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Is Rice Obstructing the Bolton Investigation?

By Judd Legum on April 20, 2005 at 8:54 am

"Is Rice Obstructing the Bolton Investigation?"

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A very serious allegation buried in a story in today’s Washington Post:

On Monday, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice told her senior staff she was disappointed about the stream of allegations [about John Bolton] and said she did not want any information coming out of the department that could adversely affect the nomination, said officials speaking on the condition of anonymity.

18 U.S.C. Section 1505:

Whoever corruptly, or by threats or force, or by any threatening letter or communication influences, obstructs, or impedes or endeavors to influence, obstruct, or impede…the due and proper exercise of the power of inquiry under which any inquiry or investigation is being had by either House, or any committee of either House or any joint committee of the Congress–

Shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than five years, or both.

This is serious enough that a reporter covering the State Department should inquire about Rice’s conduct. What, exactly, did Rice tell her subordinates? How is this consistent with their full cooperation with a Congressional inquiry.

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