Friday, January 30, 2009

Better Than A Presidential Pardon: Absolute Immunity: If This Proves To Be True The Rule Of Law Is Lost!

Better Than A Presidential Pardon: Absolute Immunity: If This Proves To Be True Or The Congress Does Not Pursue This Matter All The Way To The Supreme Court; The Rule Of Law In America Is Lost.



"The action I am taking is no more than a radical measure to hasten the explosion of truth and justice. I have but one passion: to enlighten those who have been kept in the dark, in the name of humanity which has suffered so much and is entitled to happiness. My fiery protest is simply the cry of my very soul. Let them dare, then, to bring me before a court of law and let the enquiry take place in broad daylight!"

- Emile Zola, J'accuse! (1898) –


If  this Is allowed to happen, stand or be accepted, and Karl Rove can simply refuse to answer a Congressional Subpoena the Congress Of The United States has been castrated!  If Rove fails to appear, fails to answer to a Congressional Contempt-Of-Congress Citation The U.S. Attorney for the District of Columbia would then convene a grand jury. Rove could be arrested if he refused to appear before Congress if ordered to do so at that point.  If, and in my opinion, when the process reaches the point, Karl Rove should be hauled off to jail in hand cuffs.  No man is above the law and it is about damned time that the law of law in this nation be both restored and proven to exist! (Ed.)


“ABSOLUTE IMMUNITY” the absolute right to corruption and criminality.


Rove Has 'Absolute Immunity', Ex-White House Counsel Says

by  Jason Leopold


Former White House senior adviser Karl Rove said he would ignore a Congressional subpoena that calls for him to appear before the House Judiciary Committee Monday to give a deposition on the politicization of the Justice Department. 

In an interview Thursday with right-wing talk show host Bill O'Reilly, Rove, who is also a Fox News contributor, said
one of former President Bush's last acts before he left office was to have White House Counsel Fred Fielding write a letter stating that Rove was protected by "absolute immunity" and that he can legally ignore a congressional subpoena.


"I've been directed on Jan. 16, by the outgoing president's legal counsel not to respond to a subpoena...exerting privilege on behalf of the former president," Rove said. 

The letter Fielding wrote was addressed to Robert Luskin, Rove's longtime Washington, D.C. attorney. It appears that Luskin requested the letter on behalf of Rove who was likely aware that Congress would continue to pursue his testimony after Bush left office.


"On behalf of your client, former Senior Adviser to the President Karl Rove, you have previously asked us whether, in view of the President's assertion of Executive Privilege over Mr. Rove's testimony relating to the U.S. Attorneys matter, he must appear, give testimony, and produce documents to the House Judiciary Committee," Fielding's letter says, according to a copy obtained by The Public Record. "We have previously been advised by the Department of Justice that Mr. Rove has absolute immunity from compelled Congressional testimony as to matters occurring while he was senior adviser to the president." 


"We anticipate that one or more committees of the United States Congress might again seek to compel Mr. Rove's appearance, testimony or documents on the subject of the U.S. attorneys matter," Fielding's letter to Luskin says. "Please advise Mr. Rove that the President continues to direct him not to provide information (whether in the form of testimony or documents) to the Congress in this matter and that consistent with the president's exercise of executive privilege relating to his testimony, and documents, and in view of the Department's longstanding position on the immunity question, the President directs him, in the exercise of this constitutional immunity, not to appear before Congress on this matter."


Luskin sent the letter to President Barack Obama's White House Counsel, Gregg Craig seeking the Obama administration's position on matters related to Bush's unprecedented privilege claims even though he is no longer president. White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs said Craig is reviewing it.


Bush administration officials have previously said that former President Bush was unaware of and played no role in the decision to fire federal prosecutors. Since executive privilege usually applies to internal communications and documents it's unclear how the privilege rule would apply to Rove's testimony if Bush never discussed the firings or played a role in the dismissals as he and his advisers have maintained.


Fielding also sent letters to attorneys representing former White House Counsel Harriet Miers and Bush's former Chief of Staff Josh Bolten, both of whom were subpoenaed last year to provide the Judiciary Committee with documents and testimony related to the attorney firing. Bush asserted executive privilege in that case as well. 

In fact, according to letters sent to Elliot Mincberg, chief counsel of oversight and investigations for the Judiciary Committee, by Miers attorney, the Judiciary Committee had quietly issued a subpoena to her on Jan. 9. Miers was asked to provide a deposition to the panel on Jan. 16. She did not comply with the subpoena and Conyers' committee did not state publicly that he sought her testimony earlier this month. 

Miers' attorney, George Manning, wrote to Mincberg Jan. 15, and enclosed a copy of a letter Fielding prepared on Jan. 15 which said Miers had "absolute immunity." 

"I am in receipt of the subpoena to Ms. Miers dated January 9, 2009," Manning's letter says. "Please find attached a letter from the Counsel to the President of the United States informing Ms. Miers that, in view of the Executive Branch's assertions of executive privileges and immunities in this matter, she continues to be directed not to provide information (including documents or testimony) to the Congress in this matter, including the deposition scheduled for January 16, 2009." 

