Free of charge, I’m updating the “liabilities” section of Karl Rove‘s personal-financial-disclosure report to the Federal Election Commission in light of Washington Post reporter Paul Kane‘s story this morning:
A young White House political aide was grilled inconclusively by the Senate Judiciary Committee yesterday about the firings of U.S. attorneys after Karl Rove, the president’s senior political adviser, failed to show up at the committee’s hearing in response to a subpoena.
J. Scott Jennings, 29, the deputy political director for the White House, refused to address the firings but tried to explain how thousands — or possibly millions — of White House e-mails to and from the political office were transmitted only through communications accounts controlled by the Republican National Committee.
That use of the RNC accounts put some of the political office’s messages outside the reach of the National Archives, which sought to preserve them under a federal law mandating eventual public access, and the reach of Democratic congressional investigators, who have sought to look at them for evidence of improper actions.
Jennings offered a stripped-down explanation: He wanted a White House-supplied BlackBerry and was told no, and so he got one from the RNC, as many other political affairs aides had done. …
Jennings’s testimony on the RNC e-mails was the most detailed explanation to date of why President Bush’s top political aides had sent and received so many e-mails on their RNC accounts. House Oversight Committee Chairman Henry A. Waxman (D-Calif.) is probing whether the use of RNC e-mails for official purposes violated federal laws requiring presidential records to be preserved.
The RNC told Waxman recently that it has more than 200,000 e-mails sent and received by Rove, Jennings and Sara M. Taylor, the former White House political director.