Rep. Sanchez: Karl Rove Should Go To Jail

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"Rep. Sanchez: Karl Rove Should Go To Jail"

Yesterday, former White House adviser Karl Rove skipped the country and refused to to appear before the House Judiciary Committee to testify about the politicization of the Justice Department, despite a subpoena.

House Judiciary Committee chairman John Conyers (D-MI) and Linda Sanchez (D-CA), chairwoman of the Commercial and Administrative Law Subcommittee, rejected Rove’s claim of immunity. Conyers called Rove’s absence an “insult to the American people and to the system of checks and balances that are the basis of our constitution and our democracy.”

Yesterday, Sanchez appeared on MSNBC and said that “in the next couple of weeks,” the Judiciary committee will vote to hold Rove in contempt. She believes that if the measure goes to the full House for a vote, there “a very great probability” that it would be approved. Sanchez also said that she thinks Rove should go to jail:

SHUSTER: But in any case, you want Karl Rove put in jail for this, right?

SANCHEZ: I would like to see him held accountable for his complete disregard of the law absolutely.

SHUSTER: But will you say “Yes, Karl Rove should go to jail if he doesn’t cooperate”?

SANCHEZ: I personally believe, yes, absolutely. Anybody who scoffs at the law and who has committed an offense that is punishable by jail time should be put in jail.

Watch it:

Conyers has now given Rove five days to comply with the subpoena. The House has also approved contempt resolutions against White House chief of staff Josh Bolten and former White House counsel Harriet Miers, although the Justice Department refused to bring criminal charges against them. The case is now in federal court.

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Transcript:

DAVID SHUSTER, GUEST HOST, ‘VERDICT:’ Rep. Linda Sanchez who heads that subcommittee joins us now. Congresswoman, today you’ve voted to reject Rove’s claim of executive privilege. What are you going to do now?

REP. LINDA SANCHEZ, D-CALIF.: Ah, well the next step would be for the full committee to take up the contempt recommendation to vote on it which I’m being told by Chairman Conyers that he’s anxious to do. And from there it would go to the Full house for a vote.

SHUSTER: And how anxious? When will this vote in the committee take place?

SANCHEZ: Mr. Conyers hasn’t given a time deadline but I can imagine it would be in the next couple of weeks or so.

SHUSTER: And you want the contempt vote to happen right? You do want to hold him in contempt. Is that what you’re saying today?

SANCHEZ: Absolutely. Absolutely. The claim of executive privilege and immunity is ridiculous. It’s clear that in conversations that he’s had with the U.S. attorney’s office over different matters that he was handling, the president wasn’t involved in those communications and so the claim of executive privilege is really not a valid one.

SHUSTER: And Congressman I just want to clarify there is a jail in the U.S. Capitol that hasn’t been used for sometime, but you are saying and the committee and some of your colleagues are saying tonight, “you want Karl Rove in that jail.” If he continues to refuse the demands of this committee Is that what you’re saying?

SANCHEZ: Well, the inherent contempt powers of Congress were last used in the 1930s and there was a jail cell located in the Capitol that was utilized for that purpose. My understanding is that with some of the renovations that have gone on in the Capitol over the years there really isn’t an actual jail there.

SHUSTER: But in any case, you want Karl Rove put in jail for this, right?

SANCHEZ: I would like to see him held accountable for his complete disregard of the law absolutely.

SHUSTER: But will you say “Yes, Karl Rove should go to jail if he doesn’t cooperate”?

SANCHEZ: I personally believe, yes, absolutely. Anybody who scoffs at the law and who has committed an offense that is punishable by jail time should be put in jail.

SHUSTER: Congressman are you worried at all about the time frame though? I mean isn’t this the sort of thing- you’re up against the election. Doesn’t this need to happen within the next five months?

SANCHEZ: Well, it’s not limited to particularly this year. I mean in an ongoing investigation it could potentially happen next year but personally I think time is of the essence and the sooner we act on this the better.

SHUSTER: But just to clarify, and again, real quickly here, do you believe yes or no that the United States House of Representatives, your colleagues will support holding Karl Rove in contempt, if you guys send it to the full House.

SANCHEZ: I think if it goes to the full House there is a very great probability that yes, they would hold Karl Rove in contempt.

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