Thursday, March 29, 2007

Must read on Rove in NY Times today

On the occasion of Kyle Sampson's testimony today to the Senate Judiciary Committee, this article, "E-Mail Shows Rove’s Role in Fate of Prosecutors," is a timely dig into Rove's role as the main political force driving the appointment process for these U.S. attorney positions. The claim that Rove has not been "involved" is slowly but surely being disproven by reporting like this. The big question remains whether it can be proven that he sought to remove any of these prosecutors in order to put an end to ongoing corruption investigations or to remove attorneys who refused to proceed against Democrats. The article suggests, in addition, that Rove's role in placing U.S. attorneys in certain states may also warrant scrutiny as, unsurprisingly, prosecutions of Democrats were undertaken soon after Bush appointees (e.g., former Bush fundraiser choice in N.J.) arrived on the scene. The use of the U.S. attorney office to achieve such political interference in the judicial system is worth serious investigation.

A few notable quotes from the article for you, both comic in nature to me:
“There is an issue of intrigue, and for better or worse, that surrounds Karl Rove,” said Senator Arlen Specter of Pennsylvania, the ranking Republican on the Senate Judiciary Committee. “It is in the president’s interest and the country’s interest to have it dispelled or verified, but let’s hear it from him.”
Senator Specter, newly freed from the shackles of his Republican majority prison, breaks with the administration and calls for Rove to testify. At least Specter continues to entertain political types with his finger to the wind positioning...:)

And how's this for sticking it to the man:
Some Republicans say they always understood that Mr. Rove had a say in prosecutor appointments. “I basically felt when I was talking to Karl I was talking to the president,” said former Senator Peter G. Fitzgerald, an Illinois Republican. (emphasis added)
That's priceless. It's meant as a dig at Bush, of course, but at this particular moment, it hurts Rove the most. Not involved? From the account that Senator Fitzgerald offers of how he came to recommend Patrick J. Fitzgerald (no relation) to the U.S. attorney's position in Chicago, it sure sounds like Rove was the only one involved! And given how that appointment turned out - see investigation and conviction of Scooter Libby - it certainly would give Rove the motive to not be so deferential to these inconvenient Senators next time around. Nice of Senator Fitzgerald to weigh in on such a timely basis, don't you think?

Read on in the article, there's lots more...:)