Rove deposed in U.S. attorney probe
By: John Bresnahan and Josh Gerstein July 7, 2009 07:29 PM EST
Former White House Deputy Chief of Staff Karl Rove was deposed Tuesday by attorneys for the House Judiciary Committee, according to Rep. John Conyers (D-Mich.), the panel’s chairman. Rove’s deposition began at 10 a.m. and ended around 6:30 p.m, with several breaks, Conyers said. Conyers would not comment on what Rove told congressional investigators, what the next step in the long-running Judiciary Committee investigation would be or whether Rove would face additional questioning. “He was deposed today,” Conyers said in an interview. “That’s all I can tell you.”
Rove's attorney, Robert Luskin, declined to confirm or deny that his client had appeared before the committee. Luskin said there was an agreement that the depositions would remain confidential until they were completed. However, in a court filing Monday, the Justice Department indicated that the deposition set for this week would be the committee's last.Conyers’ panel had first subpoenaed Rove in 2007 as part of its probe into the firing of nine U.S. attorneys.
But the Bush White House, citing executive privilege, refused to make Rove or White House Counsel Harriet Miers available for any deposition. Conyers’ panel responded by filing a civil lawsuit against the White House and prevailed in district court last year but the appeals court had yet to address the issue. With an agreement between the Obama White House, the Bush White House and House Judiciary Committee, the current Justice Department avoided having to choose sides in court and risk an appeals court precedent which could undercut executive privilege or Congress's right to investigate alleged government malfeasance. Miers was interviewed by Judiciary Committee staffers in June.