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Wednesday, December 07, 2005

DC Love Match: Unka Karl and Gold Bars Luskin

Even as the indictment drums beat again at the courthouse, the WaPo has an enormous puff piece on Karl Rove's lawyer Robert Luskin this morning, who seems to think his own apple needs a press polishing these days. He tells them to laud him as the perfect attorney for Karl Rove because he "knows how to do the sharp lawyering required to wage a strong criminal defense -- all the while nudging reporters toward his position, attempting to soften public perception of Rove and getting out his client's side of the story," and as if to prove the point they quite dutifully transcribe it.

But we think they get to the "perfectly suited" bit a little further down in the story:
Luskin had to do a lot of spinning for himself when the U.S. attorney in Rhode Island accused him of "willful blindness" for accepting 45 gold bars worth more than $505,000, as well as Swiss wire transfers of $169,000, for his work on the case of a precious-metals dealer convicted of laundering millions in drug money. In 1998 Luskin settled with the government, forfeiting $245,000 in fees.

Luskin says he did due diligence to assure that the money he got was legit, even if it was paid in "a somewhat unusual fashion," but now admits it looked bad. "I kind of got lost in what I thought were the legalities of the situation and didn't take a step back and say, you know, how would people regard something like this?"
In old "Gold Bars Luskin," it sounds like Rove found the perfect, morally flexible counterpart to do what it takes to get him off the hook. And as for his "skill" in handling the press, it seems about as ham-handed as Karl's own efforts.

According to the NY Observer this morning, Luskin is still angry at Matt Cooper because "[i]t just looks to me like there was less a desire to protect a source." Maybe he's still just a tad scalded because he blabbed to the press that "[i]f Matt Cooper is going to jail to protect a source, itÂ’s not Karl heÂ’s protecting," and Cooper's lawyer seized on it to get his client a waiver?

Sounds like the skillful press manipulator's attempt to provide appropriate lighting for his client might be the very thing that leads to a big, fat indictment for Unka Karl to chew on.

Are they attempting to redefine "skill" as a bunch of high priced, loud-mouthed wankery that plays right into the Special Counsel's hands?