Rove’s role in U.S. attorney scandal still percolating

ROVE’S ROLE IN U.S. ATTORNEY SCANDAL STILL PERCOLATING…. Media personality Karl Rove has been chatting behind closed doors with the House Judiciary Committee this week, as part of lawmakers’ inquiry on the Bush White House’s purge of U.S. attorneys for political reasons. Apparently, Rove’s role in the fiasco was larger than originally known. Imagine that.

Political adviser Karl Rove and other high-ranking figures in the Bush White House played a greater role than previously understood in the firing of federal prosecutors almost three years ago, according to e-mails obtained by The Washington Post, in a scandal that led to mass Justice Department resignations and an ongoing criminal probe.

The e-mails and new interviews with key participants reflect contacts among Rove, aides in the Bush political affairs office and White House lawyers about the dismissal of three of the nine U.S. attorneys fired in 2006: New Mexico’s David C. Iglesias, the focus of ire from GOP lawmakers; Missouri’s Todd Graves, who had clashed with one of Rove’s former clients; and Arkansas’s Bud Cummins, who was pushed out to make way for a Rove protege.

The documents and interviews provide new information about efforts by political aides in the Bush White House, for example, to push a former colleague as a favored candidate for one of the U.S. attorney posts. They also reflect the intensity of efforts by lawmakers and party officials in New Mexico to unseat the top prosecutor there.

Rove insists he was merely a “conduit” between White House lawyers and GOP officials, but the documents reportedly point to some extensive work Rove did on the issue.

Keep in mind, assistant U.S. attorney Nora R. Dannehy “continues to investigate whether the firings of the prosecutors and the political firestorm that followed could form the basis of possible false statements, obstruction of justice or other criminal charges.” Rove has already met with Dannehy, at least once.

Zachary Roth has more, including this understatement: “[T]his story is a long way from over.”