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."