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May 10, 2007

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If I'm not mistaken, we had that discussion a week or so ago regarding Griffin and his time parameters. Far as I can tell, he can't legally be sitting in the status they claim. And if they double back and try to say the interim period just recently started, or is just now starting, that puts the lie to the "never relied on the Patriot Act schtick doesn't it? I guess when you are "gumming it out", time stands still. I have somewhat of a related question. How many and who of the above named folks i.e. Oprison, Taylor and Hertling have been interviewed to date by one of the committees? Transcripts of all these lying weasels are flat out going to kill them via a circular firing squad. We need the transcripts.

Gads, now I have to go and dig; didn't Griffin say something weasely, to the effect that he was stepping down but would stay in place until a nominee was appointed?

And there's been no appointment, therefore...yet another manipulative manner in which they get and keep the appointee they want without Senate confirmation.

Oh, here it is:

Griffin said Thursday that if he were to go through the confirmation process, “I don’t think there is any way I could get fair treatment by Sen. Pryor or others on the judiciary committee.”

He said he will continue to serve in the top law enforcement position in the state’s eastern district as long as the White House keeps him there under the interim title or “gets someone else that I can help transition into this job.

Wonderful. Just wonderful.

Yup bmaz, here's that discussion.

Though two things make me more sure that they are, in fact, treating Griffin as a PATRIOT USA. First, knowing what Taylor said makes me sure that the 6 other emails she sent on this matter--right around the time Griffin said he wasn't going to get Senate confirmation--reassert the importance of keeping Griffin in place, no matter what. And second, the DOJ got awfully shifty when I called to ask them about this. Either he is PATRIOT or he's not--we ought to be able to get an answer on that issue.

here's a related item that I've been wondering about for a while:

we've seen evidence that USAs were pursuing voter fraud cases involving as few as 5 people accused of forging voter registration cards

I know of at least 5 cases of forged voter registration cards in my county in the past 5 years (people who were actually convicted of forging cards)

is there any way to find out if the USA for Eastern California investigated these cases ???

FYI, the cases were prosecuted thru the Secretary Of State's office, not the local ROV, so I have no idea who the prosecuting office was, but it wasn't a federal agency, cuz this resulted in State convictions

Oh baby. Check drational's diary at DKos with the email traffic analysis performed by volunteers.

They definitely have a problem with Griffin; there are far too many outbound emails from Goodling to Griffin and insufficient returns (try 19 outbound in the dump, and nothing inbound). An overwhelming number of Goodling's emails to the WH are about Griffin.

It continues to fester at me when rightwingers trot out the "attorneys serve at the pleasure of the Ppesident" twaddle, often trying unsuccessfully to use it to make the whole mess magically go away ("he can fire them without any reason at all, so there's no crime here").

How is this "pleasure" business supposed to have any traction at all when we apparently have inexperienced DOJ underlings managing the list and acting as firing squad while AG and WH reps keep reading cue cards to the effect that the very same president was wholly oblivious to the entire affair?

Perhaps George has the right to fire a USA anytime for no cause (not too different from common terms of employment in the outside world, come to think of it), but how does that power turn up in the possession of a young sprout at DOJ?

from Froomkin:

link

"'It seems that given that no one takes credit at the Justice Department, that it can only be coming from one place, and that very strongly means the White House,' McKay said. . . .

"'The people that would have a voice in this would be Karl Rove, [Rove aide] Scott Jennings, [former White House counsel] Harriet Miers, probably, yes,' [Iglesias] said. 'But it's hard for me to say "yes," [without] looking at those e-mails and memos that are probably out there and missing that this is what they said on this date about John and me and my colleagues.

"'But that would explain why the wagons are so tightly circled,' Iglesias added. . . .

Robert Kennedy Jr takes all of this about Griffin way further. He quotes Greg Palast's research and his book "Armed Madhouse"...

