Conyers Tries to Talk Rove Down from Ledge of Contempt Proceedings

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August 1, 2008 2:31 p.m.

Following the letter sent by Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-VT), House Judiciary Chairman John Conyers (D-MI) sent his own demand for the testimony and documents following the ruling yesterday in House Judiciary Committee v. Harriet Miers et al.

In a letter to White House counsel Fred Fielding, Conyers called for “quick compliance” with the ruling and an answer to the subpoena issued to White House Chief of Staff Joshua Bolten for documents relating to the politicization of the Department of Justice.

Conyers also wrote to Miers attorneys, reminding him that the ruling meant his client was “legally required to testify” in answer to Congress’ subpoena.

Lastly, Conyers penned a missive to Robert Luskin, Karl Rove’s attorney, informing him that his client had been held in contempt of congress by the House Judiciary Committee, but that in light of the recent decision, he hoped that it would not be necessary to carry out the contempt proceedings:

. . .[T]he “precise legal issue” raised by Mr. Rove’s claim of immunity from our subpoena as a former White House official was before Judge Bates in Committee on the Judiciary v. Miers. Yesterday’s decision in that case provides an unequivocal answer. . . In his letter to me of July 29, 2008, Committee Ranking Member Lamar Smith also noted the pendency of the District Court case and stated that “mr. Rove assuredly will abide by the court’s decision when it issues.” I trust that this is correct and that there will be no further need to enforce the subpoena through contempt proceedings in the full House, and have directed my staff to contact you immediately so that we can make arrangements for Mr. Rove to testify in September.

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