Karl Rove turned the tables on some of his most vocal opponents, using his Wall Street Journal column today to demand an apology from Representative John Conyers, Democrat and chairman of the Judiciary committee, and the editorial boards of The New York Times, and the Washington Post. Why? Because they repeatedly accused him of an illegal role in the removal of 8 U.S. attorneys and corruption charges against a Democratic Alabama governor, yet a Congressional inquiry has failed to back them up:
My role in the U.S. attorneys issue was minimal and entirely proper. I did not conceive of the idea of removing certain U.S. attorneys, did not select those to be removed, and did not see the lists of U.S. attorneys Justice was considering to replace. I had no idea who was on the final list until Justice sent it to the White House in November 2006. No fair-minded person can review the thousands of pages of documents and testimony and conclude that I drove the process.
Instead, the committee seems to have found only evidence that discredits the idea that I orchestrated the firings to protect Republicans or punish Democrats. The committee found nothing to indicate that I ordered U.S. attorneys in Arizona, California or Wisconsin to be removed to sabotage investigations of Republicans, as some Judiciary Democrats have alleged.
Already, some liberals are rolling their eyes. "Seriously," Barbin MD wrote at Daily Kos. Undoubtedly, there will be more where that came from. But Rove spares no ink this morning to review the evidence. "The committee," Rove said, "found nothing."
Having made his case, he went on to chide his critics for their silly obsession with destroying him, and suggests they move on to more serious matters.
I am confident her findings will confirm that my actions were limited and proper. Perhaps then Judiciary Democrats will focus on more important issues and the Times and Post will admit their mistakes. It would be the responsible thing to do.
So, will Rove be hearing from Conyers, the Times and the Post anytime soon? Time will tell, but one thing is for sure: it's easier to demand an apology then to actually receive one.