From The New York Times:
WASHINGTON — Karl Rove and Harriet E. Miers, top former aides to President George W. Bush, will testify under oath to a House committee investigating the firings of nine United States attorneys in 2007, under an agreement announced Wednesday by the panel.
The agreement settled a rancorous dispute that began in mid-2007 when the House Judiciary Committee subpoenaed Mr. Rove and Ms. Miers, who, according to e-mail messages released by the Justice Department, played a role in the firings.
In a statement after the agreement was announced, Representative John Conyers Jr., a Michigan Democrat and chairman of the judiciary panel, declared victory and said the committee had finally succeeded in breaking through the Bush administration’s absolute immunity claims.
A key factor in ending the impasse appeared to be the pressure on both sides exerted by President Obama’s legal team, which had urged each side to reach the arrangement.
Under the agreement, Mr. Rove and Ms. Miers will provide depositions and sworn public testimony about the firings, but the scope of their testimony will be limited to the dismissals and closely related issues.
Moreover, the two former Bush officials will not be asked about their conversations with Mr. Bush on the subject or their discussions with other members of the White House counsel’s office.
Plus, the committee members will have to ask May I? and spit three times before each question. If they forget, they lose their turns.
The committee will also be able to ask questions about the case of former Gov. Don Siegelman of Alabama, a Democrat who has said he was victim of a politically motivated prosecution, possibly involving administration officials.
WASHINGTON – Lawyers for former President George W. Bush, the House of Representatives and the Obama administration reached agreement yesterday to resolve a long-running dispute over the scope of executive power, a move that will allow lawmakers to question Bush aides Karl Rove and Harriet Miers about their role in the firing of nine prosecutors in 2006.
Under terms of the deal, former presidential adviser Rove and former White House lawyer Miers will testify before the House Judiciary Committee in transcribed interviews, under penalty of perjury, but without cameras, reporters or members of the public in attendance. The transcripts eventually will be published, the agreement said.
The settlement gives the House Judiciary Committee access to long-sought internal documents prepared by the Bush White House and the Justice Department from December 2004 through March 2007 about the politically explosive firing of nine prosecutors. Lawmakers also reserved the right to ask the onetime Bush aides to testify in public and made clear Congress could revive its federal lawsuit if former administration officials stray from the agreement.
Pourquoi no cameras? From Trail Blazers Blog at The Dallas Morning News:
With Karl Rove and Harriet Miers now agreeing to testify before Congress on the U.S. attorney firings, the only question is: why not in front of cameras? […] Rove appears on camera almost every day on Fox News. So why not Congress.
Truth is, Rove has a history as a fiesty, effective interviewee. Some years ago in Texas, when he was working for the tobacco industry, he underwent a memorable deposition by trial lawyers — and gave as good as he got, firing back, belittling his inquisitors. And he has proved he can answer questions without answering them. Rove aggressively denied every charge leveled by a Texas Senate Committee asking about political dirty tricks — a full-throated response that was, ah, let’s just say that seemed a variance with the evidence against him. And when Kay Bailey Hutchison was indicted (later acquitted) on charges of politicizing her office in 1993, Rove rode to the rescue with testimony that was effective, if not exactly true.