POLITICS
03/16/2009 05:12 am ET Updated May 25, 2011

Conyers Subpoenas Rove, Siegelman Responds

Karl Rove has been subpoenaed again by House Judiciary Committee Chairman John Conyers (D-MI), who hopes to question the former Bush Administration official about his role in the firing of U.S. Attorneys, among other issues.

Conyers asks Rove to appear February 23rd.

The letter from Conyers to Rove attorney Bob Luskin, provided to the Huffington Post, is the second attempt to pull testimony out of Rove, who cited a scheduling conflict the last time he was subpoenaed, said a Conyers aide.

Rove has sought to limit his testimony to his involvement in the imprisonment of Democratic Alabama Governor Don Siegelman. Conyers, in his letter, rejects that circumscription.

Rove, in a recent paid speech in California, said that he was immune from the subpoena, according to a report in the Pasadena Weekly. "I will not comply with the subpoena," he said. "I want to be clear. I have no personal ability, no personal right that I'm exerting here. I'm not saying I have any privilege whatsoever, but the president of the United States has privilege with regard to compelled testimony from members of his immediate staff. Five times, now a sixth time, we have told the Congress we would be happy to provide them the information that they want, as long as it's done in a way that protects the form of the president's privilege, and six times they've refused to take us up on our offer of providing info to them on these questions."

UPDATE: Gov. Siegelman weighs in:

We all need to thank Chairman Conyers for his determination to get at the truth as to Karl Rove's use of the Department of Justice for political purposes.

However, Karl Rove can never afford to testify under oath about his role in my prosecution without lying or taking the 5th. If your readers can take a few minutes to review CBS' 60 Minutes story you can clearly see why Rove will never answer truthfully...because it's crystal clear that he is guilty of an abuse of power in using the Department of Justice as a political weapon to win elections!

So Chairman Conyers is on the right course. Hold Rove's feet to the fire and when he again defies the lawful subpoena AGAIN, a Congressional Contempt Citation should follow.

That will mean we will be one step closer to the truth and one step away from holding someone (and likely many more) accountable.

Our American Democracy has been threatened by these rouges, our constitutional rights abused and our system of Justice subverted. It is now up to us to repair the damage done to the foundations of our democracy. That starts with digging until we get the truth as Chairman John Conyers has been doing and holding accountable those who have abused their power.
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Don Siegelman
Governor of Alabama 1999-2003
www.donsiegelman.org