WaPo: Rove Spins His Role in US Attorney Firings

Rove has, apparently, just finished up his second interview with the House Judiciary Committee on his role in the US Attorney firings. That apparently frees the WaPo to reveal–and debunk–details of an interview Rove had with the NYT and WaPo earlier this month to spin his role in the firings.

In an hour-long interview with The Post and the New York Times this month, Rove described himself as a "conduit" of grievances from lawmakers and others about the performance of home-state prosecutors. The interview was conducted on the condition that it not be released until Rove’s House testimony concluded. He said he did not recall several events in the timeline because of his busy job and asserted that he had done nothing to influence criminal cases, an allegation by Democrats that has dogged him for years.

Hmm. He was so busy he forgot. Where have I heard that excuse before? Oh yeah: Rove’s co-leaker, Scooter Libby, in the CIA Leak case.

It’s not entirely clear where the emails the WaPo got came from–they may well have come from Rove, too, in an attempt to pre-empt whatever leaks will come out of his HJC interview. The story includes a predictable quote from Robert Luskin, the guy who used this kind of pre-emptive leak to great advantage during the CIA Leak case. And while they do provide new levels of detail, they don’t tell us anything we didn’t already assume.

The emails WaPo received show Scott Jennings passing on Pete Domenici’s request that David Iglesias be fired directly to Rove.

Complaints about Iglesias began at least a year before he was relieved of his job, according to documents reviewed by The Post. Then-Sen. Pete Domenici (R-N.M.), his chief of staff, Steve Bell, and GOP lawyers in the state lobbied aggressively to oust the prosecutor. But the activity accelerated in fall 2006.

In an Oct. 10, 2006, e-mail from White House political affairs aide Scott Jennings to Rove, Jennings reported:

"I received a call from Steve Bell tonight. . . . Last week Sen. Domenici reached the chief of staff and asked that we remove the U.S. Atty. Steve wanted to make sure we all understood that they couldn’t be more serious about this request."

The WaPo also describes documents that show–contrary to a withdrawn claim made by DOJ–Rove personally intervening to get Tim Griffin a US Attorney job.

Responding to questions about another little-understood event, Rove told reporters in the interview this month that he had not seen a letter that Justice Department officials prepared and sent to the Senate on Feb. 23, 2007. The letter stated that "the department is not aware of Karl Rove playing any role in the decision to appoint [protege] Mr. Griffin" to a top job in Little Rock.

The Justice Department later retracted the statement, which the inspector general concluded was "misleading." In the interview, Rove said that he had "nothing" to do with the letter. "I’m not even sure I was still there at that point." Rove did not leave the White House for six more months, in late August 2007.

But internal White House correspondence dating to two years earlier suggests that job prospects for Timothy Griffin, who had worked for Rove in the administration, were a hot topic of conversation. In a Feb. 11, 2005, e-mail, Rove wrote to deputy Sara Taylor: "Give him options. Keep pushing for Justice and let him decide. I want him on the team."Then White House counsel Miers e-mailed Taylor a month later, writing, "Sara, Karl asked me to forward you a list of locations where we may consider replacing the USAs…"

Rove himself suggested Little Rock, where Cummins was U.S. attorney, as a post for Griffin, reminding Miers in March 2005 that "that’s where he’s from." The next day, Sara Taylor forwarded some communications about Griffin to RNC chairman Ken Mehlman, who wrote, "let me know his reaction," according to the e-mails.

Of course, that doesn’t prove Rove knew of the letter–only the reasons why DOJ had to withdraw the claim that Rove was not involved: because Rove had long been pushing Griffin for precisley the job he was given, the Little Rock US Attorney job.

None of this, of course, is even remotely surprising.  But it does suggest we’ll have these documents–and Rove’s interview transcript–in the relatively near future.

Update: Yup! Robert Luskin succeeded in getting the NYT and WaPo to do his work for him in spectacular fashion! Here are details from the NYT story.The meeting took place in Luskin’s office.

“I can’t even tell you who brought it up,” Mr. Rove said earlier this month in the office of his lawyer, Robert D. Luskin.

Luskin pretends it was just the cases that caused Rove to clam up.

Mr. Luskin has said Mr. Rove had been willing to answer questions about the firings, but the disputes have meant that until now Mr. Rove’s role remained largely unknown. Some Democrats had speculated that he operated as the behind-the-scenes architect of the firings, a role Mr. Rove has denied.

 Which of course makes no sense–since the Dannehy probe is ongoing.

And Rove managed to deny the most potentially explosive issue–that he supported firing all the US Attorneys. 

Mr. Rove said he opposed one early suggestion to dismiss all of the more than 90 United States attorneys in a single mass dismissal.

No word on whether or not there’s proof to back this up–but remember, three different witnesses in Chicago testified that Rove had promised to get Pat Fitzgerald fired, and Fitz was closing in on Rove’s role in the Plame scandal at about this time.

