[eDebate] waxman calls for congressional investigation n2 rove
Tue Jun 13 15:01:16 CDT 2006
In light of reports that Special Counsel Fitzgerald will not pursue criminal
charges against Karl Rove -- and does not appear likely to file a report or
make other public statements about findings -- Rep. Waxman renewed his
request to Chairman Davis for a congressional investigation that would
provide public accountability and address unanswered questions. The text of
the letter follows:
June 13, 2006
The Honorable Tom Davis
Committee on Government Reform
U.S. House of Representatives
Washington, DC 20515
Dear Mr. Chairman:
Over the past several years, I have made five separate requests for a
Committee investigation of the White House leak of former CIA agent Valerie
Plame Wilson's identity. From the outset, I expressed my view that the
criminal investigation by Special Counsel Patrick Fitzgerald criminal
inquiry could not be a substitute for a congressional inquiry because of the
"narrow focus" of the criminal investigation and the possibility that the
criminal investigation could be closed without any "public accounting" of
what transpired. 
Your consistent response was that you did not want to open a congressional
investigation while the Special Counsel was conducting his investigation,
but that "if a need for a separate congressional investigation becomes
evident" you would "not hesitate to act."
In light of today's reports that Special Counsel Fitzgerald will not pursue
criminal charges against Karl Rove - and does not appear likely to file a
report or make other public statements about his findings - I renew my
request for congressional hearings and a public accounting of Mr. Rove's
By all accounts, Mr. Fitzgerald has conducted a thorough investigation into
whether Mr. Rove committed a crime by leaking Ms. Wilson's identity or lying
to federal investigators. But these are not the only questions that need to
be answered about Mr. Rove's conduct.
As I have recounted in my previous correspondence, there are important
regulatory requirements for safeguarding classified information that applied
to Mr. Rove. Like other officials with security clearances, Mr. Rove was
prohibited from making both intentional and negligent disclosures of
classified information, confirming classified information obtained by a
reporter, or repeating classified information he heard from a
reporter. Violations of these rules would not necessarily be criminal
actions, but they would be reprehensible and should be a matter of great
public and congressional concern.
Moreover, there remain questions (1) whether Mr. Rove was part of a
coordinated White House effort to discredit and retaliate against Ms.
Wilson's husband, former Ambassador Joe Wilson, (2) whether Mr. Rove was
part of an effort to mislead the public about White House involvement in the
leak, and (3) whether reforms are needed in White House procedures to
prevent future leaks of classified information.
I am mindful that there is an on-going criminal trial involving I. Lewis
(Scooter) Libby, the Vice President's former chief of staff, and I would not
want efforts by our Committee to interfere with that prosecution. But given
that Mr. Fitzgerald appears to have completed his inquiry of Mr. Rove, it
should be possible for the Committee to initiate an effort to examine Mr.
Rove's actions without jeopardizing Mr. Libby's trial. A good first step
would be to schedule a meeting with Mr. Fitzgerald in which he can brief us
about his findings regarding Mr. Rove and we can discuss with him the best
way to proceed.
As I have written in my previous correspondence, Congress has a
constitutional obligation to provide a check and balance on the executive
branch. Providing a public accounting of the actions of Mr. Rove is an
important part of fulfilling this obligation.
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