Lawmakers Make Much of Karl Rove's Empty Seat

Rove defies subpoena, gets snarky 'chair treatment'
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 11, 2008 6:27 AM CDT
A chair for Karl Rove sits empty during a House Judiciary Committee hearing on Capitol Hill July 10, 2008 in Washington DC.    (Getty Images)
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(Newser) – Karl Rove ignored a subpoena ordering him to appear before a House committee probing alleged abuses of power in the Justice Department yesterday—and the committee didn't let that get in their way. Lawmakers printed a name card for Rove, pointed a mike at an empty chair, fetched a cool glass of water for the absent Bush strategist, and disparaged his absence freely, reports Dana Millbank in the Washington Post.

"This meeting today is a travesty of a mockery of a sham," declared the committee's ranking Republican as the ice melted in Rove's glass. A contempt citation for Rove could come next week, but the Bush administration will be now able to run out the clock before any of the investigations into its doings are concluded. In front of a row of empty witness chairs, the committee voted 7-1 to again order Rove to testify.