AttorneyGate: The Big Picture
TPMmuckraker puts the case together:
The entire scheme has been laid out before us. The question now is whether Karl Rove will get away with it.
Here's the scheme, as revealed over the past month: Rove and his deputies traveled to various agencies throughout the government, lecturing management there about Republicans' political prospects. Which House and Senate members were in trouble? Which Democratic seats were vulnerable? What were the major issues in the election?
But there was a line to be drawn: no commands were to be given -- because such a directive would be a blatant violation of the Hatch Act, which forbids the use of government resources for political ends.
On the contrary, the government officials receiving the briefing were supposed to get the hint -- as Tom Hamburger reported, "employees said they got a not-so-subtle message about helping endangered Republicans." The briefing simply gave them the tools to be helpful in the next election. They were supposed to take the ball and run with it.
The Washington Post reports today that Rove and his deputies gave such briefings to at least 15 different agencies (ranging from NASA to the Department of Homeland Security). But one briefing in particular continues to shine a light on all the rest: the one given this January to officials at the General Services Administration, the government's massive procurement agency...