This is coming from inside the Bush administration, and that is huge. The larger investigation came out of two narrower ones: the firing of US Attorney David Iglesias and a political PowerPoint presentation given to GSA employees by Rove aide Scott Jennings.
…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.
And it sounds like they’re deadly serious. We can hope.
“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.
Wow! I can’t believe Bush is letting one of his own appointees get away with this. Anyone want to place bets on how soon he’ll try to fire Scott Bloch? Or could it be that he’s finally realized Rove’s machinations have become more of a liability than an asset?
Nah, this is the man who still has confidence in Alberto Gonzales.