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    • BayStateLibrul says:

      O.T. You heard about Big Papi… Do I have to take off my 2004 blue
      World Champsionship wrist band.
      Actually, I’m quite sad…

  1. Citizen92 says:

    “Last week Sen. Domenici reached the chief of staff and asked that we remove the U.S. Atty. Steve wanted to make sure we all understood that they couldn’t be more serious about this request.”

    Is it news that Chief of Staff Josh Bolten was involved?

    • Citizen92 says:

      What I meant to say was we previously knew that Domenici’s COS Bell contacted Bolten, but I can’t say I knew that Domenici himself contacted Bolten.

  2. NorskeFlamethrower says:

    Citizen emptywheel:

    And where does all this lead to in light of statutes of limitations of things like obstruction of justice…will the House Judiciary Committee be able to request DOJ special prosecutor(s)?

  3. ShotoJamf says:

    Excellent work, as always! Now, if only Congress would find its spine and open some real investigations, followed by prosecutions and sentencing where appropriate.

    Hey Karl? How does 20-to-life in a max-security federal correctional facility sound to you? General population, of course.

  4. maryo2 says:

    he had not seen a letter that Justice Department officials prepared and sent to the Senate on Feb. 23, 2007

    I hope we see the DOJ officials who signed that letter’s names. Lying to Congress is a crime.

  5. JasonLeopold says:

    If I can add a bit of info (and I know that Karl Rove and me don’t mix well together). The Judiciary Committee shared with Rove and Luskin emails and other documents related to the U.S. attorney firings the Bush administration left behind with Greg Craig prior to Rove’s testimony. That was part of the agreement. Also, on matters related to Siegelman, Rove has been pushing a similar theme. Rove also posted on his website, Rove.com, a link to documents stating how he would answer the Judiciary Committee’s questions related to his role in the Siegelman prosecution.

  6. WTFOver says:

    Karl Rove, addressing an issue stemming from his role as a top adviser to George W. Bush, said in an interview that he played only a peripheral role in the dismissal of nine federal prosecutors in 2006, though he did turn over to the Justice Department complaints about the United States attorney in New Mexico and openly favored a former associate for a prosecutor’s job in Arkansas.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2009/07…..=1&hp

    Mr. Rove, who on Thursday completed two days of testimony in a closed session with investigators from the House Judiciary Committee, said he could not answer one of the lingering questions that the panel had hoped to resolve: whether it was the White House that came up with the idea of firing the prosecutors.

    “I can’t even tell you who brought it up,” Mr. Rove said earlier this month in the office of his lawyer, Robert D. Luskin.

    • Rayne says:

      “I can’t even tell you who brought it up,” Mr. Rove said earlier this month in the office of his lawyer, Robert D. Luskin.

      What a fine bit of parsing there. Can’t tell, or won’t?

        • Rayne says:

          Working on it. Heh.

          Sure would be nice if we had all the missing emails, including the ones which went to/fro RNC from Rove’s Blackberry.

          • Citizen92 says:

            As far as we know, the RNC still has the files sitting in their (virtual?) attic. I’ve often thought that Chairman Steele is so unhinged that if he were challenged to release those records, he probably would. I tried to convince CREW to go that route, but no dice.

            A recent visit to http://www.gwb43.com now asks for a login and password. That’s new.

          • ShotoJamf says:

            I’m certainly not a lawyer, but isn’t the deliberate withholding and/or destruction of evidence sort of like, ya know, a crime?

            • Rayne says:

              Have to PROVE obstruction, though. Believe they masked obstruction with incompetence. Was an M.O. with the entire administration to obstruct the view of any outsiders, a la sand in the umpire’s eyes (see Fitzgerald on Libby).

              • ShotoJamf says:

                “Believe they masked obstruction with incompetence…”

                Clever. Wait. Is it possible to be both clever and incompetent?

                • Rayne says:

                  That’s the real problem. One can be both clever and incompetent.

                  With the Bush/Cheney wrecking crew, it was difficult to tell where one stopped and the other began.

                  And then add crazy to the mix and stir well with corruption.

      • cinnamonape says:

        Wasn’t the whole claim that these discussions were subject to executive privilege, thus blocked by the Bush White House? Yet Rove is talking (lying) about his meetings and activities with the WAPO and NYT’s? What gave Rove the personal power to violate Executive Privilege with the media, yet not be able do do this before Congress? Particularly when it was Congresses express duty to investigate issues of illegal WH political influence on the activities (and dismissals) of US Attorneys?

        So did Bush give Rove a “Waiver”. or something?

        • Rayne says:

          Good question.

          I wonder if the fact that this was an investigation into illegal behavior made executive privilege moot; IANAL, but it seems like the EO can’t argue they need to protect discussions about terminations if the terminations themselves may have been illegal, and there’s plenty of documentation to suggest they were with Goodling’s, Sampson’s, and Gonzales’ testimony, the DOJ report on the process finding Goodling had violated federal law and DOJ policy, and Goodling’s own acceptance of immunity and admission of guilt.

          Which makes Greg Craig’s position in this mess all the more annoying; how’d we the people end up giving up this much leverage to get what appears so far to be a highly manipulated and machined piece of crap from Rove? Was this the work of another left-behind?

