Politico's Karl Rove Connection

11/13/2008 05:12 am ET | Updated May 25, 2011

Tim Griffin has long been one of Karl Rove's closest "protégés" and has been at the epicenter of many of the most significant episodes of Republican sleaze over the last decade -- in particular, he has been a vital tool in the naked politicization of our justice system. Lately, Griffin's relationship with Politico and its McCain campaign reporter, Jonathan Martin, has grown in numerous ways, and the benefits for both are becoming increasingly apparent, in the standard tawdry ways that typify how our press corps functions.

In the mid-1990s, Griffin worked with the Special Prosecutor investigating HUD Secretary Henry Cisneros's relationship with his mistress. In 1999, he joined the Bush campaign to oversee "opposition research" and then became legal advisor to the "Bush-Cheney 2000 Florida Recount Team." Griffin served again as director of opposition research for the Bush/Cheney 2004 re-election campaign, and -- as Greg Palast has exhaustively documented -- spearheaded efforts to prevent minorities and poor voters from voting in 2004, especially in Florida. In 2005, Griffin became Karl Rove's top aide in the White House, and then found himself in the middle of the U.S. Attorney scandal when Rove engineered the forced resignation of Arkansas U.S. Attorney Bud Cummins, to be replaced by ... Tim Griffin, who then oversaw all federal investigations and prosecutions for the entire state of Arkansas.

Outrage from Arkansas' two Senators over Rove's hand-picking of such a blatant partisan operative to serve as U.S. Attorney -- and the abuse by Alberto Gonzales of a provision of the Patriot Act allowing interim appointments of U.S. attorneys without Senate confirmation in order to plant Griffin in that position -- resulted in Griffin's forced resignation months later, just as John Conyers was investigating Griffin's role in the voter-suppression schemes. Earlier this year, Griffin advised Fred Thompson's campaign and, after reports that he would oversee "research" for the McCain campaign, Griffin announced he was instead opening his own "public affairs" (i.e., lobbying) firm in Little Rock, Arkansas, and last month began writing his own political blog -- "The Griffin Room." So that's Tim Griffin.

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