Newly revealed emails implicate Rove in US attorney firings
"New unreleased e-mails from top administration officials show the idea of firing all 93 U.S. attorneys was raised by White House adviser Karl Rove in early January 2005," reports ABC News.
The e-mails, which indicate Rove was more deeply involved in the attorney firings than previously acknowledged, also implicate Attorney General Alberto Gonzales, says ABC News. This contradicts earlier White House statements that the idea of firing all US attorneys was then White House counsel Harriet Miers' alone.
A Salon.com article by Sidney Blumenthal today says that despite attempts to deny any involvement by Karl Rove in the firing of eight US attorneys last year, "all roads lead to Rove."
Blumenthal also points to recently revealed e-mails by Kyle Sampson, Alberto Gonzales' chief of staff, as an indication of Rove's involvement. Speaking about the proposed appointment of Rove confidant Tim Griffin to the US attorney post in Arkansas, Sampson wrote in December 2006, "I know getting him appointed was important to Harriet, Karl, etc."
Sampson, who resigned this week as Gonzales' chief of staff, wrote in an email dated January 9, 2005, "As an operational matter, we would like to replace 15-20 percent of the current U.S. Attorneys--the underperforming ones ... The vast majority of U.S. Attorneys, 80-85 percent, I would guess, are doing a great job, are loyal Bushies, etc., etc." according to the Washington Post.
Rove has brushed off the attention as political games.
"I would simply ask that everybody who's playing politics with this be asked to comment about what they think about the removal of 123 U.S. attorneys during the previous administration and see if they had the same superheated political rhetoric then that they're having now," Rove said after speaking at Troy State University, reports CNN.
Earlier today, RAW STORY reported that Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-VT) will subpoena White House adviser Karl Rove in regard to his connection with the US attorney firings scandal if Rove doesn't volunteer to testify before the Senate Judiciary Committee.
The Justice Department and the Attorney General have been at the center of a growing number of controversies in Washington.
In a statement released to RAW STORY today, Sen. Russ Feingold (D-WI) voiced concerns that Attorney General Alberto Gonzales acted unethically by advising the president to shut down an investigation of which he may have been a target.
"I am extremely concerned by the report that the Attorney General may have known he was a target of an internal investigation relating to his authorization of the illegal NSA wiretapping program, and yet advised the President to effectively shut down the probe by denying investigators the necessary security clearances," said Feingold.
"The President should immediately issue the clearances needed to permit the Office of Professional Responsibility’s NSA investigation to proceed, regardless of whether the Attorney General himself is a target. That investigation should also consider whether the Attorney General conducted himself properly in making his recommendation to the President," he demanded.