Is the photo at left beginning to seem less and less absurd?
Looks like we're headed for an interesting game of chicken next month in the House Judiciary Committee surrounding Rove's subpoena to appear before it to answer questions in the Don Siegelman affair (and perhaps others) on July 10. RAW has the story worth putting on your radar, with no less than two House Judiciary members hinting that they may be willing to take extra steps (e.g., use of "inherent contempt" to have Rove arrested by the House Sergeant at Arms if need be) should he refuse to testify.
If Rove refuses to appear, says Rep. Wasserman-Schultz, "then we have to take the next step." And Rep. Sanchez notes, "We really need to set our foot down and show there are consequences to people who laugh in the face of Congressional subpoenas."
Tea leaves sure, but interesting ones, worth watching. The point is also made that the Committee may continue with this particular investigation, even as a new President takes office. Would be a whole different ballgame under those conditions. Presuming that new President isn't McCain, in any case. Hmmm...
Chairman Henry Waxman (D-Calif.) and the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee have subpoenaed notes of an FBI interview with George Bush and Dick Cheney in the Oval Office on June 24, 2004, about their role in the unmasking of a CIA anti-WMD program administered by Valerie Plame:
The subpoena follows a June 3 letter from committee chairman Rep. Henry Waxman to Attorney General Mukasey, asking for the documents and a June 11 response from Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General Keith B. Nelson [who declined the request due to "separation of powers" issues.
Waxman requested the transcripts of the FBI interviews earlier this month, after publication of Scott McClellan’s tell all memoir revealing Bush administration deception. A transcript of Cheney’s interview would be of particular interest because his former aide, I. Lewis “Scooter” Libby, was the only official convicted of a crime in relation to the Plame probe.
Libby told the FBI that it was “possible” Cheney instructed him to leak Plame’s name, Waxman wrote in his initial letter to Attorney General Michael Mukasey.
The question appears to be, if Bush and Cheney lied to McClellan, did they also lie to the FBI that June morning. Lying to the FBI is illegal, even if the subjects are not under oath.
Scott McClellan has previously said he'd be "happy" to testify before the U.S. House Judiciary Committee. Looks like he's about to get his chance. On June 20th. Unlike Karl Rove, who said he'd similarly be happy to tell his story (on the Siegelman affair) to Congress, we suspect McClellan will actually keep his word.
This just in from Conyers' office...
For Immediate Release: June 9, 2008
Conyers Invites McClellan to Testify June 20th
(Washington, DC)- Today, House Judiciary Committee Chairman John Conyers, Jr. (D-MI) invited former White House Press Secretary Scott McClellan to testify before the Committee at a June 20th hearing about reported efforts to cover up the role of the White House in the Valerie Plame leak as described in his recent book, What Happened: Inside the Bush White House and Washington's Culture of Deception.
I have extended an invitation to Mr. McClellan to testify before the Judiciary Committee after discussions between Committee staff and his attorneys, said Conyers. In his book, Mr. McClellan suggests that senior WhiteHouse officials may have obstructed justice and engaged in a cover-up regarding the Valerie Plame leak. This alleged activity could well extend beyond the scope of the offenses for which Scooter Libby has been convicted and deserves further attention. A copy of Chairman Conyers' letter is attached.
The letter referred to above is just a single paragraph invitation, and largely restates the above.
O'Reilly uses every bully-boy, tough-guy, strong-arm tactic in his thuggish satchel. McClellan didn't blink. To his credit, he's standing by his book. All. of. it. In fact, the deer-in-the-headlights glaze he had for years at the WH press podium seems now to be entirely gone. We're impressed.
Here's O'Reilly's complete, three-segment, testosterone-amped, failed attempt to take down McClellan on tonight's O'Reilly Factor...
BTW, some on the supposedly-Progressive side --- such as the folks at MoveOn and other friends of ours --- have condemned McClellan for not speaking up sooner and for "profiting from lying to the public" during his time at the White House. While we understand that general impulse, we think the knee-jerk reaction may be a mistake. McClellan himself said last Sunday on Meet The Press that he hopes others will step forward to do as he did. So do we.
