Wishing upon a contemptable star

It is unlikely Karl Rove will ever be “frog-marched out of the White House in handcuffs,” for which Joseph Wilson, a former U.S. ambassador and ex-CIA operative Valerie Plame’s husband, had expressed hope. Rove no longer works at the White House so that scenario is probably toast. But could Rove be locked in shackles and given a perp walk eventually?

In the real world, no. But it’s a nice thought and a federal judge’s ruling today makes such a wish at least a bit more possible.

U.S. District Judge John Bates in Washington ruled that congressional subpoenas for former White House counsel Harriet Miers and current Bush chief of staff Josh Bolton must be honored. Congress wants to hear what the two top Bush aides have to say in ongoing investigations into whether politics were responsible for firing federal prosecutors in 2006. The decision, which will probably be appealed, did not include Rove but might eventually depending on which judges hear what. (Oh and the law, wink, wink.) Sigh. I shouldn’t be so cynical should I?

This comes as the House Judiciary Committee voted Wednesday 20-14 to hold Rove in contempt of Congress for ignoring his subpoena and failing to show for a hearing on the sacking of the prosecutors.

While the act of contempt of Congress seems like a trivial matter — not to mention that many Americans hold certain congressional members in contempt — a conviction could ultimately land one in the slammer for up to one year. The last person to be convicted was former EPA official Rita Lavelle, who received six months in prison, five subsequent years of probation and a $10,000 fine for lying to Congress, according to an article about the statute on Wikipedia.

Rove will likely never go to jail because he has the White House and probably a majority of the Supreme Court on his side (See Bush v. Gore.) But always remember that our great land was built on dreams by dreamers and sometimes dreams (and so one hears, fairy tales) can come true. They can happen to you …

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