A significant portion of the federal criminal case against former New York City Police Commissioner Bernard Kerik involves alleged lies Kerik told White House officials in both written and oral statements when he was seeking positions in the Bush Administration.
So far, there have been no reports of the White House receiving, let alone complying with, grand jury subpoenas in the Kerik case. However, a review of the indictment suggests that the White House may have turned over a number of records to federal investigators in addition to perhaps making current and/or former officials available for interviews with federal investigators and possibly for testimony to a grand jury.
How extensive was the White House's cooperation with the federal criminal investigation of Kerik? Will we see White House officials testifying at trial about their conversations with Kerik?
The indictment lays out a number of alleged lies told by Kerik to White House officials. False statements comprise seven counts of the sixteen-count indictment, including statements Kerik made to three unnamed White House officials, identified in the indictment as White House Official A, B and C, respectively.
---On October 29, 2002, the indictment says
, Kerik fibbed to a "White House Official A" when he was applying for a position on an advisory committee to the Presidentâs Homeland Security Advisory Council. The feds say that Kerik lied about having no household help (the famous nanny) and about various shady deals (he left out that a mob-tied company
paid to renovate his apartment and that a Brooklyn businessman had loaned him $250,000).
---He allegedly lied again on a December 19, 2002 questionnaire from the White House counsel's office about the nanny, apartment, and the loan.
---And in October of 2003, following his short stint with the Coalition Provisional Authority running Iraq's Ministry of the Interior, he lied on an executive Confidential Financial Disclosure Report about that same loan.
---Then in November through December of 2004, while he was being vetted to be secretary of the Department of Homeland Security, he made "various false and misleading statements" in an email to "White House Official B" about his relationship to the mob-tied company, according to the indictment. He also lied to a "White House Official C," the indictment says, about his ties to the company.
The White House's apparent cooperation with the investigation has so far gone unnoticed, even though it's remarkable any time this White House turns over any its own records. "The nature of executive privilege is that it's discretionary," Steve Aftergood of the Federation of American Scientists Project on Government Secrecy told me. "But this White House has been extremely jealous of it's prerogative.... If they had declined to waive the privilege in this case, no one would have been very surprised."
As far as we can tell, no one has asked the White House yet about the extent of its involvement in the investigation. But we are, of course, curious.