        • bmaz says:

          Once Obama was in office it was him, through his counsel’s office, that had to assert the privilege anew. But Greg Craig “negotiated” the deal with Rove, Miers and Bolten (document production only) that has led to these deposition/interviews. It was Bush’s and now Obama’s duty to sit on Rove and discipline him for breaches; they clearly do not choose to do so.

      • PJEvans says:

        Probably ‘can’t’ meaning ‘not allowed to’. But I wouldn’t rule out also ‘I don’t want to, and you can’t make me’.

    • hackworth1 says:

      These attorneys were Republicans. They weren’t Bushies. They weren’t willing to do Karl’s bidding. That doesn’t mean they are nasty vindictive types. They were Republican appointees, after all.

      Seems many of these R’s who got burned by Rove want justice.

  7. puravida says:

    Mr. Rove, who on Thursday completed two days of testimony in a closed session with investigators from the House Judiciary Committee, said he could not answer one of the lingering questions that the panel had hoped to resolve: whether it was the White House that came up with the idea of firing the prosecutors.

    Committee: “Mr. Rove, did you do it?”

    KR: “No.”

    Committee: “Okay, well, I guess we’re done here.”

    I think we may need that WTF Czar after all.

  8. klynn says:

    It would be really nice if Mike Connell had managed to set up a plan to deliver hard copies of missing emails in the face of his untimely demise.

  9. Mary says:

    Conduit as in, Bush: Can we run this Con, Rove? Rove: Con? Do it!
    Re: Domenici, that’s St. Pete of C-Street, isn’t it?

  10. GrievanceProject says:

    I haven’t read every email that has been released regarding these USA firings, but I’ve read a lot. From what I have read, though, every email that has been released regarding the USA firings (and other matters as well)is printed from a recipient’s Inbox and is never printed from the sender’s Outbox. This is intentional, IMO, to hide the involvement of people like Karl Rove because emails printed from a sender’s Outbox would show any person – such as Karl Rove – who received a blind copy of the email but emails printed from a recipient’s Inbox would not indicate the blind copy recipients. The failure to request that the emails be printed from the Sender’s Outbox is a critical failure on the part of the House Judiciary Committee.

      • GrievanceProject says:

        I assume there was no response from the administration to the request for the blind copies, but do you know if they only asked for a list of whoever received a blind copy or whether they ever simply asked for the emails to be printed from the sender’s email account?

  11. Mary says:

    BTW – whether Rove knew of the letter or not isn’t IMO the main point re: the letter. Before DOJ sends out something like that, on behalf of the Dept, they are supposed to do this little thing called investigating wtih due diligence, to make sure the info they are providing is correct.

    Why the hell would anyone at DOJ make the representations to Congress without (much more than, but also including) speaking to Rove first to see if he had been invovled?

    Whoever was involved in firing off that lietter needs a hard look.

    BTW, I guess we are learning that forgetfulness is a prerequisite for Scooter Libby’s briefers, WH aides, and Fox pundits. Oh, and OLC legal researchers.

    • foothillsmike says:

      I guess we are learning that forgetfulness is a prerequisite for Scooter Libby’s briefers, WH aides, and Fox pundits. Oh, and OLC legal researchers

      .
      Not to mention former AGs

  12. perris says:

    here’s the funny thing about rove;

    he has no problem with bold faced lies to anyone and everyone

    however when it comes to being under oath he has some serious difficulty and while he tries to dance he also tries to do whatever possible in having an “out” (my opologies to jeff gannon)

  13. maryo2 says:

    The Justice Department inspector general report said that Bush and Rove talked with Alberto R. Gonzales, then the attorney general, in October 2006 about voting fraud, including problems in New Mexico. And in an e-mail in mid-November 2006, as the firing plan accelerated, Gonzales’s chief of staff, D. Kyle Sampson, asked lawyers at the White House, “Who will determine whether this requires the President’s attention.”

    Is this the first time we have seen this quote from the Kyle Samson email? Who are the “lawyers at the WH” in this paragraph? Gonzales’ name appears earlier in the paragraph, so it would be odd to refer to him later as “lawyers at the the WH.” So are “lawyers” AGAG plus one or more others, or is AGAG not one of the lawyers who was persent when Kyle Sampson asked the question? The reason it is significant is that the lawyers may have been intentionally compartmentalizing information to protect Bush. They may be architects of the Bush/Cheney compartmentalization scam.

  14. Citizen92 says:

    Karl reportedly says … “I can’t even tell you who brought it up,”

    Does that mean ‘can’t remember’ … ‘or I do know but can’t (ahem Executive Privilege, I’ve got a letter from Fielding) respond.’

    In other news, Karl’s DC house is for sale.

    Karl’s house got me thinking about an old story from 2004 where he reportedlty held Saturday morning strategy sessions at his house over “eggies.” Attendees included a rotating cast WH senior staff, Cheney, etc. Any chance Karl’s “eggies” breakfast sessions had a touch of fellowship and the Family?

  15. Bluetoe2 says:

    I suppose we can now expect “strongly worded” letters from the usual suspects, Waxman, Leahy, Conyers etc.