"Kennedy based his demand on the revelations by BBC reporter Greg Palast in the new edition of his book, “Armed Madhouse.” On one page of the book, Palast reproduces a copy of a confidential Bush-Cheney campaign email, dated August 26, 2004, in which Griffin directs Republican operatives to use the ‘caging’ lists."
Read the complete story or listen to Kennedy here..

http://www.gregpalast.com/rfk-rove-and-roves-brain-should-be-in-jail-not-in-office/#more-1725

In re: the Email traffic analysis over at DKOS, I noted the reduction in traffic during September, October, November last year. I either missed it, or it was not there: were any emails from Rove listed? Could there have been a deliberate decision in September to funnel the overall discussion through the gwb and other Republican servers?

Did I miss speculation about who this "senior executive branch official" might be? This was the stated source in the last Waas article as well. Do we have a new Deep Throat? There is also this: "If [Gonzales] didn't know everything that was going on when it went down, that is one thing," this official said. "But he knows and understands chapter and verse."

Looks like there are at two more of them: "Two senior administration officials told National Journal they were frustrated with decisions by Gonzales not to release some of the documents held by the Justice Department." He has also talked to a "Senior Justice Department Official"

We know the executive branch official has the e-mails because he showed them to Waas. And he apparently knows that Gonzales has seen them. This seems to narrow the group to a relatively small number of people. Hmmmmmm.

We know the executive branch official has the e-mails because he showed them to Waas. And he apparently knows that Gonzales has seen them. This seems to narrow the group to a relatively small number of people. Hmmmmmm.

Exactly!! This needs to be hotly pursued. And it's very encouraging that at least somebody on the inside has a conscience ... and a temper!

I'm curious as to how William Welch fits into all this. Although he was brought from the Springfield, MA office to purportedly "get things straightened out" in Aug/Sept of 2006, he was not supposed to a permanent hire at the Public Integrity Section. Then, suddenly in March, he's named as head of the department.

So why is this important? Because of this:

9-85.210 Violations of Campaign Financing Laws, Federal Patronage Laws, and Corruption of the Electional Process -- Consultation Requirement

Consultation with the Public Integrity Section of the Criminal Division is required in all federal criminal matters that focus on violations of federal or state campaign financing laws, federal patronage crimes, and corruption of the election process. These offenses include, but are not limited to, offenses described in: 18 U.S.C. §§ 241 to 242, 592 to 611; 42 U.S.C. §§ 1973i(c), 1973i(e), and 1973gg-10; 2 U.S.C. §§ 431 to 455; and prosecutive theories that focus on election fraud or campaign fund raising violations using 18 U.S.C. §§ 1341, 1343, and 1346; 18 U.S.C. § 1952; 18 U.S.C. §§ 1956 and 1957.

With regard to federal campaign financing matters arising under 2 U.S.C. §§ 431-455, United States Attorneys shall consult with the Public Integrity Section before any inquiry or preliminary investigation is requested or conducted. United States Attorneys shall also consult with the Public Integrity Section before instituting grand jury proceedings, filing an information, or seeking an indictment charging a campaign financing crime.

With regard to all other election crime matters (other than those described in USAM 9-85.200 (Federally Protected Activities)), namely, alleged election fraud or patronage offenses, United States Attorneys shall consult with the Public Integrity Section before an investigation beyond a preliminary inquiry is requested or conducted. In this connection, the Department views any voter interviews in the preelection and balloting periods -- other than interviews of a complainant and any witnesses he or she may identify -- as beyond a preliminary investigation. Thus, the Public Integrity Section should be consulted before such interviews.

Finally, as with campaign financing matters, United States Attorneys also shall consult with the Public Integrity Section before instituting grand jury proceedings, filing an information, or seeking an indictment charging an election fraud or patronage offense.

The USAs couldn't do squat when it came to investigating and ultimately prosecuting public officials without approval from the Public Integrity Section in Washington, which, ironically, had gone through five section heads in five years. So why Welch? I think that in light of Murray Waas's article last week on the carte blanche HR memo for Sampson and Goodling, we need to look much more closely at Welch, particularly since, without the PIS's go-ahead, none of these corruption cases were going anywhere.

obsessed: Exactly!! This needs to be hotly pursued. And it's very encouraging that at least somebody on the inside has a conscience ... and a temper!

not necessarily. Remember, the ultimate goal for the loyal bushies who are left is to run out the clock on impeachment. The only reason Gonzales is still the AG is becuase it's easier to mark time with him in place than it would be with anyone else.

