There has been speculation that because of the Office of Special Counsel’s horrible reputation for killing investigations damaging to the White House, the new investigation into Karl Rove might just be a way to obstruct or head off more aggressive congressional inquiries. (Mother Jones covers the OSC’s rep in a feature story in our new issue.)
Well, the situation just got more complex. The spark for the Rove investigation may have come when former U.S. Attorney David Iglesias filed a complaint with the OSC charging that Rove violated the Hatch Act when he allegedly engineered the now-famous purge of eight U.S. Attorneys, a group that included the very vocal Iglesias. Iglesias filed the complaint on April 3rd and subsequently spoke with OSC head Scott Bloch, who made it clear an investigation was forthcoming. Iglesias can’t say for a fact that his complaint is the genesis for the investigation, but he believes strongly that it was.
This would give hope that the investigation into Rove is legit, and not something dreamed up by the White House to keep other investigations at bay.
The Hatch Act, by the way, prohibits the use of government property for political activities. Like, for example, using the federal email system and tax payer-funded computers and Blackberries to gin up the firing of federal employees who are out-of-step with the White House’s political agenda and won’t use their prosecutorial power to influence elections directly before a midterm. Or, using work hours to present a PowerPoint presentation on how to reorient the activities of various federal offices to benefit Republicans politically.
We’ll continue to follow the story on Mother Jones. Oh, and don’t forget, Wolfowitz is still floundering!