    • tejanarusa says:

      She laid it out great – and managed to finish her sentence while the woman “anchor” interrupted her a second time.
      she did a great job – and then the mail bimbo in the suspenders (aren’t suspenders over???) just dismissed it all with a jump back to the polls and the horse race — for 2010!

      Aaaaaargh. Hating the msm more every day. Poor Tom Jefferson must be spinning in his grave.

  16. Styve says:

    Can’t quite figure out if the documents CREW obtained are the source for the email that feature Karl Rove’s shenanigans. The Bates numbers in this article are live links to documents…

    http://www.citizensforethics.org/node/41973

    CREW POSTS FURTHER DETAILS OF MISSING WHITE HOUSE EMAIL DOCUMENTS RELEASED BY ADMINISTRATION

    30 Jul 2009 // Washington, D.C. – In CREW v. Executive Office of the President, CREW’s lawsuit regarding the millions of emails missing from Bush White House servers, the White House has released documents from two of 38 boxes assembled by the Bush White House as potentially responsive to CREW’s FOIA request seeking documentation of the missing email problem. This latest release consists largely of documents related to four subjects: (1) contracts for computer-related products, many of which relate to records management (OAP00005872-OAP00006637); (2) a February 2006 effort by the White House to evaluate stored email files (OAP00006638-OAP00007021); (3) projects developed and then abandoned by the Bush White House to improve email preservation (OAP00007050-OAP00007801, OAP00007955-OAP00007975); and (4) daily updates of the team assembled in 2005 to investigate the missing email problem (OAP00007983-OAP00008547).

    These documents highlight that early in its administration the Bush White House was aware of problems and concerns with its system for preserving emails. Documents from 2003 explain that ARMS (Automated Records Management System) – the email preservation system developed by the Clinton administration – was never intended to be a long-term solution for email preservation and needed to be replaced (OAP00007666). ARMS was designed to work with the Lotus Notes software used by the previous administration and could not capture emails sent or received using Microsoft Exchange, the software to which the Bush administration was migrating. While the Bush White House attempted to modify ARMS to accept Microsoft emails (OAP00007955, OAP00007975), it abandoned that effort for unidentified reasons.
    continued…

  17. bobschacht says:

    Thanks for this! I look forward to hearing more about Rove’s testimony. I hope his questioners were good.

    BTW–
    “Which of course makes no since–since the Dannehy probe is ongoing.”
    “since”? or “sense”?

    Bob in HI

  18. crowleym says:

    Given the issues on the table, do these minutia really matter? No one will prosecute and even if they did, enough time and memory conflicts would surely not be a successful one. The health care debate, energy bill and foreign policy issues surely are more important than spending a lot of the taxpayer’s money on prosecutions that won’t succeed.

  19. FrankProbst says:

    Sigh. Compare the headlines up at the two papers:

    NYT: Rove Says His Role in Prosecutor Firings Was Small

    WaPo: Rove Had Heavier Hand in Prosecutor Firings Than Previously Known

  20. Neil says:

    Rove is great at avoiding accountability for his actions, (unethical, criminal or otherwise) but he sure fucked this up good. We focus seeking accountability in the court of law and I wonder if we couldn’t just as easily paste him with the reputation he so richly deserves.

    2 x Research Director for RNC/Bush Campaign

    Top aide to Rove.

    Hand selected by Rove to be a US Attorney

    Documents released by a subsequent Congressional investigation showed that, in the summer of 2006, White House officials wanted a vacant slot in Little Rock, Arkansas, so Griffin could fill it

    Appointed interim U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Arkansas effective December 20, 2006, the date when the resignation of Cummins took effect.

    Gonzales’ decision to bypass confirmation for Griffin particularly angered Arkansas’ two U.S. Senators, Blanche Lincoln and Mark Pryor. Both Lincoln and Pryor claim that Gonzales promised them Griffin would go before the Senate for confirmation.

    On February 16, 2007, 10 days after McNulty testified that Cummins was dismissed in order to make a vacancy for Griffin to be appointed to, Griffin announced that he would not seek the presidential nomination to be U.S. attorney in Little Rock.

    On May 30, 2007, Griffin resigned from his position effective June 1, 2007

  21. Mary says:

    On the forgetfulness front, from a link I had that doesn’t seem to work anymore
    http://www.realcities.com/mld/…..872058.htm

    A story about Pat Rogers (lawyer), Mickey Barnett (lobbyist) and Allen Weh (then NM Republican Party Chair). While DOJ lawyer Matthew Friedrich remembers sitting down with Rogers and Barnett to hear out their complaints about Iglesias, it seems that Republican NM lawyer is also a job title that requires a lot of forgetfulness.

    When Weh held a 9 donor, $5,000/plate fundraiser luncheon with Rove, Rogers (named as an attendee) just couldn’t remember if he went or if he talked to Rove there about Iglesias. By contrast, Weh remembered speaking with Rove on a late 2006 trip to the White House Weh took

    Allen Weh …said he complained in 2005 about then-U.S. Attorney David Iglesias to a White House liaison who worked for Rove and asked that he be removed. Weh said he followed up with Rove personally in late 2006 during a visit to the White House.
    “Is anything ever going to happen to that guy?” Weh said he asked Rove at a White House holiday event that month.
    “He’s gone,” Rove said, according to Weh.
    “I probably said something close to ‘Hallelujah,’” said Weh.

