Will Karl Rove Face Criminal Charges?

The release of nearly 6000 pages of documents focused on the firing of former New Mexico US Attorney David Iglesias is either nothing new or illuminating, depending on who you’re talking to. Iglesias, you may remember, was one of nine US attorneys fired during a Bush Administration purge that eventually led to the resignation of Attorney General Alberto Gonzales.

There have been questions for some time about the role top White House officials played in getting rid of the nine prosecutors. Specifically, the House Judiciary Committee was looking at “The Architect”, Karl Rove, and former White House counsel Harriet Miers, what they knew, and when they knew it. The Bush Administration stonewalled, but finally some new information is coming to light.


Among other things, the documents show an 18 month long effort to get rid of Iglesias, and it looks like Rove’s office was at least at the center of that effort. At issue was Iglesias’ hesitancy to go after voter fraud cases in his home state. Those cases would have benefitted Republican office holders, at least one of whom complained about his lack of action.

Examining the minutiae of these documents is the job of Nora Dannehy, the federal prosecutor probing whether anything criminal was done here. For his part, Rove, in classic spin mode, says he welcomes the release of the documents because they show he did nothing wrong. Yet Harriet Miers recalls at least one instance, in the fall of 2006, when Rove contacted her wanting “action taken” against Iglesias.

There’s also the matter of Scott Jennings, a top Rove aide. He wrote a colleague in 2005 that Iglesias should be removed because Republicans in New Mexico “are really angry over his lack of action on the voter fraud stuff”. Rove says Jennings was “freelancing”. That might be a hard sell if criminal charges are ever brought.

Let’s face it, a lot of Bush Administration critics thought this was what was going on all along. Many have argued Rove and his minions ought to be criminally prosecuted for firing US attorneys for partisan political reasons. However, even with all this information, I wouldn’t hold my breath waiting for lawmen to slap the cuffs on Karl Rove.

My guess is the Obama Justice Dept. won’t have the fire in the gut to make examples out of Rove and  his coven of partisan thugs (thanks, Lou Dobbs). It’s easier for them to simply say what was done was wrong, and we don’t do business that way. Already Republicans in Congress are spinning like tops in an effort to blunt the impact of these revelations.

In the end, the ball will be in Eric H0lder’s court. What do you think he’ll do? Prosecute or punt? You tell me.



  1. Let’s face it, in another post I mentioned how we can never expect the culture in most of the world to mimic America’s, and it applies here, too. Washington has a culture that is not too reflective of the rest of America, and it causes these “lapses” in judgement.

    Work in Washington is “at will” in the strongest form of the word. No human resource department or law office can reverse an election (where the vote count was accurate), barring patently illegal activity. When a new team comes in, especially from the other party, the old team is summarily fired and quickly moved out of their habitat. This has been Washington’s way since it became the capital of the US.

    So, Washington’s team players have little sense of what is right and wrong for the rest of the country, and that typically includes both parties. Partisanship is “right”, and everything else is “wrong”. Partisanship is what clears out those offices after an election, or relegates an unpopular member of the electorate to a bathroom-sized office.

    This is the way of life of the legislative branch of government. However, the framers of the Constitution knew better. Stability is a very important need, especially for those handling judicial cases. Prosecutors find themselves in a comletely different structure, and their response to issues is based solely on the law and the Constitution – gut reactions, partisan leanings, etc., have no place in their positions. In fact, Iglesias was considered a Republican-leaning Independent.

    Prosecuting this case has the burden of criminal intent. In this era of coercive partisanship, most defendents could easily request a plea of insanity, and most Americans would concur.

    Reform IS the only answer – there has been too much abuse to decide who to punish. Even building new office space and clearing politicians out of their current digs, and into a large office complex where all representatives have equal access and amenities, will start improving the process.

    I can’t see the Obama adminstration stretching this thing out beyond pointing out to people that much of Washington has no clue what the rest of America does – Obama is too much of a pragmatist. Kenneth Starr spent over $50 million of taxpayers’ money to chase Clinton with no success.

    The abuse simply accentuates the point Obama made when he ran for president – that Washington needs reform, and the Rove situation is just one snapshot of a stack of abuses by all parties.

  2. As the writer states above, Washington need the same overhaul our automakers are experiencing, before it is too late and the money runs out. Start moving in a forward direction or be left behind come next election!

  3. Your site was extremely interesting, especially since I was searching for thoughts on this subject last Thursday.

    I’m Out! 🙂

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