Conyers Calls Luskin’s Bluff on Rove Testimony

Well, that didn’t take long.

ThinkProgress reports that Robert Luskin is already backing off his PR gambit promise to have Rove testify before Congress.

Yesterday, House Judiciary Committee chairman John Conyers (D-MI), joined by members Linda Sánchez (D-CA), Artur Davis (D-AL), and Tammy Baldwin (D-WI), wrote to Rove and requested that he testify before the committee about the politicization of the Justice Department, including the prosecution of Siegelman.

But now Luskin is saying that Rove won’t testify unless the White House says he can, claiming that MSNBC took his comments “out of context.” Roll Call reports:

MSNBC provided Roll Call with an e-mail exchange with Luskin that the network broadcast in which a producer asked, “Will Karl Rove agree to testify if Congress issues a subpoena to him as part of an investigation into the Siegelman case?”

“Sure,” wrote Luskin, according to the e-mail. “Although it seems to me that the question is somewhat offensive. It assumes he has something to hide.”

But in an interview with Roll Call, Luskin said that his MSNBC comments were taken out of context.

“Whether, when and about what a former White House official will testify … is not for me or my client to decide,” but is part of an ongoing negotiation between the White House and Congress over executive privilege issues, Luskin said.

See, Luskin, it’s not so easy to roll the press when someone can call you on your claims publicly.

Any bets how long it takes Conyers to get the subpoena pulled together? Hours? Days?

This also raises the likelihood that Solicitor General Paul Clement is hard at work inventing reasons why Rove can invoke executive privilege on an issue that he feels free to blab about in the press.

38 replies
    • darclay says:

      I’ll feel the earth QUAKE if congress sends Rove and the rest to jail for contempt along with that ass kisser Clement. Enforce the subpoena’s!

  1. Bushie says:

    Conyers is good at letter writing, not so good at issuing subpoenas, terrible at enforcing subpoenas. No breath holding waiting for Rove to appear before any committees of Congress.

  2. MadDog says:

    This also raises the likelihood that Solicitor General Paul Clement is hard at work inventing reasons why Rove can invoke executive privilege on an issue that he feels free to blab about in the press.

    Those were private conversations with the press, doncha know?

  3. victoria says:

    We’ll be back in court on this. Rove will never appear, contempt citation will take months to be issued, next administration will say that this is all in the past and we need to move forward….rinse and repeat.

  4. perris says:

    Any bets how long it takes Conyers to get the subpoena pulled together? Hours? Days?

    you are somehow making the leap of conclusion that a subpoena means something at all?

    it is a scrap of soiled toilet paper and that is it, until they jail meyers a subpoena means absolutely friggin nothing

    and yes, I am pissed

    the friggin epa is defying congressional subpoena, the friggin ep friggin a

    • perris says:


      yes, I am pissed

      EPA defies subpoena to turn over documents.

      In a remarkable show of contempt, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has flatly refused a House Global Warming Committee subpoena. The subpoena for documents relating to the EPA’s refusal to obey the Supreme Court mandate to regulate greenhouse gases was issued by a unanimous, bipartisan vote on April 2, a year after the Supreme Court decision. On April 11, the EPA requested and received an extension to respond, but today the agency has decided not to turn over the documents:

      • PJEvans says:

        I loved the ‘possible public confusion’ excuse. It’s creative, like ‘the cat ate my homework’.

        These guys need to be thrown out of their cushy jobs and have to get real ones, where they can’t hide behind ‘privilege’ when they f*ck up.

  5. radiofreewill says:

    There’s nothing I’d like better than for Rove to Roll on Bush’s Manipulation of PIN in the Siegelman Case!

    Except maybe for him to Resist and get tagged for Obstruction, first…I believe Rove is quoted in the article as saying that he didn’t have Anything to do with the Siegelman Prosecution:

    Rove’s lawyer, Robert Luskin, said Thursday that President Bush’s onetime political mastermind “absolutely denies he was in any way involved in the decision to prosecute Don Siegelman.”


    So, Rove really doesn’t have, by his own admission, a legitimate reason Not To Talk to Conyers.

    Instead, all we have, presumably recently, is Bush telling him Not To Talk to Conyers…just another nose-thumbing from the UE for one of his ‘Untouchables’…

  6. radiofreewill says:

    If last week’s Torture Admission storyline is correct, then Condi Chaired the Principals’ Torture Committee.

    Which means, Condi is a Torturer, like Bush.

    Hmmmm…Now, Who might have had The Most Interest in Torturing Confessions out of Arabs in order to show a 911-Iraq-Al-Qaeda Connection?

    Who might have Desperately Wanted Cover for a Possible Act of Negligent Treason as the National SECURITY Adviser?

    Who might have thought Torture was a Better Solution than Telling the Truth?

  7. dude says:

    What makes anybody think Rove is going to be forced to testify? Congressional investigators are great at “churning paper” like Countrywide and Bear-Stearns. Subpoenas have no value right now, so why not generate a few more.

  8. Loo Hoo. says:

    If someone refuses to honor a subpoena from Congress, do they still get to write for Newsweek? No question about being a FOX contributor, but Newsweek?

