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Directed by WH, Rove skips hearing for exotic getaway
Published: Saturday July 19, 2008

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While House Democrats fumed over the absence of Karl Rove from hearings investigating his possible interference in the Justice Department, the man himself was well on his way to the Yalta Black Sea resort, Newsweek reported Saturday.

"That's just extremely contemptuous—it shows the disdain that he has for Congress and which he has encouraged in the Bush White House," said Rep. Steve Cohen of Tennessee.

Rove had a speaking engagement at the fifth annual conference of the YES Foundation, which Newsweek describes as a "confab of world luminaries bankrolled by billionaire Victor Pinchuk, the Ukrainian steel magnate and son-in-law of the country's former autocratic president, Leonid Kuchma."

Rove's lawyer Robert Luskin defended his actions as justifiable given that White House counsel Fred Fielding instructed Rove not to show up because anything he said was protected by executive privilege.

"What was he supposed to do, sit at home with his lights off?" Luskin said in the article. Luskin added that this "was not something we concocted so he could make money in Yalta."

Speaking fees for Rove can be as high as $40,000, according to an article describing his controversial presence scheduled for a Texas Associated of Realtor convention this September.

Rove appeared on The O'Reilly Factor Wednesday to discount the Democrats demand for his presence: "They want a circus," he said.


O'REILLY: They gave you a little bit of a hard time, right?

ROVE: It wasn't that hard of a time. They were mostly polite. I could tell it was like Satan dropping in at the Southern Baptist Convention, they weren't exactly pleased to see me, but they were a little bit intrigued.


After his initial disappearance in early July, the House Judicial Committee voted 7-1 to reject the executive privilege Rove claimed protected him from being forced to testify.

Democrats expect judiciary chair Rep. John Conyers to hold Rove in contempt of Congress.

Read the Newsweek story here.