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July 22, 2005

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Note, wrt the Marc Grossman question. It is understood that Grossman was an ally of Powell and Armitage at State. He was expected to resign after they did. But then when he did resign rather suddenly, there was a bit of talk about the suddenness of the announcement.

Clemons now reports Bolton was Judith Miller source -- with some regularity, not necessarily on this matter.

Strong coffee brewing.

Wow. [speculation follows]: Miller protecting Bolton? Bolton denies testifying when he testified? Wonder what that does to his chances of being at the UN?

Probably no effect whatsoever. These folks just don't live in the same world we do.

Popcorn, anyone?

Bolton testified, and Hughes, too. Now with the golden boy's nomination-to-SCOTUS-as-failed-distraction, are there any nominations pending that aren't connected to this many-headed beast?

Popcorn indeed.

I actually think the Bolton nomination is dead. And if Bush were to recess him he'd have a rebellion from his own party. Don't forget, though, Voinovich saying, in a plaintive tone, "I've seen the real reason he was nominated for this post."

I actually think the Bolton nomination is dead.

today is the first day I think you might be right about that. Bet Bush blames Frist.

While we're rummaging through document troves, looking for fresh intuitions, here's one I posted in Billmon's comment area back on 2003-07-11:

A cagey old forger from Niger
Concocts dodgey doc's at his leisure
His bull-fudge passed "kosher"
Just enough for Blair's dossier
By a wink, and a nudge ... and a seizure.

[Alternate ending:
"And the grand dame of scam (Condoleezzer)."]

Anyone remember where I put my indictments prediction? I'm pretty sure I got Bolton on there but good, I want to see who else I got on there.

It is understood that Grossman was an ally of Powell and Armitage at State.

Evidently, Grossman is a career guy rather than a political guy - a Republican who Clinton just kept on, and, yes, a Powell/Armitage guy.

Grossman is also a friend of Joe Wilson's. When Grossman was ambassador to Turkey in the mid 1990's he worked closely with Wilson who was then the Chief Diplomat attached to the US NATO command. They had much to do together dealing with aspects of Northern Watch -- the Air cover flown out of Turkey by NATO.

Oh, my.

It doesn't change his nomination prospects, because those were dead when Bush didn't recess appoint him on July 4. I suspect the point of Bolton was always more to cow the Senate by ramming him through, rather than merely to set him loose in the UN china shop.

It's one further indicator, though, of just how much the White House has been blindsided by the Plame affair. Most of the investigators' interviews were probably a year or so ago - remember that Fitzgerald waited till last to call in Cooper and Miller, and it had to go through the courts.

So, chances are that Bolton had already been interviewed by the investigators, and the White House still sent him up before the Senate, not reporting the interview and thus adding to Bolton's own potential legal exposure.

What's that thing about hubris?

-- Rick Robinson

I was curious exactly what question Bolton failed to answer. While the exact text of the form he had to supply the Foreign Relations Committee is not available online, the Brookings Presidential Appointment Initiative suggests the following as a likely candidate:

Have you been interviewed or asked to supply any information for a congressional or grand jury investigation within the past five years, except routine congressional testimony? If so, provide details.

If that's the case, uh, the omission is pretty glaring.

Steve,

Great find.

Rick,

I think there's a decent change they KNEW this was breaking. Recall what Voiny said. "I've seen why he was really nominated to this post." And how odd is it that there was no mention of the Plame thing during his hearing (at least not publicly)? I mean, it's as clear as day (well, not really, but it's there) in the SSCI that Bolton was responsible for the Niger claim in the fact sheet. And it's also as clear as day that he was involved in the SAME kind of bullying there as he was with Westermann. When asked what he meant when he said Bolton was a serial abuser, why didn't Carl Ford mention Niger?

Btw, I have a suspicion of the source of some of the few good leaks coming out right now.

Carville.

Presumably, he and Mary "testified before the Grand Jury" Matalin have discussed this, both before and after she testified. Further, according to a note on Clemons' thread, someone on CNN corrected Carville that BOlton had NOT spoken before the GJ. Um. My guess is Carville knows more about the Grand Jury that any other non-interviewee, lawyer, or prosecutor. Which would suggest Mary might be talking more generally.

Besides, if you were Mary and only partly employed by this creep, you were married to a Democrat, and you were writing childrens books don't you think you'd trade immunity for a long conversation with the GJ?

emptywheel - Perhaps Mary's finding out who really loves ya, baby.

Voinovich's line was odd, but if sending Bolton to the UN was his payoff for services rendered, man was that reckless.

Not as if these guys are ever a reckless bunch, or anything like that.

-- Rick Robinson

Good guess about Carville and Matalin. Norah Ehpron recently said she had gotten Bernstein to tell her who Deep Throat was while they were married, after she guessed Felt. Watch where Matalin goes--she may be an early indication.

I know Fitz seemed to have his investigation wrapped up when they started litigating Cooper's and Miller's privilege claims, but I suspect they have been busy in the interim, and somewhere I read that in his papers on that issue, Fitz said the investigation had taken a new turn.

Rove really does seem to have been way out of his depth when he got involved in foreign and security policy. He had apparently always followed Cheney's lead in that area. Not the most astute mind in this Admin, despite his reputation. Mr. really-wrong-about-almost-everything-he-touched.

