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I don’t know whether there’s a secret handbook Republicans follow that instructs them to act as if it’s illegal for them to answer questions when they’re on the hot seat or whether it’s the innate response of liars, but if there’s a manual, both Bushco and Bluntco have been doing their homework.

Blunt, fearful that Scott Eckersley was about to talk to the press, smeared Eckersley and then, when Eckersley protested his innocence by revealing the real reason he’d been fired–that he didn’t go along with Blunt’s illegal practice of deleting state e-mails–the governor’s office filed an ethics complaint with the Missouri Bar against Eckersley for a “breach of confidentiality.”

The trouble is that the boxes of Eckersley’s e-mails that Blunt’s office sent to two newspapers as part of the smear included e-mails between Eckersley and his attorney, Steve Garner.  Their presence in the boxes revealed that someone in the governor’s office had broken into Eckersley’s private e-mail account.  That’s illegal.

Now that Garner is responding to the ethics complaint and pointing out the governor’s ethical–and legal–lapses, Blunt’s spokeshole is clamming up.  Jessica Robinson refused to comment on Garner’s responses to the Office of Disciplinary Counsel, claiming it would be “inappropriate” to comment on an ongoing ethics investigation.

Doesn’t it all remind you of the way Bush/Cheney put out their lies about Joe Wilson and his wife Valerie Plame, and then when Scooter Libby got caught lying about their original lies, Bush and his press spokeshole, Scott McClellan, kept saying that they couldn’t comment on an ongoing investigation/court case.

Once again, Blunt is following in the steps of his role model.