Last week, we talked to a number of experts who said that President Obama’s executive order on presidential records might well affect the ongoing effort to get information about the Bush White House’s role in the US Attorney firings.
And it looks like John Conyers is of the same mind. The House Judiciary chair this afternoon issued a subpoena to Karl Rove to testify before the committee on February 2.
Rove had claimed immunity from an earlier Conyers-issued subpoena, citing executive privilege. As a press release accompanying today’s subpoena points out, “[t]hat “absolute immunity” position was supported by then-President Bush, but it has been rejected by U.S. District Judge John Bates and President Obama has previously dismissed the claim as ‘completely misguided.'”
In other words, although Obama’s order on records directly addressed only the question of a former president’s material docuement — not testimony from his aides — there’s reason to think that the principle of openness over secrecy that Obama has outlined both in the order and elsewhere could strengthen Conyers’ position on this issue.
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. 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.
We’ll be watching this very closely…