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Monday, July 25, 2005

Karl Rove Talking Points

Posted by Bob Brigham

Talking Points:

As the days go on, more is learned about White House involvement in the Valerie Plame CIA scandal. It was recently revealed that when the Department of Justice first notified Alberto Gonzales (then the White House counsel) that they were launching a criminal investigation into the leak of Plame’s identity, he was instructed to notify the White House staff to preserve all documents related to the case. But Gonzales didn't comply with the request immediately – instead he gave a heads up to Chief of Staff Andrew Card, letting him know that all White House staff would be told to preserve all documents related to the case the next morning. Gonzales’ call to Card gave him a 12-hour window to alert other White House staff, presumably giving them time to destroy or hide evidence. As speculation grows around the White House and this breach of our national security, Bush administration officials are remaining conspicuously silent.

* Gonzales’ reasoning for not immediately complying with the investigation doesn’t hold water. Gonzales defended his giving the White House a 12-hour head start, saying that he contacted the Department of Justice and it gave him the OK, effectively giving White House employees 12 hours to shred and destroy incriminating evidence. What Gonzales doesn’t say is that the DOJ and the investigation were both run by former Attorney General John Ashcroft, whom Karl Rove worked for over the course of two decades. Ashcroft had so many conflicts of interest in the Plame scandal that in December, 2003, he recused himself from the case.

* What was White House Chief of Staff Andrew Card’s role in the scandal? In addition to getting that 12-hour heads up from Alberto Gonzales, Andrew Card has been involved in the CIA leak scandal from the beginning. He was aboard Air Force One when the top secret State Department document that contained the identity of Valerie Wilson was also on board. Card also shares the blame with President Bush for allowing Karl Rove to stay on staff after it is evident that he lied to the American people about being involved in the Plame scandal.

* If Gonzales can answer questions about an ongoing investigation, why can’t Scott McClellan? Ever since Karl Rove’s involvement in the leak was revealed, both President Bush and White House press Secretary Scott McClellan have refused to answer any questions, citing “an ongoing criminal investigation.” However, on Fox News Sunday yesterday, Alberto Gonzales clearly commented on the investigation and answered questions about the leak, stating “I had no information regarding Ms. Plame and her role at the CIA.” Why can’t Scott McClellan or Karl Rove answer any questions?

From the DNC (via email release):


Gonzales Notified Card of Pending Justice Department Investigation Hours Before President and White House Staff. Attorney General and former White House Counsel Alberto Gonzalez appeared on Fox News this weekend and admitted to having advance notice of the Justice Department's investigation into the Valerie Plame leak. On September 29, 2003 Gonzales, in his capacity as White House Councel, was notified of the investigation, Gonzales immediately contacted White House Chief of Staff Andrew Card but waited to notify Bush and the White House staff until the next morning. [Bloomberg, 7/25/05]


Who did Card speak to in the time between Gonzalez's notification and the official notification of the staff? Who did he call? Who did he email? The White House should release Card's phone records and his schedule from the time in question.

Posted at 11:55 AM in Plamegate | Technorati