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Congress Moves Forward With Karl Rove Contempt Charge

What's that noise coming from the Capitol's basement? Why, it's Karl Rove!

Well not exactly, but it could be soon! The House Judiciary Committee just voted along party lines to hold "Bush's Brain" in contempt of Congress, setting up a full House vote. The contempt charges stem from Karl's refusal to show up (claiming executive privileged) to a July 10 hearing on the allegedly politically motivated federal corruption charges that landed former (and popular) Democratic Alabama Governor Don Siegelman in prison.

If the entire House passes a contempt citation, the case goes to the federal attorney for the District of Columbia, Jeffery Taylor. Bush-appointed Taylor could recuse himself from the case and appoint a special prosecutor or refuse to prosecute.

If prosecution doesn't go anywhere, Congress does have its own "inherent power of contempt," which requires it to stop all other work and hold its own trial. If that happens, and Karl Rove is found guilty, he would be imprisoned in the basement of the Capitol. He could be joined by ex-White House counsel Harriet Miers and White House Chief of Staff Josh Bolton, who are facing contempt charges, too. Do you think they'll fight over who gets the top bunk?


stephley stephley 9 years
A Federal judge appointed in December 2001, with a resume that includes service as counsel to the Whitewater committee and appointments from Judges Rehnquist and Roberts, says Bush's people have to testify. From the AP this morning: "President Bush's top advisers are not immune from congressional subpoenas, a federal judge ruled Thursday in an unprecedented dispute between the two political branches... In his ruling, U.S. District Judge John Bates said there's no legal basis for Bush's argument and that his former legal counsel, Harriet Miers, must appear before Congress. If she wants to refuse to testify, he said, she must do so in person. The committee also has sought to force testimony from White House chief of staff Joshua Bolten. "Harriet Miers is not immune from compelled congressional process; she is legally required to testify pursuant to a duly issued congressional subpoena," Bates wrote. He said that both Bolten and Miers must give Congress all non-privileged documents related to the firings." :( The ruling is a blow to the Bush administration's efforts to bolster the power of the executive branch at the expense of the legislative branch. Disputes over congressional subpoenas are normally resolved through political compromise, not through the court system. Had Bush prevailed, it would have dramatically weakened congressional authority in oversight investigations."
stephley stephley 9 years
We're neglecting to mention that Rove and other White House officials have refused to testify on more than one matter and that answering questions on paper does not entail taking an oath to tell the truth. It does allow you to wiggle around if the matter goes to court. Remember the other day, when people said Congress and the White House shared equal blame for the half trillion dollar budget deficit because of that whole checks and balances thing? Testimony before Congress is an important part of that. If the White House is allowed to choose what Congress is allowed to check & balance the whole American system becomes a waste of time.
lilkimbo lilkimbo 9 years
silversnowflake silversnowflake 9 years
Hmm... While its no surprise that congress would be playing political games, how many people in the public eye can you think of off the top of your head that have played politics like a sport in the past say six years? And no one can deny that the white house has consistently held itself above the law for quite a few years now. That's a given. What has the government done in the past that it stepped up and took complete and utter responsibility for? Nothing. It never seems to be that hard to find a scapegoat then push a few buttons and tell the public whatever is thought best at the time. Instead of congress pushing Rove and everyone connected, they should just go for the source of the problem.
Cassandra57 Cassandra57 9 years
Wow, thanks for that through and objective post. :? This is a question of separation of powers. Congress is on a fishing expedition to find some evildoing, but don't have a clue what they're looking for. It's a pure partisan witch hunt. Rove did not respond to a subpoena. As described in the LA Times, "The offense: failing to honor a subpoena to testify about his role in the federal and possibly political prosecution of former Alabama Gov. Don Siegelman, a popular Democrat sent who was to prison on corruption charges that are now under appeal." What you neglected to add, Liberty, is that Rove was sent a list of questions and *did* respond to them. He is *not* uncooperative. I think this petty nonsense is not productive, Congress should have better things to do, and it's purely partisan bitterness and verges on harassment. Again from the LA Times: "Meanwhile Rove's lawyer, Robert Luskin, wrote a letter to the committee pointing out that Rove "has not asserted any personal privileges." In the letter to Committee Chairman John Conyers (D-Mich.), Luskin writes: 'He has declined to appear because he was directed not to do so by the president of the United States. While we understand that the committee disagrees with the legal position that the president has taken, punishing Mr. Rove will not vindicate the committee's authority. Neither will a contempt vote resolve the dispute.' The question of executive privilege -- does Bush or any POTUS have the right to withhold testify of top aides -- is now before the U.S. District Court in DC." Congress is playing partisan political games. I'm sure it's not helping their already abysmal approval rating.
silversnowflake silversnowflake 9 years
It almost seems like more than a threat of that comfort in our daily lives is not enough. If no one is held accountable in this fiasco, then the general idea ( that so many people have) that the white house and its people are above the law/think they are above the law is right on. :ponder:
hypnoticmix hypnoticmix 9 years
The only way this is going to trial of any sort is if there is clear cut evidence for a slam dunk. I seriously doubt that a majority of Senators and Representatives will go forward with this unless that is the case. On another note I also find it funny how a clear majority of the constituency can send such a strong signal that they don't want to spend time on such matters or else. However, when it comes to other matters that suffer from lack of attention we some how fail to bolster the necessary threat that would encourage Congress to act or else. It just seems that the key to getting us to act is to threaten the comfort of our daily lives now that is down right lazy.
Michaelrcks Michaelrcks 9 years
Great-Sommelier Great-Sommelier 9 years
:grinch: No comments on Pardongate Steph?
sarah_bellum sarah_bellum 9 years
:grinch: And also, $$$$. Anyone remember that?
stephley stephley 9 years
The pardons Janneth, would be along the lines of Gerald Ford pardoning Nixon for any crimes he MAY have committed, or the first George Bush and the pardons for those involved in Iran Contra - those pardons averted trials that may have showed the American people what exactly had gone on and who exactly was involved.
Great-Sommelier Great-Sommelier 9 years
Goes along with Clinton's "Pardongate".
stephley stephley 9 years
They'll all be pardoned for anything they've been charged with, and anything they may be charged with in the future. It's just a game.
janneth janneth 9 years
I wonder if Karlov is even a tiny bit worried, or if the White House has assured him not to worry about it. But on the other hand, I bet Scooter was assured that he would be safe too...
UnDave35 UnDave35 9 years
:wave: I'm off to church for a dinner *sigh* Be back later :)
UnDave35 UnDave35 9 years
That's a good point. I'm just saying go after Bush already. Quit playing around with the pawns.
stephley stephley 9 years
Congress can't arrest the White House Dave; by going after Rove, they're sending a signal to the White House that it's expected to do something. The White House knows it has set these people up, and they pretty much agreed to be set up. No matter which party is in power, there ought to be a way that the White House and Congress have to pay for these pissing matches without the taxpayers having to foot the bill. If they actually felt it, they might not enjoy them so much.
UnDave35 UnDave35 9 years
:lol: This is just ridiculus. It's the White House that is claiming special priviledge, so go after the White House. If it's found that he doesn't have that priviledge, then Karl will be asked to testify.
stephley stephley 9 years
Miers wouldn't be disrespectful and fight with such powerful and important men, she'd take the floor of course.
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