The House Judiciary Committee this morning voted to hold former Bush adviser Karl Rove in contempt of Congress.
The vote, which broke down along party lines, wasn’t a surprise. Rove has refused all requests from the committee to appear and testify and ignored congressional subpoenas. Rep. John Conyers, the committee’s chairman, wants Rove to answer questions about the firing of nine U.S attorneys in 2006 by the Justice Department and whether the White House undly influenced prosecutorial decisions made by the department.
Rove has steadfastly claimed executive privilege, saying he cannot be compelled to offer testimony about advice he provided while in the White House and has denied any improper influence.
The committee’s ongoing probe gained some momentum this week following a report from DOJ’s Inspector General that detailed the efforts of former Justice staffer Monica Goodling to recruit attorneys that were sympatico with the Bush administration during Alberto Gonzales’ tenure as attorney general.
The resolution holding Rove in contempt will now go to the House floor for a vote. But even if the majority of the House agrees with the committee, it’s likely that will be the end of the matter. The resolution is referred to the U.S. attorney for the District of Columbia who decides whether to file charges against Rove.
Right now, that man is Jeffrey Taylor. Before he secured that job, he was a counsel to, you guessed it, Alberto Gonazales.
Maybe that’s why Rove didn’t seem to concerned about the vote. He attended at Washington Nationals game Tuesday night and appeared to be in high spirits.
The Senate Judiciary Committee Wednesday is holding a hearing that is examining the findings of the Inspector General’s report.
You can read a copy of the IG report here. (By the way, it is never good when your name is included in the title of the report, is it?)