Thursday, March 5, 2009

Bush Aides to Testify or Stonewall

Any bets? Raise your hand if you think that, when Karl Rove and Harriet Miers conclude their 'testimony' before the House committee investigating the firings of nine United States attorneys in 2007, we will know anything new? Hmmm. Not very many hands.

Rove already has castigated the hearing as a 'show trial' as reported on his favorite news network. FoxNews EXCLUSIVE: Rove Warns of 'Show Trial,' Says Dems 'Would Love to Have Me Barbecued.' Surely that plays well with those who get their 'information' from that source.

There was some deal worked out with the committee to mollify the testimony: Under the agreement, Mr. Rove and Ms. Miers will provide depositions and sworn public testimony about the firings, but the scope of their testimony will be limited to the dismissals and closely related issues.

Also, they will not be asked about their conversations with Mr. Bush on the subject or their discussions with other members of the White House counsel’s office.

One further complication: it was reported that the key to the agreement was that the Obama White House stopped short of acknowledging that "executive privilege" still applied to Rove and Miers -- though the House Judiciary statement says "it was agreed that invocations of official privileges would be significantly limited."

There's the Rove trump card. How often will Rove 'invoke' executive privilege? Way too many, I predict, which will neutralize anything important from the hearing. Karl Rove would not agree without having a card up his sleeve; he's much too smart and devious to walk in 'alone.'

Unfortunately, Speaker Pelosi seems to expect miracles from this session. She said,

"Today's agreement is a great victory for the Constitution, the rule of law, and the separation of powers. I appreciate the strong leadership of Chairman John Conyers and the assistance of the Obama Administration.

Congress now has the opportunity to uncover the truth and determine whether improper criteria were used by the Bush Administration to dismiss and retain U.S. Attorneys."

Well, Ms. Pelosi, hope springs eternal.


TPM says this:

Rove Can Claim Privilege Only When Asked About Bush

We've obtained a copy of the agreement on Karl Rove and Harriet Miers' testimony about the US Attorney firings, and it appears to answer some of our initial questions.  [link]

Lefty Blogs