Is Alberto Gonzales the new Scooter Libby?

The White House admits that Rove had a role in events leading to the firing of U.S. attorneys.

Published March 12, 2007 1:19PM (EDT)

Amid a chorus of calls for the resignation of Alberto Gonzales, the White House admitted over the weekend that Karl Rove had a hand in the events that led to the firing of eight U.S. attorneys in December.

In response to questions from McClatchy Newspapers, White House spokeswoman Dana Perino said Rove relayed complaints about various federal prosecutors -- including ousted New Mexico U.S. attorney David Iglesias -- from GOP leaders to the White House Counsel's Office and to the Justice Department. Perino seemed to dismiss the significance of Rove's referrals, saying that "lots of people at the White House get lots of complaints about lots of different people on a multitude of subjects," and that the usual procedure is "to listen and take the appropriate action to notify the relevant agency."

Perino also told McClatchy that Rove told her that he didn't suggest that any of the eight U.S. attorneys actually be fired. Maybe that's right, but it's probably worth remembering here that Rove once told Scott McClellan that he wasn't involved in the outing of Valerie Plame. So far, at least, Scooter Libby is taking the fall for that one; is the hapless Alberto Gonzales taking the fall for this one?

By Tim Grieve

Tim Grieve is a senior writer and the author of Salon's War Room blog.

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