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June 14, 2007

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if gonzo ain't next, then my bluedog democratic congresscritter is next

we're getting rid of these crooked fuckers, and my congresscritter needs to decide who's side he is on

Tin foil hat time:

So if the IG says AG should go, does that get used as precedent in the Scooter appeal to argue that the administration can in fact conduct an effective investigation of itself?

That is, toss AG under the bus to bolster the argument for Scooter?

Seems bogus (maybe interesting factually but not legal precedent in the appeal), but these guys value PR and talking points more than the law anyway.

you connect dots like nobody's business--thank you (again and so much). No beer thirty, huh?

Albert

No, because IG would still have to refer it to somebody. And that person would need to report to someone. I suppose he or she could report to Clement, but that's dubious, IMO. And if that person reported to Clement, you'd be back where Fitz is now, reporting to someone who is not sufficiently political to count.

". . .The last time an internal investigation at the Department of Justice got too close for comfort the White House shut it down. I hope this investigation will not suffer the same fate as the OPR inquiry into the warrantlesss wiretapping program. . ."

-- sen. patrick leahy: 06.14.07

just f.y.i., here -- senator leahy considered
subpoenas today re the legal basis for the above
mentioned warrantless wire-tapping. . . he must
wait one week, now, as a republican has placed
a seven-day hold on the subpeona process. . .

but as EW cogently makes plain, both fitzs'
authority, and the meaningful check (by over-
sight by congress) on executive branch powers
are threatened by the legal shenanigans
team libby are presently pursuing. . .

now, mr. libby is absolutely entitled to his appeal.

but my suggestion is that his claim of error, based
on the alleged lack of constitutional authority
for fitz is -- to my eye -- not much more than
naked politics masquerading at the appellate ball
as a "close question" of law. . .
the law in this area is settled.

it is set-forth in morrison. and judge walton
has studiously and scrupulously applied it to scooter's
facts -- so, scooter's facts have been weighed, and
measured -- and been found. . . wanting.

even jeralyn merrit now agrees it very likely
that scoots will do some jail time later this
summer
-- and that is quite a relief to me -- to
see such a leading light of the criminal defense
bar come right out and say so. . .

and i think that will do much
to help the average american believe
that, in the main, the system works.


is McNulty invited back before a congressional committee? does anybody know when?

This attack on the appointment power in the context of the DOJ's power to prosecute the executive really from the stand point of impeachment I would think represents a movement for an evolution of congressional oversite involving the greater exercise of impeachment. This becomes the case because without any DOJ involvement in special prosecutions impeachment then becomes the only remedy to any failure of the executive or the agents of the executive to adhere to legislative perogatives where illegal conduct is involved (read crime).

The trend to permit law by administrative regulation subject only to prescription upon a finding of "arbitrary and capricious" does not translate to a remedy where there are affirmative violations of positive law within the executive. And this is especially true if the DOJ will not prosecute clear violations of positive law for political reasons.

Still with the practical limitation of having to few republican senators insisting upon legal behaviour within the executive branch we are at risk of falling into a constiutional black hole where there is no effective check on the executive's perogative if special prosecutions are limited. For the most part established business interest resent the rule of law, its contractual matters being assured by adhesions and a pressing impetus toward monopoly and anti-trust. And this is the ethos currently realized in the executive. The only hope in the short term involves a continued clear demonstration
of the anti-democratic ethos so rife in the admininstations cynical policies. Let the hue and cry go out.

Judge Walton clearly saw what is at stake in the oligarchical arguments made before him. It is time to return to the general consideration of first principles. Constitutional amendment has fallen to meta-legislation. Impeachment must be pursued earnestly. The polite comity which the Democratic leadership has extended to the White House is exhausted. If the comity were reciprocal would this in your face appointment have gone down?

. . .is McNulty invited back before a congressional committee? does anybody know when?

