by Greg Palast
June 1, 2007
Tim Griffin, formerly right hand man to Karl Rove, resigned Thursday as US Attorney for Arkansas hours after BBC Television ‘Newsnight’ reported that Congressman John Conyers requested the network’s evidence on Griffin’s involvement in ‘caging voters.’ Greg Palast, reporting for BBC Newsnight, obtained a series of confidential emails from the 2004 Bush-Cheney campaign. In these emails, Griffin, then the GOP Deputy Communications Director, transmitted so-called ‘caging lists’ of voters to state party leaders.
Experts have concluded the caging lists were designed for a mass challenge of voters’ right to cast ballots. The caging lists were heavily weighted with minority voters including homeless individuals, students and soldiers sent overseas.
Conyers, Chairman of the House Judiciary Committee investigating the firing of US Attorneys, met Thursday evening in New York with Palast. After reviewing key documents, Conyers stated that, despite Griffin’s resignation, “We’re not through with him by any means.”
Conyers indicated to the BBC that he thought it unlikely that Griffin could carry out this massive ‘caging’ operation without the knowledge of White House Deputy Chief of Staff Rove.
Griffin has not responded to requests by BBC to explain this ‘caging’ operation. However, in emails subpoenaed by Conyers’ committee, Griffin complains to Monica Goodling, an assistant to Attorney General Alberto Gonzales, about the BBC reporter’s reproduction of caging lists in Palast’s book, “Armed Madhouse.”
In the email dated February 5 of this year, Griffin stated that the purpose of ‘caging’ was to identify “fraudulent” voters. This contradicts one explanation of the Bush campaign to BBC that the lists were of potential donors and not in any way created to challenge voters.
Griffin confidentially wrote: “The real story is this: There were thousands of reported illegal/fake voter registrations around the country, so some of the Republican State Parties mailed letters welcoming new voters to the newly registered voters. … The Republican State Parties ultimately wanted to show that thousands of fraudulent registrations had been completed.”
Last Wednesday, Goodling testified under a grant of immunity before the House Judiciary Committee that Gonzales’ Deputy Paul McNulty, “failed to disclose that he had some knowledge of allegations that Tim Griffin had been involved in vote ‘caging’ during his work on the President’s 2004 campaign.”
Goodling’s testimony prompted Conyers’ request to the BBC for the Griffin emails.
Last night Palast showed Conyers a Griffin email from August 2004 indicating that Griffin not only knew of ‘caging,’ but directed the operation.
And check out this story from Slate: Raging Caging – What the heck is vote caging, and why should we care?
Greg Palast is the author of the New York Times bestseller, ARMED MADHOUSE: From Baghdad to New Orleans — Sordid Secrets and Strange Tales of a White House Gone Wild. For information, go to www.GregPalast.com