So John Ashcroft, as Attorney General, insisted on being personally briefed on the Valerie Plame investigation as it developed. Once it became clear that Ashcroft’s old campaign consultant, Karl Rove, was a likely target — having been less than frank with investigators in his initial interviews — Ashcroft was forced to recuse himself.*
But before he recused himself was he sharing information provided to him by the the investigators with Rove? An excellent question, and I hope it’s one to which Mr. Fitzgerald is demanding answers.
If there was obstruction of justice by the Attorney General, we’re back in Watergate/Iran-Contra territory. So far, it looks as if Ashcroft — if he was in fact trying to obstruct justice, which we certainly don’t know yet — wasn’t as good at obstructing justice as Ed Meese was.
*I try to resist the temptation to brag, but I got this one right eighteen months ago: The only plausible explanation for Ashcroft’s decision to recuse himself but not the Justice Department as an institution was that Rove was a suspect.