White House emails, Bush aide implicate Rove in firing of US Attorneys
Posted By John Byrne On August 11, 2009 @ 2:36 pm
The House Judiciary Committee released thousands of pages of new documents concerning the firing of nine US Attorneys under the Bush Administration — and they heavily implicate the office of onetime Bush adviser Karl Rove.
Moreover, former Bush Supreme Court pick and legal adviser Harriet Miers fingered Rove during her testimony to Congressional investigators.
In an effort to provide an earliest glance at the documents’ contents, RAW STORY has reprinted highlights from a release issued by the Committee Tuesday afternoon. The Committee released, in total, 5,400 pages of White House and Republican National Committee e-mails.
Emails obtained by the Democrat-led committee reveal that Rove and his office were involved in the firing of New Mexico US Attorney David Iglesias, who Republicans had criticized as not aggressively prosecuting voter fraud cases — which would have benefited Republicans. According to the committee, Rove and his staff were involved “months earlier than previously known.”
“For example,” the release notes, “in May and June 2005, Rove aide Scott Jennings sent emails to Tim Griffin (also in Rove’s office) asking ‘what else I can do to move this process forward’ and stressing that ‘I would really like to move forward with getting rid of NM US ATTY.’ In June 2005, Harriet Miers emailed that a ‘decision’ had been made to replace Iglesias. At this time, DOJ gave Iglesias top rankings, so this decision was clearly not just the result of the White House following the Department’s lead as Rove and Miers have maintained.”
“I have provided a copy of the materials released today to special U.S. Attorney Nora Dannehy to assist in her effort to determine whether federal criminal charges are appropriate and to pursue any such charges,” House Judiciary Chairman John Conyers said in a statement emailed to RAW STORY. “In the meantime, the Committee has honored its pledge to get on-the-record statements from Karl Rove and Harriet Miers, as well as the relevant White House documents, and is pleased to make this unprecedented collection of Bush Administration materials directly available to the American people by posting it online.
Rove, in a rushed statement released Tuesday afternoon,  denied any involvement with the U.S. Attorney firings.
“[The transcripts] show politics played no role in the Bush Administration’s removal of U.S. Attorneys, that I never sought to influence the conduct of any prosecution, and that I played no role in deciding which US attorneys were retained and which replaced,” he said.”
• 2005 White House “Decision” to fire David Iglesias – It has previously been known that New Mexico Republicans pressed for Iglesias to be removed because they did not like his decisions on vote fraud cases. New White House documents show that Rove and his office were involved in this effort no later than May 2005 (months earlier than previously known) - for example, in May and June 2005, Rove aide Scott Jennings sent emails to Tim Griffin (also in Rove’s office) asking “what else I can do to move this process forward” and stressing that “I would really like to move forward with getting rid of NM US ATTY.” In June 2005, Harriet Miers emailed that a “decision” had been made to replace Iglesias. At this time, DOJ gave Iglesias top rankings, so this decision was clearly not just the result of the White House following the Department’s lead as Rove and Miers have maintained.
• Iglesias criticized by Rove aide for not “doing his job on” Democratic Congressional Candidate Patricia Madrid – An October 2006 email chain begun by Representative Heather Wilson criticized David Iglesias for not bringing politically useful public corruption prosecutions in the run up to the 2006 elections. Scott Jennings forwarded Wilson’s email to Karl Rove and complained that Iglesias had been “shy about doing his job on Madrid,” Wilson’s opponent in the 2006 Congressional race. Just weeks after this email, Iglesias’ name was placed on the final firing list.
• An “agitated” Rove pressed Harriet Miers to do something about Iglesias just weeks before Iglesias was placed on the removal list – Karl Rove phoned Harriet Miers during a visit to New Mexico in September 2006 – according to Miers’ testimony, Rove was “agitated” and told her that Iglesias was “a serious problem and he wanted something done about it.”
• Senator Domenici personally asked Bush’s Chief of Staff Josh Bolten to have Iglesias replaced – In October 2006, Senator Domenici stepped up his campaign to have Iglesias replaced. According to White House phone logs and emails, as well as Rove’s own testimony, Domenici spoke with President Bush’s Chief of Staff Josh Bolten about Iglesias on October 5, 2006, and during October 2006, Domenici or his staff spoke with Karl Rove at least 4 times.
• Todd Graves removed in Rove-approved deal with Republican Senator – Kansas City US Attorney Todd Graves was removed as part of a White House-brokered deal with US Senator Kit Bond. In exchange for the Administration firing Graves, Senator Bond agreed to lift his hold on an Arkansas judge nominated to the Eighth Circuit federal appeals court. A White House email stated that “Karl is fine” with the proposal.
• Miers obtained favorable statement on Rick Renzi in violation of DOJ policy – When rumors of the FBI investigation of Rep. Rick Renzi surfaced in October, 2006, one of Rove’s subordinates contacted Harriet Miers, who called Deputy Attorney General McNulty seeking a possible statement that would have “vindicated” Renzi. Even though this was contrary to standard DOJ policy, such a statement was issued several days later.
The full interview transcripts and documents can be found here.
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 denied any involvement: The Raw Story
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