shows Katrina relief efforts “suffered near catastrophic failures due to endemic corruption, divisions within the military and troop shortages caused by the Iraq war.”
TIME reports, “[A] federal investigation into the spreading scandal around disgraced lobbyist Jack Abramoff, accused with Michael Scanlon (a former press secretary of DeLay’s) of bilking their Indian-tribe clients out of $66 million, has begun lapping at the edges of the former majority leader’s operation.”
Near the end of a round table discussion on ABC’s This Week, George Stephanopoulos dropped this bomb:
Definitely a political problem but I wonder, George Will, do you think it’s a manageable one for the White House especially if we don’t know whether Fitzgerald is going to write a report or have indictments but if he is able to show as a source close to this told me this week, that President Bush and Vice President Cheney were actually involved in some of these discussions.
This would explain why Bush spent more than an hour answering questions from special prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald. It would also fundamentally change the dynamics of the scandal. President Bush could no longer claim he was merely a bystander who wants to “get to the bottom of it.” As Stephanopoulos notes, if Bush played a direct role it could make this scandal completely unmanageable.
UPDATE: Crooks and Liars has the video.
The public defense of both Karl Rove and Scooter Libby in the CIA leak scandal have focused on the specific claim they didn’t know Valerie Plame’s name. Even if that’s true, it doesn’t mean anyone is off the hook.
If Patrick Fitzgerald is unable to prove a violation of the Intelligence Identities Protection Act, Rove, Libby and others could still be charged with perjury if they lied to investigators. Today’s Washington Post floats another possibility:
But a new theory about Fitzgerald’s aim has emerged in recent weeks from two lawyers who have had extensive conversations with the prosecutor while representing witnesses in the case. They surmise that Fitzgerald is considering whether he can bring charges of a criminal conspiracy perpetrated by a group of senior Bush administration officials. Under this legal tactic, Fitzgerald would attempt to establish that at least two or more officials agreed to take affirmative steps to discredit and retaliate against Wilson and leak sensitive government information about his wife. To prove a criminal conspiracy, the actions need not have been criminal, but conspirators must have had a criminal purpose.
The White House Iraq Group could be in trouble.
Photos from the ongoing Katrina relief efforts are posted on our sister site, Campus Progress.