June 13th, 2007
12:11 PM ET
3 years ago

Why wasn't Rove subpoenaed?

Could Rove face a subpoena in the future?

WASHINGTON (CNN) – As congressional subpoenas flew Wednesday morning over last year's controversial firings of eight U.S. attorneys, two Democratic congressional sources explained to CNN why House and Senate Judiciary Committees elected not to subpoena White House Deputy Chief of Staff Karl Rove.

Both sources told CNN the committees are building their investigation and – like any investigation – they want to build their case by talking to and gathering information from lower level witnesses and officials before they possibly move to the more senior witnesses.

“We want to build up and get documents to have basis to ask questions of Rove,” one Democratic congressional source explained. “It’s the way you do it in any investigation.”

But the source conceded it is likely the investigation will lead to a constitutional showdown with the executive branch and the likelihood is Congress will never get a chance to talk to any of these White House witnesses.

The committees have tried, with no success, to persuade Rove to testify at the hearings on the investigation. In May, the Senate Judiciary Committee subpoenaed several e-mails from Rove to Attorney General Alberto Gonzales regarding the controversial firings.

As part of the congressional probe into last year’s firings, both Judiciary Committees issued subpoenas Wednesday for two other former White House employees. The Senate panel, chaired by Sen. Patrick Leahy, D-Vermont, issued a subpoena to Sara Taylor, former White House political director and a key deputy to Karl Rove, the top political adviser to President Bush. She resigned a few weeks ago. The House Judiciary Committee, chaired by Rep. John Conyers Jr., D-Michigan, subpoenaed former White House Counsel Harriet Miers. (Read full story)

– CNN Congressional Correspondent Dana Bash


Filed under: Karl Rove • U.S. attorney firings
soundoff (21 Responses)
  1. booker1,durham,nc

    TELL ME SOMETHING.....WHY WAS IT SUCH A BIG DEAL ABOUT WATERGATE,MARTHA STEWART AND MY FAVORITE THE BLACK PANTHERS? YET WEGO ON ABOUT OUR DAILY LIVES AS IF THIS ADMINISTRATION HAS NOT OR IS NOT DOING ANYTHING WRONG! HAS TECHNOLOGY CREATED A WAY TO EVADE THE LAW OR IS THIS ONLY A REGIEME WHOSE ANTICS ARE JUSTIFIED?

    June 13, 2007 12:49 pm at 12:49 pm |
  2. Jackie, Gainesville, Ga

    Compared to minor reasons for impeachment in the past, it is unbelievable, that this president and all of its administration, and the lies, dealings, secrets and illegal things it has done,that no impeachment has touched them.Rove, Rumstead, Cheney, Bush,all liars to the people, ignoring the constitution, the foreign jailings and on and on. Still no disciplin,no impeachments nothing but scolding from the media. Makes me a ashamed of this government.

    June 13, 2007 01:04 pm at 1:04 pm |
  3. Harry, Memphis,TN

    The LIBS are wasting OUR time and money for a political witch hunt. After millions of dollars and a year of investigation, no crimes found! The LIBS need to get back to the peoples business

    June 13, 2007 01:20 pm at 1:20 pm |
  4. Rafi, West Chester, PA

    I agree with Jackie. This administration has trampled the Constitution whenever it suited its political goals while espousing the importance of freedom and democracy to the rest of the world. Utter hypocricy.

    June 13, 2007 01:48 pm at 1:48 pm |
  5. Bijan, San Mateo CA

    Is it just me, or does no one else remember the witch hunt 6 years ago Republicans went on to get Clinton? Have people forgotten about Ken Starr, Pamela Tripp and over 1,000 supeonas Republicans fired out on a daily basis agains the Clinton administration? This administration makes Clintons crimes look like jay-walking in comparison. Republicans set a terrible example of witch huntism during the Clinton era. They should be glad Democrats aren't as vindictive as they were.

    June 13, 2007 02:01 pm at 2:01 pm |
  6. Proud American, Dallas, TX

    Hey Harry, so the LIBS are wasting YOUR time and money now?... What about the RIGHT WING NUTS wasting OUR time and money when they went after Clinton?

    Everything that the LIBS do is wrong according to you while the Bush/Cheney/Rove clan can destroy this country and still, investigating them would be a "WASTE OF TIME & MONEY" for you. This is what "Democracy" is all about buddy..... yes the same democracy that you guys are trying to promote in other parts of the world and yet are destroying over here at home.

    Shame on you guys for putting Bush before America... No party or person is more important than this country and you right wing Bush supporters are more loyal to the man in the white house than you are to the country.

