Karl Rove, the former top White House aide turned political pundit for Fox News and the Wall Street Journal, is in violation of a congressional subpoena and could be facing contempt proceedings, House Democratic leaders said Thursday.
The ominous statement from Reps. John Conyers (D-Mich.) and Linda Sanchez (D-Calif.) is the latest volley in an ongoing skirmish between a House subcommittee and Rove’s attorney over an investigation into alleged politicization of the Justice Dept.
In a recent CBS “60 Minutes” report, Rove’s name was mentioned in connection with the possibly politically motivated prosecution of a Democratic governor.
The House Commercial and Administrative Law subcommittee, part of the Judiciary committee, has been seeking Rove’s testimony ever since, finally issuing a subpoena after failing to work out a deal with Rove’s lawyer, Robert Luskin.
Luskin informed Conyers on Tuesday that his client “respectfully declines” to appear before the subcommittee’s skedded hearing next week, saying Rove is bound to the dictates of “Executive Privilege,” which effectively makes him immune to the subpoena, Luskin said.
Conyers, head of the Judiciary committee, and Sanchez, head of the subcommittee, responded in a letter to Luskin on Thursday: “We want to make clear that the subcommittee will convene as scheduled and expects Mr. Rove to appear, and that a refusal to appear in violation of the subpoena could subject Mr. Rove to contempt proceedings, including statutory contempt under federal law and proceedings under the inherent contempt authority of the House of Representatives.”