Can Schumer be the Next President, Please?
In response to the N.Y. Daily News article that reports that Rove informed Bush in 2003 that he was involved in the Plame/CIA leak, Senator Chuck Schumer (D-NY) fired off a letter to Bush, asking many of the right questions. He doesn't specifically ask Bush if he was a party to the attempted White House cover-up or why Bush did nothing to correct the Rove-was-not-involved spin put out by his White House. Still, Schumer's letter--posted below--is a decent start. It may even get him some press. (Hats off to David Corn's Blog)
Dear Mr. President,
I read today with profound concern news reports that you had conversations with your Deputy Chief of Staff Karl Rove in 2003 about his role in the leak of Valerie Plame's name. Earlier, of course, the White House issued emphatic and blanket denials of any involvement in the disclosure or confirmation of Ms. Plame's status as a CIA agent to members of the media.
In light of these reports, I urge you to make public the details of Mr. Rove's involvement, your understanding of that involvement, and an explanation as to why Mr. Rove was neither dismissed nor his security clearance revoked when you learned of his participation in the Plame affair.
According to the news account, after the Department of Justice informed the White House that it had launched a criminal investigation, you were "furious" at Mr. Rove for talking to the press about the Plame leak and scolded him about it. Particularly troubling is the allegation that you were not angry at the leak itself, but rather the "clumsy" handling of the leak. In other words, it seems like you may have been angry that White House officials were caught, not that they had compromised national security. If true, this is of course very problematic. As a result, the American people deserve to hear the facts immediately as to those conversations.
In light of these reports, and the fact that you long ago promised to fire anyone involved in the leak, I urge you to immediately and publicly clear up the record. If it is true that you had conversations with Mr. Rove about his involvement in talking to the press about the identity of Valerie Plame, a covert agent with the CIA, the American people deserve to know the answers to several questions. Among them are these:
* How often did you have conversations with Karl Rove about the Plame leak and on what dates?
* Did these conversations take place after you learned that the Department of Justice had initiated a formal criminal investigation into the matter?
* What was the substance of these conversations?
*Did you instruct Mr. Rove to cooperate fully with the investigation?
* When you and Vice President Cheney were interviewed by Special Prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald, did you and Mr. Cheney inform him of Karl Rove's involvement and your knowledge of it?
*You promised in 2004, after your alleged anger at Mr. Rove over his involvement, to fire anyone involved in the leak. If these new reports are true, given your 2004 promise, why did Karl Rove continue to work at the White House after you learned of his involvement?
* If these reports are true, when you learned of the involvement of Karl Rove in speaking about classified information, i.e. , the identity of a covert agent, what discussions took place about suspending Mr. Rove's security clearance? Why was it not suspended?
I--along with the American people--look forward to hearing you set the record straight on this important issue.
Charles E. Schumer