Washington – During the opening statement of a House Judiciary Committee hearing Friday, Chairman John Conyers (D-MI) announced that he had sent former Bush aide Karl Rove a “singing subpoena-gram,” which Conyers said is like a singing telegram, except that it serves as a reminder to the recipient that he or she has been served with a subpoena that they have yet to respond to.
“This morning, I served Mr. Rove with the subpoena-gram as a reminder that he had been served a subpoena by this committee some time ago, which he has not yet responded to in any way,” Conyers said as part of his prepared statement. “It is my hope that the memorable nature of the subpoena-gram and its delivery may serve as a wake-up call to Mr. Rove. Maybe he missed the original, ordinary subpoena. Maybe he lost it under his desk or misfiled it with his weekly coupons. I can only guess as to why Mr. Rove has not responded to the original subpoena. But this way, no claim can rightfully be made that he ‘missed it’ or ‘didn’t know about it.’ My friends, you can’t miss a singing subpoena-gram.”
Rove was served a subpoena by the House Judiciary Committee May 23. He has thus far refused to respond. The committee voted this week to cite Rove for contempt of Congress.
Later in the day, Senate Judiciary Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-VT) said his committee was considering a similar course of action towards Mr. Rove. The Senate Judiciary Committee served Mr. Rove with its own subpoena in August of last year. Mr. Rove has refused to respond to the Senate subpoena as well.
“After Chairman Conyers’ statement this morning, we went back and talked about our options,” Leahy told reporters outside his office. “And let me just say, without getting into specifics, that there are many options on the table at this time. As you know, our subpoena to Mr. Rove has been ignored far longer than the House committee’s subpoena. In fact, we intended earlier this week to send a reminder of our own to Mr. Rove, of the fact that he was subpoenaed by our committee. Unfortunately the member of my staff who was put in charge of issuing that reminder, Jerry Aberrnathy, doesn’t have much experience with official congressional business, or any official business, for that matter. In fact, he has difficulty with certain tasks. Even simple tasks. Stapling, for example, gives him trouble. I only brought him on, in fact, because he’s Arlen Specter’s nephew by marriage or something. Anyway, Mr. Aberrnathy mistakenly issued the reminder to Daniel Rove, who is an obstetrician in Denver, and who was never subpoenaed by this committee or any other that I’m aware of. But he was not pleased with the mistake, as you might imagine. And the reminder to Mr. Rove, Karl Rove, never did get to him. Needless to say, I’ve told Mr. Aberrnathy that he’s been relieved of his duties. But he thought I was asking him if he went to the bathroom. He said, ‘Yes, thank you. I did a number one a short time ago.’ It’s a bit difficult. We’re having trouble making him understand that he’s been dismissed.”