Luskin Defends Rove on the Missing E-Mails

Update: Newsweek interviews an expert on whether it's really possible to lose e-mails.

Original Post

Karl Rove's lawyer, Robert Luskin, says his client didn't intentionally delete any e-mails and cooperated fully with Fitzgerald's request for e-mail in PlameGate.

Rove's lawyer said the senior presidential adviser had no idea that his e-mails were being deleted from the RNC server. "His understanding starting very, very early in the administration was that those e-mails were being archived," Rove's attorney, Robert Luskin, said.

The prosecutor probing the Valerie Plame spy case saw and copied all of Rove's e-mails from his various accounts after searching Rove's laptop, his home computer, and the handheld computer devices he used for both the White House and Republican National Committee, Luskin said.

The prosecutor, Patrick Fitzgerald, subpoenaed the e-mails from the White House, the RNC and Bush's re-election campaign, he added. "There's never been any suggestion that Fitzgerald had anything less than a complete record," Luskin said.

The only deletions Rove made were done to clean up his inbox.


Any e-mails Rove deleted were the type of routine deletions people make to keep their inboxes orderly, Luskin said. He said Rove had no idea the e-mails were being deleted from the server, a central computer that managed the e-mail.

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    Too funny! (5.00 / 2) (#1)
    by Edger on Fri Apr 13, 2007 at 04:49:05 PM EST
    What a hilarious title for your post, Jeralyn...

    "Luskin defends Rove" is an oxymoron meaning Rove is a guilty as he can possibly be, I think.

    He said Rove had no idea the e-mails were being deleted from the server

    So Luskins initial knee jerk defense is that Rove is clueless?

    Hah hah... Luskin needs to work on his selection criteria for clients or it'll destroy his own reputation and he'll have to use the same defense for himself.

    Heh! Incredible.

    Kurt Vonnegut was right:
    "...I myself feel that our country, for whose Constitution I fought in a just war, might as well have been invaded by Martians and body snatchers. Sometimes I wish it had been. What has happened instead is that it was taken over by means of the sleaziest, low-comedy, Keystone Cops-style coup d'etat imaginable."
    Millions of White House Emails Missing: "It's clear that the White House has been willfully violating the law - the only question now is to what extent?"

    Forget tomatoes and eggs - throw the book at Rove for being the slimeball that he is, and at Luskin just for being an idiot. If Leahy doesn't have a apoplectic stroke before next tuesday his hearings should top the ratings.

    edger (1.00 / 1) (#2)
    by jimakaPPJ on Fri Apr 13, 2007 at 05:12:29 PM EST
    When I delete mine they do to a archive that shows deleted file.

    Why would Rove believe his weren't?

    Just another attack from edger


    Jim, this man is dead (5.00 / 1) (#10)
    by Repack Rider on Sat Apr 14, 2007 at 01:20:49 AM EST
    PPJ: Why would Rove believe his weren't?

    Jim, your heart isn't in this any more, is it?

    I know you feel a duty to post, but the fire in the belly seems to be out.


    Heh... Why indeed? (none / 0) (#3)
    by Edger on Fri Apr 13, 2007 at 05:20:21 PM EST
    After all, his own lawyer says he's clueless. That's good enough for you, is it??


    Luskin is really Vinny Gambini? Heh!

    LMAO! ..me too... (5.00 / 1) (#4)
    by desertswine on Fri Apr 13, 2007 at 05:25:29 PM EST

    Better check the basement for "pods."

    Happy Friday the 13th (none / 0) (#5)
    by Edger on Fri Apr 13, 2007 at 05:32:24 PM EST
    Friday the 13th! You never know when Jason might resurface. Heh.

    Ignorance is no excuse (5.00 / 1) (#7)
    by Sailor on Fri Apr 13, 2007 at 05:43:23 PM EST
    There is a WH policy regarding the Hatch act and The Pres Papers act.
    The previous emails discovered showed that they used the rnc accounts to evade scrutiny. Rove did 95% of his emails on the rnc account.

    He was the freakin' WH chief of staff and he didn't understand the policy manual!?

    Another day, another lie, but this time there's a dem congress that will pursue the truth.


