No Comment — February 23, 2009, 2:11 pm

Rove in Contempt of Congress, Again

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?

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I first heard the name Barack Obama in the spring of 2004, while visiting my mother in Chicago. As we sat around the kitchen table early one spring morning, I noticed a handsome studio portrait among the pictures, lists, cards, and other totems of family life fastened to the refrigerator door. “Who’s the guy with the ears?” I asked, assuming he was some distant relative or family friend I didn’t know or else had forgotten. “Barack Obama,” she answered with a broad smile. “He’s running for Senate, but he’s going to be the first black president.”

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I first heard the name Barack Obama in the spring of 2004, while visiting my mother in Chicago. As we sat around the kitchen table early one spring morning, I noticed a handsome studio portrait among the pictures, lists, cards, and other totems of family life fastened to the refrigerator door. “Who’s the guy with the ears?” I asked, assuming he was some distant relative or family friend I didn’t know or else had forgotten. “Barack Obama,” she answered with a broad smile. “He’s running for Senate, but he’s going to be the first black president.”

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I first heard the name Barack Obama in the spring of 2004, while visiting my mother in Chicago. As we sat around the kitchen table early one spring morning, I noticed a handsome studio portrait among the pictures, lists, cards, and other totems of family life fastened to the refrigerator door. “Who’s the guy with the ears?” I asked, assuming he was some distant relative or family friend I didn’t know or else had forgotten. “Barack Obama,” she answered with a broad smile. “He’s running for Senate, but he’s going to be the first black president.”

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I first heard the name Barack Obama in the spring of 2004, while visiting my mother in Chicago. As we sat around the kitchen table early one spring morning, I noticed a handsome studio portrait among the pictures, lists, cards, and other totems of family life fastened to the refrigerator door. “Who’s the guy with the ears?” I asked, assuming he was some distant relative or family friend I didn’t know or else had forgotten. “Barack Obama,” she answered with a broad smile. “He’s running for Senate, but he’s going to be the first black president.”

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