Iglesiasgate: Where There's Smoke, There's Rove
With the attention shifting to the White House's role in the firing of 8 US Attorneys, you knew it was just a matter of time before this was revealed:
Presidential advisor Karl Rove and at least one other member of the White House political team were urged by the New Mexico Republican party chairman to fire the state's U.S. attorney because of dissatisfaction with his job performance including his failure to indict Democrats in a voter fraud investigation in the battleground election state.
In an interview Saturday with McClatchy Newspapers, Chairman Allen Weh said he complained in 2005 about then-U.S. Attorney David Iglesias to a White House liaison who worked for Rove and asked that he be removed. Weh said he followed up with Rove personally in late 2006 during a visit to the White House...
Weh recalled asking Rove at a White House holiday event in December: "Is anything ever going to happen to that guy?" What Weh didn't know was that the firings of Iglesias and the others had already been approved.
Weh said Rove told him: "'He's gone.' I probably said something close to 'Hallelujah.'"
Weh's admission doesn't really reveal much, but it's a leaping-off point. He appealed to one of Rove's underlings and Rove told him it was taken care of. That doesn't prove Rove's involvement; he could have seen an internal memo. But it's something that the relevant Congressional committees can question.
This will be the first test for the new White House counsel, former Watergate and Iran-Contra-era White House lawyer Fred Fielding, a war consigliere if there ever was one. The Judiciary Committees are going to want documents, and it'll be Fielding's job to stonewall. Congressional Democrats have been determined throughout this scandal to get to the bottom of the story. They're actually being more aggressive than ever before, obviously because they have the ability to subpoena and move the investigations in the desired direction.
Rove has had nine lives throughout his career, but this might be life #10. He's at the core of every dirty trick that this White House has ever perpetrated. Using the levers of the executive branch, in this case the Justice Department and the US Attorney position, for purely political reasons, to investigate and indict Democrats, is not going to be tolerated by anyone. We already knew that the replacement for the fired US Attorney for Arkansas was Rove's top oppo research guy. So he clearly was involved at some level. We don't know how much.
But I suspect we will. Nobody has any reason to cover for him anymore.
P.S. Yes, I think Alberto Gonzales may be on his way out. He's been terrible.