Earlier this month, a new set of House rules was passed reviving subpoenas issued during the 110th Congress. 

Fielding sent similar letters last year on behalf of Rove, Miers and Bolten after all three were subpoenaed to testify about the role the White House played in the firings of nine U.S. Attorneys in December 2006 and Rove's role in the apparent political prosecution of former Alabama Gov. Don Siegelman. 

That letter said the "President and his immediate advisers are absolutely immune from testimonial compulsion by a Congressional committee." 

Last year, the Justice Department's Inspector General and the Office of Professional Responsibility issued a 356-page report on the U.S. Attorney firings that "found significant evidence that political partisan considerations were an important factor in the removal of several of the U.S. Attorneys." 


Inspector General Glenn Fine and H. Marshall Jarrett, head of the Office of Professional Responsibility, found that Miers was involved in at least two of the dismissals and that Bolten played a role in at least one. 

Neither Miers nor Bolten agreed to be interviewed by the Justice Department's internal watchdogs. 

Bolten and Miers were contacted by Nora Dannehy, a federal prosecutor from Connecticut who was appointed by Attorney General Michael Mukasey to continue the investigation of the U.S Attorney firings, according to people familiar with her probe. It's unknown, however, whether they cooperated or were subpoenaed. 


Dannehy is expected to file a preliminary report with the Justice Department in March. 


The dispute over Miers and Bolten's testimony arose when President Bush forbade them to comply with a congressional subpoena about the prosecutors' firings in 2006. The House then voted to hold the two officials in contempt of Congress, the first time in 25 years a full chamber of Congress has voted on a contempt-of-Congress citation. 

In September 2008, U.S. District Judge John Bates rejected Bush's position, saying the concept of blanket executive privilege lacked legal precedent. 

"The Executive cannot identify a single judicial opinion that recognizes absolute immunity for senior presidential advisors in this or any other context," wrote Bates, a Bush appointee. "In fact, there is Supreme Court authority that is all but conclusive on this question and that powerfully suggests that such advisors do not enjoy absolute immunity." 

Last October, a Republican-dominated federal Appeals Court panel blocked the enforcement of the Judiciary Committee subpoenas. The panel also refused to expedite consideration of a White House appeal challenging a District Court ruling that had ordered Miers and Bolten to comply. Conyers' committee appealed the decision. The matter has yet to be decided. 

In his Fox News interview with Bill O'Reilly, Rove mentioned the Miers and Bolten case currently before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia. 

Rove said Conyers should have waited until the judicial body ruled on the matter before issuing a subpoena for his testimony. Rove then went on to criticize the Michigan Democrat while portraying himself as a victim. 

"I don't know if I'd call it a witch hunt; I don't think of myself a witch," Rove told O'Reilly. "He's sort of like Captain Ahab, and I'm the whale." 

"This is a guy who went to the cloakroom and asked to 'get his' - and then filled in a crude way to describe my posterior," Rove said. "He could wait until the United States judicial system resolves how this ought to be handled, but instead he wanted to have a stunt, and we'll see what happens." 

The Judiciary Committee has been seeking Rove's public testimony about the Siegelman case since April as part of its investigation into allegations that the Bush administration used the Justice Department to prosecute more Democratic public officials than Republicans. 

Rep. John Conyers, the Judiciary Committee's chairman, had rebuffed a compromise floated by Rove's attorney, Robert Luskin, to have Rove testify in private or respond in writing to the committee's inquiries about the Siegelman case, as well as the firing of nine U.S. Attorneys. 

If Rove fails to show up Monday, which is likely the case, the full House will likely vote to hold Rove in contempt, said Rep. Jerrold Nadler, D-NY, during an interview with MSNBC's Keith Olbermann. What would transpire if Rove were held in contempt is that Congress would refer the matter to the U.S. Attorney for the District of Columbia who would then convene a grand jury. Rove could be arrested if he refused to appear before Congress if ordered to do so at that point, Nadler said.   

When asked by O'Reilly if he intended to appear before Congress Monday Rove said,


Rove Has 'Absolute Immunity', Ex-White House Counsel Says
OpEdNews - Newtown,PA,USA
In fact, according to letters sent to Elliot Mincberg, chief counsel of oversight and investigations for the
Judiciary Committee, by Miers attorney, ...
See all stories on this topic


Unearthed: The News Without the Chaff
Huffington Post - New York,NY,USA
Conyers Subpoenas Karl Rove: "It's Time For Him to Talk" House
 Judiciary Committee Chairman John Conyers issued a subpoena to Karl Rove requiring him to ...See all stories on this topic

STATION CHARON: Main Core, PROMIS and the Shadow Government (Pt.3)
By Ed Encho 
Notorious fixer Karl Rove has already announced his intent to defy yet another subpoena for his testimony that was to have been delivered on Monday in front of the House Judiciary Committee. As of this writing, John Conyers has once ...STATION CHARON -


Rep. John Conyers, Chair of the House Judiciary Committee, has subpoenaed Karl Rove to testify before the Committee on Monday about his role in the firing of nine U.S. attorneys and some other matters like the prosecution of former Alabama Gov. Don Siegelman. Rove along with other Bush administration officials had hidden behind "executive privilege," evading testimony by essentially ignoring congressional subpoenas. And now, even with the Bush administration out of office, it looks like he's at it again!


