April 17th, 2008
07:15 PM ET
6 years ago

Rove asked to testify over ex-Alabama governor's prosecution

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Rove left the White House in 2007.
Rove left the White House in 2007.

WASHINGTON (CNN) – A House committee Thursday asked former White House political adviser Karl Rove to testify about allegations that Bush administration officials pushed for federal prosecutions of former Alabama Gov. Don Siegelman and other Democrats.

House Judiciary Committee leaders said it is "imperative" that Rove answer allegations that he pressed the Justice Department to investigate Siegelman, a Democrat who when indicted was preparing a rematch against Alabama's Republican governor in 2006.

"We look forward to scheduling an early date for your voluntary appearance," the committee's Democratic leaders wrote in a letter released Thursday.

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." Luskin said he has had no direct communication the the Judiciary Committee's staff or its chairman, Rep. John Conyers, D-Michigan, and said the White House would have to decide whether Rove will be able to testify.

The probe grew out of the administration's controversial firings of eight U.S. attorneys in 2006. The White House has invoked executive privilege to keep Rove from testifying to Congress in that case.

Siegelman was sentenced to more than seven years in prison in 2007 after his conviction on bribery, conspiracy, obstruction of justice and mail fraud charges. Prosecutors accused him of running a "pay-for-play" scheme in which he exchanged official acts and influence for cash, property and services while serving as Alabama's governor from 1999 to 2003.

A federal appeals court ordered Siegelman released on bond in March, and he is scheduled to appear before the Judiciary Committee in May as part of an investigation into allegations that the Bush administration tried to influence the prosecutions of political opponents.

A Thursday report by the committee's Democratic staff recounted what it said is "extensive evidence" that Siegelman's prosecution "was directed or promoted by Washington officials."

And it cited three other cases - including that of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, coroner Cyril Wecht, a prominent forensic pathologist and an outspoken Democrat. Wecht was charged with 84 counts of wire fraud, mail fraud and theft in 2006, but the case was declared a mistrial earlier this month.

Rep. Lamar Smith, the committee's ranking Republican, called the staff report a rehash of "sensational allegations from unreliable witnesses and so-called academic studies." He said the Republican minority is still reviewing the document.

"Unfortunately, House Democrats are so intent on slandering the Bush administration that they willingly accept outlandish claims while questioning the honest work of career federal prosecutors," Smith, R-Texas, said in a written statement. "It may come as a surprise to some Democrats, but even Democratic office holders who have committed crimes must be held accountable.


Filed under: Karl Rove
soundoff (204 Responses)
  1. JohnS

    Rove must be followed.
    He is a real ennemy of this nation.

    April 17, 2008 05:12 pm at 5:12 pm |
  2. Nicknas

    OH so NOW one of Bushs Boys WILL Testify under oath. Oh yea, because it isn't about one of Bushs Buddies!

    Only thing I want to see about this pig in court about is his own sentencing

    April 17, 2008 05:15 pm at 5:15 pm |
  3. Love Huckabee

    I voted for Bush, because of ethics, but this man is a complete loser!!!!!!

    April 17, 2008 05:16 pm at 5:16 pm |
  4. mitch from ark.

    rove ,bush,and cheney ,should all be on trial!but,let's wait until they're out of office ,so bush can't pardon himself and his mates.

    April 17, 2008 05:18 pm at 5:18 pm |
  5. sylvia lambert

    it lookes to me that the only thing you are doing is giving hillery a bad rap. she is not the only one that is not telling the truth, obama has refused to admit his knowladge about his paster practice of recism against the white race and the usa, and catholic religion. don't you know the he voted and asken to remove it because he made a mistake in his voting, this too is a ustrusted act, so please report this and get the action from the american voters. i will be checking with you on this via t.v. and cnn.

    April 17, 2008 05:20 pm at 5:20 pm |
  6. kathleen retired Professional w/woman for obama

    "Voluntary appearance"? Can they handcuff him?

    April 17, 2008 05:20 pm at 5:20 pm |
  7. DS in SD

    HAHA YES! GET HIM! Rove deserves no less than life in prison for all his dirty deeds.

    April 17, 2008 05:22 pm at 5:22 pm |
  8. Greg Ebert, Portland, OR

    Rove will parrot the most famous and over-used Republican testimony:

    "I DONT RECALL"

    April 17, 2008 05:23 pm at 5:23 pm |
  9. Hec in SA

    This is the problem with radical Dem liberals drunk on Congressional power. Rather than address REAL threats and enemies to this nation (turd-world terrorists hellbent on sawing the head off of every "infidel" possible) they waste tax dollars on a witch hunt against a political opponent. Hey, by the way, Dems have been in charge of congress for 18 mos now, with nothing, zero, zilch, nada, to show for it. So how's that working out for ya?