Posted by: mighty mouse | June 14, 2007 at 18:43

next week -- but, if memory serves,
it may be a private interview, not
public testimony. . . i think it
is tuesdaythe 19th -- but it might
be thursday the 21st, will post on
it by monday, the 18th, no matter what. . .

could I go off topic here for a minute ???

thanks

this is for Sara:

in the "Joe Chooses His New Friend, Karl Rove, Over the Rule of Law" thread, the conversation turned toward a discussion of the Hmong community in Wisconsin. could you please do more writing on this topic ???

I live in a city in California that has a large population of refugees from the Vietnam war, and I'm interested in discussing the progress they're making

I promise to contribute some insight, but I'm no expert on the topic

thanks for your time, we now return you to your normally scheduled programming

Emptywheel: "No wonder Leahy was so quick to suggest that DOJ's investigations of Gonzales don't always get to proceed as real investigations."

At least in that investigation, Bush had the excuse of 'protecting classified information' to block OPR's investigation into the (ongoing) warrantless wiretap fiasco.

Bush doesn't seem to have any excuse he can use to block this one.

Which raises the question: how will OPR go about investing the Goodling/Gonzo conversation, anyway? It would seem Gonzo and Goodling are the only witnesses.

Gonzo will either lie outright, or say he doesn't remember anything.

Goodling will... what? Try to frame everything in the best light for Gonzo? Throw him under the bus? Cry? Will OPR take at face value the testimony of someone who resigned in disgrace and took the Fifth Amendment before Congress?

Presumably, OPR will ask Goodling whom she spoke to about the Gonzales conversation, and then ask for their testimony. But even if their testimony matches up with Goodlings the credibility problem still remains, since Goodling is the original source of their testimony.

I think that'll be Gonzales' out. Either Goodling lets him off the hook by framing her testimony in a way that puts Gonzales in the best possible light, or she gets smeared as a distraught and not creditable witness.

I hope I'm wrong. I'm sure Gonzales did try to influence Goodling's testimony, because that's just the kind of guy he is. But I don't see how OPR is going to prove it, even if they make the effort -- which is also questionable.

Yuck, I really hated writing that. Please, someone, come up with another investigative route that doesn't lead to Gonzo being let off the hook for this. I'd love to be proven wrong, or even possibly wrong - give me hope.

Albert Fall:


So if the IG says AG should go, does that get used as precedent in the Scooter appeal to argue that the administration can in fact conduct an effective investigation of itself?

That is, toss AG under the bus to bolster the argument for Scooter?

In addition to what Marcy said above, there's another reason that would never happen. Think about it: Will Bush throw his BFF under the bus in order to save Dick Cheney's BFF?

Not bloody likely.

The Goopers are going to rue the day that they challenged the ability of special counsels to investigate executive branch misconduct. Because then the only way to hold executive branch officials accountable is...impeachment.

Are the Goopers assuming that after the public revulsion against the Clinton impeachment, the impeachment process is so discredited that the public will simply shrug its soldiers at the criminal enterprise being run by the president? Certainly, it sometimes seems like the Democratic caucus believes this.

But they're wrong. If they keep taking the position that the only possible way to hold the Executive Branch accountable is impeachment, the public will demand it.

emptywheel - you really have to watch hardball from tonight. They had some idiot "Cheney aid" talking against Pat Buchanan. I mean this guy got on tv on a national news cast - 24 months after it has been disproven time and time again and said Valarie Plame was not covert. And the host and Pat Buchanan did not say a freakin thing..

Litigatormom - I'm watching Douglas Kmiec on the News Hour right now - he was criticizing Judge Walton's decision of course, as one would expect of the AI, you're so right about the Republicans throwing the special counsel off the bus to save Scooter, I hope this comes back to bite them very soon. Kmiec is particularly disingenous in this interview. By the time they're done, they'll have made Scooter into the biggest political prisoner since Nelson Mandela. Which reminds me, when Dick Cheney was a Wyoming congressman, he opposed Mandela's release.

well,

i'm not sure i see why fitzgerald's legitimacy should have any bearing on a congressional investigation of the a.g.

maybe you can elucidate.

