Administration Breaks Pledge Not To Comment On Ongoing Investigation

On July 11, 2005, White House Press Secretary Scott McClellan announced that it was an official administration policy not to comment on Patrick Fitzgerald’s investigation as part of President Bush’s decision to “fully cooperate.”

The President directed the White House to cooperate fully with the investigation, and as part of cooperating fully with the investigation, we made a decision that we weren’t going to comment on it while it is ongoing.

But after it was reported that Bob Woodward met with another senior administration official things changed. Through spokespersons and lawyers, numerous administration officials directly commented on the investigation, claiming they weren’t Woodward’s mystery source.

Karl Rove is commenting:

A spokesman for Deputy Chief of Staff Karl Rove, who remains under investigation in this case, said his client didn’t discuss Ms. Plame with Mr. Woodward.

Condoleezza Rice and John Bolton are commenting:

Spokesmen for Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, who was National Security Adviser at the time, and John Bolton, a former top State Department official and now U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, said neither was Mr. Woodward’s source.

President Bush, Andrew Card, Dan Bartlett and Karen Hughes, all commenting:

On Wednesday, the day Mr. Woodward’s disclosure first appeared in The Post, a long list of senior officials had sent word, either directly or through spokesmen, denying that they were the ones who provided the information to Mr. Woodward in mid-June 2003. They included Mr. Bush, Andrew H. Card Jr., the White House chief of staff… Dan Bartlett, the counselor; Karen P. Hughes, former counselor and now under secretary of state for public diplomacy.

In truth, there is no policy not to comment. The policy is to issue as many denials as possible and stonewall on everything else.