That’s what Michael Isikoff is reporting today:
New Mexico Republican Sen. Pete Domeniciâ€™s chief of staff sent a cryptic thank-you note to Karl Rove just as the senator was recommending replacements for David Iglesias, the fired U.S. attorney in New Mexico, according to internal White House and Justice Department documents.
â€œThanks for everything,â€ Domenici chief of staff Steve Bell wrote Rove and two other White House officials, including Roveâ€™s political deputy, Scott Jennings, in a Jan. 8, 2007 e-mail that forwarded the name of a candidate to replace Iglesias.
Well, that doesn’t sound too bad, but Isikoff keeps digging:
It is not clear from the content of the e-mail what Bell was thanking Rove for. But the thank-you note is the first indication that Rove himself may have been involved in replacing Iglesias. It is the dismissal of Iglesiasâ€”fired after Domenici complained about his handling of a local corruption investigationâ€”that has raised the most serious questions of political interference in the U.S. attorney controversy.
â€œThis absolutely corroborates what Iâ€™ve been saying all alongâ€”this is a political matter, not a performance matter,â€ Iglesias said when a Newsweek reporter read him the e-mail today. â€œWhat is he thanking him [Rove] for? Itâ€™s thanking him for getting Dave out of the picture.â€
The Domenici response:
Asked about the e-mail today, and why Bell was thanking Rove, Domeniciâ€™s press secretary, Chris Gallegos said: â€œWeâ€™re not going to have anything to say about that e-mail.â€ He added that Bell â€œdid not want to discuss a private communication.â€
If you think there’s more there, I imagine you’re correct.
UPDATE: Forgot to thank Think Progress for the linkage.