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

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


[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2008/images/04/17/art.rove1.gi.jpg caption="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. Janesville, WI

    Who honestly thinks that anyone from this administration will ever be held accountable for anything????!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    April 17, 2008 08:50 pm at 8:50 pm |
  2. Celina Bean

    If he had something to do with the prosecution of this governor, I think that he should receive a long sentence. To destroy someones life for politics is the ultimate disgrace that anyone could bring to this country. He appears on Fox all of the time as if he is some real important expert, when all he is is a crook. And the fact that Fox has him on all of the time shows that they all think alike. Remember, what goes around comes around, and "be sure your sin will find you out".

    April 17, 2008 09:28 pm at 9:28 pm |
  3. Richard

    Is Rove working on the sidelines for Obama? Me thinks.

    April 17, 2008 09:50 pm at 9:50 pm |
  4. Tn

    Rove-hillary 2008

    April 17, 2008 09:57 pm at 9:57 pm |
  5. Concerned Democrat

    What a crook!!! What goes around comes around!!!!

    April 17, 2008 09:58 pm at 9:58 pm |
  6. nick, houston

    Anyone else curious WHY MCCAIN ASKED ROVE FOR HELP in his current campaign after receiving such nastiness in his Presidential bid against Bush in 2000?

    Because MCCAIN + BUSH =MCBUSH the same Bush policies.

    MCBUSH will have the same wrong policies with the same crooked MCBUSH cronies.

    NO to a Bush 3rd term. He doesn't deserve it!!!

    April 17, 2008 10:10 pm at 10:10 pm |
  7. Julie N,Naperville, IL

    BuBye Karl...no I wont be visiting you .....IN PRISON...Dont worry, George W and DICK Cheney will be joining you soon!!!!

    April 17, 2008 10:15 pm at 10:15 pm |
  8. Haneefah

    Can you-all just stick to the issues. All of Senator Clintons nasty attacks and slow distruction of the Democratic Party and the People of this great country that support this party. She wants to win any way and any means she can. She wants to prove to her husband that she can do better than he did by stepping on the people in a underhanded way. She is nasty/divisive and sneaky and the biggest lier walking. She said so last night herself.
    What say you?

    Stone Mountain, GA

    April 17, 2008 10:21 pm at 10:21 pm |
  9. we wanh hillary, not mccain...screw him.

    Karl Rove is the Farmer John pig in the "Feed the pig.org" campaign. Plus, he never did anything to support Hillary, so as far as I;m concerned... he can eat a fat one.

    Hillary and Nader, fool.

    April 17, 2008 10:23 pm at 10:23 pm |
  10. we wanh hillary, not mccain...screw him.

    The only way Karl Rove will ever be worth a dam is if he gets behind Hillary. Otherwise, screw him.

    Hillary and Nader.
    that's the way it is, so get over it.

    April 17, 2008 10:25 pm at 10:25 pm |
  11. we wanh hillary, not mccain...screw him.

    Who cares about Rove: Hillary is the one with Hope for our country. Hillary has the audacity to believe in the American dream. Hillary is the only one who opposed the war since the beginning and Hillary is the only one ready to answer that cell phone at 3 in the morning. Hillary is our lord and saviour.

    Hillary and Nader

    April 17, 2008 10:31 pm at 10:31 pm |
  12. TF

    Rove wrongfully set up and imprisoned this man and I hope Rove spends some time in jail.

    April 17, 2008 10:31 pm at 10:31 pm |
  13. we wanh hillary, not mccain...screw him.

    Only Hillary can overtake Rove in the election.

    April 17, 2008 10:32 pm at 10:32 pm |
  14. tuff

    how can this funny looking clown can judge Obama on that fox news when he's up to his fat head in #33352, he has his own skeletons, and I can't wait to get some dirt on that sean hannity as well

    April 17, 2008 10:32 pm at 10:32 pm |




    April 17, 2008 10:34 pm at 10:34 pm |
  16. Ron Nebraska

    Karl Rove, political genius??? This is the guy that got a complete incompetent in as president and our great nation may never recover from their incompetence and corruption and this guy is a genius!!!!

    April 17, 2008 10:34 pm at 10:34 pm |
  17. tuff

    how can this funny looking clown judge Obama on that fox news when he's up to his fat head in #33352, he has his own skeletons, and I can't wait to get some dirt on that sean hannity as well

    April 17, 2008 10:35 pm at 10:35 pm |
  18. Jack Jodell, Minneapolis, MN

    Rove is the real criminal in the political world. His deliberate and constant lies and spin are a giant reason this country is on the wrong track. He should be sent to prison at hard labor, for LIFE!

    April 17, 2008 10:36 pm at 10:36 pm |
  19. Michael G- Ventura, CA

    When is Karl Rove going to prison? He is deserving of it considering all the harm he has done to this Country!

    April 17, 2008 10:44 pm at 10:44 pm |
  20. Kathy Normandy

    Crucify Him !!!!!!

    April 17, 2008 10:51 pm at 10:51 pm |
  21. keith Franklin, Tn

    I would like to give Karl a dose of Karl's type of medicine....period!!!!

    What a waste. Instead of calling someone sleazy, we should just call a person Rovian when he is "sleazy".

    Did anyone think Karl would own up to anything?

    We should just make him a human punching bag right after we neuter him. Oh I forgot he already is a gelding.

    April 17, 2008 10:58 pm at 10:58 pm |
  22. Newman

    Obama leads in the polls! Go Obama!

    April 17, 2008 11:02 pm at 11:02 pm |
  23. Justin

    Only Hillary can overtake Rove in the election for being the most dishonest and evil.

    April 17, 2008 11:08 pm at 11:08 pm |
  24. Sarah Smith

    Another Greek tragedy unfolding itself

    before OUR EYES! in the 21st century!

    Hillary is stabbing herself!

    blood is dripping from her hands!

    Why did she take it this far?

    If this comment doesn't get posted

    I KNOW it will be analyzed

    none the less!

    April 17, 2008 11:09 pm at 11:09 pm |
  25. RW

    Rove may not testify now, but Obama has promised that his justice department will look into the behavior of the Bush administration justice department and if they find evidence of wrong doing they will prosecute the culprits. At the point they will no longer be able to falsely claim 'executive privilege'. It may take a while but it will be worth the wait as this administration has trampled the constitution and any justice that is supposed to go with it.

    April 17, 2008 11:23 pm at 11:23 pm |
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