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I Can't Imagine Why the President Wouldn't Want Karl Rove to Testify

In my column at Townhall today I explain just a few of the reasons the President would not want Karl Rove or Harriet Miers to testify under oath, even if there was no wrongdoing and absolutely nothing to hide.

Democrats are calling for Karl Rove, Harriet Miers and other administration officials to answer questions under oath, and perhaps more importantly under Klieg lights, before a congressional committee. Why, if there is nothing to hide and there was no wrongdoing, would the President not want Rove and others to testify?
...
All one has to do to understand why the administration would not want to send Rove or Miers before a congressional committee is to understand the political motivation of Democrats to extend coverage of the non-scandal, to look at the result of Scooter Libby's under-oath comments, and to watch the recent testimony of Victoria Toensing in the Plame matter.
...
Democrats in Congress have not only failed to enact some of their "100 days" promises, but are now polling in the same range the Republican majority they replaced was polling last year. Their big agenda item, as Dean Barnett identified it is "Get Bush!!! And if you can't get Bush, be damn sure to get Rove!" It is not a big mystery why the White House would not want to have Karl Rove and others dragged before a bunch of preening congressmen and women playing to the television cameras, even if there is nothing to hide.


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Comments (26)

It is not a big mystery ... (Below threshold)
Brian:

It is not a big mystery why the White House would not want to have Karl Rove and others dragged before a bunch of preening congressmen and women playing to the television cameras, even if there is nothing to hide.

Well, too bad it doesn't work that way. Try telling a judge that you refuse to take the stand because the mean old prosecutor is out to get you! Waa-waa-waa! Tell a judge that you'll meet the prosecutor in private, off the record, under oath, and with no transcript. Tell them that's a "generous" offer.

The hubris of this administration boggles the mind.

They will Brian, in fact al... (Below threshold)
marc:

They will Brian, in fact already have.

The end result will be a House vote, an appellate court process and finally to the Supreme Court who will refuse to hear the case because of no underlaying crime.

If you think for a second they will chose to hear a case ripe with political blackmail your off your rocker.

But why, if they're "not gu... (Below threshold)
bryanD:

But why, if they're "not guilty", would Bush wish to allow the suspicion to be maintained that they are guilty, throughout months or years of appeal? (the Appearance of Evil thing!)

They will lose in court anyway, since personnel matters are not protected by ex. priviledge.

And there are Others Besides Bush who might appreciate not being tainted at election time (as he skips off to the ranch)!

The only way to stop an onc... (Below threshold)
materialist:

The only way to stop an oncoming feeding frenzy is to refuse to be eaten. The Bush administration is on precisely the right course. Even if Rove, et al are offered for dinner a couple of years hence, which is by no means certain, the frenzy will have dissipated, or at least changed in form. The simple fact that there is no underlying crime will have long since perculated to the surface.

I suppose you on the left t... (Below threshold)
Zelsdorf Ragshaft III:

I suppose you on the left think it is right to ruin the life and career of a man like Scooter Libby because his memory of events did not match that of a bias MSM reporter or two. Even when he was not allowed to prove his innocence. That is precisely the reason Bush will not and should not allow any of his staff to be called before a lying vengeful bunch of immoral democrats. In my opinion, it is time for honest men everywhere to take up arms, go to Washington DC and throw the Democrats out. The problem with liberals is they are liberal about what is truth. Lying is a tool of the left and you use it well. You talk about civil war in Iraq. Just keep it up and you will be fighting right here at home. I wonder just how long you anti second amendments idiots will last against the armed right.

Brian, The point of ... (Below threshold)
Lorie Byrd:

Brian,
The point of my column is that this is not a court of law. What the Dems want is another circus, like the recent "hearings" have been. The politicians, of both parties, talk on and on about conspiracy theories or their own greatness, they ask some leading or lame questions, then they might let the witnesses get one or two words in edgewise, but rarely really let them answer fully. In a court of law the judge at least lets the person on the stand answer the question and there are some rules. About all the congressmen have is a timeclock. They say whatever they want whether there is anything to back it up or not and the media then picks the most outrageous clip to air. These hearings are political grandstanding opportunities. Sometimes they are conducted fairly and respectably, but most of the time, especially recently, they are jokes. Remember when Ted Kennedy was questioning judicial nominees about ethics. Ha. Hilarious political theater, but that is about all.