    “Then we did the Conduit Dance,” Weh added. Or not.

    Meanwhile, when all of this was first coming out, Bush was saying adamantly that he was not invovled at all in any of it.

    Via Tony Snow
    http://www.signonsandiego.com/…..utors.html

    President Bush made “no recommendations on specific individuals,” Snow said. “We don’t have anything to indicate the president made any calls on specific us attorneys.”

    .
    Down in Latin America (can’t find a link now) Bush had immediately run for cover on the whole topic. Later, after he came back and had time to be tutored by Fielding, he began to issue these meaningless-without-follow-up statements that,

    “US Attorneys serve at the pleasure of the President.”

    And so after publically initially scrambling to disavow knowledge of, or participation in, the firings, suddenly Bush is calmly walking arounds, saying “US Attorneys serve at the pleasure of the President” and no one, in press conferences or flat out in the Congressional hearings, asks the pertinent question –

    Despite his early denials, did BUSH HIMSELF fire these people? That really is the statutory question bc the statute gives only the President, not Mike Battle or even AGAG, the power to remove. If Bush did fire them, then you have the issue of the fact that they could have been fired for any reason, or no reason, but not for an illegal reason. And if Bush did fire them and not for an illegal reason, why was he running around panicked, saying he had nothing to do with it, until he got back under Fielding’s wing?

    If Bush himself didn’t authorize the firings, then everyone who particpated was in volation of the statutory provision that only the President can remove a US atty.

    Since Bush didn’t call the USA’s himself, if he did authorize the firings, there should be a delegation trail (that runs right through Gonzales & Miers, even more so than Rove — Rove’s is the illegal purpose trail).

    As a matter of fact, there’s an OLC opinion (I’ll have to search for) that OLC issued in connection with Gonzales giving HIS statutory power to fire to his underlings, and that OLC opinion spells out what is needed for such a delgation (and IIRC also even refers to this being what would be needed if the PResident were to try to delegate a power given only and specifically to him by statute).

      • Mary says:

        I’m an idiot! Remind me to refresh before giving any “Goodbye Cruel World” speeches. *G*

        Thank you, the shortform memo is right behind the order there. I think there might also have been a slightly longer one, but what you link is what I was thinking about. It shows the concept that the OLC was not really comfortable with Constitutional language on delegate to the President alone, or to the heads of agencies, being substituted with “or to Kyle and Monica”

      • Rayne says:

        Must have been other documentation outlining internal debate and discussion about the process by which they were going to shuffle the USA deck, prior to the Jan. 31, 2006 AG approval of amendments to the DOJ’s organizational regulations reserving certain personnel administration authorities to himself. Although this was happening concurrently with the reauthorization of the Patriot Act at the same time; the reauthorized PA included text which allowed the AG to fire the USAs without the previous formal process requiring presidential authorization, if memory serves.

        Means all of this may have been more coincident with USA-MN Thomas Heffelfinger’s “retirement” in February 2006.

        Once he’d left, perhaps it became more clear they could do a big house cleaning all at one time.

    • GrievanceProject says:

      It sure seems like a small world when the same names keep showing up in (seemingly) unrelated matters. In addition to being involved in the firing of then-USA David Iglesias, Patrick J. Rogers was also involved with voter intimidation during the 2008 election cycle:

      On October 17, 2008, Melanie Dabovich of the Associated Press reported that the “Republican Party of New Mexico alleges 28 people voted fraudulently in one Albuquerque state House district in the June Democratic primary.” After releasing the registration cards for “10 of the suspect voters[,]” Mr. Rogers, “an attorney who advises the state GOP, says the party plans to turn the suspect registration cards over to [state Attorney General Gary] King’s and [District Attorney Kari] Brandenburg’s offices.” ACORN investigated these claims and, as a result, “confirmed with the Bernalillo County Clerk that the voters in question were all legitimate” and that the voters identified by Mr. Rogers and his client were not engaged in the criminal conduct of ‘voter fraud’ but were, to the contrary, victims of false allegations of voting fraud.

      Although his client, the Republican Party of New Mexico, officially distanced itself from making further allegations of voter fraud, Mr. Rogers continued to press the matter. Under the guise of conducting additional investigation of the baseless voter fraud allegations, Mr. Rogers retained a private investigator to conduct further ‘review’ of the voter fraud charges and supervised this investigator’s review of the voters he and his client had previously identified, even though each voter had been cleared of any wrongdoing.

      More here, my email to Mr. Rogers requesting comment is here and Mr. Rogers feeble denial is here.

  22. Mary says:

    Re delegation – this story by Waas digs into the order from Gonzales that gave Kyle and Monica the right to politically hire and fire away and the reaction of Office of Legal Counsel:

    An original draft of Gonzales’s delegation of authority to Sampson and Goodling was so broad that it did not even require the two aides to obtain the final approval of the attorney general before moving to dismiss other department officials, according to records obtained by National Journal.

