The House Judiciary committee’s announcement this afternoon of an agreement on Karl Rove and Hariet Miers’ testimony about the US Attorney firings leaves a few key questions still unanswered:
1) The committee says: “It was agreed that invocations of official privileges would be significantly limited.” Limited how? Exactly when can Rove and Miers invoke the privilege? The devil could very well be in that detail.
2) Did the committee agree to steer clear of any specific subjects?
3) Why won’t Rove and Miers be under oath? It’s true that they’ll still be under penalty of perjury, and, when you’re talking about a congressional investigation, that penalty is no different whether the subject is under oath or not. But in that case, why not just put them under oath to avoid any confusion? Presumably, because the Bush administration objected. And if it objected, then the oath question is meaningful. (Lawyers with relevant experience, feel free to weigh in here!)
We’ve called the Judiciary committee to put these questions to them, and will keep you posted.