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Tilting at Windmills

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July 30, 2009

ROVE'S ROLE IN U.S. ATTORNEY SCANDAL STILL PERCOLATING.... Media personality Karl Rove has been chatting behind closed doors with the House Judiciary Committee this week, as part of lawmakers' inquiry on the Bush White House's purge of U.S. attorneys for political reasons. Apparently, Rove's role in the fiasco was larger than originally known. Imagine that.

Political adviser Karl Rove and other high-ranking figures in the Bush White House played a greater role than previously understood in the firing of federal prosecutors almost three years ago, according to e-mails obtained by The Washington Post, in a scandal that led to mass Justice Department resignations and an ongoing criminal probe.

The e-mails and new interviews with key participants reflect contacts among Rove, aides in the Bush political affairs office and White House lawyers about the dismissal of three of the nine U.S. attorneys fired in 2006: New Mexico's David C. Iglesias, the focus of ire from GOP lawmakers; Missouri's Todd Graves, who had clashed with one of Rove's former clients; and Arkansas's Bud Cummins, who was pushed out to make way for a Rove protege.

The documents and interviews provide new information about efforts by political aides in the Bush White House, for example, to push a former colleague as a favored candidate for one of the U.S. attorney posts. They also reflect the intensity of efforts by lawmakers and party officials in New Mexico to unseat the top prosecutor there.

Rove insists he was merely a "conduit" between White House lawyers and GOP officials, but the documents reportedly point to some extensive work Rove did on the issue.

Keep in mind, assistant U.S. attorney Nora R. Dannehy "continues to investigate whether the firings of the prosecutors and the political firestorm that followed could form the basis of possible false statements, obstruction of justice or other criminal charges." Rove has already met with Dannehy, at least once.

Zachary Roth has more, including this understatement: "[T]his story is a long way from over."

Steve Benen 5:00 PM Permalink | Trackbacks | Comments (19)

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Comments

He's a clown
That smug apparatchik
He's gonna get in trouble just you wait and see !

Why is eva body always pickin' on me ?

Posted by: theperilouspea on July 30, 2009 at 5:15 PM | PERMALINK

In the interests of bipartisanship, I propose that Rove be made amabassador somewhere.

(please, folks, this is snark ).

Posted by: Duncan Kinder on July 30, 2009 at 5:20 PM | PERMALINK
Rove insists he was merely a "conduit"

Yes, he hosed everyone who got in his way.

Posted by: The Answer Was Orange on July 30, 2009 at 5:22 PM | PERMALINK

It was always a teeny bit odd that a man known entirely for a career as a no-holds-barred political campaign director got a top spot in the office of the President of the United States.

Posted by: emjayay on July 30, 2009 at 5:49 PM | PERMALINK

Why, that lying, no-good, rotten, four-flushing, low-life, snake-licking, dirt-eating, inbred, overstuffed, ignorant, blood-sucking, dog-kissing, brainless, dickless, hopeless, heartless, fat-ass, bug-eyed, stiff-legged, spotty-lipped, worm-headed sack of monkey shit!

With apologies to Clark Griswold

Posted by: Marko on July 30, 2009 at 6:28 PM | PERMALINK

Thank goodness WaPo is covering this. The NYT is, instead, once again allowing itself to be used as a Rove propaganda rag, publishing his unchallenged "side" of the story.

Posted by: Disputo on July 30, 2009 at 7:37 PM | PERMALINK

"... played a greater role than previously understood ..."

I think most people who keep up with this site understood quite a bit already about Rove's role.

Posted by: abc on July 30, 2009 at 7:59 PM | PERMALINK

It may be "a long way from over" but is it ever going to amount to more than percolating?

The deference that mouthy tub o'lard gets is unbelievable.

Posted by: burro on July 30, 2009 at 9:06 PM | PERMALINK

All of us who understand what damage this traitorous turd did to the U.S. are still hoping for his "frogwalk" to the penitentiary.

Posted by: BuzzMon on July 30, 2009 at 9:34 PM | PERMALINK

Wasn't Rove in charge of policies or some such unprecedented title? How could his role in anything be "small" then?

