Rove’s Lawyer Backtracks On Testimony Promise, Hints Rove Will Hide Behind Executive Privilege

On April 7, Karl Rove’s attorney Robert Luskin reportedly promised to MSNBC that, if subpoenaed, his client would testify in the case of former Alabama Gov. Don Siegelman, who went to jail for corruption charges and now says Rove may have played a role in pushing a political prosecution. MSNBC’s Dan Abrams reported:

ABRAMS: We asked this question to his attorney: Will Karl Rove agree to testify if Congress issues a subpoena to him as part of an investigation into the Siegelman case? The answer we got — “Sure.”

Watch it:

Yesterday, House Judiciary Committee chairman John Conyers (D-MI), joined by members Linda Sánchez (D-CA), Artur Davis (D-AL), and Tammy Baldwin (D-WI), wrote to Rove and requested that he testify before the committee about the politicization of the Justice Department, including the prosecution of Siegelman.

But now Luskin is saying that Rove won’t testify unless the White House says he can, claiming that MSNBC took his comments “out of context.” Roll Call reports:

MSNBC provided Roll Call with an e-mail exchange with Luskin that the network broadcast in which a producer asked, “Will Karl Rove agree to testify if Congress issues a subpoena to him as part of an investigation into the Siegelman case?”

“Sure,” wrote Luskin, according to the e-mail. “Although it seems to me that the question is somewhat offensive. It assumes he has something to hide.”

But in an interview with Roll Call, Luskin said that his MSNBC comments were taken out of context.

“Whether, when and about what a former White House official will testify … is not for me or my client to decide,” but is part of an ongoing negotiation between the White House and Congress over executive privilege issues, Luskin said.

Rove has previously fought congressional efforts to force him to testify in the U.S. attorney scandal through the invocation of executive privilege by the White House.[featuredcomment]Bilbo Hussein Baggins Says: “This will be interesting. How can Rove use EP? He is no longer in Bush’s employ, so that’s out. Is he going to say that Bush had something to do with the politically motivated prosecution of Siegelman? If so, then I guess he could use EP. But, does he really want to go there?”[/featuredcomment]