He's taken a huge hit from "his own" side by coming out as he has in a rather extraordinary and unprecedented way. His realizations, late in coming or otherwise, seem to be quite legit, heartfelt and rather courageous. It seems to us we should be more interested in making those who might do the same feel safe to do so, rather than kick them from all sides. Just our .02.
Last Thursday Keith Olbermann began an excellent conversation with George Washington University law professor Jonathan Turley on the Karl Rove subpoena matter by stating, "Joe Wilson's dream of watching Karl Rove frog marched out of the White House in handcuffs is long since gone. But a new dream has been born tonight. What about a Turdblossom perp walk out of the front door of Fix News."
As seen in the video at right, the freshly shorn former Ambassador responds to the news and our question at a small gathering where he was speaking in Los Angeles. He said he was unsure whether or not Congress will be able to "get to" Rove, though he was certainly behind the effort.
"Whether they will actually be able to get to Karl I don't know," Wilson told us. "But it's great to keep the pressure on him. It forces him back on defense." He then added: "It's amazing to me the extent to which these guys have operated with absolute impunity, absolute disregard for American law and American jurisprudence."
Following below is the entire 40 minutes or so of Wilson's talk to the small gathering last week in Los Angeles, covering all aspects of his ordeal with the Bush administration...
(Washington, DC)-Today, House Judiciary Committee Chairman John Conyers, Jr. (D-MI), issued a subpoena to former White House Deputy Chief of Staff Karl Rove for testimony about the politicization of the Department of Justice (DOJ), including former Alabama Governor Don Siegelman's case. Yesterday, Rove's attorney, Robert Luskin, sent a letter to the Committee expressing that Rove would not agree to testify voluntarily, per the Committee's previous requests.
"It is unfortunate that Mr. Rove has failed to cooperate with our requests," Conyers said.
"Although he does not seem the least bit hesitant to discuss these very issues weekly on cable television and in the print news media, Mr. Rove and his attorney have apparently concluded that a public hearing room would not be appropriate. Unfortunately, I have no choice today but to compel his testimony on these very important matters."
Separately, Chairman Conyers recently received a letter from DOJ's Office of Professional Responibility (OPR) indicating that the office has opened an investigation into allegations of selective prosecution of Siegelman and others.
Included below and attached are the relevant documents:
Full text of the cover letter sent to Robert Luskin, Karl Rove's attorney (attached and below); [Download here]
Alabama's former Democratic Governor Don Siegelman, at the center of an alleged conspiracy to take him down --- a conspiracy with an extraordinary body of bi-partisan evidence to support it, and Karl Rove's direct involvement in it --- has finally been released from jail pending appeal.
We're on a few other beats for the moment, so for the latest, we'll refer you to RAW STORY's coverage, where Larisa Alexandrovna has done a great deal of heavy lifting on this story over the past several months.
Our own numerous stories on this woeful tale, including an occasional exclusive or two --- and some still grossly-undercovered aspects of Siegelman's story, such as the electronic election fraud he alleges was employed by state Republicans to unseat him --- can be read here.
UPDATE: Dan Abrams' coverage of Siegelman's pending release below...
(Hat-tip for the heads up to The BRAD BLOG's Alan Breslauer, with balls the size of Alabama, as seen in the photo at top-left.)
Hannity & Colmes' guest lineup tonight, there to give us the inside skinny on tomorrow's "do or die" Democratic Primaries in Ohio and Texas on "America's Election HQ"...
Yup. Rove, Coulter, Morris, and Luntz. Guess they're needed to add balance to the Democratic powerhouse that is Alan Colmes?
BRAD BLOG FLASHBACK:Long time readers may remember the guest lineup announced for H&C's 2004 Presidential Election Eve show, as we reported at the time...
