Don Siegelman Agrees
by Glynn Wilson
Alabama attorney and GOP whistleblower Jill Simpson is calling on House Speaker Nancy Pelosi to allow a vote in the full House of Representatives on “inherent contempt” for former Bush political aide Karl Rove.
In light of the Judiciary Committee’s vote Wednesday finding him in contempt of Congress for refusing to testify under oath about his involvement in the political prosecution of former Alabama Governor Don Siegelman and the politicization of the Department of Justice, Ms. Simpson said in an exclusive interview it would be “useless” to turn the case over to the Bush Justice Department.
If the House simply finds Rove in “statutory contempt,” the case will just be turned over to Attorney General Michael Mukasy, she said. And his office has shown time and again that he is not interested in finding out the truth and holding former White House officials responsible under the law, including Harriet Myers and Josh Bolton.
“The time is now,” Ms. Simpson said. “Ms. Pelosi promised when she took over the House after the 2006 elections to clean up. It’s time for her to clean the White House for thumbing their noses at Congress.”
Ms. Simpson says she feels akin to the 127,000 people who signed a petition calling on Congress to send Karl Rove to jail, she said, and she thinks the House should use the Sergeant at Arms to arrest him. Inherent contempt and the Sergeant at Arms have been rarely used in American history, she said, “because most people don’t thumb their noses at the United States Congress.”
“Mr. Rove has repeatedly thumbed his nose at the U.S. Congress, and he should have respect for the Constitution and the Congress,” she said. “The time has come to stop this.”
The Judiciary Committee voted 20-14 Wednesday to hold Rove in contempt of Congress for failing to respond to a subpoena to testify under oath before the committee.
“This is a constitutional crisis when the White House can just say we are not going to testify if we don’t want to,” Ms. Simpson said. “The Department of Justice has repeatedly NOT stood up for the Constitution and that only leaves Congress.”
She agreed to go to Washington to testify last year, she said, because she considered it a civic duty.
“Karl Rove should see it as a civic duty too,” she said. “Instead, he prefers to run around the country thumbing his nose at the Constitution.”
Ms. Simpson commended Linda Sánchez, D-Calif., the chairwoman of the Commercial and Administrative Law subcommittee, along with committee chairman John Conyers and Birmingham Rep. Artur Davis, “for their valiant efforts to restore the integrity of the Constitution of the United States,” she said. “They need to do a thorough, to-the-bottom-of-the-bucket investigation. Otherwise there is going to be a revolt.”
Rove is claiming he has White House executive privilege, she said, “but that sure as heck doesn’t prevent him from spouting off his mouth everywhere he goes.”
“Rove thinks because he is an elite political operative no longer serving in government that he is above the law,” she said. “He thinks he is the law.”
“Furthermore,” she said, “President George W. Bush should want to get to the bottom of the story for his own legacy.”
While everyone’s attention is focused on Rove’s role in manipulating the Justice Department, perhaps they are ignoring an in-the-loop role by members of the Bush family as well. After all, isn’t Rove just a political operative who takes orders from the people he works for?
“George Bush owes a duty to the citizens of the Unites States to ask that his employees testify, if he really wants to heal the problems at the Department of Justice,” she said. “This is directly going to affect his legacy.”
In reacting to the story today, Don Siegelman said in an e-mail message: “I have always said I believe Jill Simpson. She is an American hero.”
Siegelman said the Texas Republican and ranking minority member of the committee, Rep. Lamar Smith, has made false statements himself, along with Rove in his written responses to the committee last week.
“We must encourage the full House to vote yes,” Siegelman said. “To do otherwise would advance the cause of this corruption of the DOJ and make it more likely to happen again.”
Rove didn’t even deny the central sworn allegation against him, that he and Bill Canary conspired to advance the prosecution against me by Canary’s wife,” Siegelman said.
Karl Rove and George Bush could not be reached for comment.
© 2008 – 2012, Glynn Wilson. All rights reserved.