Tonight on MSNBC, fired U.S. Attorney David Iglesias revealed key new details about the Office of Special Counsel’s (OSC) probe into Karl Rove and other White House officials reported today by the Los Angeles Times.
Iglesias said that on April 3, he filed a Hatch Act complaint with the OSC, charging that Karl Rove and others may have violated the law by firing him over his failure to initiate partisan-motivated prosecutions. Iglesias said he subsequently spoke with OSC chief Scott Bloch, who made clear that he was planning to launch an investigation. Despite suggestions that the White House may have initiated the OSC investigation to obstruct parallel congressional probes, Iglesias expressed confidence in Bloch.
Iglesias also said that while evidence of Rove’s potential illegal actions is currently only circumstantial, “I believe if OSC digs in, they can get direct evidence.”
[T]he Justice Department papers everything. I mean, the most minute issue has an incredible researched and memoed product. There has to be a paper trail. I haven’t seen it yet. If it’s not at the Justice Department, it has got to be at the White House.
Finally, Iglesias said he believes that Monica Goodling — former counsel to Alberto Gonzales and the Justice Department’s liaison to the White House — holds the “keys to the kingdom” in terms of uncovering the roots of the U.S. Attorney purge, since she can describe the communication that took place between the White House and the Justice Department.
Below, key excerpts from Iglesias’ interview:Iglesias filed a Hatch Act complaint against several White House officials, likely leading to the Office of Special Counsel probe.
MATTHEWS: Was your complaint to the Office of Special Counsel the reason for this investigation of Karl Rove?
IGLESIAS: It could have started the ball rolling, yes. It’s is something I filed back on April 3 of this year…based on, you know, Special Counsel having powers to investigate where evidence goes. I actually filed a Hatch Act complaint against Gonzales, McNulty, Sampson and Goodling and they’re already getting documents from the Justice Department and possibly from the White House. […]
MATTHEWS: Do you believe the investigators, have they talked to you at all, have the people at the office — has Scott Bloch talked to you at all?
IGLESIAS: Yes. I had a conversation with Mr. Bloch and his deputy and two other attorneys approximately three weeks ago.
MATTHEWS: And did that lead you to believe they were going to act like they have?
IGLESIAS: Yes, yes. Yes, it did. MATTHEWS: So you believe affirmatively that your complaint to the Office of Special Counsel in the Justice Department led to this probe we’re reading about today in the L.A. Times, the Associated Press and here on NBC?
IGLESIAS: I do. There may be other complainants that I’m not aware of, but I believe my complaints are at least a partial basis for that.
There is a paper trail documenting the attorney purge, and if it’s not in the Justice Department, it’s in the White House.
SWEET: When you talk about how you wanted to know the link between the e-mails and the memos, sometimes a good lawyer knows the answer to a question before they ask it. Do you know what are in some of those memos and emails?
IGLESIAS: No, I sure don’t. But I do know that the Justice Department papers everything. I mean, the most minute issue has an incredible researched and memoed product. There has to be a paper trail. I haven’t seen it yet. If it’s not at the Justice Department, it has got to be at the White House.
Karl Rove may have violated the Hatch Act.
MATTHEWS: What law do you believe [Rove] broke?
IGLESIAS: He could have violated the Hatch Act by putting undue pressure on the Justice Department to fire me and my colleagues.
MATTHEWS: Do you have any evidence that Karl Rove had a hand in your dumping, your firing?
IGLESIAS: There are some emails — there is some evidence. It is circumstantial now. I believe if OSC digs in, they can get direct evidence.
Monica Goodling “holds the keys” to uncovering the reasons behind the firings.
I think Monica Goodling is holding the keys to the kingdom. I think if they get her to testify under oath with a transcript, and have her describe the process between the information flow between the White House counsel, White House and the Justice Department, I believe the picture becomes a lot clearer.