Bush’s Cover-Up

Murray Waas argues that George Bush–and the Republican party–will regret Bush’s efforts to claim absolute immunity to prevent Congress from getting testimony and documents pertaining to the US Attorney purge.

The continuous claims of executive privilege– whatever the motive for them being invoked– are going to appear more and more to the pub[l]ic part and parcel of a cover up. That is inevitable as the U.S. attorney report becomes public, and the report on the politicization of the Civil Rights Division is made public, as well as whatever else the public learns about these issues through leaks from the federal grand jury, the House Judiciary Committee’s ongoing probe, and sleuthing by folks like Josh Marshall.


Even though the President might think otherwise, and he is being advised to stay his course, his best hope in assisting Republican congressional candidates in the fall would be to have Karl Rove and Harriett Miers testify before Congress– and the sooner the better. As for the public welfare, the testimony would help resolve many unknowns about the firings of the U.S. attorneys and other allegations of White House misuse of the Justice Department.

He bases that argument on the following logic:

  • Per Evan Perez of the WSJ, the two remaining DOJ IG reports on politicization will be released before the election.
  • The Civil Rights division IG report–that investigating Shorter Schloz and Hans von Spakovsky–may include criminal referrals.
  • The larger US Attorney purge IG report will show that the Kyle Sampson and Rove lackey Chris Oprision deliberately hid Rove’s role in the firings on at least two occasions.
  • As the Administration continues to stall on Miers and Rove testimony at the same time as these reports come out, it will be increasingly clear to the public that Bush is stalling precisely because he is trying to cover up the real White House involvement in the US Attorney purge.

I’d be happy if all this came to pass–but I’m a little skeptical, based on three things.

First, when asked by the Senate Judiciary Committee when his reports on the Civil Rights and US Attorney purge would be done, Glenn Fine said he didn’t know–he had to follow whereever the evidence led, and therefore couldn’t know how long it would take to finish up the reports. He specifically said he couldn’t guarantee they’d be done before the election. (more…)

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