Hey, whose job was it to tell Henry Waxman that he's supposed to be on recess this week? Because he's still churning out letters, closing in on Republican chicanery. This one is, ostensibly, a request to the head of the RNC, Mike Duncan, for any emails relating to the political "team building" events Karl Rove has been doing on the public dime (no link yet--will update with it later):
I am writing to request e-mail communications stored on Republican National Committee servers that relate to the use of federal agencies and federal resources for partisan political purposes.
Last week, the Committee held a hearing into allegations of misconduct at the General Services Administration. One of the issues examined at the hearing involved a partisan political presentation that White House Deputy Director of Political Affairs, J. Scott Jennings, made to the GSA Administrator, Lurita A. Doan, and approximately 40 GSA appointees in the GSA headquarters building on January 26, 2007.
In communicating with GSA about the presentation, Mr. Jennings and his assistant used "gwb43.com" e-mail accounts maintained by the RNC rather than their official White House e-mail accounts. In their e-mails, they described the presentation as a "close hold" and said that "we're not supposed to be emailing it around."
But this is a somewhat broadly written request. Look at how Waxman asks for the actual emails:
To assist the Committee in its investigation of these issues, I request that you provide any electronic messages sent or received by Karl Rove, J. Scott Jennings, or any other White House officials using accounts maintained by the RNC that relate to (1) the January 26, 2007, PowerPoint presentation at GSA, (2) the presentation of any similar political briefings at other federal agencies or to other federal employees, or (3) the use of federal agencies or resources to help Republican candidates.
A few things to remember about this. First, the Oversight Committee (which doesn't get to recess either, apparently) has been interviewing people about the GWB43 server this week. This request may have been stewing since last Friday, when Waxman sent out some other requests (including the request for Susan Ralston's testimony). Or it may be a response to something they've heard this week.
Now, as to the scope, just the campaign strategy sessions alone may well be a violation of the Hatch Act--which requires the person behind those sessions to be fired. (Then of course, knowingly leaking classified information to journalists usuallly requires the person to lose their security clearance, which, in Turdblossom's case, would get him fired too, but never mind that.)
But Waxman is looking for any GWB43 emails sent or received by Turdblossom relating to "the use of federal agencies or resourcs to help Republican candidates." Last I checked, DOJ counted as a federal agency. As did GSA. As did the DHS (remember the plane used to chase down Democrats in TX?). So this may well be a large universe of emails.
Though now that I think of it, can you think of one thing that Turdblossom does that doesn't relate, either directly or indirectly, to helping Republican candidates get elected?
Update: Oh my. I just re-read Henry's letter to Fred Fielding to see if I could get more details of who they were interviewing this week. The answer is:
In addition, I ask that you or your designee and any other appropriate White House personnel meet with Committee staff during the week of April 2,2007, to discuss these issues.