ON THE RIGHT: Karl Rove, Dick Morris, William Weld (UPDATE!) Jeb Bush just added!!! ON THE LEFT: Bill Richardson
We ran an email campaign back then, haranguing them to add at least something resembling balance, which they eventually did by dumping Weld and adding Terry McAuliffe. Even though the clever little liars at Fox "News" still managed to figure out how to tilt it Right anyway.
Please support The BRAD BLOG's Fund Drive and our continuing coverage of your election system, as found nowhere else. Click here for a number of cool new collector's edition Premium products now available for new contributors!
MSNBC's Dan Abrams continued, for the third day in a row, on the Don Siegelman beat today. The former Democratic Alabama Governor, who still sits in jail pending an appeal for his non-violent crime, is alleged to have been railroaded by Karl Rove and political operatives in the state while running for re-election in 2006.
In 2002 he had won his election, according to the announced results on Election Night, only to wake up the next morning to find that a Republican election director claimed to have discovered a "glitch" (sound familiar, regular BRAD BLOG readers?) in the electronic vote counts overnight, resulting in Siegelman's loss. He was never allowed a recount after the vote tallies somehow changed on the electronic voting machines due to the "glitch," as it was described officially, by court probate officers.
Neither the 60 Minutes report on Siegelman from Sunday, nor any of Abrams' reports so far this week (here's Tuesday's and Wednesday's) including today's, as posted at the end of this article, have yet delved, with any depth, into that aspect of what seems clearly to have been a well-run political frame-up --- or, yes, a conspiracy --- to do away with the one Democrat who had been able to win statewide elections in an otherwise very Republican-leaning state.
We hope to have more on that aspect of the case soon.
On today's MSNBC "Bush League Justice" report, Abrams spoke with both Siegelman's attorney, Vince Kilborn, as well as Grant Woods, the former Republican Attorney General from Arizona who has been among the most outspoken of the 52 former Republican and Democratic Attorneys General who have called on Congress for an investigation and a special prosecutor to be named in the case.
Abrams repeated his call, from yesterday, for the immediate release of Siegelman from prison, pending appeal of his case, as would be customary in other similar, non-violent cases. Abrams enumerated his chief concerns about the prosecution and the trial as run by federal judge Mark Fuller, as follows...
Dan Abrams once again tackles the Don Siegelman case in his stellar "Bush League Justice" series on MSNBC. Tonight's guests included Scott Horton of Harper's, former Alabama GOP operative Dana Jill Simpson, and Governor Siegelman's daughter, Dana Siegelman.
Abrams and Horton opened the segment discussing the remarkable 60 Minutesblackout of the Siegelman story in Alabama on Sunday. According to the local CBS station the blackout occurred because of a faulty receiver. An incredulous Abrams then proceeded to make a mockery out of the laughable excuse:
It's sooo hard to believe - the notion that a receiver, in Alabama, just during the Siegelman story, just during 60 Minutes - I mean, they got it resolved, right? Right at the end, just as the story is finishing up, right?
After playing more of his interview with Karl Rove accuser Simpson from yesterday's show, Abrams made his first of many calls for Governor Siegelman's release from prison:
But there are serious questions that should lead the Justice Department and the judge to, at the very least, release Siegelman while he appeals.
Amazingly, Siegelman is unable to appeal his case because the government has failed to produce a transcript of the trial which was completed over 18 months ago.
Later Dana Siegelman tries to answer some of the many unanswerable questions regarding her father's case before flat out telling Abrams that the judge is "trying to keep her dad hushed as long as he possibly can" and that her father "knows Karl Rove is behind this."
Part 1 (9:49), Part 2 (2:08)
RELATED:Note that part of The BRAD BLOG's encounter with Karl Rove on Monday appears at the beginning of the segment. You can also catch two former "Bush League Justice" installments about the Siegelman case here at The BRAD BLOG: In the most recent, posted Tuesday Abrams called on AG Mukasey to open an investigation into the case and in the other, back in December, Abrams was the first in the mainstream corporate media to cover the Siegelman case.
