Karl Rove Lying? No!
Wed Aug 12, 2009 at 10:16:04 AM PDT
The House Judiciary Committee released thousands of documents yesterday proving what anybody who has been paying attention for the last eight years already knew, that Karl Rove is a lying sack of poo, and beyond that, that politics–and really dirty politics–completely undermined the Bush Justice Department. In keeping with the fact that the story largely became a story because Josh Marshall noticed something hinky with all these US Attorney firings, TPMMuckraker is the place to catch all the goodies in the mound of documents.
But let’s start with the Judiciary Committee press release that synthesizes the whole mess, revealing the “key facts.”
The released materials reveal that White House officials were deeply involved in the U.S. attorney firings and the administration made a concerted effort to hide that fact from the American people. “After all the delay and despite all the obfuscation, lies, and spin,” Conyers said, “this basic truth can no longer be denied: Karl Rove and his cohorts at the Bush White House were the driving force behind several of these firings, which were done for improper reasons. Under the Bush regime, honest and well-performing U.S. attorneys were fired for petty patronage, political horsetrading and, in the most egregious case of political abuse of the U.S. attorney corps – that of U.S. Attorney Iglesias – because he refused to use his office to help Republicans win elections. When Mr. Iglesias said his firing was a ‘political fragging,’ he was right.”
Key new facts revealed in the materials released today include:
- 2005 White House “Decision” to fire David Iglesias – It has previously been known that New Mexico Republicans pressed for Iglesias to be removed because they did not like his decisions on vote fraud cases. New White House documents show that Rove and his office were involved in this effort no later than May 2005 (months earlier than previously known) – for example, in May and June 2005, Rove aide Scott Jennings sent e-mails to Tim Griffin (also in Rove’s office) asking “what else I can do to move this process forward” and stressing that “I would really like to move forward with getting rid of NM US ATTY.” In June 2005, Harriet Miers e-mailed that a “decision” had been made to replace Iglesias. At this time, DOJ gave Iglesias top rankings, so this decision was clearly not just the result of the White House following the Department’s lead as Rove and Miers have maintained.
- Iglesias criticized by Rove aide for not “doing his job on” Democratic Congressional Candidate Patricia Madrid – An October 2006 e-mail chain begun by Representative Heather Wilson criticized David Iglesias for not bringing politically useful public corruption prosecutions in the run up to the 2006 elections. Scott Jennings forwarded Wilson’s email to Karl Rove and complained that Iglesias had been “shy about doing his job on Madrid,” Wilson’s opponent in the 2006 Congressional race. Just weeks after this e-mail, Iglesias’ name was placed on the final firing list.
- An “agitated” Rove pressed Harriet Miers to do something about Iglesias just weeks before Iglesias was placed on the removal list – Karl Rove phoned Harriet Miers during a visit to New Mexico in September 2006 – according to Miers’ testimony, Rove was “agitated” and told her that Iglesias was “a serious problem and he wanted something done about it.”
- Senator Domenici personally asked Bush’s Chief of Staff Josh Bolten to have Iglesias replaced – In October 2006, Senator Domenici stepped up his campaign to have Iglesias replaced. According to White House phone logs and emails, as well as Rove’s own testimony, Domenici spoke with President Bush’s Chief of Staff Josh Bolten about Iglesias on October 5, 2006, and during October 2006, Domenici or his staff spoke with Karl Rove at least four times.
- Todd Graves removed in Rove–approved deal with Republican Senator – Kansas City U.S. Attorney Todd Graves was removed as part of a White House–brokered deal with U.S. Senator Kit Bond. In exchange for the administration firing Graves, Senator Bond agreed to lift his hold on an Arkansas judge nominated to the Eighth Circuit federal appeals court. A White House e-mail stated that “Karl is fine” with the proposal.
- Miers obtained favorable statement on Rick Renzi in violation of DOJ policy – When rumors of the FBI investigation of Rep. Rick Renzi surfaced in October, 2006, one of Rove’s subordinates contacted Harriet Miers, who called Deputy Attorney General McNulty seeking a possible statement that would have “vindicated” Renzi. Even though this was contrary to standard DOJ policy, such a statement was issued several days later.
Conyers provided all of the information to special U.S. Attorney Nora Dannehy “to assist in her effort to determine whether federal criminal charges are appropriate.” Federal criminal charges would be great, but kudos to Chairman Conyers for at least creating a public record of this aspect of the shameful and corrupt Bush administration. We need more of that public airing.
Some of the more fun things from TPMMuckraker:
- National Review’s Rick Lowry offered his services in helping the White House spin the firings:
In a January 2007 email, White House political director Sara Taylor wrote:
Prior is going after Griffin. He’s made this his cause…. We need to find some folks to defend Tim and his credentials, not to mention our policy.
Your thoughts? Rich Lowry offered to help Tim
The best part? Taylor went on to ask: “Anyone better?”
- Speaking of Griffin, what an unbelievable suck-up he is. But that’s what worked in Bushworld, so there you go.
- Dana Perino might actually understand the difference between right and wrong, and the huge wrongness of what Rove, et al. were doing, but she’s still an unprincipled hack.
- John Solomon should have been at the Washington Times all along.
This is your modern Republican party. Void of substance, void of any kind of notion of public service, of public good. And morally and politically bankrupt, to boot. Winning at all costs, and only for the sake of winning–not for governing–has been the reason for being for the Republican party for decades. They have no interest in governing, only in stealing. The sooner elected Democrats absorb this fundamental lesson from the Bush years, the better.