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Grand Jury Getting Closer to Rove

From Murray, over at TPM:

Karl Rove will cooperate with a federal criminal inquiry underway into the firings of nine U.S. attorneys and has already spoken to investigators in a separate, internal DOJ investigation into the prosecution of former Alabama Gov. Don Siegelman, his attorney said in an interview.

Rove previously refused to cooperate with an earlier Justice Department inquiry into the firings. The Justice Department’s Inspector General and its Office of Professional Responsibility (OPR) said in a report released last September detailing their earlier probe of the firings of the U.S. attorneys that their investigation was severely "hindered" by the refusal by Rove and other senior Bush administration officials to cooperate with the probe.

Rove’s attorney, Robert Luskin, said that Rove, however, will cooperate with a federal criminal probe of the firings being led by Nora Dannehy, the Acting U.S. Attorney for Connecticut who was selected by former Attorney General Michael Mukasey to lead the investigation. Dannehy has recently empaneled a federal grand jury to hear evidence in the matter.

Luskin told me that Rove had earlier not cooperated with the Inspector General and OPR probe into the firings because "it was not his [Karl’s] call… it was not up to us decide." Luskin said that Rove was directed by the Bush White House counsel’s office not to cooperate with the Inspector General and OPR.

Regarding the more recent probe by Dannehy, Luskin said: "I can say that he would cooperate with the Dannehy investigation if asked."

In recent days, according to legal sources, two former Bush White House officials, including one former aide to Rove, have been contacted by investigators working for Dannehy and asked for interviews. One of the two has agreed to be interviewed.

Note, at least according to this, Rove has not yet been asked to talk to the grand jury–two former White House staffers have. If I had to guess, I’d say Sara Taylor (who was a Rove aide) and Chris Oprison or William Kelley (who both worked in the White House Counsel office) are good candidates for the two officials who have already been contacted by Dannehy’s investigation (Scott Jennings is another Rove aide who testified). Taylor, of course, previously shielded much of her testimony before the Senate by invoking executive privilege (which was when Bush panicked and made sure Harriet wouldn’t undergo the same process). 

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Marcy Wheeler aka Emptywheel is an American journalist whose reporting specializes in security and civil liberties.