Before You Get Too Excited About a Karl Rove Investigation

The blogosphere has been abuzz today with the report in the L.A. Times that the little known Office of Special Counsel will investigate the U.S. Attorney firings and political activities led by Karl Rove.

Before you get too excited, let's look at who's in charge of the investigation. It's Scott Bloch, a Bush appointee who's been under investigation himself.

Bloch, a Kansas lawyer who served at the Justice Department's Task Force for Faith-based and Community Initiatives, was appointed by President Bush three years ago. Since he took the helm in 2004, staffers at the OSC, a small agency of about 100 lawyers and investigators, have accused him of a range of offenses, from having an anti-gay bias to criticizing employees for wearing short skirts and tight pants to work.

David Corn has many more details in his new Nation column.

I was skeptical this morning. Now, I'm wondering why the LA Times reporter omitted this critical information about Bloch. As Corn says,

It is a dizzying situation. The investigator investigating officials who oversee the agency that is investigating the investigator. Forget firewalls. This looks more like a basement flooded with backed-up sewage--with the water rising.

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    Yes (5.00 / 2) (#1)
    by squeaky on Tue Apr 24, 2007 at 05:13:29 PM EST
    And it looks more like he is doing his masters bidding
    Scott J. Bloch, the head of the Office of Special Counsel, "who says he is investigating Karl Rove for allegations he influenced government activity for partisan purposes is himself facing allegations of similar behavior." In April 2005, government watchdogs and others complained that "the White House appointee had allowed his office to 'sit on' a complaint that then-White House National Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice used government funds to travel in support of President Bush's re-election bid."

    think progress

    squeaky -- think progress has a new updated story! (5.00 / 2) (#15)
    by the rainnn on Tue Apr 24, 2007 at 10:08:48 PM EST
    it now turns out that none
    other than fired new mexico
    u.s. atty. david iglesias

    may be the reason bloch opened
    his investigation at OSC. . .

    and that might mean there is real
    bona fide intention to investigate.

    i am beginning to think
    that bloch can see that both
    gonzales and rove are going to
    be judged dimly in historical
    gloaming. . . so, he is trying
    a "one noble last act" approach (a la
    govenor jim thompson commuting
    all death sentences in illinois
    once he knew he was going down
    for the selling of truck licenses
    scandal, anyway. . .), to avoid being
    gordon libby and not counsellor dean
    (watergate reference). . .

    who knows?

    time will tell.


    The Plot Thickens (5.00 / 1) (#16)
    by squeaky on Tue Apr 24, 2007 at 10:27:41 PM EST
    I smell smoke.

    ahh -- good reason to be skeptical, for certain. (5.00 / 2) (#2)
    by the rainnn on Tue Apr 24, 2007 at 05:24:21 PM EST
    this morning, when i wrote
    on the topic, not all of this
    later information was known to
    me. . . and yet, i remain cautiously
    opimistic that this yields at
    least some more "heat, if not light
    . . ."

    now, to be clear, mr. bloch has earned this
    skepticism as chief of the  office of special
    counsel (given that he has allegedly refused
    to enforce federal laws prohibiting gay/lesbian
    discrimination in the not-too-distant-past),
    here. . . but it seems this story (rove e-mail
    directions to violate various statutes, hatch
    act and presidential records act, among others)
    is just too big -- and well-documented to
    be vulnerable to a "whitewash" paper-over job.

    and i think any suggestion that sen. patrick
    leahy, or rep. john conyers, or henry waxman
    are going to simply decide to take the rest
    of the term off, in dufus-like reliance on the
    bona fides of the OSC, would be ill-
    founded, and unwise.  they will keep on
    keepin' on
    , without regard to bloch.  as they
    should. . .  i mean, c'mon, there are
    three separate congressional investi-
    gations underway right now. . . j.i.m.h.o.

    now, if bloch's big idea is to slow the cong-
    ressional investigations by asserting some
    form of exclusive jurisdiction over these
    matters, senators leahy, schumer, and
    whitehouse, and representatives conyers,
    waxman and sanchez should forcefully assert
    their CONCURRENT right -- and obligation -- to
    continue their independent investigations.

    so -- what's not to like?

    if he does his job, great -- if not,
    well. . .  i like the odds of these congress-
    people on closing the whole deal. . .

    we're no worse off for his doing
    this -- it IS generating MORE headlines.

