The House Judiciary Committee has subpoenaed Karl Rove. (Photo: Getty Images)
House Judiciary Committee Chairman John Conyers Jr. (D-Mich.) subpoenaed former White House senior adviser Karl Rove, a sign that Democrats are not letting go of investigations the Bush administration stonewalled.
The subpoena requires Rove to testify regarding his role in the Bush administration's politicization of the Justice Department, including the firings of nine U.S. attorneys and the prosecution of former Alabama Gov. Don Siegelman.
The House Judiciary panel granted Conyers the power to subpoena several White House officials, including Rove, in 2007 after they failed to testify voluntarily before the House and Senate about the U.S. attorney ousting. The White House claimed executive privilege but offered to grant Democrats in the House and Senate private interviews with administration officials, conducted with neither oaths nor transcripts.
Democrats want Rove to appear at a deposition on Monday, Feb. 2. He has claimed that the executive privilege protections from testifying extend to former presidential advisers, but a federal judge has rejected that argument.
"I have said many times that I will carry this investigation forward to its conclusion, whether in Congress or in court, and today's action is an important step along the way," said Conyers.
Noting that the change in administration may affect the legal arguments available to Rove in this long-running dispute, Conyers added, "Change has come to Washington, and I hope Karl Rove is ready for it. After two years of stonewalling, it's time for him to talk."
Conyers has released information he believes implicates Rove in the prosecution and conviction of Siegelman on corruption charges for political reasons. Rove has been accused of hatching a plan to prosecute Siegelman because he didn't back down from contesting the 2001 gubernatorial election results that handed the office to Republican Bob Riley.