Karl Rove’s Deal To Provide House Testimony Slammed & Praised By His Alabama Opponents

The new agreement by former Bush Presidential advisor Karl Rove to testify before the House Judiciary Committee was attacked today by a whistleblower’s attorney as an inadequate way to ascertain the truth, even as the deal was praised as a good start by former Alabama Gov. Don Siegelman, a leading alleged victim of Rove. Siegelman’s comments are below.

Priscilla Black Duncan of Montgomery, Alabama, who represents the former Republican political volunteer Dana Jill Simpson, attacked the deal today in an interview on My Technology Lawyer Radio. Duncan said that Rove will probably receive only light scrutiny if he answers questions in private with unsworn responses to committee staff, as opposed to questions under oath by a full committee with adequate staff able to discuss nationwide patterns.

A witness in 2007 before Judiciary Committee staff herself, Simpson filed an affidavit nearly two years ago suggesting that Rove was improperly involved in the federal prosecution of former Democratic Alabama Gov. Siegelman, who is now free on appeal following conviction of federal charges involving a ballot referendum. Rove has denied in interviews any improper conduct, but has also claimed “executive privilege” to refuse testimony despite an adverse federal court ruling on his status. The deal was announced Wednesday by the Judiciary Committee after input from the White House.

Duncan was a guest today on a special edition of the radio show co-hosted by legal commentators Scott Draughon and Andrew Kreig focusing on Congressional oversight of the U.S. legal system and the Federal Communications Commission (FCC). Kreig published an opinion column Wednesday on the Huffington Post entitled, “Probe the Past To Protect the Future.” It argued that Congress needs to be far more vigorous in overseeing federal spending and the justice system, particularly in ensuring that oversight hearings are thorough enough to restore battered public confidence in the economy, justice system and communications industry regulation.

Another guest today was George Mason University School of Law Professor Thomas W. Hazlett, director of the law school’s Information Economy Project and previously the FCC’s first chief economist. Asked about the federal stimulus spending for broadband, he said he doubted results would meet expectations, especially in funds allocated to what he described as “gold-plated” rural telecom incumbents.

The show began with a news round-up of major developments this week. These included President Obama’s nomination of former FCC chief legal advisor and high-ranking Obama campaign volunteer Julius Genachowski to become the next FCC chairman, plus speculation about other high-level technology and commerce appointments.

Kreig discussed his column, which documented why much more vigorous oversight is needed in such areas as politically-motivated federal prosecutions and flawed oversight last year of such institutions as the FCC. Hazlett provided his view on what kinds of federal initiatives would best work economically in the telecom and wireless industries.

In the final segment, Duncan described her client’s concern that the White House had a conflict of interest in helping broker a testimony deal between the Judiciary Committee Chairman John Conyers (D-MI), Rove and former White House Counsel Harriet Miers, who has also been accused of involvement in a nationwide plan to politicize the Justice Department. Duncan said that she wrote White House Counsel Gregory Craig calling for his recusal or resignation because he previously worked for the prominent Washington law firm Williams and Connolly that has important relationships with Rove and his then-White House colleagues that allegedly weren’t disclosed to Simpson when she sought legal advice from Craig in 2007. Her letter was reported this week by Locust-Fork News-Journal editor Glynn Wilson, who has closely followed the Siegelman case. A White House press aide did not respond to a request for comment.

A Listen Live! link connects to the March 5 radio stream, plus archived past shows.

Later, Rove said in a Fox News interview that he expected to be devoured by Democrats when he testifies. “I’m the main course. Some Democrats would love to have me barbecued.”

Meanwhile, Siegelman sent a statement to Kreig this afternoon saying in part, “I am all for it. John Conyers is to be commended for his strength and determination in getting at the truth. I spent nine months in prison because Karl Rove and his Alabama friends wanted me ‘taken care of’ according to the sworn testimony of a Republican whistleblower. This process will not be easy, it will not be pretty and the American people will not be proud of what they see when the truth comes out. But just like an infected wound, our country cannot be healed until the wound caused by Karl Rove has been cleaned out.”

“Just as in my case, there are a dozen potential witnesses who need to be put under oath and asked about their relationship with Rove and the conspiracy to selectively prosecute me for partisan reasons.”

About Andrew Kreig
Andrew Kreig draws on work in business, law, government and journalism. Former president of the Wireless Communications Association International from 1996 to last summer, he is Senior Fellow with Brandeis University’s Schuster Institute for Investigative Journalism and an affiliated Research Fellow with George Mason University’s Information Economy Project.

About My Technology Lawyer Radio Show
Richard Scott Draughon is host and producer of the My Technology Lawyer Radio Show, which is affiliated with MyTechnologyLawyer.com — an on-demand legal service. For details, visit: http://www.mytechnologylawyer.com. Among other projects, he will be organizing cutting-edge sessions at the Technosium on March 26 in San Francisco.

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One Response to “Karl Rove’s Deal To Provide House Testimony Slammed & Praised By His Alabama Opponents”

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