Bush Can't Protect Rove, Senator Says

Executive privilege doesn't hold; ex-aides ordered to testify
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 29, 2007 1:21 PM CST
President Bush and outgoing White House Deputy Chief of Staff Karl Rove, right, walk to Air Force One in this file photo. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)   (Associated Press)
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(Newser) – President Bush’s attempts to protect Karl Rove from testifying about the firings of US attorneys were shot down today by the Senate Judiciary Committee, meaning Rove will likely face contempt charges unless he complies with congressional subpoenas, the Associated Press reports. Bush had cited executive privilege, which protects advisers, but Bush had no hand in the firings, the committee ruled.

“The president's lack of involvement in these firings—by his own account and that of many others—calls into question any claim of executive privilege,” said chairman Patrick Leahy, telling Rove and several former White House colleagues "immediately." The move is lent extra weight thanks to new Attorney General Michael Mukasey, who appears more likely than his predecessors to honor a citation.