Independent Counsel to Investigate Karl Rove, Missing White House E-Mails

The Office of Special Counsel will take a close look at the last six years of White House political operations under the oversight of President Bush's adviser Karl Rove.

Under investigation by the independent team will be Rove's political influence over government decision-making and missing White House e-mails related to the firing of U.S. attorneys, The Los Angeles Times reports.

Is Rove's Investigator Under Investigation?

"We will take the evidence where it leads us," Scott J. Bloch, head of the Office of Special Counsel and a presidential appointee, told the newspaper. "We will not leave any stone unturned."

"We are acting with dispatch and trying to deal with this because people are concerned about it … and it is not a subject that should be left to endless speculation," Bloch added.

The Office of Special Counsel is an independent federal investigative unit and prosecutorial agency of 106 people. One of its primary missions has been to enforce the Civil Service Reform Act, the Whistleblower Protection Act and the Hatch Act, a law enacted in 1939 to preserve the integrity of the civil service by separating patronage from bureaucracy.

At least one former administration official suggested it wasn't unusual for the White House to bring campaign concerns to Cabinet agencies to seek out assistance.

Wayne R. Smith, a former Interior Department official, said he was often informed of political priorities during briefings from Rove and former deputy Ken Mehlman.

"We were constantly being reminded about how our decisions could affect electoral results," Smith said.

The high-profile investigation will also review e-mails written by White House personnel using accounts provided by the Republican National Committee.