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Karl Rove insisted that he no longer had any problems talking to the House Judiciary Committee about his role in the Siegelman case. He’s insisted that no executive privilege is involved since he didn’t do anything. Strange thing is, Rove adamantly refuses to say that under oath, or subject to cross-examination.
Rove’s lawyer, Bob Luskin, assured the public that Rove would now comply with a Congressional subpoena and appear, as required, before the House Judiciary Committee this morning. It’s the second time that Luskin has issued a false assurance. When the hour rolled around Rove was a no-show, for the third time. He didn’t appear and assert privilege with respect to specific questions, as might be his right—he simply didn’t appear.
So now, again, we face the question of contempt. Will the Obama Administration follow the precedent of the Bush Administration by instructing the U.S. Attorney in the District of Columbia not to enforce Congress’s contempt sanctions after they are voted? Enforcement is not discretionary. In the language of the statute it’s mandated. It is a straightforward test of the rule-of-law premises of our Constitution, and for the Obama team it presents a clear test: do they value the Constitution more highly than the imperial powers that the Bush team left them?
More from Scott Horton:
Six Questions — October 18, 2014, 8:00 pm
Nathaniel Raymond on CIA interrogation techniques.
Mark Denbeaux on the NCIS cover-up of three “suicides” at Guantánamo Bay Detention Camp
From the June 2014 issue
Acres of hemp grown by “patriotic‚” U.S. farmers in 1942 at the behest of the U.S. government:
A study suggested that the health effects of exposure to nuclear radiation at Chernobyl were no worse than ill health resulting from smoking and normal urban air pollution.
Greenpeace apologized after activists accidentally defaced the site of Peru’s 2,000-year-old Nazca Lines when they unfurled cloth letters reading “time for change” near the ancient sand drawings. “We fully understand,” the group wrote in a statement, “that this looks bad.”
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“I hope that after reading the following pages the leaders of the Y. M. C. A. will start a campaign to induce good young men to do nothing. If so, I shall not have lived in vain.”