Re: [prezveepsenator] Special Counsel to investigate Rove
- 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..
--- THOMAS JOHNSON <AVRCRDNG@...> wrote:
> I had been worried that our system was broken beyondhttp://www.latimes.com/news/politics/la-na-probe24apr24,0,3535547.story?coll=la-home-headlines
> repair, but stories like these give me great hope.
> --- Greg Cannon <gregcannon1@...> wrote:
> >=== message truncated ===
> > Low-key office launches high-profile inquiry
> > The Office of Special Counsel will investigate
> > attorney firings and other political activities
> > 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
> > of relatively low-level government employees,
> > stepping
> > in with reprimands and other routine
> > actions for such offenses as discriminating
> > 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
> > 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
> > 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
> > operation in which Rove played a leading part.
> > "We will take the evidence where it leads us,"
> > J. Bloch, head of the Office of Special Counsel
> > a
> > presidential appointee, said in an interview
> > "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
> > 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
> > 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
> > government offices by the Republican National
> > Committee.
> > All administrations are political, but this White
> > House has systematically brought electoral
> > 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
> > 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
> > 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
> > 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
> > 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
> > During such presentations, employees said they got
> > 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
> > presentations, including whether Doan's comments