    So far the most intriguing revelation in the 2,400 pages is troubling but hardly criminal. In a spreadsheet analysis of the professional qualifications of all U.S. attorneys drawn up by DOJ staffers, there are sections for both prosecutorial and political experience. The latter category is broken down into columns showing time spent at the Justice Department, on the Hill, in political campaigns and government staff. The last column indicates whether or not the U.S. attorney is a member of the conservative legal organization the Federalist Society.
    Remember abu gonzales saying :
    "To think we made these changes to retaliate or because they didn't carry out certain prosecutions?" he said. "That did not occur here. I stand by the decision to make the changes."

    Ohh, and they weren't 'political'. Yet rove and others deliberately used email accounts to pass along complaints from state rnc heads to gonzo et al that resulted in the USAs firings.

    intentional deletion (5.00 / 1) (#8)
    by aztrias on Fri Apr 13, 2007 at 05:57:12 PM EST
    I'm sure Rove was warned about deleting email beyond what's required for maintaining records.

    As a base-line: An intentional deletion of email is, by the way Feds are trained to manage data under their control, an intentional act to erase that data.  Period.  If an inbox is full, the procedure prior to deletion is to print a copy for filing and delete the email. The employee is responsible for maintaining the integrity of their email.

    "Hey it's a GOP server."  

    Well gov't computer security policy 101 identifies all data about staff or employees (such as job performance) controlled data that must be secured.  He is responsible for the security and integrity of those emails and attachments.  There is no excuse for violating computer security procedures by using a non-secure, non-gov't email server to manage and transmit this secured data.  The responsibility rests with the employee.

    Rubbish (5.00 / 1) (#9)
    by Al on Fri Apr 13, 2007 at 06:00:51 PM EST
    This is a setting on your mail client. Nobody but Rove is responsible for his settings. Even if he is clueless - which I doubt - he's still responsible.

    A song for Karl. (none / 0) (#6)
    by Edger on Fri Apr 13, 2007 at 05:40:09 PM EST
    I've got the apolitical blues
    And that's the meanest blues of all

    I'm not a lawyer (none / 0) (#11)
    by Edger on Sat Apr 14, 2007 at 09:30:26 AM EST
    so I'm interested in how from a lawyering standpoint Luskin's characterizing his client as being technologically incomptetent or ignorant could help Rove.

    I notice that Luskin doesn't seem to be claiming that Rove was ignorant of the law, or that Rove did not delete the emails. He is not claiming Rove is innocent.

    Is he spinning to set up for an attempt at having Rove plead "guilty with an explanation", or some such strategy? IOW try Rove by public opinion first? That would seem rather dangerous, to me. What are the possible avenues here for a defense lawyer to take on this?

    Well (none / 0) (#12)
    by Claw on Sat Apr 14, 2007 at 10:06:56 AM EST
    This isn't my area of expertise but I can tell you that if any of my clients tried to tell a judge that, by gosh, they didn't KNOW what they did was illegal, the judge's head would explode.

    That's what I thought too. (none / 0) (#13)
    by Edger on Sat Apr 14, 2007 at 10:12:02 AM EST
    And that doesn't seem to be what Luskin is saying. I wonder - if Rove ends up charged will Luskin try to defend him by saying yes, he did it, but he was try to comply with the law but didn't know how to use the computer properly.

    Would that have chance of wiggling Rove out of it?

    Claw (none / 0) (#14)
    by Claw on Sat Apr 14, 2007 at 10:19:49 AM EST
    Also, "guilty with an explanation" is not a nice place to find yourself if you are a criminal defendant...especially if your explanation is that you were too stupid to appreciate the nature of your acts.  Explanations, when they are given, usually run along the lines of, "yes, I did assault him but he hit me first," or, "yes, I did fail to return the rental car but that's because I was bedridden for two weeks."  I really can't see Luskin arguing (in court, at least) that one of the canniest political players in recent memory was too much of a doofus to understand the archiving rules and regs.  

