Docs Show Rove Pushed For Iglesias Firing
Rove Emails Spotlight White House Role in U.S. Attorney Firing
J. Scott Jennings Special

J. Scott Jennings, Special Assistant to the President and Deputy Director, Office of Political Affairs to Karl Rove, Kyle Sampson, Fred Fielding, et al., February 28th, 2007: “[Sen. Domenici’s Chief of Staff Steve] Bell said Domenici’s idea is not to respond [to Iglesias’s accusations], and hopefully make this a one day story. They have already been contacted by McClatchy … They have not confirmed to the reporter they were one of the Members.”

AP, March 1st, 2007 …

In a brief interview Thursday, Domenici also denied the accusation. “I don’t have any comment,” he told The Associated Press. “I have no idea what he’s talking about.”

The Scandal That Keeps On Giving

The Louisville Courier Journal first reported last night that a GOP-aligned PR firm run (along with two other partners) by a paid CNN commentator, Scott Jennings, was the outfit behind the published testimonial of Nick Sandmann, the high school junior got into that stand-off with Native American activist Nathan Phillips in DC on Friday. But there’s more! Jennings was also a key player in the US Attorney firing scandal way back when. Here’s a search for Scott Jennings and ‘Iglesias’, the last name of the New Mexico US Attorney he was instrumental in firing for not pushing enough bogus voter fraud cases. There’s like a million stories from the 2007 to 2009 era from various TPM elders like Zack Roth, Kate Klonick, Paul Kiel and even me.

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And So It Begins
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Picking up on Davids

Picking up on David’s post immediately below, this is the key point. Out of all the issues raised in today’s Albuquerque Journal story on the Iglesias firing and any potential sourcing questions, the central fact asserted is that after Sen. Domenici’s pressure call to Iglesias and before Iglesias’s name appeared on the firing list, Sen. Domenici had a conversation about firing Iglesias with President Bush himself.

That places the president at the center of the story and marks him as the likely ‘decider’, shall we say, in Iglesias’s ouster.

If there were any way for the White House to deny that such a call had occurred, they’d do it. But it’s mid-Sunday evening and there hasn’t been a peep. So I think we can be pretty certain that that call did take place as claimed. (The article also reports calls to Gonzales and Rove — so the same inference from silence applies to them too.)

This may also help explain why Karl Rove’s deputy Scott Jennings assumed his White House colleagues knew so much about the Iglesias backstory when he sent them this panicked email as the news of Domenici’s call was breaking.

I told a reporter

I told a reporter a week or so ago that the turning point in my mind in the US Attorney story came the day we saw the report in Joe Monohan’s New Mexico politics blog that David Iglesias had sent an email in which he had called his firing a “political fragging.” That was the first time we had a hint of the real story out of one of the fired attorneys’ mouths. And it looked like there was more coming. The next day he told McClatchy how two members of Congress had called him to pressure him about that election timed indictment.

That set off the alarm bells at the White House and we have the email in which Karl Rove’s deputy Scott Jennings sends out an urgent message to Rove, Fielding, Perino, Sampson, et al.

Jennings had gotten an urgent call from Steve Bell, Sen Domenici’s Chief of Staff. “Bell said Domenici’s idea is not to respond, and hopefully make this a one day story,” Jennings tells the gang.

Good luck.

Definitely check this one out.

Also, a side note. New White House Counsel Fred Fielding has been laying a lot of the blame for the lax email policies on his predecessors. But here we have Jennings sending out a group email that includes both Fielding and Rove. And Rove’s getting it at one of his RNC email addresses. I guess it was still SOP as late as February 28th, the date of the email.

Sampson Testifies before The Senate
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