Julian Borger of the Guardian reports:
Several of the journalists are saying privately, “Yes, it was Karl Rove whom I talked to.”
I was willing to bet against this yesterday, because I couldn’t see McClellan digging the White House in behind Rove unless he was at least technically in the clear. Now I’ll take either end of the wager. I don’t know how credible Borger is; the Guardian is certainly anti-Bush. But if he’s making it up, all of his colleagues will know he’s making it up. And what happens if Borger is dragged in front of a grand jury?
Thanks to Atrios for the pointer.
Update And now that Rove is definitely back in the mix, ponder with me if you will the problem this makes for John Ashcroft, who used Rove’s services as a campaign consultant over a fifteen-year period,l and whose selection as Attorney General resulted in part from Rove’s assurances to Bush that he was “solid.” (ABC’s The Note notes this Time Magazine story, and Kriselda Jarnsaxa of Different Strings noticed it for me.
I’m no expert on the legal ethics rules surrounding recusal, but if Ashcroft doesn’t take himself out of the loop somehow he’s never going to hear the end of it.
Andrew Sullivan is now officially off the reservation. Sullivan is not my favorite right-wing blogger, but his position is an interesting straw in the wind.
Much more important, Eugene Volokh, who likes nothing better than mixing it up with Bush’s critics when he thinks he can catch them criticizing inaccurately or unfairly (he’s been conducting a gentle war with Slate’s Bushisms for months now) has decided to lay off this one, admitting that he’d rather write about things were it’s the other team committing the fouls. [*] If Eugene had found the evidence here unconvincing, my respect for him would have slowed me down considerably.
Now that ignoring this isn’t really an option, I think we’re going to find that Bush has very, very few defenders of any respectability.