Waas: DOJ Probe Has Expanded to the White House

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Murray Waas confirmed today something we’ve suspected for a long time: that the Justice Department has widened the net in the Inspector General’s U.S. attorneys firing probe to include allegations that senior White House officials made false statements to Congress.

From the Huffington Post:

The Justice Department investigation into the firings of nine U.S. attorneys has been extended to encompass allegations that senior White House officials played a role in providing false and misleading information to Congress, according to numerous sources involved in the inquiry.

. . . Federal investigators have obtained documents showing that Kyle Sampson, then-chief of staff to Attorney General Alberto Gonzales, and Chris Oprison, then an associate White House counsel, drafted and approved the letter even though they had first-hand knowledge that the assertions were not true.

The letter referenced was sent from the Justice Department to Congress on February 23, 2007 and denied Karl Rove’s involvement in the replacement of fired U.S. Attorney Bud Cummins by Rove protege Tim Griffin.

Just a month later, however, the DOJ was forced to admit that the February letter had been “contradicted by Department documents.”

Most notable in those “Department documents,” was an email between Sampson and Oprison on December 19, 2006 in which Sampson wrote that getting Griffin appointed was “important to Harriet, Karl, etc.” The email from Sampson, who was chief of staff to Alberto Gonzales at the time, directly contradicted the DOJ’s earlier denial.

Sampson bumbled his way through an explanation of this discrepancy during his testimony to the Senate Judiciary Committee in March of 2007.

We pulled the video from our archives. Take a look:

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