No One Above The Law, Or At Least Not As Many

Abby Zimet

After endless stonewalling and subpoena-ignoring, it seems that Karl Rove and Harriet Miers will finally testify before the House Judiciary Committee on the firings of nine U.S. attorneys for political reasons. Rove, who has long cited his immunity for any of a multitude of crimes, will tell his version of the sordid tale in private, under oath; no public testimony as yet.

Committee Chairman John Conyers, a Michigan Democrat who had long sought to get Rove before the Committee, repeated his vow that he "would see this matter through to the end." He called the deal reached with Rove "a victory for the separation of powers and congressional oversight" and "a vindication of the search for truth."

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi likewise celebrated the deal as "a great victory for the Constitution" and said it "upholds
a fundamental principle: No one is above the law." We do hope so.

Unmentioned for the moment is the fact that Rove and Miers will be questioned in private, not public, with transcripts to follow. They will do so under oath, but after all that's come before, does it seem likely these people care about committing a little perjury? And what about the agreement that "invocations of official privileges
would be significantly limited"? So, they can stonewall some, but not too much?

It remains to be seen how much truth will surface here. Still, the blessed rule of law stands a fighting chance, which is an improvement.

In a related development, New York Attorney General Andrew Cuomo has reportedly subpoenaed several executives at Merrill Lynch, glad recipients of a clearly undeserved $200-million plus in bonuses, to make them reveal how much and why and other relevant information after they declined to do so in the name of honor. So things are getting interesting here. Some people seem to be taking this notion of "nobody above the law" to heart. Maybe we can. 


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