Rove’s Lawyer On Subpoena In Siegelman Case: It’s All Dan Abrams’s Fault

Yesterday, the House Judiciary Committee threatened to subpoena former White House adviser Karl Rove, unless he agrees by May 12 to testify about his role in the allegedly political prosecution of former Alabama governor Don Siegelman.

Yesterday, MSNBC’s Dan Abrams reported that Rove will now only “talk about it with the committee, and only if no transcript is made, and if it’s not done under oath.” Furthermore, according to Abrams, Rove’s attorney Robert Luskin is “blaming us” for the subpoena threat because of an incriminating e-mail exchange that was taken “out of context.” As Luskin wrote to the Committee on April 29:

Your invitation is premised on reports that I had expressed Mr. Rove’s “willingness to testify before the committee.” The report in question was based on an e-mail exchange with a producer for a cable news network and was taken grossly out of context.

Watch Abrams’s segment:


But Luskin’s statements to MSNBC were not “grossly taken out of context.” Yesterday, Abrams provided the exact e-mail exchange with Luskin. Luskin clearly said, “sure” to Rove testifying if subpoenaed:

From: Verdict with Dan AbramsTo: Robert LuskinSent: April 07, 2008 4:59 PM

Sorry. Let me be more clear. Will Karl Rove agree to testify if Congress issues a subpoena to him as part of an investigation into the Siegelman case?

From: Robert LuskinTo: Verdict with Dan AbramsSent: April 07, 2008 6:59 PM

Sure. Although it seems to me that the question is somewhat offensive. It assume he has: something to hide, even though — gov siegelman’s uncorroborated assertions aside — there’s literally no credible evidence whatsoever to substantiate his charges. I would hope that you’d get around to mentioning that fact.

Rove and Luskin have regularly assaulted MSNBC for its reporting on the story. In a 2,100-word letter containing 58 questions, written on April 13, Rove blasted Abrams personally. Luskin criticized Abrams in an Roll Call interview earlier this month, hinting that Rove would hide behind executive privilege to avoid testifying.


Dan Froomkin writes about what “Karl Rove fears most.”