Huffington Post founder Arianna Huffington on Sunday told Karl Rove, a former senior advisor to President George W. Bush, that it was “ironic” that he was invited on ABC News to criticize the current White House for scandals at the IRS and Justice Department because he was the “Michael Jordan of politicizing the executive branch.”
Huffington noted that she had called on Attorney General Eric Holder to resign after the Department of Justice targeted phone records of Associate Press reporters and investigated Fox News reporter James Rosen, but she pointed out that overzealous investigations went back to the Bush administration.
Rove agreed that the attorney general needed to resign because he had signed an affidavit alleging that Rosen was a “co-conspirator” in the leaking of classified information about CIA sources in North Korea.
“There’s definitely an irony in having Karl who is the Michael Jordan of politicizing the executive branch,” Huffington observed. “Let’s go back to firing of nine [U.S. attorneys] during the Bush years… you know, I agree with you that Holder has to go but there is a certain irony in Republicans who are doing very similar politicization things.”
Rove, however, insisted that the Justice Department had found that there was no evidence of “political activity” in the scandal involving the 2007 firing of several U.S. attorneys.
“No, they said [there was] partisan political consideration,” former Obama White House senior adviser David Plouffe interrupted.
“No, they didn’t,” Rove replied.
“That’s a fact,” Plouffe shot back.
“No, here’s the deal, they made a statement saying they found no evidence there was anything wrong,” Rove insisted. “There was politicization, which is the Holder Justice Department has never released the entire report because it would show the depth of how outrageous these charges were and how unsupported they were.”
In fact, Justice Department’s Office of the Inspector General and the Office of Professional Responsibility investigated the Bush administration’s “reasons for the removals of the U.S. Attorneys and whether they were removed for partisan political purposes” and found that then-Attorney General Alberto Gonzales had failed to “ensure that the removal of U.S. Attorneys was not based on improper political considerations.”
Watch the video below from ABC’s This Week, broadcast June 2, 2013.