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June 29, 2007

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Marcy, you are mentioned over at Think Progress on this issue.

Think Progress via Raw story:

"UPDATE: Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) raised these concerns in remarks this morning:

[T]he suggestion at the end of Mr. [Fred] Fielding’s letter that ‘we may all return to more productive activity on behalf of the nation.’ I think it is extremely productive to assure the people of the United States that their Department of Justice can be trusted. It is an enormous power, the power of federal prosecution, and if it is not wielded sensibly, and if it is not wielded honorably, and if it is not wielded without political purpose, we have a grave issue that demands our attention.

And then in the Solicitor General’s letter, here’s some interesting stuff. He’s reviewed the communications among the White House Counsel. Quote: “these communications discuss specific U.S. Attorneys who could be removed, potential replacement candidates, and possible responses to congressional and media inquires about the dismissals.” We’ve been wondering if this went into the White House. Clearly it does."

Whitehouse is no dummy. I think Clement will be seeing a request to testify soon.

Marcy...Bingo...on the president. When can we begin impeachment on Bush and Cheney? It needs to include both of them. There clearly needs to be an investigation. Plain and simple and the scope of the investigation must include Bush as well as Cheney.

Just thinking aloud here… Fielding, not Bush, asserted Bush had no involvement. Facts to the contrary will be contested. Scenarios in which the testimony of facts to the contrary will painstakingly avoided.

There is nothing illegal about Fielding lying to the press, whether as "SENIOR ADMINISTRATION OFFICIAL" or Counsel for the President.

By requiring attribution to Senior Admin Official Fielding distances himself so as to avoid repercussion from the bar if they took an interest in a “public” defense hinging on a prevarication.

Then again, the President's Counsel lied to the press yesterday.

FRom the Gavel:

"Chairmen Leahy and Conyers Write to Fielding

June 29th, 2007 by Jesse Lee

Today, House and Senate Judiciary Chairmen John Conyers and Patrick Leahy sent a letter to White House Counsel Fred Fielding, responding to the President’s executive privilege assertion over documents relating to the US Attorney investigation. The two reiterated their concern that the president’s assertion was unprecedented and over-reaching. They also demanded the White House “immediately provide us with the specific bases for your claims regarding each document withheld via a privilege log…and a copy of any explicit determination by the President with respect to the assertion of privilege.” "

Part of the letter:

"In fact, the letter you enclosed from Acting Attorney General Clement makes clear that internal White House documents, which you have refused even to discuss making available, contain information directly responsive to our subpoenas. According to Mr. Clement, those documents specifically discuss “the possible dismissal and replacement of U.S. Attorneys,” the “wisdom of such a proposal, specific U.S. Attorneys who could be removed, potential replacement candidates, and possible responses to congressional and media inquiries about the dismissals.” The subject matter of these documents heightens our concern about the involvement of White House officials in these firings and in the inaccurate testimony given to our Committees about them, including possible obstruction of justice and other violations of federal law. It is precisely for these reasons that we have sought for many months to obtain information from the White House."

Conyers and Leahy are giving them to July 9th to comply.

Here is the Gavel page for the above, it includes their definition of Executive Privilege:
http://www.speaker.gov/blog/?p=538

I know it's trite. I know it's a ciche. I know it's been said before. Ohhh! What a tangled web we weave... And, worse for the WH: You can cover all of your asses some of the time. And you can cover some of your asses all of the time. But you can't cover all of your asses all of the time. (Apologies to Aesop and Abraham.)
Keep stirring, Marcy!

Bravo, Canuck! There aren't enough forests to make the paper to do the covering necessary for the Bush/Cheney regime.

CSiM--that made me smile. But you might want to dumb it down a peg or two for the President's benefit: something along the lines of, "You can't get yer ass covered again."

I know, it's been said before. Now watch 'is drive.

So how do you exert executive privilege if you were not involved in the discussion? This doesn't sound like executive privilege. Fielding seems to be saying that the President was never involved, should we ask the next question: was the internal discussion performed on his behalf? Did he wish it, or was this a rogue enterprise, maybe even done so that Bush could claim he didn't know?

If the president hadn't approved the list of US Attorneys to be fired, there would have been no authority to fire them. Gonzales can recommend it, but only the president has the authority to let them go, just as only he can hire them, subject to their confirmation by the Senate. No doubt most of the process and details are managed by delegatees, but the president must sign off. Fielding's blanket statement seems so knowingly overbroad as to be planful obfuscation.

"I don't know about you, but I wouldn't lose much sleep if Paul McNulty is made to leave over this, too."

Marcy, that's your last line from the March 23 "18-day gap" article, you were presciently prophetic, if I may be re-redundant. Considering it was May 14 when your predciction came true, I think you are entitled to some more reverent respect from the blogosphere... and from the MSM, but that is unlikely.

Maybe we need to revise our definition of "executive privilege", in ths age of BUSH, it really means "protecting corporate executive's privileges..."

Exposing Bush's signature on politically-motivated DOJ appointments is apparently one of their biggest fears. They KNOW it is getting too close to some of the lies that are still nestled into the public's wounded psyche.,

PS to Mr. Fielding...

Oversight IS legislation...

"You can cover all of your asses some of the time. And you can cover some of your asses all of the time. But you can't cover all of your asses all of the time. (Apologies to Aesop and Abraham.)
Keep stirring, Marcy!"
LOL... that's the best Bush Era paraphraze I've read yet...

