It turns out Scooter Libby’s efforts at obstructing justice were rather pedestrian by White House standards!
Its funny how the Republicans used to accuse Democrats of being “obstructionist” any time they didn’t go along with the President’s agenda, while it now appears that the President’s agenda has been propped up by all kinds of White House “plots and plans” to obstruct justice.
The latest example:
Fired San Diego U.S. attorney Carol Lam notified the Justice Department that she intended to execute search warrants on a high-ranking CIA official as part of a corruption probe the day before a Justice Department official sent an e-mail that said Lam needed to be fired.The e-mail clearly suggests that Lam’s firing was more urgent than a routine personnel matter:
The May 11 e-mail was from D. Kyle Sampson, chief of staff to Atty. Gen. Alberto R. Gonzales, to White House Deputy Counsel William Kelley. "The real problem we have right now with Carol Lam … leads me to conclude that we should have someone ready to be nominated on 11/18, the day her four-year term expires," it said.In fact, it seems highly possible that the firing of eight U.S. attorneys was orchestrated as cover to specifically thwart an ongoing investigation by Lam. As the NYT suggests, this could be yet another instance of lawbreaking by White House officials.
I’m just speculating here, but by the time all the facts are unraveled, I wouldn’t be surprised if the genesis of the whole scheme was a plot to end the investigation by Lam. However, for political cover, it was first proposed to fire all 93 U.S. attorneys, and then limited to a smaller group who could be justified with talking points.
That group, apparently compiled by Kyle Sampson under the guidance of Karl Rove, was made up of attorney’s who made the list for a variety of reasons, including merely being in a job desired by a Rove protege!
Beyond that, it sure sounds like the word was out among Republican legislators that nominations for the short list were being accepted!