The House Judiciary committee investigation has now confirmed that Karl Rove flat-out lied about his role in the mass firings of US attorneys. Of course, as MoJo bureau chief David Corn reminds us, this is hardly the first time that Rove has been caught in a bald lie and brazened it out with spin and bluster:
During the CIA leak affair, then-White House press secretary Scott McClellan— after speaking to Rove—took the unusual step of publicly declaring that Rove was not tied to the leak that had outed Valerie Plame Wilson as an undercover CIA officer.
But that was not true. (“I had unknowingly passed along false information,” McClellan later said, blaming Rove and others for that.) Rove had indeed been part of the leak. He had told Matt Cooper, then of Time, that Valerie Wilson was a CIA employee, and he had confirmed Wilson’s CIA connection to Robert Novak, the conservative columnist who published the initial leak about her. And as Mike Isikoff and I detailed in our book Hubris: The Inside Story of Spin, Scandal, and the Selling of the Iraq War, Rove came perilously close to being indicted after failing to tell a grand jury that he had spoken to Cooper about Wilson. Though he ultimately escaped indictment, Rove for years let stand the public lie that he had nothing to do with the Bush administration slipping classified information about Wilson to reporters.
David has more thoughts here on what this means for the media outlets that rely on Rove as a source and commentator.