No, he hasn’t forgotten. Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-VT) took a step today towards contempt proceedings against Karl Rove, two of his former aides, and White House chief of staff Josh Bolten for not complying with subpoenas related to the U.S. attorney firings.
There hasn’t been much movement since this summer, when Leahy issued the subpoenas. The administration claimed executive privilege for all documents and testimony sought, and said that Rove didn’t need to even show up for a hearing. Rove’s aides Sara Taylor and Scott Jennings appeared, but refused to discuss the firings. A subpoena for documents was sent to Bolten, and the White House refused.
Today, Leahy ruled that the claims of executive privilege and immunity were not legally valid, a necessary step toward issuing contempt citations in the committee. He didn’t say when he might do that.
The timing for this might have something to do with what’s going on in the House, where leaders have said they plan to schedule a floor vote to find former White House counsel Harriet Miers and Bolten in contempt for ignoring subpoenas there. That vote has been repeatedly delayed and is currently expected to take place next month.