Attourney's?

    If he did how is this different other then it was a Republican doing it to Democrats instead of the other way around?

    This seems like a media generated scandal all over again.   See Plame case.

    I'm no fan of the Clinton did it too game but is what the White House did illegal or simply tough politics that a bunch of liberal lawyers are pissed about?

    The fired lawyers were GOP (none / 0) (#10)
    by Molly Bloom on Wed Mar 14, 2007 at 06:54:57 PM EST
    I do believe, since they were appointed by our Dear Leader. I suspect you can rule out their being "liberal." However, when all else fails pound the table and yell "liberal, liberal, liberal."


    Role of US Attorney General (none / 0) (#3)
    by sphealey on Wed Mar 14, 2007 at 05:15:58 PM EST
    > The attorney general said, Well,
    > there are some staff people or lower
    > level people -- I'm not sure whether
    > I want to allow them to testify or not.

    Keeing in mind that this is a 3rd party paraphrasing the Attorney General from memeory - is it the US Attorney General's role to decide who should should not testify?  Isn't that the White House Counsel's job?  I thought the Atty General represented the whole US, not the administration?


    Hmm, clinton fired ausas like this? (none / 0) (#13)
    by ltgesq on Wed Mar 14, 2007 at 09:35:17 PM EST
    Again with the Clinton did it garbage.   Clinton, and for that matter, no other president other than Nixon has fired United States District attorneys for refusing to follow politically directed prosecutions.  

    Clinton, and bush, and every other president has asked the politically appointed us attorneys for their resignations at the start of the new administration. The new US attorneys were then approved by the Senate.

      Comparing that normal change to this is ridiculous, and clearly the new republican talking point.   These Us attorneys were bumped because  they refused to politicize their offices.  The fact that not a single case of democrat voter fraud has ever been proven, but countless investigations of democrat polititions have been leaked to the media in tightly contested areas during election season, only to be dropped or found to be without merit after the election.