    Other Possibilities (5.00 / 2) (#3)
    by Dr Zaius on Tue Apr 24, 2007 at 05:42:04 PM EST
    Mother Jones provides another take from one reader. Rove can now say he cannot testify to Congress because of another ongoing investigation - brought about by his own administration.  Could it be that he is being investigated specifically to give him cover for ducking Congressional testimony?

    dr. zaius -- i.m.o., that will not work. (5.00 / 1) (#8)
    by the rainnn on Tue Apr 24, 2007 at 06:18:28 PM EST
    one cannot "refuse to testify
    before congress because of
    another investigation. . ."

    that is a line fed to the
    press -- it will not work.

    he MAY refuse to incriminate
    himself, but there is no
    general rule that one agency
    proceeding trumps any other.

    [thus, my mantra about "no
    exclusive jurisdiction
    ", here.]

    so -- rove's choices will be to
    (1) "take five for freedom",
    (2) assert an entirely-bogus
    executive privilege, or. . .
    (3)testify -- when the subpoena
    issues. and it will issue.
    and, perhaps as early as
    tomorrow at 10 am. if not tomorrow,
    one day very soon in my opinion.


    How Rovian (none / 0) (#4)
    by squeaky on Tue Apr 24, 2007 at 05:49:07 PM EST
    Investigation. Not. (none / 0) (#12)
    by Dulcinea on Tue Apr 24, 2007 at 06:54:43 PM EST
    How Rovian.  The MSM is eating it up.  The report declaring the innocence of all is at the printers.  I have to hand it to these goons.  If they could govern as well as they cover up their crimes, we would be a superpower...again.

    Wouldn't that be a little (none / 0) (#5)
    by Edger on Tue Apr 24, 2007 at 05:55:53 PM EST
    too obviously obstruction?

    Hey (5.00 / 2) (#7)
    by squeaky on Tue Apr 24, 2007 at 06:16:43 PM EST
    They always say the best place to hide things is in plain sight. Besides, when have these creeps ever done anything not obvious. And it seems that they get their way most times.

    The free reign that they have enjoyed for so long has trained them too well.  Like an rat emboldened by long years of predator free existence their arrogance is what will bring them down.


    Did you mean (none / 0) (#10)
    by Edger on Tue Apr 24, 2007 at 06:23:56 PM EST
    "is", not "will" bring[ing] them down?

    Will (5.00 / 1) (#14)
    by squeaky on Tue Apr 24, 2007 at 08:38:23 PM EST
    The war is on blood on their hands. When we leave is when it will be is.

    How many permutations, heh? (5.00 / 1) (#11)
    by walt on Tue Apr 24, 2007 at 06:36:39 PM EST
    Rove's really going under the bus; Bloch burns him for the Hatch Act.  Or Bloch's sham investigation precludes the rover from testifying to Congress or the White House from commenting on the progressive charade.  Or Bloch's "office" & henchthugs discover the missing 5 gazillion e-mails so no harm, no foul (except the 18 minutes that have been xoxoxoxox-ed).  Or Bloch runs out the clock with circular inquiries that yield no results as all the "playahs" quietly leave government service--it's pretty close to resume time for the rethuglicans anyway.  Bloch may even "discover" that Tom Delay did it or Mark Foley or Sacco & Vanzetti or Alger Hiss.  And maybe, some of this will take the heat off Bloch for a while.

    Fox, henhouse. Henhouse, fox. (5.00 / 1) (#13)
    by scarshapedstar on Tue Apr 24, 2007 at 07:16:49 PM EST
    I'm sure you two will get along nicely.

    I have seen some speculation (none / 0) (#6)
    by Edger on Tue Apr 24, 2007 at 06:04:58 PM EST
    that because the OSC is not investigating whether Rove committed a crime Rove won't be able to use the line that there is a criminal probe underway.

    He might say though that he cannot answer questions or testify before Congress while the OSC conducts its probe, which will likely be finished when Bush leaves office.

    Could Leahy or Waxman subpoena Bloch (5.00 / 1) (#9)
    by Edger on Tue Apr 24, 2007 at 06:21:40 PM EST
    and force him to testify about the records, results and methodology of the OSC investigation?