    The department’s Office of Legal Counsel feared that such an unconditional delegation of authority was unconstitutional, the documents show. As a result, the original delegation was rewritten so that in its final form the order required “any proposed appointments or removals of personnel” be “presented to the Attorney General… for approval, and each appointment or removal shall be made in the name of the Attorney General.”

    I could swear I actually saw this opinion at one point and that it made a reference to Presidential delegations as well (not a conclusion, but close). IIRC it spelled out particular things, that the delegation would need to be in writing, that the underlings would at least have to, in writing, run the lists by AGAG, and that the firing would have to be done specifically in his name in order for his delegation of stautory power to fire (that was not coupled with a power to delegate) to survive constitutional scrutiny.

    But I can’t find that opinion or a link to it, so I’m giving up for now.

  23. hackworth1 says:

    IIRC, Rove bought a house (modest by comparison) on the beach in the Florida Panhandle (The Redneck Riviera).

    • Styve says:

      Wayne Madsen was covering much of Rove’s machinations at the Bush Reign of Terror closed.

      April 9, 2008 — The Abramoff connection to the Siegelman prosecution

      WMR has learned that there is a little-reported link to the bogus federal prosecution of former Alabama Democratic Governor Don Siegelman. Siegelman’s and former HealthSouth Chairman Richard Scrushy’s support for an Alabama lottery ran counter to the wishes of a number of Alabama GOP officials and their business partners who wanted to introduce casino gambling to the state.

      The pro-casino forces saw the state lottery as competition in what later turned out to be a turf battle between state authorities who favored the lottery and criminal syndicates, some with links to convicted GOP lobbyist Jack Abramoff, who favored casinos on tribal lands in the state. Other pro-GOP mob interests were pushing for casinos on Alabama dog tracks.

      Abramoff’s colleagues included conservative figures linked to the Religious Right, including Ralph Reed, who argued against the lottery while at the same time supporting casinos for Indian reservations. Alabama Republican Governor Bob Riley also has close links to Russian-Israeli mobsters who have penetrated the casino business throughout the South, especially in Mississippi and Louisiana.

      WMR has learned that the same interests that were pushing for Alabama casinos and against Siegelman’s state lottery helped finance Karl Rove’s home in Rosemary Beach, Florida. Rove wanted Siegelman and Scrushy in prison to prevent them from delving into the origin of the financing for Rove’s home. Rove has striven to keep a lid on the Siegelman matter because the Rosemary Beach home leads directly to mob and certain intelligence interests active in Alabama, including Warrior Capital Corporation, that are linked to Siegelman’s primary tormentor, US District Judge Mark Fuller, who ordered Siegelman directly to prison to avoid the kind of publicity now being granted to Siegelman by the mainstream media, including MS-NBC and 60 Minutes. With Siegelman’s release, Rove is clearly worried about his own future freedom from prison.

      May 8, 2008 — Rove circling the wagons

      Yesterday, FBI agents raided the offices and home of the Office of Special Counsel (OSC) Scott Bloch in an investigation of Bloch’s malfeasance in office. Agents seized documents and computers from Bloch’s office and home. FBI agents raided the OSC office in Washington, DC and its branch office in Dallas.

      There have been calls over the past five years for Bloch to step down for politicizing the OSC, an agency that is tasked with investigating whistleblower cases. A January 18, 2008, draft OSC memo points out that Bloch stymied or sidelined investigations of Karl Rove, violations of the Hatch Act prohibiting government employees from involvement in political campaigning at government expense, the misuse of government resources by then-National Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice to engage in political campaigning in 2004 on behalf of George W. Bush’s re-election campaign, and the post-2004 election firing of US Attorneys.

      More importantly, Bloch ignored his own task force’s request for an investigation of the political prosecution of former Alabama Democratic Governor Don Siegelman. Rove reportedly pressured Bloch to drop the investigation. Rove’s fingerprints are found all over the political prosecution of Siegelman.

      WMR has learned from its sources in Florida that a series of events in northern Florida point to Rove circling his political wagons to fend off his prosecution over the Siegelman, US Attorneys firings, and other political crimes. On May 3, Rove was reportedly at his Rosemary Beach, Florida home mapping out a survival strategy with his political friends. Oliver North was also in town at the same time Rove was strategizing a “stay out of jail” plan. On May 5, the US Attorney for Northern Florida, Gregory Miller, abruptly announced his resignation. Miller has also failed to investigate Rove for pressuring Miller’s office from investigating criminal activity by some of Bush’s top northern Florida political supporters.

      • hackworth1 says:

        Congressman Joe Scarborough – female aid found dead in his office – is also from that neck of the woods. An ME was ordered in from Alabama by JEB! to white wash that case.

  24. maryo2 says:

    WaPo mentions one email, NYT mentions a different email. May not be significant, but for comparison –

    WaPo:
    In a Feb. 11, 2005, e-mail, Rove wrote to deputy Sara Taylor: “Give him options. Keep pushing for Justice and let him decide. I want him on the team.”

