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Re: [prezveepsenator] Special Counsel to investigate Rove

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  • THOMAS JOHNSON
    oops, strike that last sentiment. This office is headed by a political operative and is probably a ruse to try to avoid a congressional subpoena.. Tom ...
    Message 1 of 3 , Apr 24, 2007
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      oops, strike that last sentiment. This office is
      headed by a political operative and is probably a ruse
      to try to avoid a congressional subpoena..

      Tom


      --- THOMAS JOHNSON <AVRCRDNG@...> wrote:

      > I had been worried that our system was broken beyond
      > repair, but stories like these give me great hope.
      >
      > Tom
      >
      >
      > --- Greg Cannon <gregcannon1@...> wrote:
      >
      > >
      >
      http://www.latimes.com/news/politics/la-na-probe24apr24,0,3535547.story?coll=la-home-headlines
      > >
      > > Low-key office launches high-profile inquiry
      > >
      > > The Office of Special Counsel will investigate
      > U.S.
      > > attorney firings and other political activities
      > led
      > > by
      > > Karl Rove.
      > > By Tom Hamburger, Times Staff Writer
      > > April 24, 2007
      > >
      > > WASHINGTON — Most of the time, an obscure federal
      > > investigative unit known as the Office of Special
      > > Counsel confines itself to monitoring the
      > activities
      > > of relatively low-level government employees,
      > > stepping
      > > in with reprimands and other routine
      > administrative
      > > actions for such offenses as discriminating
      > against
      > > military personnel or engaging in prohibited
      > > political
      > > activities.
      > >
      > > But the Office of Special Counsel is preparing to
      > > jump
      > > into one of the most sensitive and potentially
      > > explosive issues in Washington, launching a broad
      > > investigation into key elements of the White House
      > > political operations that for more than six years
      > > have
      > > been headed by chief strategist Karl Rove.
      > >
      > > The new investigation, which will examine the
      > firing
      > > of at least one U.S. attorney, missing White House
      > > e-mails, and White House efforts to keep
      > > presidential
      > > appointees attuned to Republican political
      > > priorities,
      > > could create a substantial new problem for the
      > Bush
      > > White House.
      > >
      > > First, the inquiry comes from inside the
      > > administration, not from Democrats in Congress.
      > > Second, unlike the splintered inquiries being
      > > pressed
      > > on Capitol Hill, it is expected to be a unified
      > > investigation covering many facets of the
      > political
      > > operation in which Rove played a leading part.
      > >
      > > "We will take the evidence where it leads us,"
      > Scott
      > > J. Bloch, head of the Office of Special Counsel
      > and
      > > a
      > > presidential appointee, said in an interview
      > Monday.
      > > "We will not leave any stone unturned."
      > >
      > > Bloch declined to comment on who his investigators
      > > would interview, but he said the probe would be
      > > independent and uncoordinated with any other
      > agency
      > > or
      > > government entity.
      > >
      > > The decision by Bloch's office is the latest
      > > evidence
      > > that Rove's once-vaunted operations inside the
      > > government, which helped the GOP hold the White
      > > House
      > > and Congress for six years, now threaten to mire
      > the
      > > administration in investigations.
      > >
      > > The question of improper political influence over
      > > government decision-making is at the heart of the
      > > controversy over the firing of U.S. attorneys and
      > > the
      > > ongoing congressional investigation of the special
      > > e-mail system installed in the White House and
      > other
      > > government offices by the Republican National
      > > Committee.
      > >
      > > All administrations are political, but this White
      > > House has systematically brought electoral
      > concerns
      > > to
      > > Cabinet agencies in a way unseen previously.
      > >
      > > For example, Rove and his top aides met each year
      > > with
      > > presidential appointees throughout the government,
      > > using PowerPoint presentations to review polling
      > > data
      > > and describe high-priority congressional and other
      > > campaigns around the country.
      > >
      > > Some officials have said they understood that they
      > > were expected to seek opportunities to help
      > > Republicans in these races, through federal
      > grants,
      > > policy decisions or in other ways.
      > >
      > > A former Interior Department official, Wayne R.
      > > Smith,
      > > who sat through briefings from Rove and his
      > > then-deputy Ken Mehlman, said that during
      > President
      > > Bush's first term, he and other appointees were
      > > frequently briefed on political priorities.
      > >
      > > "We were constantly being reminded about how our
      > > decisions could affect electoral results," Smith
      > > said.
      > >
      > > "This is a big deal," Paul C. Light, a New York
      > > University expert on the executive branch, said of
      > > Bloch's plan. "It is a significant moment for the
      > > administration and Karl Rove. It speaks to the
      > > growing
      > > sense that there is a nexus at the White House
      > that
      > > explains what's going on in these disparate
      > > investigations."
      > >
      > > The 106-person Office of Special Counsel has never
      > > conducted such a broad and high-profile inquiry in
      > > its
      > > history. One of its primary missions has been to
      > > enforce the Hatch Act, a law enacted in 1939 to
      > > preserve the integrity of the civil service.
      > >
      > > Bloch said the new investigation grew from two
      > > narrower inquiries his staff had begun in recent
      > > weeks.
      > >
      > > One involved the fired U.S. attorney from New
      > > Mexico,
      > > David C. Iglesias.
      > >
      > > The other centered on a PowerPoint presentation
      > that
      > > a
      > > Rove aide, J. Scott Jennings, made at the General
      > > Services Administration this year.
      > >
      > > That presentation listed recent polls and the
      > > outlook
      > > for battleground House and Senate races in 2008.
      > > After
      > > the presentation, GSA Administrator Lorita Doan
      > > encouraged agency managers to "support our
      > > candidates," according to half a dozen witnesses.
      > > Doan
      > > said she could not recall making such comments.
      > >
      > > The Los Angeles Times has learned that similar
      > > presentations were made by other White House staff
      > > members, including Rove, to other Cabinet
      > agencies.
      > > During such presentations, employees said they got
      > a
      > > not-so-subtle message about helping endangered
      > > Republicans.
      > >
      > > White House spokesman Scott M. Stanzel said the
      > > Hatch
      > > Act did not prohibit providing informational
      > > briefings
      > > to government employees.
      > >
      > > Responding to a letter of complaint to the White
      > > House
      > > from 25 Democratic senators, Stanzel said: "It is
      > > entirely appropriate for the president's staff to
      > > provide informational briefings to appointees
      > > throughout the federal government about the
      > > political
      > > landscape in which they implement the president's
      > > policies and priorities."
      > >
      > > However, questions have emerged about the
      > PowerPoint
      > > presentations, including whether Doan's comments
      >
      === message truncated ===
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