Sunday :: Aug 14, 2005

Ashcroft's role in Treasongate: New story from Murray Waas

by eriposte

Investigative reporter Murray Waas kindly tipped me (and Jeralyn at Talk Left) to his new story in the Village Voice.

In a nutshell, one of the reasons that Patrick Fitzgerald was appointed special prosecutor was because of concerns that then-Attorney General John Ashcroft - a close friend and political beneficiary of Karl Rove - had been briefed about the FBI's interview with Rove, an interview where Rove allegedly withheld information about what he had communicated to Time magazine reporter Matt Cooper and raised the FBI's concern that he was not being truthful about having heard about Valerie Wilson's covert CIA status from a reporter (since he also claimed he did not recall which reporter).

Here is how Waas concludes his piece (emphasis mine):

Nineteen months ago, when Comey appointed him as special prosecutor, reporters pressed Comey during the announcement as to what was behind his dramatic action. All that he would say at the time was: "If you were to speculate in print or in the media about particular people, I think that would be unfair to them.”

Then he added, almost as an afterthought: "We also don't want people that we might be interested in to know we're interested in them."

There's more, including Congressman John Conyers' call for an investigation of what Ashcroft knew and what he did with that information.

Go take a look.

UPDATE: Murray alerts me to something he's posted on his blog regarding Rove's account to the FBI, which is not in the article:
What has not been previously reported until now (a blog breaks news!?), is that not only could Rove not remember the name of the journalist who purportedly might have told him of Plame's CIA employment, but he also claimed to remember virtually nothing about the circumstances of the purported conversation. He could not even recall whether the conversation took place on the phone or in person.
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