"[T]he aspens...turn in clusters, because their roots connect them."
-- I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby
A high-level GOP operative and master "voter fraud" snake-oil salesman, Mark F. "Thor" Hearne of Missouri, was in charge of hiring a high-level White House/DoJ operative to help put out the fire in an investigation by former U.S. Attorney Bud Cummins, according to a recent interview.
The investigation by Cummins, who was fired without cause shortly after the matter came to public attention, was said to have been looking into a multi-million dollar state fee-office scheme, carried out by Hearne's own Missouri law firm, Lathrop & Gage (L&G), and their client, Missouri's Gov. Matt Blunt.
Since revelations of the U.S. Attorney Purge, Cummins has publicly questioned what exactly it was that went on during "the Blunt deal."
The revelation of Hearne's hiring of the powerful White House/DoJ-connected operative, William B. Mateja, a Dallas-based attorney from a Texas/DC law firm, comes via admissions by Hearne in a report filed last week by Jo Mannies of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. Mannies's article followed on the heels of several related reports here at The BRAD BLOG in the days prior and included inquiries with Hearne about details in those reports.
In carefully parsed comments to Mannies, Hearne denies having "a discussion with anybody, in the White House or otherwise, about any U.S. attorneys being fired or resigning."
Mannies did not report on whether Hearne denied having conversations with "anybody in the White House or otherwise" about the investigation his firm and his client, the Governor, were said to be facing at the time.
The BRAD BLOG has also learned the Governor's sister, Amy Blunt, has been hired by Lathrop & Gage.
"Blunt said she came to Lathrop & Gage because of the firm's extensive focus on campaign and election law," according to the August 2006 press release announcing her arrival at L&G. She's also quoted in the release specifically mentioning that she was "particularly pleased to join Thor Hearne" at the firm.
These details all come in advance of more seemingly-related and contemporaneous WH/DoJ/L&G chicanery, which we are currently investigating and hope to be reporting on in the coming days.
Last week we filed detailed reports on what we see as a serious "underlying crime" and the specific, direct connection to the White House between the case in Missouri, the GOP's #1 "voter fraud" scam artist/operative Hearne, and the firing of Cummins. Cummins was the Arkansas U.S. Attorney assigned to the case after Todd Graves, the USA in Missouri's Western District, was forced to recuse himself due to family involvement in the fee-office scheme to the tune of millions of dollars. Graves's own involvement in the scandal, which Cummins was investigating, has been largely omitted in recent coverage by the Kansas City Star and others.
Graves eventually was allowed to save face by resigning his position shortly after he showed up on the now-infamous DoJ hit list of U.S. Attorneys to be fired; he was replaced by one of DoJ's top "voter fraud" zealots, Brad Schlozman. Cummins would be replaced by Karl Rove's right-hand Tim Griffin. Neither replacement had the prosecutorial experience for the job, even if they had the White House/GOP political hackery down cold.
Hearne was the national general counsel for Bush/Cheney '04, creator of the "non-partisan" GOP "voter fraud" front group American Center for Voting Rights (ACVR) --- a phony "grass roots" operation set up to create propaganda in order to lead to new, restrictive Voter ID laws at the polls --- and a very good, and powerful, friend of Karl Rove's and the Bush/Cheney White House....
As detailed in our previous reports, a corruption investigation against Hearne's Missouri law firm, L&G, and their client, Gov. Blunt (son of GOP U.S. House Whip, Roy), had come to media light in May of 2006.
The following month, in June of 2006, Cummins was fired without cause, leading him to wonder aloud in a recent LA Times article, "Now I keep asking myself: 'What about the Blunt deal?'"
Cummins describes some five phone calls inquiring into the investigation from Mateja who was retained by Lathrop & Gage on Blunt's behalf. As it turns out, as we reported last week, Mateja is a former high-level DoJ/WH advisor and attorney himself.
In the Post-Dispatch report, Hearne essentially confirms that it was he who hired Mateja. He admits to having "a role in confirming" the status of Cummins's investigation, telling reporter Mannies: "I was involved in making sure, in evaluating those rumors."
And though Hearne brought in a hot-shot WH/DoJ-connected hired gun to help put out the fire, he carefully says: "I have never spoken to Bud Cummins about anything...I never had a discussion with anybody, in the White House or otherwise, about any U.S. attorneys being fired or resigning."
Those words are most assuredly and carefully parsed by a man with the rhetorical acumen to transform approximately 20 questionable cases of voter fraud, out of thousands of elections across the country in the last 5 years, into a national "epidemic" of hundreds of thousands of cases of "Democratic voter fraud," a charge frequently and dutifully repeated in the mainstream media.
Thomas Charles at Fired Up! Missouri writes that Mannies's article raises more questions that it answers. He describes her interview as "tossed softballs to Thor Hearne, underhanded" on matters concerning the U.S. Attorney purge, the Blunt/L&G investigation and Hearne's influence in creating and then altering and then burying a tax-payer funded report on "voter fraud" by the U.S. Elections Assistance Commission (EAC). The EAC, at the time the report was commissioned and then buried, was chaired by Hearne's St. Louis colleague, Paul DeGregorio. The report, unfortunately for Hearne and friends, failed to find the "voter fraud" epidemic he and his GOP paymasters had longed for.
Charles adds these thoughts on Hearne's comments to Mannies:
And furthermore, if you call a U.S. Attorney and they confirm for you that you aren't the target of an investigation, why do you need to call back four times?
Assuming that the Blunt claim that he was never the target of the investigation is true, which I don't, it makes you wonder exactly who was the target and why Lathrop and Gage had such an intense interest in that matter.
Before getting back to work on our next report, involving the additional, contemporaneous (and, we might add, even more jaw-dropping) apparent L&G/DoJ/WH chicanery, we'll leave you with these thoughts from Gov. Blunt's sister Amy, from the press release issued when she joined L&G during the same period...
As Dick Cheney's now-convicted Chief of Staff, Scooter Libby wrote in his codespeak letter to the New York Times's Judith Miller while she was in jail for refusing to tell federal investigators about Libby's outing of a covert CIA agent: "Out West, where you vacation the aspens will already be turning. They turn in clusters, because their roots connect them."
If you ever had any question about the deep roots that firmly entwine this very close bunch of high-profile, high-powered politicos who have hijacked the near-entirety of America's justice and political system, you need look no further than the filthy underpinnings of the entire U.S. Attorney Purge as the facts are beginning to emerge out of the Show-Me state.