Our First Monday series, in conjunction with the Alliance For Justice, will have a special guest next Monday: Scott Horton, the NY lawyer who writes for Harpers, will be here at 3 pm ET/noon PT on Monday to chat live. Scott’s superb work on the Siegelman case, the long-term effects of politicization of the Department of Justice and the continuing ripples from the USAtty firings and other issues concerning the Bush Administration’s undermining of the rule of law has illuminated a lot of the nasty, dark corners and hidden ick in all of this.

I’d like to highlight a particularly good nugget from Scott’s recent reporting on the Siegelman case:

…Note that Hubbard takes an immediate, intense focus on protecting Karl Rove, as if this were a chess game and Karl Rove were the player’s queen. Of course the accusations against Rove were presented by a Republican operative lawyer, who testified under oath and subject to cross-examination, and who produced boxes of documents to support her testimony. Republican (minority) counsel were present at the deposition, and had plenty of time to ask whatever questions they wished.

Now what was the response of Karl Rove? He issued a flat denial, and then forty-eight hours later took a step back from it. He refused to appear before the House Judiciary Committee and answer questions under oath. He refused to turn over his documents. The White House then announced that millions of his emails had mysteriously disappeared, and that a significant part of the total had been written using servers of the Republican National Committee, as to which the Bush Administration in an act of unprecedented legal bravura, asserted executive privilege. Joshua Green, writing in The Atlantic, previously documented Rove’s extensive involvement in a long series of Alabama G.O.P. campaigns and noted that he had championed tactics just like those which Simpson described.

So which of these accounts is credible, and which is not? Notwithstanding Hubbard’s flare for melodrama, that doesn’t sound like a particularly close or difficult question.

But the most revealing aspect of Hubbard’s statement was his demand that CBS produce its corroborating evidence. That, of course, is what this entire contretemps is about. Karl Rove is desperate to know exactly what evidence Simpson and CBS have before he is compelled to give sworn testimony. Why? Armed with this, he hopes to walk through the minefield ahead of him, lying and avoiding being caught. It’s about that simple.

I absolutely believe that CBS should put its corroborating data on the table. After Karl Rove has given sworn testimony about this affair. (emphasis mine)

Now, where have I seen Karl go on a fishing expedition to find out what folks might have on him before testifying? Oh, that’s right….during Fitzgerald’s investigation, when Rove and his counsel, Bob Luskin, spun the media into a frenzy all the while pulling every bit of information into the public sphere that they could about what others knew about Karl and what Karl may or may not have done…all without Karl having to rat himself out without first knowing the terrain. Viveka Novak spilling to Luskin outside of the GJ ring a bell for anyone? Luskin finding the Hadley e-mail just after that? Luskin blabbing to any and everyone? Yeah, good times…and the same damned MO.

Emptywheel has much more.

Should be a great discussion with Scott Horton on Monday at 3 pm ET/noon PT. Hope you can make it…