    NYT:
    One e-mail message written by Mr. Rove to Ms. Taylor on Feb. 24, 2005, said in reference to Mr. Griffin: “Hire him.”

    back to WaPo:
    Then White House counsel Miers e-mailed Taylor a month later [~ March 11, 2005], writing, “Sara, Karl asked me to forward you a list of locations where we may consider replacing the USAs…”

    • maryo2 says:

      As noted above, it looks like we are seeing emails from the recipients’ Inboxes, not from the senders’ Outboxes which would show blind CCs. Specifically, all three of these emails came from Sara Taylor’s Inbox.

  25. Citizen92 says:

    In a Feb. 11, 2005, e-mail, Rove wrote to deputy Sara Taylor: “Give him options. Keep pushing for Justice and let him decide. I want him on the team.”

    What “team” was Karl referring to? And what “other options” did Sara Taylor come up with? Were there other Agencies actively working with White House Political to weigh Tim Griffin as a staff member?

    Of course wiggle words could explain the “team” away. Karl could say he was just referring the the Administration as the team. But he’s not one who deals in generalities. I betcha “the team” means something bigger.

    While Tim Griffin’s job prospects were being discussed by Monica et al, he was forward deployed in Iraq, and he was using his US Army email account to correspond. Would there be any way to FOIA Tim’s DoD e-mails sent/received with that account as he was sending notes back and forth to Monica Goodling and Kyle Sampson?

    • bmaz says:

      Really, Huvelle did NOT order Jawad freed. In fact, she kowtowed to the government’s BS and has provided that he can be detained some 15-22 days further while the government tries to gin and fabricate some baloney to charge and hold him on criminally. Huvelle could have, and should have, ordered him released immediately.

  26. Mary says:

    Looks like Huvelle pretty much threw in the towel on “this is how habeas works” and entered pretty much the order Gov proferred, with a token “order” to treat him “humanely” while he is being held (and we know from the release of the OLC memos what Humanely means to DOJ and DoD – but that doesn’t seem to bother her). Even the humanely has an out – humanely, but only consistent with security needs – you know, like the security need to send that reaction force in to visit with him ever so often.

    http://www.aclu.org/pdfs/safef….._order.pdf

    I hate to be such a b*tch, but all this smarmy-ing around when real peoples’ real lives are at stake just gets to me.

    And it all goes back to the problems in the Hamdan decision. I remember having a much more negative reaction to that opinion (Hamdan is not your friend) than most of the press commentary on it at the time, bc O’Connor just basically eviscerated the Great Writ, all to make sure that Bush would be protected and to try to make nice with everyone. The heart of her opinion was a lot blacker than “war is not a blank check” – it was that you could play games with the writ and go ahead and hold someone *for awhile* under Executive powers even without suspension of the writ and even with them being US citizens now on US soil. That was bad news, not good. Even Scalia recognized that.

    So it’s pretty fitting that fairly contemporaneous with Obama giving O’Connor the medal of honor, her weasely Hamdan opinion is standing as support for other judges to keep putting of release of even those that they have found unambiguosly to be ineligible for lawful detention.

    At a minimum Huvelle should have made token recitations in her order, that she found there was no legal grounds to continue the detention but that due to the statute she would not order the release until the Aug 26 date, but she also was not extending judicial imprimatur or cover to any claims for damages that might occur from the date of her finding that there was no legal grounds to continue detention and the August 26 release date.

  27. Mary says:

    OT – and buried a bit.

    FP has a piece up about Holbrooke’s speechifying yesterday on how he has fixed Bush’s broken drug policy in Afghanistan

    http://thecable.foreignpolicy……g_policy_0

    Bush was bombing the farmers and their families and spraying to eradicate; Holbrooke is taking the better, but not bragging rights better, option of bombing the drug lords. Because, after all, that’s what our mission is in Afghanistan, right? Bomb the snot out of enough different guys until you end up with the right ones. And that’s what military commissions and military detention at Bagram are for too, right? To disappear suspected druggies? After all, we know how successful we are with our “interdiction” against drug lords programs. I think there’s a missionary in Hoekstra’s district who lost his wife and baby boy to our successful interdiction measures.

    In any event, Holbrooke’s take is:

    we are phasing out crop eradication. The United States and the ISAF forces are not going to go around assisting or participating in the destruction of poppy fields anymore. The United States has wasted hundreds of millions of dollars doing this. A per-hectare cost has been estimated at $44,000 a hectare to destroy the poppy seeds. You can buy real estate for that in most of the – in many places. […]

    All we did was alienate poppy farmers who were poor farmers, who were growing the best cash crop they could grow in a market where they couldn’t get other things to market, and we were driving people into the hands of the Taliban.

    Now, this flies in the face of a lot of conventional drug enforcement doctrine. … Here, of course, our policy is to strengthen the government and help defeat the Taliban, and we were not doing it.

    He goes on a little bit obliviously to mention that our goal was to deny money from the drug sales to the Taliban, and that wasn’t happening with our $44,000/hectare approach.