It's clear at this point that Harriet, Karl, Dick, Alberto, Paul, Doug, and Wheezy are all guilty as hell of one crime or another. But there still isn't enough evidence in the public domain to charge any of them and then convict beyond a reasonable doubt. And the burden of proof is on the prosecution- if the offense can't make the case, the defense doesn't need to do anything.

They don't need to prove that GWB is innocent. They just need to run the clock until his innocence or guilt doesn't matter any longer to the incumbent power structure. Based on the way the national attention to the 2008 presidential race is going, they only need to stall for another six or eight months before all the scandals are lost in time... like tears in rain...

My long-winded point is, if Karl has decided that throwing Abu to the wolves at this point is the best way to stall the press, he might have done the deed himself, in cold blood, knowing that the noise and fury around Gonzo's departure will give them another month or two before the truth comes out. In that case, it wouldn't be conscience, it would be premeditated political murder.

2 months for Gonzo's resignation, 2 months for an attack on Iran, 2 months for the dirt that Tim Griffin has already dug up on Hillary... and Hey Presto! It's January 2008! Who cares what Bush did in 2003, it's primary season and there's an election in nine months and Obama and Romney are on Meet the Press! Tune in tomorrow, when Oprah talks with Hillary and Rudy about raising kids in the face of infidelity! Olympics in Beijing! Terrorists attack Taiwan! Rightwing crackdown in France! The Surge is working! Secular revolution in Turkey!

And then it's December '08, and it's pardons for everyone. Seriously, if this scandal is going to force an impeachment, Waxman and Conyers better pick up the pace, because they only have about six months more before everyone just loses interest.

MBW - Very nice work. The US Attys Manual is online? Wow. Many years ago (before the web) we had to have a friend in the local office sneak one out for us to use on a malicious prosecution civil rights case we were representing the plaintiff on. Great resource; thanks! This provision would be an internal DOJ directive though; so as long as the order to conduct the inquiries, investigations and/or prosecutions came from or through a position higher than the PIS Chief, this provision may have no practical effect, even within the department.

Tekel: Very interesting (and horribly depressing) analysis! It didn't occur to me that Murray's source might be following Karl's script.

I heard Rep. Sánchez on Ed Schultz today talking about her high hopes for interviewing the soon-to-be-immunized Ms. Goodling. It wasn't very reassuring. No mention was made of proffers and Sánchez doesn't strike me as being the sharpest tool in the shed. I wonder what Whitehouse and Leahy are up to of late.

Sojourner,

Nope. Nothing from Rove.

But remember that he does 95% of his emailing from the rnc account. Anything to/from him would have to be sent separately, though, unless blind copies aren't being tracked in this analysis. If our little liason was meeting with him daily, or they were communicating via phone or text message, it wouldn't be part of this traffic flow anyway.

Given how special Griffin was (do you see such frenzied emailing over ANY other USA?), Rove had to be in the loop concerning his protegy.

If there were a handful of emails, I wouldn't be this suspicious, but the complete absence of them is like the absence of fingerprints on a doorknob.

...make that "prodigy" or something. I'm taking this migraine and going back down.

"protégé"

OT, sorry folks, I've gotten behind on my reading, so this is appropriate to a post from the 9th... But, I'm curious about this dead AUSA's business. I've seen several comments where this is mentioned in an offhand sort of way, as if it is common knowledge (maybe it is, but not to me). The phrase is always used in the plural form, but the only one I know of is the fellow in WA. I read the Flocco article (with the shaker of salt as recommended by John Forde), but I'm still unclear as to who comprises this group of dead AUSA's. So if anyone can point me to a link to bring me up to speed, I would appreciate it very much. Thanks!