Why did the AG lie under oa... (Below threshold)
jp2:

Why did the AG lie under oath about it if everything was honky-dory?

How about this, if congress... (Below threshold)
Taltos:

How about this, if congress wants someone to testify before them under penalty of perjury then the congressmen involved should have to waive their privilege and be bound by the same threat of perjruy for any inconsistencies or untruths they might spew. Sounds fair to me. It's all about finding the truth afterall.

"Get Bush!!! And if you can... (Below threshold)
Adrian Browne:

"Get Bush!!! And if you can't get Bush, be damn sure to get Rove!"

Yep, you're right. That's what their constituents want -- that's called democracy.

First the democrats ran the... (Below threshold)
WildWillie:

First the democrats ran their campaigns and we heard Iraq,Iraq and Iraq. They said that they would NOT have hearing after hearing. They promised things in the first 100 hours. Now they are bribing members to vote for their Iraq bill, they are having hearing after hearing and they failed on their 100 hours promise. Now they want Rove. They tried with Plame and failed. Now they want him bad, really bad. Unfortunately, the dimmers have to have a crime to have people testify in an investigative manner. I am LOVING watching the dimmers fail. I am LOVING watching lefties conduct sit ins in dimmers congressional offices. I am LOVING that things in Iraq are turning around. Most of all, I am loving the fact the dimmers will lose the majority in 2008. ww

In the the right wing(nut)... (Below threshold)
Hugh:

In the the right wing(nut)'s typical fashion Lorie and others have cast this issue as nothing more than partisan politics by democrats. And as usual that is misleading at best, if not just downright false. Blinded by your own ideology you do what the Bushies dissemble, mislead, misinterpret and omit the truth. In short what we get from you is a typical "Snow" job.

Here are some facts (something many of you have learned from Bush to just plain ignore). The Senate voted 94-2 to strip the provision from the Patriot Act to allow US Attorneys to be appointed without Senate approval. That was a direct result of the latest Bush debacle.

One of my Senators, Chuck Grassley, who is about as conservative a Republican as you can get voted aye yesterday in the Judiciary Committee vote to issue subpoenas. Interestingly, the vote was a voice vote. Wonder why? Maybe because the Republicans on the committee wanted some cover so as not to be "on the record?" Grassley said he wanted to be on the record that he voted yes.

Whether or not there should be testimony from WH aides is a debatable question. But when you wing(nuts) lie and distort and claim this is just partisan politics and a witch hunt in the face of bipartisan support for it you are either delusional or utterly dishonest about it. The fact is the administration caused the problem by appointing an incompetent AG who allowed his aides to misinform and give inaccurate and misleading testimony. He then compounded it by saying that the WH played no role in the firings.

I'm wondering when one of you will be willing to hold this administration responsible for its own mistakes? Stupid question.

Allowed? McNulty? Ah, you... (Below threshold)
kim:

Allowed? McNulty? Ah, you're just naive.
=============================

First of all I have to say ... (Below threshold)
WildWillie:

First of all I have to say for the years I have been daily reviewing Wizbang, it is apparant that the lefty dimmers cannot stay on topic. I mean never. As far as the senate stipping the Patriot Act provision, what really should matter is that republicans and democrats alike signed off on that provision but now claim they did not know it was in there. That is irresponsible. To blame GW for something Congress signed off on is not very smart. Secondly, Gonzalas and his staff did, can in the future and will testify to the committee to find facts. Since there is no crime, the committee has no right. There are checkes and balances but there is also separation of powers. There is NO oversight of the executive branch. All three are separate and distinct. NOW I hope the dimmers can understand. NOT. ww

The joke of the whole patri... (Below threshold)
Taltos:

The joke of the whole patriot act outrage is that the provision didn't really do much of anything. All it did was change an interim appointee (which had no senate approval restriction anyway) from a 120 day time limit to an until their replacement is approved time limit. So, depending on how long it takes to get approval you have one interim instead of 2 or 3.

WildWillie,What part... (Below threshold)
Mike:

WildWillie,
What part of the Constitution says that? I need to know exactly so I can use it in further arguments to shut the bleeding hearts mouths. Thanks.