Through his lawyers, four days before his term was up, former President Bush informed Rove that he was continuing to assert executive privilege over any testimony by Rove -- even after he leaves office -- and instructed him not to cooperate with congressional inquiries.


People For the American Way was a leader in the fight for Bush administration accountability, helping to get Congress to pass contempt citations against other Bush officials who hid behind executive privilege. Even though a new administration has taken over, if the law was broken, if the Constitution was violated, those who are guilty should be held accountable in order to preserve the rule of law and send the message to future generations and presidents that violating the law and people's rights will not go unanswered.


Getting to the bottom of the U.S. Attorney scandal and the politicization of the DOJ's Civil Rights Division is essential to cleaning up the Justice Department and putting it back to work for the American people. And I know we would all rather see Rove squirming in a congressional hot seat than as a talking head on cable news networks.


People For the American Way will not take this affront to justice sitting down. Expect us to be out front with a strong response if Rove chooses to be a no show on Monday. We'll also let you know what you can do to weigh in and make sure Rove and others in the Bush administration are held accountable and justice is served.

Rove deposition date moved back


WASHINGTON (AP) — The House Judiciary Committee has rescheduled a deposition for former senior White House adviser Karl Rove, ordering him to appear Feb. 23 instead of Monday.


It is uncertain that Rove would appear, since a federal appeals court is considering whether former White House aides can be compelled to testify about matters on which they advised the president.


The committee subpoena commanded Rove to testify about any role he played in politically motivated firings of U.S. attorneys, and the prosecution of former Alabama Democratic Gov. Don Siegelman.


Siegelman has alleged his prosecution was pushed by Republicans, including Rove. The former governor was convicted on bribery and other charges and was sentenced to more than seven years in prison. He was released early when a federal appeals court ruled his appeal raised "substantial questions."


Committee chairman John Conyers, D-Mich., said Friday he wanted to give Rove's lawyer time to consult with the Obama administration and learn whether the new president would uphold Bush's order against testifying.


Rove attorney Robert Luskin said his client was free to answer questions on the Siegelman prosecution.

Obama to Face First Big Test on Executive Privilege


By DAPHNE EVIATAR 1/28/09 7:01 AM


After Rep. John Conyers (D-Mich.) re-subpoenaed Karl Rove, former aide and adviser to President George W. Bush’s, to testify before Congress on his role in the Bush administration’s politicization of the Justice Department and prosecution of former Alabama Gov. Don Siegelman (D), Rove’s lawyer Tuesday asked the Obama White House for guidance, The Huffington Post reports.


Does Rove’s past claim of executive privilege, which Bush backed, still exist under the new administration?


Good question.  In the past, Rove, with Bush’s support, has claimed an “absolute immunity” as a former presidential adviser and refused to appear before Congress. President Obama, in the past, has criticized that stance. But will he continue to do so, now that he’s the president?  After all, the executive privilege would now protect him and his cabinet, too.  So is it a closed legal question?


For the answer, I think it’s worth look back at what U.S. District Judge John Bates, a Bush appointee, had to say about it when he ruled on the same “absolute immunity” claim asserted by former White House counsel Harriet Miers.


“The Executive cannot identify a single judicial opinion that recognizes absolute immunity for senior presidential advisers in this or any other context,” he wrote. Then, just in case you weren’t paying attention:  “That simple yet critical fact bears repeating: the asserted absolute immunity claim here is entirely unsupported by existing case law.”


Interestingly, but perhaps not surprisingly, the Bush administration’s Office of Legal Counsel had issued a memorandum concluding exactly the opposite.


Judge Bates continued:


Executive privilege is not absolute even when Congress — rather than a grand jury — is the party requesting the information. . . . Presidential autonomy, such as it is, cannot mean that the Executive’s actions are totally insulated from scrutiny by Congress.  That would eviscerate Congress’s historical oversight function.


Quoting the Supreme Court in a case called US v. Bryan on the matter, Judge Bates added, as if specifically anticipating the congressional stand-off with Rove:


A subpoena has never been treated as an invitation to a game of hare and hounds, in which the witness must testify only if cornered at the end of the chase. If that were the case, then, indeed the great power of testimonial compulsion, so necessary to the effective functioning of courts and legislatures, would be a nullity. We have often iterated the importance of this public duty, which every person within the jurisdiction of the Government is bound to perform when properly summoned.


That emphasis was added by Judge Bates, by the way, which makes very clear where he, a conservative Republican federal judge, stands on the matter.


We’ll find out soon enough what Obama’s views are. Given the statement from Rove’s lawyer, it looks like it’s all in the president’s hands now.

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