Funny spring. Usually as the weather warms up rain and the occasional hail will drop from the sky. This year we get shoes.
The Bush administration has withheld a series of e-mails from Congress showing that senior White House and Justice Department officials worked together to conceal the role of Karl Rove in installing Timothy Griffin, a protégé of Rove’s, as U.S. attorney for the Eastern District of Arkansas.
The withheld records show that D. Kyle Sampson, who was then-chief of staff to Attorney General Alberto Gonzales, consulted with White House officials in drafting two letters to Congress that appear to have misrepresented the circumstances of Griffin’s appointment as U.S. attorney and of Rove’s role in supporting Griffin.[…] Several of the e-mails that the Bush administration is withholding from Congress, as well as papers from the White House counsel’s office describing other withheld documents, were made available to National Journal by a senior executive branch official, who said that the administration has inappropriately kept many of them from Congress.
Damn, that will leave a mark.
The story has so many gems that it is almost impossible not to quote it in full. Waas catches the White House flat-footed:
White House spokesman Tony Fratto denied that the White House was withholding records in the Justice Department’s possession, and he said that Gonzales could make many of them public at any time. “The White House is neither guiding nor directing the Justice Department’s decisions on privileged documents,” Fratto said. “They make those decisions on their own.”
It would have been subtler if the White House tacked a target on Gonzo’s back and cried, Duck season! Although I suppose that the alternative, admitting their own role in obstructing justice, would bridge that shrinking gap between public scandal and indictable behavior. The perps don’t have any good options right now.
John begged me to keep the title, but in the end I decided to go with something a bit less hair-raising.
Good analysis by Paul Kiel at TPM.