Wednesday :: Aug 10, 2005

White House Operatives Sanitizing Roberts' Files At Reagan Library

by Steve

As White House operatives head out to the Reagan Library archives to sanitize the file on John Roberts’ time as a Reagan Justice Department official, a conservative “family values” group has decided to pull its support for Roberts. Why? Because Roberts helped the gay rights community prepare for a landmark Supreme Court battle back in 1996.

As for the White House effort to delay the release of documents previously promised to the Senate from Roberts' work in the Reagan administration that were previously promised, the White House is sanitizing the record, while now admitting incredibly that no comprehensive work-up was done in reviewing Roberts paper trail from the Reagan and Bush I administrations. These guys had months to research their likely A-list Supreme Court nominees, and yet they did less work in researching Roberts than they did in going after Joe Wilson.

Before Roberts's July 19 selection by President Bush, there was no comprehensive effort to examine the voluminous paper trail from his previous tours as an important legal and political hand under Presidents Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush, administration officials said.

But have no fear, the White House that gave you the disappearing Bush Texas Air National Guard file is now making sure that Roberts’ files will disappear as well.

The administration had little control over the release of most of the documents that have come to light so far from Roberts's time as a special assistant to then-Attorney General William French Smith and later as an associate counsel to the president. That's because these papers had either already been made public by the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library before the nomination or been cleared for release by the National Archives by previous administrations.
But White House aides are exerting full control over the documents still under their authority. Under an executive order signed by President Bush in 2001, the White House has the right to review, and in some cases block, the release of presidential papers from previous administrations. White House lawyers have been dispatched to the Reagan library in Simi Valley, Calif., where they are combing through documents that have not been released.

Looks like the same high caliber vetting process that gave us Bernard Kerik is now paying dividends with Roberts’ selection as well. Since Alberto Gonzales was responsible for the Kerik fiasco, I wonder who will get the blame for any more uncomfortable revelations about Roberts?

Steve :: 1:50 PM :: Comments (15) :: TrackBack (0) :: Digg It!