Undeterred, Conyers subpoenas Rove a third time
John Byrne
Published: Friday February 13, 2009

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Rove lawyer out of office until deposition date

House Judiciary Chairman John Conyers, Jr. D-MI) has subpoenaed Karl Rove a third time, asking him to appear Monday, Feb. 23 for a deposition to testify about his knowledge about the US Attorney firings and the alleged political prosecution of former Alabama Gov. Don Siegelman.

"Pursuant to my letter to you of Jan. 29, 2009, and your agreement to accept service on behalf of Karl Rove, I am enclosing a subpoena for Mr. Rove to appear and provide testimony by deposition on Feb. 23, 2009, at 10:00am in room 2138 of the Rayburn House Office Building," Conyers wrote Robert Luskin, Rove's D.C. Attorney.

An email message to Luskin from Raw Story was returned with an auto-reply.

"I will be out of the office and unable to check emails or voicemails until February 23, 2009," the reply said. "If you need immediate assistance, please contact my assistant."

An email to Luskin's assistant was also returned, saying she would return on Tuesday.

Luskin recently told Raw Story that he hoped to reach an amicable agreement with the committee, and as recently as this week, negotiations for the terms of Rove's appearance before Congress were still ongoing.

Conyers subpoenaed Rove in January; Rove did not appear. Rove has previously said he will not testify to Congress. He's also refused subpoenas from the Senate Judiciary Committee, which called on him to testify in 2007.

In the letter accompanying the subpoena, Conyers said Luskin had requested a delay.

"I cannot agree to these requests," the Michigan Democrat wrote.

He also refused Luskin's requests for testifying solely about the Alabama governor.

"I do not believe it is acceptable for the Committee to allow witnesses to unilaterally determine what they can and cannot testify concerning," he wrote.

Luskin said in January that Bush advisers had said Rove wasn't required to testify on the US Attorneys matter because he was protected by executive immunity.

"It's generally agreed that former presidents retain executive privilege as to matters occurring during their term," Luskin said. "We'll solicit the views of the new White House counsel and, if there is a disagreement, assume that the matter will be resolved among the courts, the president and the former president."

Conyers doesn't agree.

“I have said many times that I will carry this investigation forward to its conclusion, whether in Congress or in court, and today’s action is an important step along the way,” Conyers said in January. “Change has come to Washington, and I hope Karl Rove is ready for it. After two years of stonewalling, it’s time for him to talk.”

The full subpoena is available here.

Correction: The first edition of this article said that Luskin's assistant wouldn't return to the office until Monday; in fact, she will be out until Tuesday.