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Look Over There!
For the Record
Here is the text of Bush's remarks at the swearing-in ceremony for senior members of the White House staff on Jan. 22, 2001.
An excerpt: "We have all taken an oath, and from this moment on it is our jobs to honor it. . . .
"[W]e must remember the high standards that come with high office. This begins with careful adherence to the rules. I expect every member of this administration to stay well within the boundaries that define legal and ethical conduct. This means avoiding even the appearance of problems. This means checking and, if need be, doublechecking that the rules have been obeyed. This means never compromising those rules."
Anne Marie Squeo and John D. McKinnon (subscription required) write in the Wall Street Journal: "A classified State Department memo that may be pivotal to the CIA leak case made clear that information identifying an agent and her role in her husband's intelligence-gathering mission was sensitive and shouldn't be shared, according to a person familiar with the document. . . .
"Investigators are trying to determine if the memo, dated June 10, 2003, was how White House officials learned that Valerie Wilson was an agent for the Central Intelligence Agency. . . .
"The memo's details are significant because they will make it harder for officials who saw the document to claim that they didn't realize the identity of the CIA officer was a sensitive matter."
Supreme Court Watch
The Supreme Court blog on washingtonpost.com has all the latest on what looks like an accelerated schedule for Bush to name his nominee.
Jeanne Cummings and Jess Bravin (subscription required) write in the Wall Street Journal: "Some White House advisers are urging the president to expedite his announcement to deflect attention from a growing scandal over the role of senior administration officials -- including political adviser Karl Rove -- in leaking a Central Intelligence Agency agent's identity to the news media in an effort to discredit critics of the White House's prewar Iraq intelligence.
" 'The Rove situation has accelerated it,' said a Republican lawyer who consults the White House on judicial issues. 'They would like to get something that will knock it off the front page.' "
Peter Baker writes in The Washington Post: "President Bush said yesterday that he plans to interview finalists for the Supreme Court to 'get this process moving' so that the Senate can confirm the next justice by the beginning of the new term in October, but gave little clue about whom he is considering. . . .
" 'I will sit down with some and talk to them face to face, those who I have not known already,' he said. 'You know, we've got some people that [are] perhaps in contention that I've already spent time with, that I know. . . . And so I don't need to interview those.' "
Elisabeth Bumiller writes in the New York Times: "Republicans close to the White House said that a leading candidate to succeed Justice Sandra Day O'Connor was Judge Edith Brown Clement of the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit, based in New Orleans."