This Week: Karl Rove Stammers Through Siegelman Defense

[media id=5363] [media id=5364] (h/t Heather) I will never understand why Karl Rove is considered a political genius. A "dirty tricks master"? Abso

icon Download icon Download (h/t Heather)

I will never understand why Karl Rove is considered a political genius. A "dirty tricks master"? Absolutely. An amoral partisan hack? Indubitably. But genius? Nuh uh. He managed to pull out all the stops to illegitimately place his candidate in office and then consistently played the American public for sheep by repeating talking points over and over until they became conventional wisdom, but that's no more than what P.T. Barnum did, just on a national scale. Mercifully, I think we're collectively wising up on Rove's antics and they're coming back to haunt him. On This Week, host George Stephanopoulos asks him about the subpoenas hanging over his head and he can only stammer the same talking point over and over: he heard about the prosecution in the paper. I LOVE it when he tries to claim that no one remembers the phone call that initiated the plan to railroad Don Siegelman and Stephanopoulos says that the phone record has been produced. Pwned!

STEPHANOPOULOS: Here's what the House report said. It said, "In May 2007, a Republican attorney for northern Alabama named Jill Simpson wrote an affidavit stating that in November 2002, she heard a prominent Alabama Republican operative named Bill Canary say that Karl Rove had contacted the Justice Department about bringing a prosecution of Don Siegelman. The question for Mr. Rove is whether he directly or indirectly discussed the possibility of prosecuting Don Siegelman with either the Justice Department or Alabama Republicans." Did you?

ROVE: Let me say three things. First of all, I think it's interesting -- everybody who was supposedly on that telephone call that Ms. Simpson talks about says that the call never took place. I'd say...

STEPHANOPOULOS: Although she produced a cell phone record, according to the committee.

ROVE: Well, I would say three things. First of all, I have -- I learned about Don Siegelman's prosecution by reading about it in the newspaper. Second of all, this is really about a constitutional question of separation of powers. Congress, the House Judiciary Committee, wants to be able to call presidential aides on its whim up to testify, violating the separation of powers. Executive privilege has been asserted by the White House in a similar instance in the Senate. It will probably be asserted very quickly in this -- in the House. Third, the White House has agreed -- I'm not asserting any personal privilege. The White House has offered, and my lawyers offered, several different ways in which if the House wants to find out information about this, they can find out information about this. And they've refused to avail themselves of those opportunities.


↓ Story continues below ↓

Uh no, Karl. Your "availability" was predicated on you not swearing an oath, behind closed doors with no transcripts and/or by doing it by letter only. And the "Executive Privilege" assertion only works if you are admitting that you discussed this with the President and that's something you deny--but keep repeating that, the sheep won't realize that you're incorrectly applying the privilege. Finally, the whole "Separation of Powers" argument is as inside out as any other assertion Rove makes. This IS one of the powers guaranteed to Congress as checks and balances against an Executive branch run amok.

Face it, Karl, I don't think repeating that talking point over and over is working any longer. Karma's a bitch, baby.

STEPHANOPOULOS: We're just about out of time. This is -- as you know, and our viewers probably know, you were subpoenaed this week by the House Judiciary Committee to give testimony on any involvement you may have had with the prosecution of former Alabama Governor Don Siegelman. He's claiming there was selective prosecution. He's out on bail now, even though he was convicted. He says your fingerprints were all over it.

Here's what the House report said. It said, "In May 2007, a Republican attorney for northern Alabama named Jill Simpson wrote an affidavit stating that in November 2002, she heard a prominent Alabama Republican operative named Bill Canary say that Karl Rove had contacted the Justice Department about bringing a prosecution of Don Siegelman. The question for Mr. Rove is whether he directly or indirectly discussed the possibility of prosecuting Don Siegelman with either the Justice Department or Alabama Republicans." Did you?

ROVE: Let me say three things. First of all, I think it's interesting -- everybody who was supposedly on that telephone call that Ms. Simpson talks about says that the call never took place. I'd say...

STEPHANOPOULOS: Although she produced a cell phone record, according to the committee.

ROVE: Well, I would say three things. First of all, I have -- I learned about Don Siegelman's prosecution by reading about it in the newspaper. Second of all, this is really about a constitutional question of separation of powers. Congress, the House Judiciary Committee, wants to be able to call presidential aides on its whim up to testify, violating the separation of powers. Executive privilege has been asserted by the White House in a similar instance in the Senate. It will probably be asserted very quickly in this -- in the House. Third, the White House has agreed -- I'm not asserting any personal privilege. The White House has offered, and my lawyers offered, several different ways in which if the House wants to find out information about this, they can find out information about this. And they've refused to avail themselves of those opportunities.

We didn't say, close off any option to do anything else that you want to do in the future. We said if you want to hear about this, let's sit down and talk about this, and then you're entitled to do what you want to do in the future. This is now tied up in court. It's going to be tied up in court and settled in court. And frankly, the House last week doing this, you know, is duplicating what the Senate has already done and it's already found its way into the courts.

STEPHANOPOULOS: But to be clear, you did not contact the Justice Department about this case?

ROVE: I read about -- I'm going to simply say what I've said before, which is I found out about Don Siegelman's investigation and indictment by reading about it in the newspaper.

STEPHANOPOULOS: But that's not a denial.

ROVE: I've -- you know, I read -- I heard about it, read about it, learned about it for the first time by reading about it in the newspaper.

About Nicole Belle

Nicole Belle's picture
Mom, Wife, Media Critic/Political Analyst, Blogger, Austen Fanatic, Unapologetic Liberal NicoleBelle@crooksandliars.com

Comments

We welcome relevant, respectful comments. Please refer to our Terms of Service for information on our posting policy.