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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.
I recently spent a semester teaching writing at an elite liberal-arts college. At strategic points around the campus, in shades of yellow and green, banners displayed the following pair of texts. The first was attributed to the college’s founder, which dates it to the 1920s. The second was extracted from the latest version of the institution’s mission statement:
The paramount obligation of a college is to develop in its students the ability to think clearly and independently, and the ability to live confidently, courageously, and hopefully.
Let us take a moment to compare these texts. The first thing to observe about the older one is that it is a sentence. It expresses an idea by placing concepts in relation to one another within the kind of structure that we call a syntax. It is, moreover, highly wrought: a parallel structure underscored by repetition, five adverbs balanced two against three.
Percentage of Britons who cannot name the city that provides the setting for the musical Chicago:
An Australian entrepreneur was selling oysters raised in tanks laced with Viagra.
A naked man believed to be under the influence of LSD rammed his pickup truck into two police cars.
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“Shelby is waiting for something. He himself does not know what it is. When it comes he will either go back into the world from which he came, or sink out of sight in the morass of alcoholism or despair that has engulfed other vagrants.”