Worth Noting

The New York Times Got it Wrong

July 30, 2008

In a New York Times story online (see, Democrats Call for Contempt Charges Against Rove), David Stout writes, "Mr. Rove has repeatedly stated - though not before Congress and not under oath - that he had no involvement in the Siegelman case…”

Mr. Stout is mistaken. Mr. Rove's counsel made repeat offers to satisfy the Committee's interest while also preserving the legal issue raised by the President's assertion of privilege, proposing to have Mr. Rove meet with Committee members and staff or reply to written questions. On July 15, Lamar Smith, Ranking Member of the House Judiciary Committee, sent a series of interrogatories concerning the Siegelman allegations to Mr. Rove. The interrogatories and responses dated July 22, while not under oath, are subject to laws punishing efforts to obstruct Congress. Mr. Rove answered questions about the allegations in considerable detail and unequivocally denied any involvement, direct or indirect, in the investigation or prosecution of former Alabama Gov. Don Siegelman.

The Times made even another error, this time in the print edition dated July 31, 2008. Charlie Savage incorrectly writes (see, For White House, Hiring is Political) that the House Judiciary Committee's subpoena to Mr. Rove concerned allegations of political interference with the Department of Justice (DOJ). However, the Judiciary Committee's subpoena to Mr. Rove was issued in May 2007 and primarily concerned the Siegelman allegations, not the politicization of the Justice Department. Looks like even a Pulitzer is no guarantee of error-free journalism.

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