WASHINGTON – Karl Rove, who was President Bush's chief political adviser until resigning last year, will not appear before a House Judiciary Committee hearing scheduled Thursday, his lawyer informed the committee.
The House Judiciary Committee planned to meet to hear the former White House aide talk about alleged politicization of the Justice Department and possible motivations behind a slew of firings of U.S. attorneys.
Although the Judiciary Committee has approved a subpoena for Rove, it has not issued one for him.
Rove attorney Robert Luskin wrote to the committee's chairman, Rep. John Conyers, D-Mich., on Wednesday to tell him his client will not appear, citing executive privilege.
"I am writing to confirm that Mr. Rove will respectfully decline to appear on July 10 on the grounds that as a close advisor to the President, whose testimony is sought in connection with his official duties in that capacity, he is immune from compelled Congressional testimony," Luskin wrote.
"Mr. Rove is simply not free to take a position inconsistent with that asserted by the President," Luskin said, adding: "Threatening Mr. Rove with sanctions will not in any way expedite the resolution of this issue on the merits."
Luskin, pointing to another issue the committee wishes to ask Rove about -- Rove's alleged meddling in the prosecution of former Alabama Gov. Don Siegelman -- said the committee might be able to hear from Rove if they're willing to drop the U.S. attorneys matter. Rove has denied any connection to the Siegelman case.
"I am at a loss, therefore, to understand why the Committee is unwilling to explore the Siegelman accusations unless Mr. Rove is also prepared discuss a broad range of other factually distinct matters. There is no loss of face or sacrifice of principle in pursuing constructive alternatives, even if they do not address all of the Committee's concerns," Luskin wrote.
FOX News' Chad Pergram contributed to this report.