OT, sorry folks, I've gotten behind on my reading, so this is appropriate to a post from the 9th... But, I'm curious about this dead AUSA's business. I've seen several comments where this is mentioned in an offhand sort of way, as if it is common knowledge (maybe it is, but not to me). The phrase is always used in the plural form, but the only one I know of is the fellow in WA. I read the Flocco article (with the shaker of salt as recommended by John Forde), but I'm still unclear as to who comprises this group of dead AUSA's. So if anyone can point me to a link to bring me up to speed, I would appreciate it very much. Thanks!

dang it, double clicked by accident, sorry for being repetitive...

bmaz - I agree that PIS would take orders from above, one would assume the head of the Criminal Division. That would be Alice S. Fisher, who got initially her job in a recess appointment in August, 2005, after it was determined by the White House that her confirmation probably would get stuck in Congress. She was finally confirmed in September, 2006.

There's a lot to worry about regarding, Fisher, beyond her lack of prosecutorial experience - as Leahy once put it, "I am somewhat concerned, however, that Ms. Fisher is nominated for one of the most visible prosecutorial positions in the country without ever having prosecuted a case..." She's very closely allied with Michael Chertoff, having worked with him in the private sector as well as the Crim Div when he headed it in the early years of the Administration. Fisher is also in charge of the Abramoff case, and I suspect was behing the really crappy plea deal with Steve Griles last month.

I'd be curious to see if there are emails between Fisher and Sampson regarding any USAs. She would be the one in the know as to how they were progressing on public corruption and voter fraud cases.

One other thing on Welch - Sampson and Goodling where purportedly put in charge of hiring and firing non-career appointments, those which are political but don't require Senate confirmation. Fisher's appointment needed confirmation - Welch, initially brought to Washington in August, 2006, did not. If they were in charge of filling that spot, what about Welch appealled to them so much?

Tekel: " scandals are lost in time... like tears in rain..."

Nice. Blade Runner?

phred - two in TX. I don't know much, but others have commented on them.

Thanks PJ -- I had just thought there might be a concise summary somewhere... No such luck though, eh? Thanks again...

MBW - Take a look at this flowchart http://www.usdoj.gov/criminal/links/orgchart.html Just about everybody is above, or equal to, the Public Integrity Section. And that is just in the criminal division of the USA heirarchy. You then have to consider all the leaders at DOJ Main which would also be superior. The two I had in mind specifically when I discussed it above were Sampson and, as EW likes to lovingly call her, Delilah (Goodling). They would be likely conduits for Rove and he would be the one leading this persecution scheme as far as I understand us to be discussing. The basic function of the PIS clearance provisions you have cited is to provide an authorization firewall for line level prosecutors and to make sure someone is keeping an overall overview of public official prosecutions over the 93 some odd offices. I guess what I am saying is, especially with this group of shills, if the directions were coming from "higher up" I don't think the PIS authorization provision probably means much to them. Not saying that it shouldn't mean something, just that it probably wouldn't with these guys. And, as long as Fisher was on board, which she would be, it is kind of moot. You raise another interesting point about Fisher and her lack of experience. It is flat freaking outrageous the inexperienced, wet behind the ears, little hacks they put in positions of authority. Sampson, Goodling and Fisher combined do not, to this day, have as much trial experience as I acquired in my first six months after being sworn into the bar. And I was in private practice, not a prosecutor or public defender. It is simply ridiculous.

MBW - Take a look at this flowchart http://www.usdoj.gov/criminal/links/orgchart.html Just about everybody is above, or equal to, the Public Integrity Section. And that is just in the criminal division of the USA heirarchy. You then have to consider all the leaders at DOJ Main which would also be superior. The two I had in mind specifically when I discussed it above were Sampson and, as EW likes to lovingly call her, Delilah (Goodling). They would be likely conduits for Rove and he would be the one leading this persecution scheme as far as I understand us to be discussing. The basic function of the PIS clearance provisions you have cited is to provide an authorization firewall for line level prosecutors and to make sure someone is keeping an overall overview of public official prosecutions over the 93 some odd offices. I guess what I am saying is, especially with this group of shills, if the directions were coming from "higher up" I don't think the PIS authorization provision probably means much to them. Not saying that it shouldn't mean something, just that it probably wouldn't with these guys. And, as long as Fisher was on board, which she would be, it is kind of moot. You raise another interesting point about Fisher and her lack of experience. It is flat freaking outrageous the inexperienced, wet behind the ears, little hacks they put in positions of authority. Sampson, Goodling and Fisher combined do not, to this day, have as much trial experience as I acquired in my first six months after being sworn into the bar. And I was in private practice, not a prosecutor or public defender. It is simply ridiculous.

