Democrats are calling for Karl Rove, Harriet Miers and other administration officials to answer questions under oath, and perhaps more importantly under Klieg lights, before a congressional committee. Why, if there is nothing to hide and there was no wrongdoing, would the President not want Rove and others to testify?
First some background for those who have not followed the U.S. Attorney controversy. The Democrats and the media (sorry for the redundancy) have worked themselves into a frenzy over the firing of eight U.S. Attorneys. Democrats claim the firings were politically motivated. In the case of at least some of those fired, Justice Department memos written prior to the firings show there were concerns about performance on issues including the investigation of voter fraud and the prosecution of border crime.
Whether or not there was good reason to fire the eight, they were political appointees and, as Bill Clinton fired all 93 U.S. Attorneys when he took office in 1993, President Bush had the authority to fire them for just about whatever reason he wanted. So, was the firing of eight political appointees political? Probably, in one way or another. If the attorneys were not performing in accordance with the political priorities of the administration, the firings could be said to be political. That is the nature of political appointments. How does a scandal arise from what even many critics admit was the legal firing of eight out of ninety-three U.S. Attorneys? The answer to that question is certainly political.
All one has to do to understand why the administration would not want to send Rove or Miers before a congressional committee is to understand the political motivation of Democrats to extend coverage of the non-scandal, to look at the result of Scooter Libby’s under-oath comments, and to watch the recent testimony of Victoria Toensing in the Plame matter.
Scooter Libby was questioned under oath, as were various other administration officials and reporters, until his recollection of events in the Plame matter were found to be inconsistent with others. With a Libby perjury conviction the only Bush administration scalp Democrats have to wave, it makes sense they would want to go back to the well by questioning as many Bush administration officials under oath as possible, about anything.
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