    Heh. (none / 0) (#15)
    by Edger on Sat Apr 14, 2007 at 10:27:59 AM EST
    I wonder what Luskin is trying to do here? Has he, in his mind, tossed in the towel? Decided there is no defense if Rove is charged, so focus on the political and PR aspect to somehow try to avoid Rove being charged, maybe?

    Is this going to be where (none / 0) (#17)
    by Edger on Sat Apr 14, 2007 at 10:29:45 AM EST
    Rove turns finally, and gives Cheney to Fitgerald?

    We're (none / 0) (#16)
    by Claw on Sat Apr 14, 2007 at 10:28:59 AM EST
    Back to the "I was trying to comply with law but I didn't" defense.  This doesn't usually hold much water with judges in my experience...I suppose it would hold slightly more water with a jury if Luskin could make the regulations sound absolutely inscrutable and impossible to follow.  Again, I don't know the statutes, case law, etc. in this particular area.  Maybe the "well I just ASSUMED I wasn't breaking any laws" defense is a tried and true argument here.

    I think (none / 0) (#18)
    by Edger on Sat Apr 14, 2007 at 10:32:45 AM EST
    Repack said it well, up above: Rove, like Gonzales, is a walking dead man. Politically speaking, of course.

    Yep (none / 0) (#19)
    by Claw on Sat Apr 14, 2007 at 10:34:22 AM EST
    I think you're right, Edger.  This sounds more political than anything else.  I would guess that Luskin thinks quieting the, um, "crap" storm may lead to less zealous prosecution and perhaps less dire repercussions if Rove is charged.

    I guess that's all he has left, huh? (none / 0) (#20)
    by Edger on Sat Apr 14, 2007 at 10:41:23 AM EST
    I thought at first that Luskin might be underestimating Leahy and Fitzgerald.

    But they both want Cheney.

    Rove is the key, no? Let him off the hook to catch the bigger fish? Then come back and pick his carcass off muddy bottom of the drained swamp?

    This. Could. Be. Fun. Better stock up on popcorn. :-)

    Of course (none / 0) (#21)
    by Edger on Sat Apr 14, 2007 at 10:51:01 AM EST
    thr real story behind all this is
    the Presidential Records Act, which requires that the President "take all such steps as may be necessary to assure that the activities, deliberations, decisions, and policies that reflect the performance of his constitutional, statutory, or other official or ceremonial duties are adequately documented and that such records are maintained as Presidential records. [link]
    On second thought, maybe a big bottle of scotch to go with that popcorn is a good idea.

    Might as well get comfortable for this show.

    Thanks for the conversation, Claw (none / 0) (#22)
    by Edger on Sat Apr 14, 2007 at 11:57:43 AM EST
    Haven't seen you here very often lately.

    The (none / 0) (#23)
    by Claw on Sat Apr 14, 2007 at 02:35:29 PM EST
    Pleasure's all mine.  I lurk around every chance I get but I have a feeling that many of you regular posters do internet/news related things and are thus more qualified to comment on stories.  That said,  I have been following this case and, less consensually, the Don Imus story.

    I love the Update Article (none / 0) (#24)
    by Freewill on Sat Apr 14, 2007 at 05:27:56 PM EST
    Here is my take on how the GOP will handle this

    *** SPECIAL URGENT D.T.P.M. ******

    Forensic Specialists - Hmm, how can we spin this to our advantage?

    Oh, I know, call them Forensic Scientist and when we say that out loud place a huge emphasis on the word Scientist! This will show a "Liberal Bias" and thus implicate extreme partisanship. We can then convenience our base and many in the moderate camp that we are only under attack by those who hate Gawd!

    Have all stations initiate debates that indicate all Scientist are Atheists bent on destroying the morals of America!

    ------------- IMPORTANT REMINDERS ----------------
    Make sure the following read this A.S.A.P. (yesterday)
    Bill O'Really
    Rush Limbaugh
    Sean Hanity
    Glenn Beck
    Ann Coulter

    Get this debate started right now so we can put them on the defensive side of the argument! We will control the agenda!

    **** END OF TRANSMITION ********

    Thank you Jeralyn and everyone who commented for this thread! I haven't laughed so much like this for a long while.  

    Just how stupid does Bush and his Administration think Americans are? Well, on second thought, don't answer that!