Ball In Obama's Court On Rove's US Attorney Testimony





On the question of whether we'll get to the bottom of the Bush White House's role in the US Attorney firings, it's starting to look more and more like the ball is squarely in President Obama's court.

Yesterday, as we noted, House Judiciary chair John Conyers issued a subpoena to Karl Rove, ordering him to testify about the affair February 2nd and declaring ominously: "It's time for him to talk."

(Rove, making a claim to executive privilege backed by President Bush, had defied a subpoena issued by the last Congress. That Congress ended before the full House could vote on contempt charges against Rove.)

And just now, Rove's lawyer, Robert Luskin, told TPMmuckraker that he had already forwarded Conyers' subpoena to the Obama White House, asking them to give an opinion as to whether President Bush retains his ability to assert executive privilege.

In other words, the Obama White House will decide, essentially, whether to back Rove's claim of privilege, or to deny it. (And given that Rove is supposed to appear February 2, that decision from the White House should come soon.) In the latter case, said Luskin, a negotiation would ensue between the Obama White House, President Bush, and Rove. That would likely result in the matter going to court.

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