Posted by: Always Hopeful on July 30, 2009 at 9:43 PM | PERMALINK

The US Attorneys' serve at the pleasure of the President! (That would be our last authentic US President ...) Why do you liberals hate Presidential pleasure?!

Posted by: Al on July 30, 2009 at 10:25 PM | PERMALINK

The fat ass I want to see nailed to the barn door belongs to Monica Goodling. I was blown away when she first resigned (pretty much waving a sign that read, "I'm guilty of something, because innocent people don't resign"), and then REFUSED TO TESTIFY!! I had no idea you could do that - how liberating! Rob the liquor store, then when you're pulled in as a suspect, refuse to say anything! What could be simpler? Nobody can be held accountable for anything if you can't make them admit guilt.

And, of course, the candy-ass justice system of the time let her get away with it.

Posted by: Mark on July 30, 2009 at 10:29 PM | PERMALINK

I no longer have any anticipation that Rove or anyone else will be effectively investigated and exposed for their crimes. It's all a pretend dance designed to outlast the notoriously short memories of the public. The investigations will be quietly dropped and the targets of investigation will sit in cushy well-paid jobs until the next Republican administration, at which time they will be moved back into government to show others how their criminal activities are conducted.

The price of the conflict that will be published or broadcast in the media if any of the Republicans are actually exposed for criminal wrong-doing will be considered too high for any sitting politician of any party to let go forward.

Posted by: Rick B on July 30, 2009 at 11:57 PM | PERMALINK

Second the commenter above who called bullshit on this:

"Political adviser Karl Rove and other high-ranking figures in the Bush White House played a greater role than previously understood in the firing of federal prosecutors almost three years ago"

It's been pretty clear that there was a movement to completely politicize the administration of justice in this country, and I don't think W is smart enough or malevolent enough to come up with that idea himself.

Posted by: brewmn on July 31, 2009 at 12:51 AM | PERMALINK

If by 'hosed' you mean killed ie Mike Connell ...

Posted by: GREYDOG on July 31, 2009 at 5:24 AM | PERMALINK
Rove insists he was merely a "conduit" between White House lawyers and GOP officials.

Yeah right, Rove worked all these years as an attack dog just so he could become some lawyers messenger boy. At least we are getting past the non-denial denials. To bad Karl gets to time the revelations, letting them trickle out underneath the "beer summits", the Sotomayor circus and the healthcare fight.

Its time for a "free Siegelman" campaign with "Don Sieglman has been in jail for NNN days" counter on the top of every liberal blog.

Posted by: op on July 31, 2009 at 7:27 AM | PERMALINK

Rove insists he was merely a "conduit" between White House lawyers and GOP officials, but the documents reportedly point to some extensive work Rove did on the issue.

Even if Rove was merely a "conduit," his admission could be tantamount to confessing a role in a criminal conspiracy. A bagman is just a conduit, too, after all.

Posted by: Gregory on July 31, 2009 at 8:13 AM | PERMALINK

The NYT article was very disappointing. They tell me that Karl just passed along complaints from Senators and Congresspeople but they don't tell me what the Senators and Congresspeople were complaining about. And that is the crux of the issue. The USAs who were fired were fired for failing to pursue prosecutions of political opponents or for advancing prosecutions of political friends. That's where the obstruction of justice comes in.

Posted by: sceptic on July 31, 2009 at 9:03 AM | PERMALINK

It's frustrating that Conyers and the House Judiciary Committee has been pursuing the DOJ firings before pursuing the vote caging scandal, also emanating out of Rove's office. From what has been made public, it seems the evidence against Tim Griffin, (one of the USA appointees mentioned above) is solid and damning - he was sending the White House lists of likely Democratic voters to scrub - from Rove's RNC mail server. An immediate investigation should have been launched to determine the caging criteria because it suggests thousands of counts of federal election law violations. Griffin resigned minutes after this was announced on BBC but the story remains whitewashed in US media - why?

Rove's trashing of Presidential records is also a sorely under-investigated angle here. Selective enforcement suggests the Dems did it too, or Rove has something on the Dems he is holding over them. Disgusting - the HJC's lack of transparency shows disdain for the American public.

Posted by: Gus W on August 2, 2009 at 12:05 PM | PERMALINK
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