REMEMBER ROBERT LUSKIN?…. Following up on the last item, let’s take another quick look at the Wall Street Journal piece, questioning Barack Obama’s decision to abide by the wishes of Patrick Fitzgerald and federal investigators in the Blagojevich case.
Robert Luskin, a Washington white-collar defense lawyer who knows Mr. Fitzgerald well, said he doesn’t doubt the prosecutor would have asked that Obama officials keep quiet until his investigation is further along. That is to prevent witnesses from tailoring their stories to what they learn others are saying. But, he said, Mr. Obama and his aides don’t have to comply. They are using the prosecutor as a “fig leaf” to avoid answering questions just now, Mr. Luskin said. They could just as easily have decided that assuring the public about their actions is more important than acceding to the prosecutor’s request.
Now, we know the reporting in the piece left much to be desired, but let’s also pause to appreciate the irony of this criticism from Robert Luskin.
The WSJ notes that Luskin knows Fitzgerald well. What the article neglected to mention is why they know each other — Luskin was Karl Rove’s attorney when Fitzgerald was investigating the Valerie Plame case.
Karl Rove, former White House deputy chief of staff and President Bush’s top political adviser, is refusing to appear before the House Judiciary Committee to testify on “politicization” within the Justice Dept. Rove had been scheduled to appear next Thursday, July 10.
Rove’s refusal to respond to a Judiciary Committee subpoena drew a stern response from Judiciary Committee Chairman John Conyers (D-Mich.) and Rep. Linda Sanchez (D-Calif.), chairwoman of the Commercial and Administrative Law subcommittee.
“We want to make clear that the subcommittee will convene as scheduled and expects Mr. Rove to appear, and that a refusal to appear in violation of the subpoena could subject Mr. Rove to contempt proceedings, including statutory contempt under federal law and proceedings under the inherent contempt authority of the House of Representatives,” Conyers and Sanchez wrote in a letter to Rove’s attorney, Robert Luskin.
Yes, Mr. Luskin, please tell us again how awful it is when prominent political figures stoop to using a “fig leaf” to avoid answering questions. You are the expert on the subject.
At the risk of stepping on Atrios’ toes, I’m nominating this guy for Wanker of the Day.
Update: An alert reader reminded me that Luskin knows full well that one is not supposed to talk about an ongoing investigation because Rove did exactly that, to the consternation of federal investigators.