EXCLUSIVE: Karl Rove Issues New Denials in Gov. Siegelman Prosecution in Written Answers to HJC

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Karl Rove has categorically denied any involvement whatsoever, either directly or indirectly, in the prosecution of former Alabama Gov. Don Siegelman, in written responses to questions from the ranking member of the House Judiciary Committee, entered into the Congressional record today and obtained this afternoon by TPMmuckraker.

The questions from Rep. Lamar Smith (R-TX) and the answers submitted by Rove’s lawyer, Robert Luskin, are available here. More soon.

Below is a sample of the Q&A. Rove’s answer is in italics, and is emblematic of his response to all 14 questions raised by Smith.

1. Before former Alabama Governor Donald E. Siegelman’s initial indictment in May 2005, did you ever communicate with any Department of Justice officials, State of Alabama officials, or any individual other than Dana Jill Simpson, Esq., regarding Governor Siegelman’s investigation or potential prosecution? If so, please state separately for each communication the date, time, location, and means of the communication, the official or individual with whom you communicated, and the content of the communication.

I have never communicated, either directly or indirectly, with Justice Department or Alabama officials about the investigation, indictment, potential prosecution, prosecution, conviction, or sentencing of Governor Siegelman, or about any other matter related to his case, nor have I asked any other individual to communicate about these matters on my behalf. I have never attempted, either directly or indirectly, to influence these matters.

Rove has long refused to comply with a committee subpoena about his role in the Siegelman prosecution, claiming executive privilege. Instead, he’s offered to respond to written questions from the Democrat-controlled committee.

So Smith sent Rove’s attorney, Luskin, a sycophantic letter on July 15, requesting that he make good on his promise and answer some questions from the committee:

The Committee majority, as before, declined your offer when it was renewed on July 9th. This unnecessarily forced up on your client the Hobson’s choice of obeying the limitations placed upon him by the President or obeying the demand of the majority that he appear and testify at a July 10, 2008 hearing before the Subcommittee on Commercial and Administrative Law. The forcing of this issue did not obtain information for the Committee. Rather, it simply provoked partisan spectacle and gratuitously exposed your client to potential legal jeopardy.

Luskin, graciously accepted the request, and conveyed his bafflement at the committees’ prosecution in his cover letter with his client’s answers:

We simply cannot understand the Committee’s interest in provoking a confrontation with Mr. Rove while the precise legal issue that is presented by his subpoena is subject to a pending action in District Court. We have struggled instead to find a method by which Mr. Rove could answer the Committee’s questions while at the same time respecting the prerogatives of the President. We thank you for providing such an opportunity, and we trust that Mr. Rove’s answers will assist the Committee in resolving these utterly unfounded allegations.

Late Update: The majority of the Q&A refutes the affidavit of attorney Jill Simpson, not that that’s anything new. As you might remember, Simpson spoke before the HJC in October of last year and testified to Rove’s involvement of Siegelman’s prosecution. From what I can tell, the documents spend nine pages detailing the ways in which Rove does not know Simpson.

For the record, Karl Rove has never “communicated, directly or directly with Simpson.” He does not and has “never known Simpson personally.” He has “never worked with her.” He is “not the Karl referenced” in the email on the FEMA contract. He never told Simpson to take “compromising pictures” of Siegelman.