Sunday, July 24, 2005
TreasonGate: The Room Is Full of Elephants
Reading the AP report about Gonzales waiting 12 hours to tell the White House staff to "preserve any materials related to the case", I suddenly noticed yet another elephant in the room.
Gonzales said Justice Department lawyers notified him of the investigation around 8 p.m.What, I asked myself, are normal business hours at the Justice Department? When — at what exact time of day, I mean — was the decision officially made to launch the criminal investigation? Why was Gonzales notified at 8:00 at night? Who notified him, who made the decision to do it outside of normal business hours, which would give Gonzales an excuse to delay giving official notification to the White House staff? Yes, what I'm really thinking is: who in the Justice Department decided to give Alberto Gonzales the opportunity to obstruct the invetigation? And has Patrick Fitzgerald asked himself that question?
Republican scandals are really a lot more intellectually entertaining than Democratice ones, which lately have hardly been much at all, except to those for whom sex itself poses a scandal.
It all makes me wonder, who will play Rove in the movie? Fred Thompson?! No. Too ironic, that.
In the Bush White House, I don't think so. The only people who work overtime are the politicals.
As for the line of transmission, it would have been from DoJ. They got a complaint from the CIA and some career person had to decide whether there was probable cause to believe a crime had been committed. That means that DoJ concluded that Plame was covert, that the CIA had affirmately protected her identity, and that it was reasonably likely that a covered person leaked her name.
As for the twelve hours, I'm not sure it's significant. Maybe yes, maybe no. Surely people knew that it was likely that a complaint would be approved and that it might be desirable to lose relevant records.
Here's an irony. If the people involved at the WH had been lawyers, as were the Clintons, they would probably have been held to be obstructing justice over document destruction even if they had not been informed by Gonzales. But since the Bushies seem to be MBAs and the like, they may be held to a lower standard and the time that Gonzales called timeout may be important.
More blogs about politics.