When asked whether he was leaving to avoid congressional scrutiny, Karl Rove told the WSJ: “I’m not going to stay or leave based on whether it pleases the mob.” And Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-VT) has made clear he’s not going to determine his subpoenas based on whether Rove stays or leaves. Leahy issued the following statement this morning, explaining the Senate Judiciary Committee “will continue its investigation” into Rove:
Earlier this month, Karl Rove failed to comply with the Judiciary Committee’s subpoena to testify about the mass firings of United States Attorneys. Despite evidence that he played a central role in these firings, just as he did in the Libby case involving the outing of an undercover CIA agent and improper political briefings at over 20 government agencies, Mr. Rove acted as if he was above the law. That is wrong. Now that he is leaving the White House while under subpoena, I continue to ask what Mr. Rove and others at the White House are so desperate to hide. Mr. Rove’s apparent attempts to manipulate elections and push out prosecutors citing bogus claims of voter fraud shows corruption of federal law enforcement for partisan political purposes, and the Senate Judiciary Committee will continue its investigation into this serious issue.
The list of senior White House and Justice Department officials who have resigned during the course of these congressional investigations continues to grow, and today, Mr. Rove added his name to that list. There is a cloud over this White House, and a gathering storm. A similar cloud envelopes Mr. Rove, even as he leaves the White House.
UPDATE: Chris Matthews argued that Leahy will have an easier time getting Rove to testify now.