John Solomon and Peter Baker, via WaPo/MSNBC , serve up "White House looked past alarms on Kerik : Giuliani, Gonzales pushed Department of Homeland Security bid forward". A portion follows:
... He joined Giuliani's 1993 campaign as his driver and was later given top appointments, including corrections commissioner and eventually police commissioner. After office, Giuliani and Kerik became partners in a security consulting firm.
So when Giuliani telephoned Bush to recommend that he make Kerik his second-term homeland security secretary, the president jumped at the idea. The sheen of a 9/11 hero seemed to be just what was needed to take on a troubled new department struggling to integrate 22 agencies and 180,000 employees to protect the nation's ports, borders and airports; enforce immigration and customs laws; and respond to major disasters. Only a few aides, including then-Chief of Staff Andrew H. Card Jr. and senior adviser Karl Rove, were clued in to the president's decision.
As with every nominee, Kerik was given detailed financial disclosure and personal history questionnaires to fill out, all intended to unearth anything that might prove embarrassing in a confirmation hearing. Giuliani's firm assisted in filling out the forms, according to a source familiar with the situation, and the papers are now an issue in the federal criminal investigation. Kerik, his attorney and Giuliani Partners spokeswoman Sunny Mindel declined to comment.
Presidential nominees typically go through a full-fledged FBI background investigation before their appointments are announced. But because it is hard to keep Cabinet selections secret for so long, they are vetted only by the White House counsel's office before being made public. The FBI then conducts its full probe before Senate confirmation hearings begin.
The long nightmare of Bu$hCo is still far from over yet to think we'd have another version of Dubyah, even if he's surely sharper, in The White House makes it all the worse. With St. John stumbling perhaps some Bu$h backers will be shifting toward Rudy. Here's hoping the American public and media will take a strong look at Rudy. Peace ... or War!