October 10 2005, 2:49 AM
Senate leaders have picked up on Sen. Ken Salazar's demand that Focus on the Family's James Dobson divulge the secret information he received that resulted in his decision to support Harriet Miers. Dobson and the White House have acknowledged that Karl Rove called Dobson last weekend, the day before Harriet Miers nomination was made public, to give him a heads-up. After the call, Dobson said he had information he can't divulge that makes him trust the President's nomination of Miers.
"When you know some of the things I know, that I probably shouldn't know - that would take me in this direction - you would understand why I have said, with fear and trepidation, that I believe Harriet Miers will be a good justice," Dobson said.Judiciary Committee Chair Sen. Arlen Specter (R-PA) said Sunday that he's thinking of calling Dobson to testify before the committee and tell what he learned about Miers in the secret conversation.
"If there are back room assurances, and if there are back room deals, and if there is something which bears upon a precondition as to how a nominee is going to vote, I think that's a matter that ought to be known by the Judiciary Committee and the American People," Specter said on ABC's "This Week."Salazar now wants to call Karl Rove as a witness.
Sen. Ken Salazar, D-Colorado, voiced alarm last week about Dobson's getting inside information, saying he wants to know what Dobson knows. At a news conference Sunday in Denver, Salazar said the burden of disclosure rests with the White House and Rove. He said Rove should appear before the Judiciary Committee.I see a small problem there -- called Executive Privilege. As a presidential advisor, the White House could assert the privilege to preventRove from testifying. But, Sen. Salazar thinks the White House may have waived its executive privilege.
"I have read the reports in the press concerning the sharing of information that the White House shared in some secret forms with some organizations. "I think if the White House did that, they waived executive privilege and should share the information with the American public."Stay tuned. This story has legs long enough to run all the way to Thanksgiving.