Potential Bush aide may have had foreknowledge of political probe
Nick Juliano
Published: Monday June 4, 2007
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Former Republican National Committee chairman Ed Gillespie, who is reportedly being considered as a replacement for White House aide Dan Bartlett, may have had early knowledge of a criminal probe into a potential state Senate candidate in Virginia, where Gillespie is now head of the Republican Party, according to a Virginia political blog.

Blogger Ben Tribbett tells the Washington Post that he was told about indictments against candidate Mark D. Tate before they were released. In a timeline on his blog, he implies Gillespie, who supports Tate's opponent, also knew of the indictments in advance.

"Tate and others have also questioned why party insiders -- including Gillespie -- seemed to have prior knowledge of the investigation," Sandhya Somashekhar reports for the post. "More than three weeks before the grand jury was to decide, Gillespie called Tate and asked him to consider dropping out, Tate said."

According to The Politico, Gillespie's name has emerged as a possible replacement for Bartlett, announced last week he would step down from his position as Counselor to President Bush in the White House.

Tate, the state senate candidate, was indicted late last month on charges of election fraud and perjury. Tribbit, who blogs at Not Larry Sabatto, said he was told by a spokesman for Virginia's Republican party that Gillespie encouraged Tate to drop out of the race if he was indicted, weeks before the Loudon County grand jury's charges against him became public.