Report Hints: White House Involvement

Report Implicates White House
E-Mails Hint at Involvement in Prosecutor Firings, Officials Say

By Carrie Johnson
Washington Post Staff Writer
Wednesday, October 1, 2008; A15

In 18 months of searching, Justice Department Inspector General Glenn A. Fine and Office of Professional Responsibility chief H. Marshall Jarrett have uncovered new e-mail messages hinting at heightened involvement of White House lawyers and political aides in the firings of nine federal prosecutors two years ago.

But they could not probe much deeper because key officials declined to be interviewed and a critical timeline drafted by the White House was so heavily redacted that it was “virtually worthless as an investigative tool,” the authorities said.

At a White House breakfast in mid-November, Wilson approached Rove to tell him that the U.S. attorney was a “waste of breath,” according to her interview with investigators. She said Rove told her: “That decision has already been made. He’s gone.”Less than three hours later, a Justice Department official forwarded a firing list to the White House Counsel’s Office on which Iglesias’s name appeared, giving rise to questions about how Rove learned about its contents in advance, and whether the department ultimately fired Iglesias for improper political reasons.

Robert D. Luskin, an attorney for Rove, said: “We’ll look forward to the opportunity if the circumstances are appropriate of Rove being able to cooperate voluntarily. Rove has nothing to fear from truthful testimony.”

“If, in the course of her investigation, she needs information, we will certainly want to accommodate her,” White House spokesman Tony Fratto said of Dannehy. A lawyer for Miers did not return calls seeking comment.

Washington Post

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