    April 17, 2008 05:24 pm at 5:24 pm |
  10. Darth Vadik, CA

    Hey they eventually got Al Capone on tax evasion, I don't care what charges they get this slimy weasel on, I just want him behind bars, hopefully after Bush leaves the office, so he doesn't get a pardon.

    April 17, 2008 05:25 pm at 5:25 pm |
  11. Apollyon

    Love Huckabee:
    You voted for Bush because of "ETHICS"???? HAHAHHAHAHAHHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHHAHAHAHA!!!!!!!!! I'd sure like to know whom you consider a crook!

    These criminals in the Bush Administration AND Justice Department only have 8 months of protection left. Then the hammer is going to fall! And I can't wait! Bush isn't going to be around to pull Roves fat out of the fire like he did Scooter. Justice and the Rule of Law will prevail... eventually.

    April 17, 2008 05:27 pm at 5:27 pm |
  12. Bill, Albany, NY

    All I have to say is; "What goes around, comes around"

    April 17, 2008 05:27 pm at 5:27 pm |
  13. Bitter Allen Hussein, Visalia CA

    Time to frog march Turdblossom to prison. Maybe he can share a cell with Michael Vick!

    April 17, 2008 05:28 pm at 5:28 pm |
  14. King

    Disgusting human being. Did I call Carl Rove human? He is an animal who deserves nothing but jail. Unfortunately, the Ds are weak and this guy will get away again.

    April 17, 2008 05:28 pm at 5:28 pm |
  15. Ken

    Does Rep. Lamar Smith even live in the real world? I think instead he continues to live in the denial world set up by his disgraced buddy Delay. It is a typical Delay/Rove tactic to take the allegations against the [R] party and mindlessly parrot them back at the [D]s.

    Given the convicted corruption and child molestation that permeates the top of the [R] political heap, and the widespread support that heap gets amongst RANK-and-file [R]s, is there any reason to take any thing seriously that any of them say? They have earned their irrelavancy. I mean what a joke it is to hear these words from a Delay crony: "It may come as a surprise to some Democrats, but even Democratic office holders who have committed crimes must be held accountable." It certainly DID come as a surprise to [R]s when their criminals, cheats, and child molesters were held accountable. And we're STILL trying to wring the rest of that foul [R] smell out of our capital.

    April 17, 2008 05:29 pm at 5:29 pm |
  16. JHR Arizona

    This Man is pure evil. he has no respect for anyone, but himself

    April 17, 2008 05:29 pm at 5:29 pm |
  17. Ratgurl

    ...President Bush's onetime political mastermind "absolutely denies he was in any way involved in the decision to prosecute Don Siegelman."

    Say it under OATH, Rove, so we can indict you for PURGERY!

    April 17, 2008 05:29 pm at 5:29 pm |
  18. look byond

    I think he is phony and an ediot.

    April 17, 2008 05:29 pm at 5:29 pm |
  19. Len

    "Unfortunately, House Democrats are so intent on slandering the Bush administration that they willingly accept outlandish claims while questioning the honest work of career federal prosecutors," Smith, R-Texas, said in a written statement. "It may come as a surprise to some Democrats, but even Democratic office holders who have committed crimes must be held accountable.

    That sums it up best

    April 17, 2008 05:30 pm at 5:30 pm |
  20. Pam

    Will lightning strike when he puts his hand on the Bible?

    April 17, 2008 05:32 pm at 5:32 pm |
  21. rd

    Karl Rove's biggest crime is the one that Democrats can never, ever forgive, and never will. Simply put, he proved how dim-witted and irrational Democrats are–a point that many on this thread have proven quite nicely. Face it Dems, he's made you eat crow before, and he will do it again.

    April 17, 2008 05:33 pm at 5:33 pm |
  22. wolfsbane

    This cannot stop at Rove.

    Bush will pardon his entire administration, but Obama has pledged to investigate and to find what damage has been done to our country, our rights, by this administration.

    OBAMA 08

    April 17, 2008 05:33 pm at 5:33 pm |
  23. Clare E. Kapphahn

    He should have been put into jail months ago. He is part of this administration that has destroyed this nation. Use some of the same tactics they used on prisoners.

    April 17, 2008 05:34 pm at 5:34 pm |
  24. bill

    He should have tried for treason for his part in outing a CIA agent. That does not even scrape the surface. Wait till all the other stuff breaks. Maybe they ought to all be held financially at fault for misleading us into Iraq.

    April 17, 2008 05:34 pm at 5:34 pm |
  25. NickSanDiego

    Thats the problem with our spineless government. They keep ASKING Bushs people to Testify instead of MAKING them. UNDER OATH!

    April 17, 2008 05:35 pm at 5:35 pm |
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