    June 13, 2007 02:07 pm at 2:07 pm |
  7. Amy, Knoxvlle, TN

    Gee, Harry...does "Whitewater" mean anything to you? There was absolutely no evidence of wrong-doing, and yet...CONSERVATIVES led years of worthless investigations into baseless allegations. At least in this case there is clear evidence that the prosecutors were fired because they would not rush to prosecute politically motivated cases before the CONSERVATIVES left power. And since the elections that thankfully removed the CONSERVATIVES from power happened in November, how is it that you calculate that this investigation has been going on for a year? Your logic (not to mention your ability to count) is less than stellar.

    June 13, 2007 02:13 pm at 2:13 pm |
  8. Richard, Pittsburgh, Pa.

    Harry, Get with the English language. There is not such thing as a "Lib". In this country we are all citizen's. We live in what is universally called a "liberal democracy". It was founded by people who were the most politically liberal in history up until that point in time: George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Benjamin Franklin, and James Madison to name just a few. We live in feedrom and under the rule of law, not the rule of men. People who hold public office and violate the constitution are traitors regardless of their political party. Using the justice department for personal political gain is, I believe, a violation of everything American. These people need to be investigated and held accountable. There is no higher purpose to our government than to protect and defend our constitution. This is true whether or not you consider yourself a "liberal" or a "conservative".

    June 13, 2007 02:17 pm at 2:17 pm |
  9. Greg, Mobile Alabama

    Hey Harry, Let's talk about wasting our time and money, since YOU brought it up. Because it's not the LIBS and their so called witch hunts, but the Iraq war that is a waste of time and money. You remember the Iraq war don't you...? It's that war that was based on LIES claiming they had weapons of mass destruction. But maybe you forgot about that war, because when it turned out that there were not weapons of mass destruction, its became the war against terrorism. But maybe you forgot about that war too... because when it became clear that Iraq had NO terror links to 9/11, it became the war to bring FREEDOM to Iraq. Well, whatever war it is... it's costing us hundreds of billions of dollars per year. What's more, it's costing us our reputation in the world.

    June 13, 2007 02:26 pm at 2:26 pm |
  10. Ken, Denver, CO

    Just more of the same from the "Borrow and Bomb" Republicans. Corruption is is the new face of the party, and appearently if it is done in the name of killing so called "terrorists" then it is OK with thier base.
    So go ahead Republicans, run up the debt, increase the size of the government, start expensive and damaging wars, commit crimes against the constitution ... but please, please just save us from the scary big bad terrorists cause I'm so scared!

    June 13, 2007 02:32 pm at 2:32 pm |
  11. John Mentz, Lake Wales, FL

    What I want to know is WHEN is Bush going to be made to answer for his crimes? I any common man did 1/100th of what Bush himself has done, they would be locked up as an "enemy combatant" and never heard from again under the current administration. Bush belongs in a jail cell for a LONG time. Maybe we should keep Guantanamo bay open and put BUSH and his entire regime in it.

    June 13, 2007 02:51 pm at 2:51 pm |
  12. David Hippo Puyallup Washington

    This shouldn't be a surprise to anyone. This administration is gutless and allows other Americans to make sacrifices and take the fall for its own screw-ups. Is it 2009 yet?

    June 13, 2007 02:57 pm at 2:57 pm |
  13. Tom W, Dedham, Mass

    The topic is the attorney firings right? You all remember Clinton fired the attorneys as well and he did it because they were not of the same political mindset, total non-story, business as usual per the media.

    Your beloved Billary, Teddy Chivas, Al Bore and Jawn Kerry when it was politically ok all said the same things based on the same intell, but Bush the genius is the only liar? I love that one.

    Unlike you Clinton apologists for his lying, cheating and DOING nill when the USS Cole, Embassies and the 1st WTC bombings (to name a few) happened, I can hammer the nitwit that I voted for and sleep with the knowledge that I agreed with the wars intent, but I hammer him for the lousy running of it.

    Time to get out of Iraq and use the money saved to secure our borders and arrest and prosecute the illegals.

    June 13, 2007 03:23 pm at 3:23 pm |
  14. josh embry, austin, tx

    The US attornys were fired because Mr. President Bush wanted them gone... And he had every right to get rid of them. This shouldn't even be an issue. This is simply a witch hunt by the deomcratic party that will only result in wasting valuable time, effort and tax dollars.

    June 13, 2007 03:38 pm at 3:38 pm |
  15. Mary, Holland, MI

    Oh, how I long for the good old days when the worst things coming out of the White House were Whitewater and Monica...

    This administration has disgraced America.

    June 13, 2007 04:07 pm at 4:07 pm |
  16. Craig Relford Indianapolis, IN

    Those that don't understand the big deal about this need to understand the bigger picture. while letting the 8 go for political reasons may not be a big deal to you, there are two greater issues.