Well, they've gotten slightly more careful of late. Rather than sending Abu G to SCOTUS in payment for obstructing justice on this Plame thing and giving Bush the right to torture anyone anytime, he settled for giving Roberts the nod in payment for services rendered in 2000.

On Mary Matalin...... So glad to see you suggesting this, emptywheel. I tumbled upon it last weekend when I suddenly remembered the short-lived HBO series, K Street. In case you never watched or don't remember this show, it was a hybrid mix of reality and fiction, produced by George Clooney, that focused on a fictional K Street firm run by Matalin and Carville. It ran from Sept 2003 until late November. At the end, they issued this:

Daily Variey reports (11/24/03) that "HBO and Section Eight partners Steven Soderbergh and George Clooney have mutually decided to retire 'K Street'... HBO and the duo have agreed to return with another limited-run series to be shot in the same way but set in a different venue."

Nothing else has appeared and I wondered at the time if it wasn't cancelled because the Plame story had gotten very hot and Matalin was in the thick of it.

Week 5, airing Oct 12, 2003 has this summary: Mary Matalin defends herself against rumors that she may been the source of the recent leak of a CIA agent's identity.

Of course, all of the Washington elite were delighted to get some face time on the show, playing themselves. It would be very interesting to see these episodes again or to get transcripts. In my searching earlier, I found no transcripts and the show has apparently never been re-aired. (Pretty odd, in and of itself, for an HBO original series.)

It was extraordinarily hard

Whoops!!!

Forget that "it was extraordinarily hard" in comment above! I was going to say 'iweh' to figure out where the reality met fiction in the show -- but I tabbed it down & then forgot. Silly me.

Wow, kainah, no, I've never even heard of the show (my tv watching is pretty limited to football). But that's incredibly interesting since October is when BushCo were in their fullest obstruction phase.

The biggest thing mitigating against Matalin having gotten immunity is that she worked on the re-election campaign. Was she on the campaign all the way through? I know she was consulting on it.

What could the campaign do, fire her? What if she said she was fired for cooperating with the Plame investigation?

I remember hearing about the "K Street" show, though I never saw it. But that episode summary is truly surreal.

-- Rick Robinson

According to Wilson (again -- chorus) Matalin was in the March meeting in the VP's office where the conspiracy was apparently hatched. Mary is a PR type, not a policy wonk -- so she would have been there in that sort of communications capacity.

If she has talked to Fitzgerald, she could testify as to the meeting, which was apparently set up by Libby. I have long had a strong feeling that if Mary had any involvement in this at some point Carville would have sat her down, and as a lawyer (and he is one) reviewed with her the legal consequences of participating in a conspiracy. He probably would have shown her pictures of camp cupcake, then paraded their children through the room, and then delivered some orders. James knows the game of kibutzing from the outside -- but he also knows a thing or two about what not to do when prosecutors get serious.

If you are right, Sara, several people are in deep sh*t. It would explain the judges' comments about "the plot to get Wilson" and the "serious crimes." How could she keep on in the WH if she had done that? Wouldn't she have to quit to spend time with her family? It does make snese, though, given Carville's experience being on the wrong end of a Special Prosecutor investigation.

Hmmmm. Matalin left as Cheney's spokesperson December 13, 2002. Just before the Special prosecutor was appointed.

re: Mary Matalin

Fred Barnes wrote on 7/28/03

The first step was to declassify and release the portion of the NIE entitled "Iraq's Continuing Programs for Weapons of Mass Destruction." Iraq, the intelligence document says, has been "vigorously trying to procure uranium ore" in Somalia and Congo as well as Niger. And there's more to come in the campaign for Bush's recovery. Congressional Republicans are joining the fight. The White House has brought back Mary Matalin, the Republican operative and ex-Cheney aide, to manage the media campaign. Maybe it will work. But the truth is, it shouldn't have been necessary at all.

Sara,

The picture cracks me up. But you're right, I hadn't thought about Carville's experience with Special Prosecutors.

Rick,

The reason I find her work on the campaign (that is, 2004) suspicious is that BushCo is intensely suspicious, and they would never touch anyone who they thought was cooperating with the prosecutor. So maybe she was able to keep it secret. But I doubt it. Plus, if they brought her back in any senior status at all, she would be in a position to find more information.

Mimikatz,

Matalin left before the Niger documents blew up, 2002 not 2003. But as Coldblue points out, she came back and worked on the pushback related to Niger.

Fitzgerald started offering immunity deals in January 2004. Mary testified that month according to this article. Here's the Matalin-related stuff:

Mary Matalin, former counselor to Vice President Cheney, testified Jan. 23, the sources said.

[snip]

Matalin, reached by telephone, said, "I can't comment."

But this article, curiously posted the same day, says that Matalin was going to consult on the campaign.

Outside political advisers, including pollster Ed Goeas and Mary Matalin, who worked for Dick Cheney, are consulting with the campaign,

So as of the day she testified, she was supposed to work on the campaign. Did she? I don't find anything else immediately, although I haven't looked that hard.

BTW, anyone know WaPo's policy on archiving? The first story has gone dead in the last few days (I used it in my timeline post). Which is odd since it comes up third or so on google.

Point of clarification. THe dates on those two Matalin stories: she testified on the 23rd, the report of her consulting appeared on the 24th.

Well, I absolutely do recall that "K Street" episode, although not all the specifics. In fact, I brought it up in a recent converstaion at Daily Kos.

How funny to see that come back, yet again.

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