    • MadDog says:

      If someone refuses to honor a subpoena from Congress, do they still get to write for Newsweek? No question about being a FOX contributor, but Newsweek?

      As low as the MSM has fallen, Newsweek probably has a hiring policy that requires one to have been subpoenaed and refused to honor it before condsideration of employment.

      Shorter Newsweek: “We hire only the lowliest to provide you the lowdown!”

    • GeorgeSimian says:

      Since when did Newsweek become your high standard of news. I remember reading a blurb about some chips that had just come out, so obviously just copied from the press release. It said something like, These chips contain trans-fats which are better than regular fats because…

  9. brendanx says:

    I love the TIME link: “In the rough and tumble of Alabama politics where politics is often a blood sport…” The lawlessness is all so manly.

    In the rough and tumble of organized crime syndicates politics is often a blood sport.

    Does anyone have links to where Rove “blabs” about this case?

    • PetePierce says:

      I don’t know all the places where Rove shoots off his mouth. There are so many damn ectopic instances, as long as he’s not under oath in front of Congress. The GQ article (and Marcy or others may have linked in the many threads I’m still catching up on) is included here in Scott Horton’s article on it.

      This is an administration that is going to continue to blow off any subpoenas where they have something substantial to hide even when they could give Condi’s insipid response when testifying where she always feigns she never heard of the issue and “will get back to you” and never does.

      The closest you are going to get to knowing what Rove is hidign is the intrepid bloggers like Marcy who continue to follow and dissect these issues.

      As many have said, the subpoenas mean less than nothing, and most of the MSM never picks up on them. I’d have asked the debate candidates what they’d do about this administration blowing off supoenas consistently instead of the pinhead questions about a fucking flag pin.

      Does Stephanopolis or his wife have a flag tatooed across their chests? Gibson doesn’t wear a flag pin. Gibson’s wife never wears a flag pin in New Jersey. We have become the dumbest frigging country collectively in the world.

      Meanwhile I have more bad news from the great state of Michigan. One subject that receives little attention in blogs in general is how much damage Bush and Senate Judiciary are doing to this country via backroom deals that result in Judicial confirmations.

      Senate Judiciary set in motion a deal the other day that portends some real federalist martinette packing on the Sixth Circuit:

      Impasse Over Michigan Judges Ends

      The good news from Michigan is that a man falsely accused of rape and imprisoned for 17 years was freed in a DNA project:

      Cooley Law Project frees Eddy Lloyd After 17 Years incarceration

      How the state of Michigan will compensate Eddie Joe Lyold for spending every day of 17 past years in the hell hole conditions of the Michigan prison system remains to be seen.

  10. maryo2 says:

    OT – I think I was just followed by federal authorities. It was not a police car. I made four illegal fast-paced turns and this guy stayed on me until I swerved into a driveway. I am shaking with fear. Ford Mustang early 1990s model, black with faded hood, OR license plate HMB 383 (I am not positive about the M), white male age 30-35, high-and-tight brown hair.

    I hope I am not crazy. I was taking my son to an eye exam.

    Sorry. I hope this was nothing, but it scared me very badly. My worst crime by far is ugly things I’ve typed on the net. It’s been an hour or more and I am still shaking.

      • maryo2 says:

        It was such sloppy tailing that surely it was just a dude with free time following a woman from 7th to 18th, through four lights changing lanes 5 times.

        I don’t know what to say. It was too, too weird. 25, 26, 28 – Thanks for being supportive. I apologize for being a ninny.

        • MadDog says:

          May I suggest that since you have such an excellent description of the perp, his car, and even his license plate, that you stop by your local (I repeat, local!) law enforcement agency and file a complaint.

          Now the local yahoos may try to treat you as a wild-eyed crazy, but ignore them and think of how those local yahoos will enjoy pissing on a Fed’s parade (if the perp was a Fed), or rousting some assh*le at a stoplight and making him assume the position.

          Getting mad is fun, but getting even is funner.

    • PetePierce says:

      Help me with the concept Mary. How are things you typed on the net in any way shape form criminal? I’m sure you were using hyperbole there. The feds are too busy with successful prosecutions of escort services and failed attempted terrorist prosecutions like the continued clusterfuck in the Sami al-Arian Case.

  11. bmaz says:

    Hey, is Randiego out there??? Did he go to the 6.5 hour long 22 inning Padres game last night? If so, how many beers does that equate to?

  12. PetePierce says:

    Americans are quick to focus on what’s important in life–babes in Yukons hauling ass on California freeways on a full tank. Will she blow the cops away?

  13. readerOfTeaLeaves says:

    Rove loses if he testifies.
    He loses if he doesn’t testify.
    And every time his expensive lawyer makes a statement, Rove looks even sleazier.

    Score 200 points for Conyers, and here’s hoping he keeps up the pressure.

  14. rkilowatt says:

    maryo2- smart to note event @ 24. Others have used web similarly to make events known and broadcast. The web and the camera-phone are huge personal security tools…perhaps related to fact US has severe impediments in path of adopting 3rd-generation [hi-speed photo transmit; e.g. real time click-and-sent] phones vis a vis Europe and Asia. 3G mobile telecom is a threat to unfriendlies.

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