right now, what has been happening is that bush admin lawyers, including doj lawyers,

have been getting the democrats in congress to chase the rabbit around the track.

and around again

and again.


unless and until democratic leadership in congress takes control of the doj investigation by forcefully asserting congressional jurisdiction and authority,

we are going to see more or this evasive nonsense.

right now, the bush white house is like a jet dodging heat seeking missiles -

all defensive maneuvers, but successfully so.


if and when the daftly meandering patrick leahy and the evasively partisan john conyers.

along with "kindly uncle harry" reid

finally decide to quite playing CONGRESSIONAL politics,

and start play NATIONAL politics for the nation's acceptance and support,

then the whitehouse stonewalling will change character in a hurry -

independent of any decision on fitzgerald's legitimacy.


in fact, in my opinion,

the question of fitzgerald's "legitimacy" is a specious argument,

a legal red-herring to draw attention away from libby's lying.

TPM has a piece on Tim Griffin crying at the Clinton School of Public Service saying "Public Service is not worth it" -- can you believe that???

After seeing Fitz's address to Amherst last weekend about public service and observing his work in the past few years -- the contrasts in a truly exceptional public servant (Fitz) and the whiney, self-serving, political hack & tool, Griffin pretending to be a public servant makes me beyond nauseous and ill...

I don't think the investigation will go very far. Who will approve the prosecution. A special prosecutor is needed.

"this in your face appointment" = Cardona

Illegal and unconstitutional wiretapping, a Department of Justice so politicized that it can no longer deliver justice, an Executive branch that has all but declared it is outside of the normal bounds of the constitutional framework, and an Administration stocked in personnel who are regularly engaged in ignoring, obstructing, evading or lying to Congress thereby denying Congress its duly constituted powers of oversight.

Republicans in Congress respond by "having the President's back," by using every procedural manuever and vote they can employ to ensure that no meaningful votes are taken on the issues of the day. Democrats in Congress respond to these political manuevers much like deer caught in the headlights before finally saying "enough is enough" and then the next day it happens all over again.

An impotent legislative branch, an ascendant and unchecked Executive branch, an uncertain Judiciary - all as backdrop to a looming Constitutional crisis. The crisis that Democrats fear and seek to avoid at all costs, perhaps willing to lose the Republic in the process. The brinkmanship that Republicans so brazenly, nakedly and unapologetically play, even at the expense of losing the Republic in the process. A lameduck Presidential Administration, confined to the ash heaps of Presidential history, that is able and willing (some say eager to make its mark) to remake the Republic into something the founders would not recognize by neutering a hestitant Congress, politicizing the justice and electoral systems, dismantling the Constitutionally established checks and balances and daring all and any who would attempt to apply the Constitutional brakes on their overreach. An Administration that would rather gamble the Republic and lose than yield.

The only question that remains is, will the Republic be unbroken?

Will the "Supremes" save the Republic? If I were a betting man, and I'm not, I'd wager 50/50 odds on it, if it comes to this. I suspect that the Democratic Congressional leaders will fold in a misguided and naieve attempt to save the Republic. But what they save, will it be worth having?

Judy Woodruff's riff on the Cheney sentencing hearing was cub reporter stuff. Carol Leonnig's summary was too; she almost fell asleep giving it. She mentioned Mrs. Scooter's tears, but little about Walton, and nothing about Fitz's case or Libby's crimes.

Woodruff's lede was all Walton's refusal to let Libby stay free; only much later could a viewer figure out why he was going to jail. After Leonnig's summary, Woodruff had an LA white collar crime litigator and Doug Kmiec as commentators.

What idiot producer chose Kmiec as a neutral commentator? He's a committed pro-Libby advocate. Woodruff was unable to control him. He took the lion's share of the segment, moving from the "no underlying crime" canard to an excessive sentence claim to characterizing Walton's derisive "I wouldn't accept the AI brief from a first-year law student" as "name calling". He finished with a recital of Libby's appellate defense, ignoring Judy's sotto voce attempt to interrupt him. It was a poor performance from a would be nationally ranked journalist. The report was so deferential as to invite suspicion that it was intended as a pro-Libby piece.

