by Glynn Wilson
Karl Rove, President Bush’s close friend and chief political strategist, said Monday he plans to leave the White House at the end of August in a teary-eyed press conference.
He joins a lengthening line of senior officials heading for the exits in the final 1 1/2 years of the administration, according to the Associated Press.
On board with Bush since the beginning of his political career in Texas, Rove was nicknamed “the architect” and “boy genius” by the president for designing the strategy that twice won him the White House. The president also called him “Turd Blossom,” while critics call Rove “Bush’s brain.”
A criminal investigation put Rove under scrutiny for months during the investigation into the leak of a CIA operative’s name but he was never charged with any crime. In a more recent controversy, Rove, citing executive privilege, has refused to testify before Congress about the firing of U.S. attorneys.
An ongoing investigation into the conviction and jailing of former Alabama Governor Don Siegelman reveals that Rove played a role in pressuring the Bush Justice Department to bring the case against Siegelman for political reasons. And while the U.S. House Judiciary Committee has issued subpoenas of Rove and others in that investigation, which is expected to pick back up in September, the White House and Rove have defied Congress and refused to testify.
Rove, his wife and their son were to accompany Bush on Air Force One later Monday when the president flies to Texas for his August vacation.
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