    The first is that this administration has shown a serious and consistent contempt for congress. They claim they don't need oversight at every opportunity, and when we hold them to some degree of oversight they come up on the hill they lie and "don't recall." The consolidation of power in the executive branch and continued contempt for congress should trouble everyone regardless of your politics considering that congress is the closest thing to representation we have in the government.

    Second, the political cronyism in this administration is unbelievably widespread. Every time something happens, and we turn over a rock in this administration we find another grossly under qualified political crony. There’s nothing wrong with appointing those politically aligned with you, every administration does that, but when political allegiance is put above even the most basic of qualifications we have a serious problem (um, like the response to Katrina–Michael Brown?)

    So, here we have one issue spotlighting both problems-serious problems. and that makes this a serious issue.

    June 13, 2007 05:47 pm at 5:47 pm |
  17. Kirsten, Fredericksburg, Virginia

    I am sick and tired of people acting like only Republicans can do thing wrong. For heaven's sake, he is allowed to fire the attorneys whenever he wants to. As for the "Republican witch hunt of Bill Clinton", Bill Clinton lied UNDER OATH. I find it very hard to believe that he could forget an encounter like that. And furthermore I can see Atty. General Gonzalez forgetting emails. Can you imagine how many emails that man deals with a day? This whole story never would have happened if the Dems hadn't gone on a political witch hunt over something that was legal.

    And to the note of the lies about WMDs...

    The Democrats had time to read all about it, AND do their own investigations of it. So now apparently its Bush's fault that the Congress didn't do its job? We wouldn't be in this mess if Congress would do its job right/ stop the political panderings. For once I would like to see a politician do the right thing instead of caring about the next reelection. At the rate the world is coming to and how Congress is behaving, there may not be a 2010 election because we'll all have died from Russian and Iranian nukes.

    June 13, 2007 05:48 pm at 5:48 pm |
  18. R. Bartlett

    Far worse days are coming folks. The Bush administration has left such deep scars across the world, that eventual retaliation is only a matter of time I fear.
    I too am as confused as the next person as to why this administration has not been held accountable for the crimes it has committed against humanity, the world, the American people and the Constitution.
    Very scary times. I would like to see the present House and Senate start impeachment proceedings immediately followed by war crimes and criminal trials, including treason.

    June 13, 2007 06:06 pm at 6:06 pm |
  19. Kirsten, Fredericksburg, Virginia

    On the issue of impeachment and war crimes trials.....

    First of all grow up! Bush can't be impeached unless almost every single member of Congrress is impeached too(as they gave him the right to go to was(AND they didn't "properly look over the information)). So it would be quite silly for them to even attempt a trial.

    Also a war crimes trial is irrelevant in this position. None of Congress is an active duty member of the military, so technically they are all civilians and so therefore should be allowing the military to do its job. This war is turning into Vietnam because people don't know when to shut up and listen to the more experienced person who actually knows whats going on.

    And also, TREASON? What for? Almost all the things that the media reports the administration all somehow turn out to be "illegal". When in fact, most of the time it is within the presidential juristiction to d that( i.e. prosecutor firings).

    And why are you not mad at the president who lied COUNTLESS times about something(that in the long run was of very little consequence) under oath? If that had been a Republican everyone knows he would've been impeached.

    June 14, 2007 12:42 am at 12:42 am |
  20. Tricia M Chtown PEI Candaa

    I agree totally with all the Anti Bush sentiments. I can't understand either how this President has been allowed to continue Governing America, reeking war and devastation upon the world and Clinton was impeached due to a Tripp Trap.

    The only reason I can come up with is that if Bush was impeached, Cheney would automatically take power as Vice. I'd have to agree that would be just as scary and destructive! Maybe the Dems should write a new bill for a dual impeachment for a Pres. and Vice that only requires the peoples' majority vote.

    The only country left in the world that enjoys the face of Bush is Albania! The rest of the world see him as a shootemup cowboy from the West with one goal, root em out and take em down. And now with the constant media blips on Iran supplying arms to insurgents – it looks like he's adding fodder to justify another casuality to his list . He might have a surprise waiting for him if he takes on Iran but I doubt his level of intelligence would see that as a threat!

    It is truly amazing that this can go on in a Democratic Nation with apparently no one having power to stop it!!! The Free World concept only applies to a chosen few I guess.

    June 14, 2007 09:31 am at 9:31 am |
  21. Ann, Brunswick, ME

    Because the Democrats don't get it – they are making fools of themselves draging this witch hunt out. All Bush has to say is, "I wanted them out, okay stupid"? "Now, get back to work and pretend you really do good things for the American people here."

    June 15, 2007 08:11 pm at 8:11 pm |