But what I intended to say in this post was that the GOP Senators seem to have given up any pretense of fulfilling their basic obligations as citizens. They have given those up in favor of protecting Team Shrub. Water Boys don't get no varisty letters, but I suppose they get lucrative support, or better yet, their blind support keeps KKKarl's dogs off their tails for not giving it. As usual, Shrub still breaks everything he picks up.

Judy Woodruff's riff on the Cheney sentencing hearing was cub reporter stuff. Carol Leonnig's summary was too; she almost fell asleep giving it. She mentioned Mrs. Scooter's tears, but little about Walton, and nothing about Fitz's case or Libby's crimes.

Woodruff's lede was all Walton's refusal to let Libby stay free; only much later could a viewer figure out why he was going to jail. After Leonnig's summary, Woodruff had an LA white collar crime litigator and Doug Kmiec as commentators.

What idiot producer chose Kmiec as a neutral commentator? He's a committed pro-Libby advocate. Woodruff was unable to control him. He took the lion's share of the segment, moving from the "no underlying crime" canard to an excessive sentence claim to characterizing Walton's derisive "I wouldn't accept the AI brief from a first-year law student" as "name calling". He finished with a recital of Libby's appellate defense, ignoring Judy's sotto voce attempt to interrupt him. It was a poor performance from a would be nationally ranked journalist. The report was so deferential as to invite suspicion that it was intended as a pro-Libby piece.

But what I intended to say in this post was that the GOP Senators seem to have given up any pretense of fulfilling their basic obligations as citizens. They have given those up in favor of protecting Team Shrub. Water Boys don't get no varisty letters, but I suppose they get lucrative support, or better yet, their blind support keeps KKKarl's dogs off their tails for not giving it. As usual, Shrub still breaks everything he picks up.

Ishmael,

I thought that Douglas Kmiec was very effective in his description of the problems with the obstruction case that Fritzgerald made, and that Walton bought.

By your reaction, I realize that I was right.

hey, the shit stain found somebody that told her what she wanted to hear, so now the shit stain is CERTAIN that scooter is innocent and Judge Walton is a hack

well, you just can't argue with evidence like that, can you

I mean, a guy SAID it ON TELEVISION, so that makes it true, right ???

so just ignore all that inconvienient evidence from the Grand Juries, The FBI, The DOJ, A US Attorney, A US Appelate Court, and the CIA

some wingnut agrees with the shit stain, so the shit stain must be right, right ???

come on shit stain, you can do better than that, or are you making this too easy on purpose ???

In our obsession with their current defenses against a thorough investigation of the DoJ US Attorney firings, I worry that we might lose sight of the fact that they made a really surprisingly big mistake. I still wonder why they went ahead with the firings after losing the mid-terms.

After a several week postponement, Kelly wrote, "We're a go for the US Atty plan. WH leg, political, and communications have signed off and acknowledged that we have to be committed once the pressure comes."

Looks to me like there aren't many of "we" left. All of the people who signed off on the firings in the White House are out of government - Miers, Taylor, Bartlett. Everyone directly involved with the firings at the Department of Justice is out of government. Only the people behind firewalls - Alberto Gonzales and Karl Rove - remain. They exposed their voter fraud scheme to the light of day in the process.

Did they just get dumb all of a sudden or is there something about the stakes we don't yet know?

I thought that Douglas Kmiec was very effective in his description of the problems with the obstruction case that Fritzgerald made, and that Walton bought.
Posted by: Jodi | June 15, 2007 at 00:49

The jury determines the truth. The truth was not a close question. It was decided unanimously and beyond a reasonable doubt. Walton's job is to rule on matters of law. What you say about Walton buying Fitzgerald's obstruction case is immaterial.

