Friday, May 11, 2007

All Roads Lead To Rove

It's no big secret who was really behind the Prosecutor Purge, but the longer the investigation goes, the more we see stories like this one from McClatchy:

WASHINGTON - Only weeks before last year's pivotal midterm elections, the White House urged the Justice Department to pursue voter-fraud allegations against Democrats in three battleground states, a high-ranking Justice official has told congressional investigators.

In two instances in October 2006, President Bush's political adviser, Karl Rove, or his deputies passed the allegations on to Attorney General Alberto Gonzales' then-chief of staff, Kyle Sampson.

Sampson tapped Gonzales aide Matthew Friedrich, who'd just left his post as chief of staff of the criminal division. In the first case, Friedrich agreed to find out whether Justice officials knew of "rampant" voter fraud or "lax" enforcement in parts of New Mexico, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin, and report back.

But Friedrich declined to pursue a related matter from Wisconsin, he told congressional investigators, because an inquiry so close to an election could inappropriately sway voting results. Friedrich decided not to pass the matter on to the criminal division for investigation, even though Sampson gave him a 30-page report prepared by Republican activists that made claims of voting fraud.

Late Thursday night, a Justice Department spokesman disputed McClatchy's characterization, saying that the White House asked for an inquiry, but never ordered an investigation to be opened.

While it was known that Rove and the White House had complained about prosecutors not aggressively investigating voter fraud, Friedrich's testimony suggests that the Justice Department itself was under pressure to open voter fraud cases despite a department policy that discourages such action so close to an election.

The evidence continues to accumulate.

It's begining to sound like Goodling's being set up to take the big fall on the prosecutor scandal. If she gets up before Congress and says "Mea maxima culpa" or its hard-shell Baptist equivalent, she skates, and there's not a single crime to charge anyone in the administration with, save the worst management since the French Revolution. Absent an email link from Rove's office to her, Gonzo can say, "I had no idea I had given the power to hire and fire everyone to a total loon." Hell, she might even be guilty, and it wouldn't be beyond the limits of possibility that a graduate of Pat Robertson U. could believe their actions were taken in the name of God, in spite of being in violation of common sense and every law of the land.

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