In 2008, former White House advisor Carl Rove defied a congressional subpoena and refused to testify about allegations of political pressure at the Justice Department, including whether he influenced the prosecution of a former Democratic governor of Alabama.
At that time, U.S. Representative Linda Sanchez, was chairwoman of a House subcommittee, and had ruled, with backing from fellow Democrats on the panel, that Rove was breaking the law by refusing to cooperate.
The White House at that time under the auspices of George W. Bush cited executive privilege as a reason he should not testify, arguing that internal administration communications are confidential and that Congress cannot compel officials to testify. Rove said he was bound to follow the White House's guidance although he offered to answer questions specifically on the Don Siegelman case - but only with no transcript taken and not under oath.
Siegelman was sentenced to more than seven years in prison but was released when a dederal appeals court ruled Siegelman had raised "substantial questions of fact and law" in his appeal.
Siegelman alleged the prosecution was pushed by GOP operatives - including Rove.
A former Republican campaign volunteer from Alabama told congressional attorneys that she had overheard conversations suggesting that Rove pressed Justice Officials in Washington, D.C. to prosecute Siegelman.
August 30, 2010
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