Mickey 2:05 -- IMO, they knew they didn't stand a chance in certain districts if they did not continue to manipulate the vote via "voter fraud". Refer to Scott Jenning's PowerPoint presentation given at GSA under Lurita Doan's management, and note particularly the comments about the impact that corruption had on certain races; they knew they had a future problem since districts would continue to be dogged by the impact of current and future scandals. Rep. Jerry Lewis' district, for example, could be in play more than it would otherwise be, should Lewis be indicted. Not only is Cardona as USA in that district expected to slow down the investigation into Lewis' corruption, but he is expected to keep up pressure on "voter fraud" to discourage turnout of Democratic voters, particularly if they have weak Repug candidates (could be the case if the locals expected Lewis to continue in that seat until he dropped).

Of course there is the long-term impact on any district that pursuit of "voter fraud" may have; minority voters might not turn out for elections beyond 2008 because of lingering distrust. And there is the chance that they merely wanted to load the pipeline with potential future judicial candidates by giving them a crack at USA slots -- but nothing we've seen in the document dumps supports this in any way, particularly when DOJ folks are referring to problems with folks like Lam in SDCA district. (On this they screwed themselves; they stood a greater chance of getting a moderate Repug named to the bench under a Democratic majority than the wingers with which they replaced them. There's no chance in hell that Tim Griffin will ever be confirmed to any appointment under a Dem majority.)

Mickey,

The timing of the mass firing was tied to one thing, and one thing only, the expiration of Carol Lam's term as U.S. Attorney. As we can see with Graves, Cummins, and Heffelinger, it was much safer to fire USAs one at a time. They knew they could never get away with firing Carol Lam by herself.

WO -- very true, they had no choice but to muddy the picture about Lam with other terminations; Chiara in WDMI is an a termination that was questionable using the lens of "voter fraud" cases or corruption (unless there was something else brewing that hasn't been made public). Hence the repeated references to "the plan".

But they are clearly continuing with their game plan on "voter fraud", as exemplified by news in North Carolina. The tack now may be to salvage key incumbencies, might be worth check to see on which committees certain incumbents serve.

Looks like it's time to impeach Gonzales!

Either Congressional Repubs 'do the right thing' and we go about fixing DOJ or they do the wrong thing and get smashed in the next elections. Either way Dems are doing the right thing and benefitting politically.

Neil,

that jury would have convicted Libby of the IIPA violation as well as lying about speaking about Plame to the reporters, but the charge wasn't made because of legal problems besides the burden of proof required.

I think from what I have heard, that the obstruction charge shouldn't have been made either.

Sure it was addressed but the question is now whether the handling of the question(the addressing) was wrong.

Neil,

that jury would have convicted Libby of the IIPA violation as well as lying about speaking about Plame to the reporters, but the charge wasn't made because of legal problems besides the burden of proof required.

I think from what I have heard, that the obstruction charge shouldn't have been made either.

Sure it was addressed but the question is now whether the handling of the question(the addressing) was wrong.

Posted by: shit stain | June 15, 2007 at 15:54

the shit stain heard somebody say what she thought in the first place, so the argument is over

some guy said so on television

the shit stain don't care about judges and juries

somebody told the shit stain what she
wanted to hear, and you can't ever convince a shit stain of anything the shit stain doesn't want to hear

whaaa

Just for fun, let's review. When this story broke, the first thing I thought was that Karl Rove thought it up. Bush and Cheney were in the room, along with whomever else, and everyone thought it was brilliant, and totally hilarious. They all signed off on it and wished it had been their invention. The average grammar school student knows all of these things are crimes, big crimes. Fast forward to now: the Bush administration remains confidently in denial, as in "nothing happened." Their loyal defenders exist because imbeciles have a right to be politically active, belong to a party and have a president. Their effective strategy is simple, of course: (1) when you lie, things vanish into thin air, and (2) everyone knows arguing with an imbecile is a waste of time. They assume: (1) fellow imbeciles can do no wrong, (2) Patrick Fitzgerald isn't a real human being, (3) judges are loose cannons dreamed up by cartoonists and (3) there is no such thing as case law or U.S. Code. What a long, strange trip it's been.

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