WASHINGTON — House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) said Wednesday that the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee is playing politics with its vote to hold Attorney General Eric Holder in contempt of Congress, an action she said that even she didn’t seek as House Speaker when she thought someone was legitimately deserving of it.
“I could have arrested Karl Rove on any given day,” Pelosi said to laughter, during a sit-down with reporters. “I’m not kidding. There’s a prison here in the Capitol … If we had spotted him in the Capitol, we could have arrested him.”
Rove was senior advisor and deputy chief of staff to former President George W. Bush from 2001 to 2007.
Asked on what grounds she could have arrested Rove, Pelosi replied, “Oh, any number. But there were some specific ones for his being in contempt of Congress. But we didn’t.”
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The Democratic leader also took a shot at Issa for abusing the process of holding an official in contempt.
“‘Loose cannon’ would sort of be like such a compliment to Darrell Issa. ‘Loose cannon’ would be a moderate phrase. This is an explosive device,” she said. “It doesn’t serve our country, and it undermines the true purpose of contempt of Congress.”
“That’s why I didn’t arrest Karl Rove when I had the chance.”
What’s hilarious here is — well, everything. But what’s specifically hilarious is that, in the course of criticizing a potential vote to hold Eric Holder in contempt of Congress, Nancy Pelosi brags that she could have had Rove arrested — something precisely no one in Congress is calling for in Holder’s case. And for what? You guessed it, for being in contempt of Congress! That’s because, in 2008 the House Judiciary Committee held Rove in contempt, on a party-line vote, for failing to answer a subpoena!