Possible ‘Illegal’ White House Activity Probed
By DEB RIECHMANN, AP
WASHINGTON (April 25) – A little-known federal investigative unit has launched a probe into allegations of illegal political activity within the executive branch, including a White House office led by President Bush ‘s close adviser, Karl Rove .
The new probe grew out of other investigations still under way, namely a presentation made by Karl Rove’s aide to political appointees at the General Services Administration on how to help GOP candidates in 2008.
The new investigation, which began several weeks ago, grew out of two other investigations still under way at the U.S. Office of Special Counsel: the firing of U.S. Attorney David Iglesias from New Mexico and a presentation by Rove aide J. Scott Jennings to political appointees at the General Services Administration on how to help Republican candidates in 2008.
“We’re in the preliminary stages of opening this expanded investigation,” Loren Smith, a spokesman for the special counsel’s office, an independent investigative and prosecutorial agency, said Tuesday. “The recent suggestion of illegal political activities across the executive branch was the basis we used to decide that it was important to look into possible violations of the Hatch Act.”
The office, led by Scott J. Bloch, enforces the Hatch Act, a 70-year-old law that bars federal employees from engaging in political activities using government resources or on government time.
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