Loyal Bushies flagrantly ignored the law

LOYAL BUSHIES FLAGRANTLY IGNORED THE LAW…. When we think of the Bush/Cheney White House we tend to think of policy failures, incompetence, comically flawed judgment, and systemic mismanagement.

But the failed Republican administration was also corrupt, routinely ignoring laws that interfered with its agenda.

At least seven Cabinet secretaries to President George W. Bush took politically motivated trips at taxpayer expense while aides falsely claimed they were traveling on official business, the independent Office of Special Counsel said Monday night in concluding a three-year probe.

In a report on allegations that first surfaced before Bush left office, the agency condemned what it depicted as widespread violations of a law restricting political activities by federal workers and illegal use of federal funds to engage in electioneering. […]

This federally funded travel was organized, approved and closely tracked by Bush’s political office, the Office of Special Counsel found, describing the activity as leading to the illegal diversion of federal funds and workers’ time.

The report covered multiple areas of wrongdoing related to the Hatch Act, which prohibits federal officials from using their office to influence the electoral process, and found “a systematic misuse of federal resources.”

There were, for example, several dozen mandatory briefings for federal employees — during work hours and in federal office buildings — in which White House officials instructed public employees on how they could help Republican campaign efforts. Bushies later described the briefings as “informational discussions,” but all available evidence suggests that’s a lie.

There were also the extensive travel expenses. In order to give the impression that vulnerable Republican lawmakers were important and powerful, the Bush White House arranged for cabinet secretaries to visit key campaign battlegrounds to give GOP candidates a public-relations boost. The law prohibits officials from using our money this way, and taxpayers were never reimbursed. When asked, Bushies said the trips were official government business. Like the rest of the defense, this wasn’t true, either.

And in case that wasn’t quite enough, Republican National Committee officials literally just moved their operations into the White House, to coordinate campaign efforts. This is illegal, too.

All of the transgressions were coordinated by the Bush/Cheney Office of Political Affairs, which was overseen by Karl Rove, and which is prohibited from using public funds for partisan political purposes.

In the Bush era, Rove’s operation seemed to do nothing but use our money for partisan political purposes.

If you’re wondering about the potential legal fallout of these revelations, the Office of Special Counsel, which released its report yesterday, said it no longer has any jurisdiction now that the Bush administration has left office. The Justice Department could conceivably pursue this, but it’s given no indication that it intends to do so.

The report comes just a few days after the Obama White House announced it would shutter its Office of Political Affairs altogether, so as to avoid any misuse of public funds.

Rep. Darrell Issa’s (R-Calif.) recent claim — he called President Obama’s team “one of the most corrupt administrations” in recent memory — is looking increasingly ridiculous all the time.