24 April 2007

Former U.S. Attorney Iglesias Spurs Investigation - Presidential Appointee Promises To Leave "No Stone Unturned"

The U.S. Office of Special Counsel (OSC) has launched an investigation surrounding the firing of at least one U.S. Attorney, Karl Rove's missing e-mails as well as Rove's possible involvement in putting pressure on the Justice Department to fire U.S. Attorneys who did not adhere to a politically motivated form of justice.

This investigation was, at least in some part, spurred on by a complaint filed with the OSC by former U.S. Attorney David Iglesias. Iglesias filed a complaint with the OSC on April 3 alleging the reason for his firing, constituting a violation of the Hatch Act, was due to his unwillingness to succumb to improper political influence. Also, that he was criminally discriminated against in the Gonzales testimony regarding the reason for his firing. AG Gonzales made a statement under oath that Mr. Iglesias was fired because he was an "absentee landlord"; implying his position in the military reserve made him derelict in his duties as U.S. Attorney. This discrimination against military personnel is a crime under The Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act (USERRA).

The U.S. Office of Special Counsel (OSC) is an independent federal investigative and prosecutorial agency. They are not able to actually bring criminal charges, but have subpoena power, provide civil remedies, and make criminal recommendations.

On June 26, 2003, President George W. Bush nominated Scott J. Bloch for the position of Special Counsel at the Office of Special Counsel. The U.S. Senate unanimously confirmed Mr. Bloch on December 9, 2003. Mr. Bloch said of this OSC investigation he is spearheading, "We will not leave any stone unturned."

In David Iglesias' remarks during his call in interview on MSNBC's Hardball, he indicates the reason for going to the OSC with this is simply that this case is directly in line with the stated goals of the OSC. Mr. Iglesias appears to feel confident that Karl Rove was the source of pressure on the DOJ to have that office and its U.S. Attorney's approach cases, not on their merits, but based on sought political outcomes.

Subpoenas will likely be forthcoming in this wide-reaching investigation. With Karl Rove as a focal point, he could be at the top of that list. Another critical element of this investigation would be Monica Goodling. Goodling was senior counsel to Gonzales and the DOJ / White House liaison. In that capacity, she would be best suited to shed light on how deeply Rove and others in President Bush's team were involved in the firings. Goodling asserted her Fifth Amendment right to avoid testifying before Congress and had also rejected demands for a private interview with a House committee. She submitted a three-sentence resignation letter to Gonzalez on April 6th.

This is an unavoidable and expanding problem for the Bush administration especially in the growing consensus that the White House is the source of these ballooning scandals and suspicions.

The OSC is completely independent. If they sink their teeth into this, and suspicions of a ruse prove false, look for a relentless gloves-off battle.

Blog Discussion On This:
Think Progress - Iglesias Reveals He Filed Complaint Against Rove, Leading To Special Counsel Probe
Poli-Blog - The USA Issue Heats Up, as New Investigation Begins
Crooks and Liars - Rove Investigation Launched
TIME: Swampland - Connecting the Dots

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