Since there is no crime,... (Below threshold)
Steve Crickmore:

Since there is no crime, the committee has no right.In case it has escaped your notice WildWillie, lying to a Congressional committee is a felony -- under 18 USC 1001 -- whether you're under oath or not. (If you're under oath & lie, you could also violate 18 USC 1621.) The attorney general has told the Congressional committee that he would, quote, "never, ever make a change for political reasons" and that this was only "an overblown personnel matter.". Is the attorney general not bound by the Constitution which he has sworn to uphold? In short, lying to Congress is a lie.

In short, lying to Congress... (Below threshold)
Steve Crickmore:

In short, lying to Congress is a crime

ww:Are you that in... (Below threshold)
Hugh:

ww:

Are you that incredibly ignorant about how our government works? Did you ever take civics? One of the principal functions of the legislative branch is to oversee the executive branch. Maybe because of King George and the Revolutionary War? See, the idea is we had one King George and this George likes to think he's the new King George and so the legislature is there to remind him he's just another George. And that was done by the framers of the Constitution.

If in FACT Gonzalas lied th... (Below threshold)
WildWillie:

If in FACT Gonzalas lied then that is for the committee to prove. If Gonzalas said HE did not fire the USA's for political reasons, there is wiggle room. But all that said, I did say that he should, would and will testify. This has nothing to do with Rove. As long as the dimmers pursue it that way, it will end up being nothing. Also, I had said a few days ago the USA's should have thought their complaining through. Now there is cause coming out. Lamm refused to prosecute illegal immigration cases, which is not smart. Senator Feinstein wrote a letter of complaint to the AG about her ineffectiveness. How about that. But to the point at hand, there is no crime here as far as the USA's are concerned. No reason or probable cause to summon Rove to testify. I am firmly on the side of GW now. I also thing congress is thinking twice. You notice no one was served as of now? Why? Dimmers are waking up. ww

I mean besides the Feinstei... (Below threshold)
kim:

I mean besides the Feinstein thing, the emails probably contain all sorts of pandering to Democratic wants. We can but hope, and regret.
======================================

No regrets. Rues and lamen... (Below threshold)
kim:

No regrets. Rues and lamentations aplenty, but no regrets.
===================================

Prawley orter tesh a brim t... (Below threshold)
kim:

Prawley orter tesh a brim ta limey petey fer thatin.
===============================

The end result will be a... (Below threshold)
Brian:

The end result will be a House vote, an appellate court process and finally to the Supreme Court who will refuse to hear the case because of no underlaying crime.

There's no requirement for there to be an underlying crime. Congress can subpoena Rove to find out what he had for breakfast. If Bush wants to claim executive privilege to the SCOTUS, the case will hinge on whether the claim of executive privilege has merit, not on whether Rove's breakfast was criminal.

In a court of law the ju... (Below threshold)
Brian:

In a court of law the judge at least lets the person on the stand answer the question and there are some rules. About all the congressmen have is a timeclock.

I'm sorry you don't like the way Congress conducts investigations. I concede there are serious flaws in the system. But that still doesn't allow you to refuse to abide by the system anytime you want. Weren't you just ridiculing the claim of "it's not fair" in another post?

They say whatever they want whether there is anything to back it up or not and the media then picks the most outrageous clip to air. These hearings are political grandstanding opportunities.

You have the nerve to make a comment like this after the whole Lewinsky debacle. Believe me, those who were around during Clinton know all about the media airing the most outrageous clips it can find, and about Congressional hearings being used for political grandstanding opportunities.

There's no requirement f... (Below threshold)
Taltos:

There's no requirement for there to be an underlying crime. Congress can subpoena Rove to find out what he had for breakfast. If Bush wants to claim executive privilege to the SCOTUS, the case will hinge on whether the claim of executive privilege has merit, not on whether Rove's breakfast was criminal.

Read the decision in nixon. The entire rationale for the decision was that the interests of justice in prosecuting crimes has to be weighed against the need for unfettered communication in the executive branch among high ranking officials. The word criminal appears something like twelve times.

WildWille, I hate to... (Below threshold)
Mike:

WildWille,
I hate to say this, but you had better read Feinstein's letter again. Damn nice try to spin it as something else. But I really do need to know what part of the constitution you are quoting, as I need some material to shut up the lib's.




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