    The discussion about how maybe an EVEN BETTER policy would be to provide support to the poor farmers – not much there. And no seeming awareness that if the drug lords were going to be cut off, but there’s nothing else there, then the “poor peasants” are going to remember to be still alienated over still not having any source of income.

    Anyway – bc there is no way to have a mission oriented talk about Afghanistan with an Obama administration that has no defined mission – the other thing that was buried in there was this:

    Holbrooke also said that recently confirmed State Department Legal Advisor Harold Koh had accompanied him to Afghanistan and stayed on to examine the situation at the Bagram detention facility.

    Sure helped keep him out of the way while Clinton was threatening Miliband, but I’m already disheartened, waiting for Koh to being Goldsmithian ramblings on sending people from other countries to Bagram and indefinite detentions and threatening foreign govt’s that refuse to cover up our war crimes.

    *sigh*

    • PJEvans says:

      Didn’t we promise to help the Afghan people?
      Wouldn’t giving them enough money to live on be cheaper than bombing the place, and, with luck and time, make them better disposed toward us?
      Wouldn’t giving them the plants and animals to rebuild their farms go a long way toward rehabbing us?

      Have those idjits in DC and NY forgotten all the propaganda they put out?

      • matutinal says:

        Yes, but although the PR would be great, you still need to keep the greenbacks flowing to the masters of war. That, after all, is what this policeman of the world business is all about. Right, DiFi?

  28. jakebob says:

    It may not be popular with the more ideologically pure, but hey — USGov could BUY THE ENTIRE AFGHAN OPIUM CROP for less than $1 Billion a year, keep it out of Taliban hands, and prevent a lot of bloodshed. I know, I know… you might say much or all of it would end up on U.S. streets via “the company”, but hey again — net harm reduction could still be achieved, along with making Afghan farmers into fat happy capitalists!

    • Rayne says:

      Nice concept, but it wouldn’t work.

      Need to think about the fundamental laws of supply and demand. If the US bid $1B for the crop, are there parties out there which will bid more?

      And if we did buy the crop for $1B, will the market see this as a baseline for demand and ratchet up production in response?

      What really needs to happen is for the farmers to grow replacement crops which are more valuable than the ones they are giving up, but just as easy to grow. Will cost more to pull this off than $1B, but we could look ourselves in the eye, and actually be making real progress towards helping the Afghan people. (Poppies are a form of monoculture, not good over the big picture for sustainability, putting aside the issue of narcotics.)

      The other issue which must be dealt with is energy. Energy is one resource which could be more valuable than poppies, but getting it is a political war far bigger than the visible one we’re involved in. The instability which the poppy crop creates through the encouragement of corrupt forces is an unspoken benefit to the west in that it has disrupted the movement of energy resources across Afghanistan as well as the harvest of oil, natural gas and mineral reserves. Until a comprehensive plan which supports Afghans while reducing risk to other countries can be put into place, there will be a dynamic tension encouraging poppy farming.

  29. JasonLeopold says:

    Looks like the Judiciary Committee is also suggesting that Rove’s camp leaked those emails to the Times and Post:

    From House Judiciary Committee spokesman Jonathan Godfrey:

    “It’s hardly surprising that Mr. Rove would minimize his involvement in the U.S. attorney firings or that selectively leaked documents would serve his version of events,” Godfrey told the Associated Press, adding that Rove’s role “was more substantial than his statements to the media indicate.”

  30. Hmmm says:

    Today in Parsing

    Note, “…opposed one early suggestion to dismiss all of the more than 90 United States attorneys in a single mass dismissal…” does not rule out the possibility that he supported, or was the originator of, later suggestions to dismiss all of the more than 90 USA’s in a single mass dismissal.

  31. JasonLeopold says:

    And on a final note, this from the LA Times:

    Until Thursday, however, Rove had declined to comment, Luskin said. But he made prearranged deals with the New York Times and Washington Post, under which he allowed them to see some of his e-mail messages, which the White House had closely guarded. He also gave an interview with both newspapers in which he insisted he had done nothing wrong.

  32. Neil says:

    In the interview, Rove said he made no secret to anyone of his support for Griffin and cited published reports that Cummins was considering stepping down.

    Bud Cummins did resign without objection but not until after his replacement was announced. He was told the reason was becuase they were just making room for other people.

    Answering questions about mistakes Gonzalez made Cummins states: Trying to tell Congress and the public that the people were fired for “performance reasons.” He willfully slandered their professional reputations. Outrageous. link, which tells me Bud cares about the truth.

    So I wonder if he’d offer a response to Karl Rove’s assertion about “published reports that Cummins was considering stepping down”

    The thing about “published reports” is that their source is ambiguous so Rove can;t be tied down and either Bud was or wasn’t considering stepping down before he got the call. Besides, wasn’t Rove relying on Sampson to identify spots for Griffin?

    Anyway Bud would certainly know if he had said anything about stepping down before he learned that DOJ had appointed his replacement.
    Bud Cummins CEO/US Canadian Bio Fuels Inc/ bcummins at uscbiofuels dot net