As you'll recall, a local Alabama affiliate blacked out last Sunday's 60 Minutes report on the railroading of former AL Gov. Don Siegelman, who still sits in jail today (even if The BRAD BLOG has proof that Karl Rove, who evidence suggests helped put him there, now wants him "Free"!) The only segment of the show that didn't make it to the AL viewers, when 60 Minutes originally aired Sunday, was the Siegelman segment. The local station then lied about the reasons for the blackout, initially claiming a "transmission problem" from CBS. The network has denied it, and the local station has recanted that explanation and come up with something equally thin. (We covered it all in detail, along with the full video of the 60M report, back here.)
I got a chance to meet Karl Rove before he spoke at the Gibson Amphitheater in Los Angeles last night. Here's the awkward video (33 seconds, below left) of my brief encounter, which was followed by a Q&A with Rove, in which he denied recent charges made against him by a Republican operative in Alabama concerning the prosecution of Alabama's former Democratic Governor Don Siegelman...
[Now including a number of UPDATES at the bottom of the article...]
Part 1 (9:51), Part 2 (3:56)
UPDATES: (by Brad) Incredibly, Larisa Alexandrovna is reporting that the broadcast of the Siegelman segment --- and only the Siegelman segment --- got blacked out in Alabama. "Transmission Difficulties"...
NOTE: The 60 Minutes report does not delve into the Election Fraud issues that have emerged in the case, including allegations, on video tape, from Siegelman himself, claiming that his "election was stolen electronically," after having gone to bed on Election Night the winner in 2004, only to wake up the next morning to find that he had "lost" after a Republican Board of Elections member, in the middle of the night, allegedly all by himself, re-tallied the votes. Links to that angle on the story, along with the White House and Karl Rove's relation to all of it, can be found in "Related stories" linked at the bottom of this article.
Many more Monday updates on the "Alabama Blackout" situation, including statements from both CBS and the changing story of their affiliate station, WHNT, now follow below as well. More still being added as notable...
The U.S. Attorney Purge scandal still ranks, in my estimation, as the key to unlocking almost every other unprecedented domestic (and perhaps even foreign) criminal abuse of power by the White House. The matter strikes at the very heart of the dirty dealings by all of the President's men and, if it were to ever be fully cracked open, would likely display the totality of the blood and guts of the Administration's highly illegal, fully politicized takeover and wholesale abuse of the U.S. criminal justice system.
Little wonder then that the White House has determined to go to the mattresses when it comes to fighting off both the House and Senate Judiciary Committees' investigations into the matter. They've determined they are better off playing chicken with Congress and risking criminal contempt charges (which they believe they can either refuse to enforce via the DoJ, or otherwise pardon the players whenever necessary) by refusing to turn over requested documents to Congress and ordering the refusal to testify by top officials such as Karl Rove, Harriet Miers and Josh Bolten.
In order to guard the castle gates, after consigliere Alberto Gonzales could no longer effectively hold off the investigation, they found a man who would play ball for them in AG Michael Mukasey, betting --- correctly --- that Democrats in congress would fold rather than refuse to confirm a man who was, even during Senate hearings, so obviously in the pocket of the White House crime syndicate.
Two stories breaking today each serve as fresh reminders of how much is at stake, and how much is being hidden by the WH stonewalling of the scandal's full investigation. Each of them --- the indictment today of AZ's Republican Rep. Rick Renzi on charges of extortion, wire fraud, and money laundering, and this Sunday's long-awaited 60 Minutes exposé on the Rove/DoJ/WH gang-bang frame-up of Alabama's now-imprisoned Democratic former Governor Don Seigelman --- merely offer salacious clues as to how bad, how corrupt, and how historically unprecedented (in this country, anyway) the illegal machinations at the heart of this scandal really are.
Please keep in mind that at the center of the entire scandal lies the über scandal involving the very gaming of our electoral system by folks who, evidence shows, were willing to do nearly anything to ensure they retained a death grip on American political power and the control of its entire legal apparatus in the bargain.
And both the Democrats in Congress, and the American Corporate Mainstream Media, to their eternal disgrace, have all stood by and allowed the shameful bloodbath --- featuring real blood --- to take place...