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Monday, July 11, 2005

Rove Either Guilty as Traitor or Complete Idiot

Posted by Bob Brigham

I think this week will be a huge week as the Karl Rove Traitorgate scandal unfolds. It appears that Rove might be positioning for a legal defense that he didn't "knowingly" commit treason by outing and undercover CIA agent. As a Swing State Project reader pointed out in an email, "knowingly" is irrelevant, "he was either malicious or an idiot. in either case it was a treasonous act. our government officials are supposed to be smart and certain or silent."

I was thinking about that word -- 'knowingly' -- as I was reading Talking Points Memo's take on Rove's mob defense lawyer:

One case that jumps out at you is his representation of Stephen A. Saccoccia.

Saccoccia and his wife Donna were eventually convicted of laundering more than a hundred million dollars for various Colombian drug kingpins. Stephen is currently serving a 660 year sentence. Their racket was laundering drug money through companies which traded in precious metals.

Saccoccia was convicted in 1993. And Luskin took up his case on appeal.

Eventually the Feds got the idea that the money Saccoccia had paid Luskin and his other attorneys for their services was itself part of the $137 million in drug money he was ordered to forfeit. Now, on the face of it this seems a bit unfair since under our system everyone is entitled to good representation and how was Luskin to know it was tainted money.

Well, the prosecutors thought he should have gotten some inkling when Saccoccia started paying Luskin's attorney's fees in gold bars.

Yep, you heard that right. Luskin got paid more than $500,000 of his attorney's fees in gold bars from his client who was trying to appeal his conviction on charges that he laundered drug money through precious metals dealers. Who woulda thought that was drug money?

Luskin insisted that he "never have, and never would, knowingly accept a fee that was the proceeds of illegal activities."

But when federal prosecutors finally got a chance to depose Luskin and Saccoccia's other lawyers, they found that their lawyers' fees had come in forms "such as gold bars, cash that was dropped off at hotels and trunks of cars, and money transfers from Swiss bank accounts."

Eventually, in 1998, Luskin came to a settlement with the government in which he agreed to cough up $245,000 of the money he'd gotten from Saccoccia.

Uh, yeah, probably should have known better. Rove is "Bush's Brain" so the "I didn't know" defense would be a clear indication he's guilty as hell. But whether he claims he knowingly did it or not is irrelevant, he played fast and loose with classified information and an act of treason occured. Rove has got to go. If he doesn't resign, Bush should relieve him.

Posted at 12:04 PM in Plamegate, Scandals | Technorati