Karl Rove has become quite the fundraiser in the last few years. Suddenly billionaires are opening their wallets and handing over millions of dollars to Mr. Rove’s political machine.
Some of those donors are under investigation by the United States Department of Justice for possible violations of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act. Some of them have other problems with Justice Department investigators.
Mr. Rove, as it happens, has a history of over lapping politics and the U.S. Department of Justice.
It was his scheme to replace U.S. Attorneys in the days following the midterm defeat of Republicans in 2006 that ultimately led to Congressional hearings and investigations. The move replaced U.S. Attorneys with Bush loyalists, including one individual that was an aide to Mr. Rove.
The scandal resulted in high-level Justice Department Bush/Rove appointees resigning in disgrace, including Attorney General Alberto Gonzalez, his Deputy, the Chiefs of Staff to both and the Department’s liaison to the White House.
Rove spent many, many hours micromanaging the Justice Department as Political Director of the White House. He certainly could make a knowledgeable and compelling case about the relative advantages of a Justice Department that answers to President Obama and a Department that answers to Karl Rove and Mitt Romney.
Rove has come up with a business, his Super PAC, that offers wealthy businesses with legal problems potential for relief.
As wealthy donors to Republican political causes, it gives the donors under investigation an opportunity to paint any moves by the Justice Department to prosecute wrong doing as mere politically motivated investigations.
But the real opportunity for these donors is a change at the Justice Department. Political staff can make several investigations go away simultaneously for “philosophical reasons”.
That is significant motivation. And not just for the immediate targets of investigation. Other parties could be motivated to contribute to such an outcome. After all, it takes more than one party to make a bribe effective.
And what is to stop someone that violated the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act from moving foreign money into the election?
Their respect for the law?
What are the odds that these donors have suddenly committed large chunks of their fortune to the outcome of this election for no reason. They expect something in return.
This weekend they all had a chance to chat.
Ed Gillespie, who was Chair of the Republican National Committee under Rove and was a partner in Rove’s SuperPAC before departing to work on the Romney campaign, was reunited with his friend. This past weekend, despite laws against coordination between outside groups and Federal candidates, Rove and Gillespie, participated in a briefing for donors at the Republican Governors Association meeting.
The discussion was not open to the public, no reporters were allowed.
About Bill Buck
Bill Buck is a Democratic strategist, President of the Buck Communications Group, a media relations and new media strategies consulting business based in Washington, DC, and Managing Director of the online ad firm Influence DSP. He has over twenty years of international and national communications experience. The views and opinions expressed in this post are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of CBS Local.