Thursday, May 14, 2009

The White House Calls

Among the many twists and turns in Jeane’s case was the day the White House called me . . .

It was late April 2007 and Brian Ross of ABC News was preparing to broadcast on May 4th the results of his investigation of Jeane’s escort service. Earlier that week, Brian had reported that Randall Tobias, then head of U.S.A.I.D. admitted to being a client of Jeane' escort service. Moreover, Brian would tease for the May 4th broadcast on 20/20 during an interview with NPR that: “. . . other prominent government leaders and Washington figures will be named in Friday night’s broadcast.” That same day, Brian on his blog stated: “There are thousands of names, tens of thousands of phone numbers, and there are people there at the Pentagon, lobbyists, others at the White House, prominent lawyers.”

Then on May 1, 2007, at 1:07 p.m., the White House called me. I have always taken the precaution of not having my direct telephone line made public so that anyone who wants to call me has to leave a message. This is the message I received from Emmet Flood of the White House Counsel’s Office asking me to call him.  Here is his message:

I did. Emmet asked me if any White House officials were on the list. Though I knew there was one, I had promised Brian not to reveal anything so I said I didn’t know for sure. I then asked for White House review of Jeane’s prosecution by the Department of Justice. Always professional, Emmet would not commit either way.

In the May 4th 20/20 Report, Brian would state: “There were no members of Congress that we could find in these phone records, no White House officials.”

Ultimately and curiously, as further detailed in Why Just Her, the Washington Post would report on May 5, 2007, the day after the ABC’s 20/20 report: “Deputy national security advisor J.D. Crouch II, who helped spearhead the recent policy review that led President Bush to send more U.S. troops to Iraq, announced yesterday that he will step down early next month, becoming the latest key aide to depart the White House at a critical juncture. . . . In an interview, Crouch said he is leaving to devote more time to his family after six years in the administration.”

Go figure.  Perhaps the Fourth Estate is now part of and subservient to, the other Three Estates.


Matt Janovic said...

Very interesting, didn't know about the phone call.

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