Rove Set to Testify About Alabama Governor
It looks like Karl Rove, the influential former aide to President George W. Bush, will finally face questions about his role, if any, in the bribery conviction of a former Alabama governor.
As part of the agreement (PDF) between Rove, former White House counsel Harriet E. Miers and the House Judiciary Committee, Rove and Miers will face limited questioning about the controversial firing of nine U.S. attorneys in 2006.
That deal also cleared the way for Rove to be questioned regarding Don Siegelman, Alabama's Democratic governor from 1999 to 2003, who was found guilty of seven counts of bribery and related charges in 2006. He was convicted of giving Richard M. Scrushy, the founder and ex-CEO of HealthSouth, a seat on the state hospital regulatory board in exchange for $500,000 in donations to the state lottery fund.
Siegelman, 63, was sentenced to more than seven years in federal prison and ordered to pay a $50,000 fine. He served nine months but was released a year ago after an appellate judge cited "substantial questions" in his case.
Siegelman's much-publicized conviction has been at the center of conspiracy theories, with his supporters arguing that his prosecution was orchestrated by GOP leaders, including Rove. Siegelman's case has been cited by Democratic leaders of the House Judiciary Committee as evidence of political tampering by Bush administration officials at the Justice Department.
"This is more important than my case," said Siegelman in a January interview with DemocracyNow! "As you well know, this effort of bringing Karl Rove before the Judiciary Committee is just a start to get at the truth."
Rove was "invited" in mid-April to testify before the House Judiciary Committee. He refused and in May he was served with a subpoena.
Later, the home and office of Scott J. Bloch, the ex-chief of the U.S. Office of Special Counsel, were raided by FBI agents after Bloch ordered the case file on Siegelman closed in October, saying he had not authorized it. Bloch was forced out of office months later.
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