Conyers Releases Documents on Rove Subpoena, Siegelman Investigation

Dan Froomkin of the Washington Post has extensive comments and media reaction on the Karl Rove subpoena.

The House Judiciary Committee yesterday released documents and correspondence pertaining to Rove's subpoena. Here is the letter (pdf)from the Office of Professional Responsibility stating it has opened a probe into the Don Siegelman prosecution.

As promised yesterday, here is the 99 page appeal brief filed by Siegleman.

< Obama's Offer on FL and MI Amounts to Nothing | A Strange Endorsement >
  • The Online Magazine with Liberal coverage of crime-related political and injustice news

  • Contribute To TalkLeft

  • Display: Sort:
    Love the graphic! (5.00 / 1) (#1)
    by madamab on Fri May 23, 2008 at 02:40:50 PM EST
    Oh, how I wish this would lead to something.

    An orange jumpsuit would look so lovely on KKKarl.

    Love the graphic too (5.00 / 1) (#2)
    by IndiDemGirl on Fri May 23, 2008 at 02:45:07 PM EST
    And YES to an orange jumpsuit on Karl.

    Hey, maybe that's one way to bring "unity" to Clinton and Obama supporters!


    Heh. (none / 0) (#3)
    by madamab on Fri May 23, 2008 at 02:58:04 PM EST
    It couldn't hurt!

    Heck, yes (none / 0) (#4)
    by Llelldorin on Fri May 23, 2008 at 03:13:56 PM EST
    Now that's a peace offering!

    Not quite as much fun to think about as a very brief Pelosi presidency, but since this one might actually happen...


    I wish it would lead to something too (none / 0) (#7)
    by stillife on Fri May 23, 2008 at 03:35:55 PM EST
    But I made an idiot of myself with my co-workers a couple of years ago about "Merry Fitzmas" and getting their hopes up that Rove and Cheney would be going down - all based on rumors from Raw Story.

    Silly me!


    Luskin's refusal is interesting. (none / 0) (#5)
    by wurman on Fri May 23, 2008 at 03:22:48 PM EST
    Is this the logic----

    Rove asserts executive privilege on the overall question whether politicization of the Justice Dept. took place; therefore, the assertion of privilege clearly indicates that Rove & Bu$h discussed the subject; otherwise no privilege could apply.

    Switch the subject matter to meddling in the prosecution of Gov. Seigelman; same result.

    In conclusion, my client discussed these 2 illegal activities with the pretendiszent so executive privilege applies.
    Yes, but Bu$hInc was having internal discussions of how to impliment illegal actions--therefore, no privilege.
    I know that John W. Dean III was dis-barred, but perhaps the Conyers committee could hire him as an ex officio advisor.

    Thanks for posting the brief (none / 0) (#6)
    by scribe on Fri May 23, 2008 at 03:35:24 PM EST
    Though I was a little disappointed that the list of "persons interested" did not include Rover's name, I'm sure he's not un-interested.

    Why did the HJC wait until the Friday (none / 0) (#8)
    by inclusiveheart on Fri May 23, 2008 at 03:47:55 PM EST
    before a holiday weekend to release all of this information?

    Did they really want this information to go into media oblivion?

    Quickly (none / 0) (#9)
    by scribe on Fri May 23, 2008 at 03:50:20 PM EST
    Seligman takes a great swipe at about page 80 of the brief, where he quotes N.Y. Times v. Sullivan, arguing:

    ... Here, the "speech" for which the District Court punished Governor Siegelman was not part of, and sheds no light on, the offenses for which he was convicted. It is, instead, pure speech critical of Government action, which is at the core of the First Amendment. If the constitutional right to freedom of speech means anything, it is that the United States cannot punish people for questioning or criticizing the actions of federal government officials. And there is no "criticism of federal prosecutors" exception to the First Amendment.  

         "It is a prized American privilege to speak one's mind, although not always with perfect good taste, on all public institutions ... and this opportunity is to be afforded for `vigorous advocacy' no less than `abstract discussion.'" New York Times v. Sullivan, 376 U.S. 254, 269, 84 S.Ct. 710, 720 (1964) (citations and internal quotation marks omitted). So, the Supreme Court recognized in Sullivan, we have "a profound national commitment to the principle that debate on public issues should be uninhibited, robust, and wide-open, and that it may well include vehement, caustic, and sometimes unpleasantly sharp attacks on government and public officials." Id., 376 U.S. at 270, 84 S.Ct. at 721. Our system of freedom has no room for a judicial order imposing a lengthier prison term on a person because he has spoken out about possible governmental misconduct. And again, there is no constitutional reason to place federal prosecutors on a different plane from all other government officials, as though their actions alone are somehow beyond public questioning or criticism.

    The District Court's rationale for the sentence increase, by its terms, was premised on the possibility that some members of the public might believe and agree with Governor Siegelman's (again, unquoted and unspecified) criticisms of the prosecution. This is the only conceivable meaning of the District Court's conclusion [R34-654 p. 127] that "the conduct in which Governor Siegelman engaged in has damaged the function of the Executive Branch of Government in this case, and the public's confidence in the Executive Branch of Government." In this, the District Court forgot what the Supreme Court has said: "Criticism of [government representatives'] official conduct does not lose its constitutional protection merely because it is effective criticism and hence diminishes their official reputations." Sullivan, 376 U.S. at 273, 84 S.Ct. at 722. Certainly, a lengthened sentence cannot be justified on the grounds that criticism of the prosecutors is plausible and believable; to the extent that an allegation of governmental misconduct is plausible and believable (as it is, here) that is all the more reason to protect, rather than to punish, discussion about it. [25] So, the increase in punishment for Governor Siegelman's statements, on these vital matters of public concern, was contrary to the First Amendment.

    The Sullivan in NY Times v. Sullivan, it needs be remembered, was a cracker Alabama sheriff who took offense at (accurate) depictions of his (and his department's) conduct during the Civil Rights era. He sued the Times for libelling him.  In a case which really set up the basic framework of libel law which obtains to this day, the Supreme Court tossed him out on his ear.  

    This argument resonates on so many levels.

    What does Kkkarl care... (none / 0) (#10)
    by MileHi Hawkeye on Fri May 23, 2008 at 06:09:14 PM EST
    ...he'll never spend a day in jail and is hooked-up to the Wingnut welfare for the rest of his life.

    Crime does pays apparently.  I can only hope that there will be some not-so-kind karma coming his way.

    What's with Conyer's getting (none / 0) (#11)
    by FoxholeAtheist on Sat May 24, 2008 at 01:11:08 AM EST
    tougher right about now? Does it have something to do with making the Dems look like they're doing the people's business by November? If so, better late than never.

    I don't know the law on this: what about contempt of congress? Who determines whether such has occurred? What is the protocol thereafter? Can't Rove just be arrested if he's found in contempt of congress?

    Pardon my ignorance on these legal matters.