Conyers: No More Delays For Rove On US Attorneys Testimony

Another development in the ongoing saga of Karl Rove’s long-sought testimony on the US Attorney firings.

House Judiciary chair John Conyers has sent a letter to Rove’s lawyer, Robert Luskin, enclosing a subpoena for Rove to appear before the committee February 23. That date had already been agreed to in a prior exchange of letters late last month.

But things are getting slippery again. Rove had originally been scheduled to appear February 2, but the two sides agreed to a delay, in part thanks to a scheduling conflict on Rove’s part.

But apparently, Luskin, in the intervening time, had asked for a second delay. In addition, Rove had announced in a recent speech in California that he didn’t intend to appear, citing an executive privilege claimed by President Bush.

In today’s letter issuing the subpoena, Conyers informs Luskin that he won’t agree to the requested second delay. Conyers writes:

Given Mr. Rove’s public statements that he does not intend to comply with the subpoena, I am puzzled as to why Mr. Rove needs a mutually convenient date to fail to appear.

Conyers also writes that he can’t accept Luskin’s request to have Rove’s testimony be limited to the matter of the Don Siegelman case, meaning he would stay mum on the US Attorneys firings.

Next week, the Obama White House is scheduled to formally weigh in on the contempt proceedings currently being brought by Conyers’ committee against two other former Bush aides, Harriet Miers and Josh Bolten, for their testimony on the firings. The position the White House takes could well determine whether Rove will ultimately be required to testify by a court — which is where things seem to be heading.