Yesterday, I posted a YouTube from Governor Siegelman responding to my question about whether he thought Rove’s involvement in Siegelman’s prosecution could possibly be part of Rove’s "official duties," as Fred Fielding has claimed.
I asked David Iglesias the same question–whether he thought the activities that the House Judiciary Committee subpoenaed Rove about in May really pertained to Rove’s "official duties." Iglesias doesn’t seem to think those are Rove’s "official duties" either. He points out how dangerous Fred Fielding’s claim is:
Claiming that the performance of "official duties" includes possible unlawful or criminal activity sets a dangerous new precedent, namely that as long as an advisor works in the West Wing of the White House, they have carte blanche to engage in any possible activity without being subject to the rule of law.
Iglesias is right. My gripe with the "official duties" claim is that, in the Siegelman case (which was explicitly named in Rove’s subpoena), Rove’s actions might be legal, so long as they weren’t "official duties" (because then they’d become a massive violation of the Hatch Act). But in Iglesias’ case, the actions are, by themselves, probably obstruction of justice (not to mention another massive violation of the Hatch Act). The actions are, by themselves, probably illegal.
Yet, strictly by deeming those activities part of Rove’s "official duties"–with no sanction or review from DOJ–Fielding claims Bush can grant Rove Absolute Immunity from testifying before Congress.
That is a dangerous precedent indeed.