Hey Now! I didn't hit the thing twice, it made me do the secret code that is hard for blind little bats like me to read, and then it came up posted twice! Sorry.

obsessed,

Thanks. I learned to cope with the dyslexia long ago, by having part of the mind run behind and alert me when something didn't look right. A few years ago, I burnt out severely and became saddled with this constant migraine. Even when I can take medication to shove back the pain, part of the brain just doesn't function like it used to. The creative problem-solving part is still there, but communications is just shot. :(

Yesterday a friend was helping me try to salvage a computer to replace this one. I pulled out the memory chips and wished that working on human brains was a matter of swapping bits until intelligence occurred. Since that beastie is still brain-dead, Dr Frankenstein has no usurper.

Even so, I am more fortunate than those powerful beings who are running this country into the ground. How many "friends" stood by Abramoff? Has Cheney yet bothered to call Libby and offer a word of support? Cat-Killer Frist may have a wonderful health-plan-for-life, but it is unlikely he'll ever wield scalpel or gavel again. Nobody wants to work with Wolfowitz. The DC Madam may have more respect than Monica. By the time Bush leaves office, he'll enter the history books as the most despised and despicable president ever. People who are proven corrupt are like plague-bearers, and the only people who visit are the guys with the cart yelling "bring out your dead!"

bmaz, flow charts can be deceiving, as I learned from my years of research on Interior. For example, Minerals Management Services is in a similar reporting position, but the head of the department, the so to be departed Rejane "Johnnie" Burton, wielded enormous power and was no simple stooge of her superiors.

Welch signed Griles' indictment papers, which got me interested in him in the first place. The lack of any requirement to cooperate in the Abramoff or other investigations is so unbelievable, it couldn't have been merely a fluke. We clearly should be looking at the Deputy AAG in charge of the PIS as well.

phred: here's more on the the AUSAs from Texas (links added)

http://www.dailykos.com/storyonly/2007/5/8/165634/7378
23. Northern Texas USA Richard Roper: From April 17, hat tip to James Risser for tipping me off to this story in his diary http://www.dailykos.com/storyonly/2007/4/17/18120/2944 . Quite simply, what the hell's been going on in this office? They open an investigation into Novation LLC, a subsidiary of health care giant Tenet HealthCare, and two of the Assistant US Attorney's (AUSAs) working the case suddenly die. Two months later, three other AUSA's in the Dallas office resigned, two to go into private practice, and one to retire.

Thelma Quince-Colbert - dead
Shannon Ross - dead
Michael Uhl, Michael Snipes, and Leonard Senerote - resigned

MBW - Don't get me wrong, I agree completely with your thoughts. I am just saying that, to this group, there is not as much significance to that ministerial provision in the handbook. As long as an order "came from above", and was promulgated through the theocrat chain, I don't think they give a damn about process.

Thanks PJ -- I really appreciate it!

Phred,
There are at least two other murders of AUSAs during the Bush admin. In addition to Wales in WA, there was Luna in MD, referred to in some previous threads, and Michael C. Messer, an AUSA in Illinois murdered while attending a conference in SC.

If the two suspicious deaths in TX were in fact murders, that makes 5 total that I know of. There are about 5,000 AUSAs, and I don't know if this represents an unusually high murder rate, given that they deal with some very dangerous characters. Apparently the rate of violent attacks and threats against federal prosecutors has gone up 60% in the Bush years as well.

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