August 7, 2008 / by emptywheel


What Would Scott McClellan Say…

About Murray Waas’ latest, in which he reports that Karl Rove had several people claim he was not involved in potentially criminal behavior, even though he had been?

While a central focus for investigators apparently has been the role played by aides to Rove in the Griffin matter, some witnesses to the investigation told me that they have been asked specifically about Rove’s own personal efforts.

Two former senior Justice Department officials, former Deputy Attorney General Paul McNulty and principal Associate General William Moscella, have separately provided damaging information to the two internal investigative agencies.

Both, according to sources familiar with their still-confidential testimony, said they inadvertently gave misleading testimony to Congress about the firings of the U.S. attorneys because they were misled by Rove himself in addition to other White House figures.

In his March 6, 2007, testimony to Congress, Moscella contended that all but one U.S. attorney was fired because of issues related to their performance. When specifically asked if Rove played any role in the firings, he testified: "I don’t know that he played any role."

But one day before the congressional testimony, on March 5, 2007, McNulty and Moscella attended a strategy session at the White House in which they discussed Moscella’s testimony and how he should answer allegations that most of the U.S. attorneys were fired because of politics.

McNulty and Moscella told investigators that among the attendees were Rove and Sampson, then Gonzales’ chief of staff. Neither Rove nor Sampson, both men told investigators, told them anything about their own role in the firings even as they encouraged Moscella to say politics had nothing to do with it.

He didn’t have anything to do with outing a CIA spy … He didn’t have anything to do with placing his vote caging specialist in a big swing state … He didn’t know Jack Abramoff, either. 

I mean, you’d think some enterprising Republican would start a 12-step program, "Republicans Who Have Vouched for Karl Based on His False Representations" Anonymous.

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