And let's not forget the ole line....they(USA's) serve at the pleasure of the president...yet...the president had no personal involvement. Just whose pleasure were these people(USAs) serving...Moncia's? Kyle's? (They've denied it). Karl and/or Fourthbranch?...and therefore did the preznit have involvement by substitute or by proxy?

RE: Executive Privilege -

"Let's go ahead and have the courts decide it, and we'll honor whatever they decide," said Senator John Cornyn (R-TX) Thursday afternoon on CNN's Situation Room program.

Well there you have it. The neo-cons have the path layed. They have set this up knowing the end goal at the courhouse and they have court waiting to give them what they want.

This is not just a constitutional crisis, this is a battle against and attempted coup.

Sure don't like the way this is shaping up.

Lets see if Ive got this straight (with apologies for not being able to include apostrophes, dashes and who know what other punctuation):
1. The US attorneys serve at the pleasure of the president. He can fire them for any reason shown not to be improper.
2. The presidents office claims the president was not involved in the process. Thus, we must conclude that he (unknowingly, at first) delegated authority to others to weed out any he would consider not "pleasing." The subordinates who came up with the plan knew theyd be thanked for anticipating the presidents desires.
3. With this unofficial authority, Regent grads went to all lengths and beyond to weed out those found to be offensive to their ultra-conservative leanings, knowing that they would be eliminating those also found to be "unpleasurable" or "displeasing" to the president when they actually called the president to the meeting to unveil their labors and have him nod in agreement: "Yes, these US attorneys -- whoever they are -- no longer please me; find suitable replacements... oh, you have already? Then by all means, move forward. We are all about moving forward."
4. Midway in the process, the president had a dream about "the list." Thereafter, if a legislator phoned the president with concerns or demands about specific attorneys, the president covered his ears, shouted "Not listening, not listening," then had the call transferred to a "senior administration official," who could alert the Regent crew.
5. ___________: (Thats 18 days worth of missing communication among the delegate-ees to ascertain just which attorneys the president would blindly sign off on as being most egregious in his quest to make Mericans safer ... not safe, but safer.)
6. Voila! We have a purely proper re-staffing of those who serve at the pleasure of the president.

Am I missing anything?

In my experience, "Let the courts decide" is also a classic cop-out by government officials who don't want to make a dcision themselves. Of course, I represented the state Exec Branch and various Board and Commissions. Still, it was a classic dodge when they didn't want to make an unpopular decision. They'd just let themselves get sued and then tell their critics "The Court made us do it!" if we lost and they had to take an unpopular action.

Of course Cornyn is la slime de la slime, but it doesn't necessarily mean they've got it wired, just that they can pass the buck.

Dismayed - That is exactly why we need to proceed with impeachment of Gonzales, so that the broad and powerful investigatory powers available under impeachment can be unleashed. Most all of the stonewalling abilities are either neutralized or severely diminished in the face of an impeachment investigation.

Dismayed and Mimikatz: I am a Texas citizen, and I am extremely tired of the attitude among our elected officials that whatever the President wants to do, we'll do it. At least Kay Bailey Hutchison was doing some independent work on the immigration bill. As for Cornyn, I will do everything in my power to get him out of office...

As for the attempted coup concept, I am thinking that maybe we are seeing that beginning to break down. But, like you, I have many apprehensions. I have been reading Greenwald's book, and it is like someone pointed out a little earlier: Bush is totally lame, and has nothing to lose at this point. That IS scary...

Cornyn doesn't have anything wired, he is a freaking dumb stooge.

Sojourner, I live in Austin, and couldn't agree more. Although I haven't forgotten that Kay has played RNC mouthpiece to the level of absurdity in the past and is little more than a party bot as far as I'm concerned.

BMAZ - I'm with you all the way. I don't see that congress has any choice at this point. Congress needs to start slugging and start slugging hard. The way things are shaping up impeachement seems to be our only hope of stopping this mudslide against the republic.

I just wish the press wasn't AWOL. That's really our biggest problem in dealing with Bush.

Bmaz -
"Cornyn doesn't have anything wired, hes is a freaking dumb stooge."

Sure he is. But he's putting the talking point out there for the RNC. Transparent to us, but not to the average joe. Cornyn is tooling for those who do have it gamed.

Speaks volumes to me.

I have to say that the only thing that happened of much significance above was that a few strawmen were created and then burned with glee.

There is just too much opinion that some people are eager to believe as the gospel, and others just get glassy eyed at.

As a ~stranger (guest) in a strange land (blog)~, I won't be so rude as to give an example or two using this very Blog as to what was done.

Taking it to the courts also pushes the event horizon vack too. The WH would be able to say they aren't going to testify, turnover documents etc, until the question is settled. Cornyn is also putting in a stalling tactic.

Again EW, most excellent work. You are tenacious. And it's breathtaking.

to Marcy....

OK - this has always confused me.

If, as has been said a million times, the US attornys serve "at the pleasure of the President" how can anyone at DoJ deny talking or communicating with the President? And yet, they ALL have said they had no contact with anyone in the Whitehouse.

Even Gonzales said the he (Gonzales) made the "decision"...(leaving out who actually made the list and that he can't remember when the decision was made), the Attorney General is not the President.

So if Gonzales made the decision, he's obviously not the President...am I just missing something here or what???
(also asked on kos)

Pat,

it is called Delegation of Authority.

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