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March 29, 2007


EW - Why would Conyers and Leahy agree to this? I was under the impression that the Administration had already agreed to send these folks to the Hill. Why agree to these limitations after the fact? More important (at least to my inquiring beady little mind) is a post and question I made at the end of your last thread about classification. Dying to know what I am missing there. If you are so inclined, feel free to email me or respond in comments. Thanks

As a counter-point, what is to stop Leahy from agreeing to whatever terms Justice asks for, and then ignoring that "agreement" once the poor sap is on the stand? What would Goodling say? "You promised not to ask me that! I'm going to tell Karl you're not playing nice!"

Yeah, that's going to go over real well.

Agreed. But whats to stop Leahy from simply issuing subpoenas to these DOJ pricks and putting them on the stand for examination on any and every topic wanted? Why mess around with interviews? Executive priviledge may wash as to Gonzales, but I don't see how it does to these DOJ civil servants. Maybe its just easier and quicker to get anything they can immediately

Let the technocrats at Justice and the WH try to limit stuff!!! USA Today Polls point to 72% of the public approving of what Leahy is leading now, and 68% want more investigations on other issues. Those numbers are "mad as hell and aren't going to take it any more." The technocratic limitations will only push the numbers up a few more points.

Maybe Robert Byrd could get his fiddle out again (he hasn't played since the death of his wife), and tune up. This is a huge movement that needs Byrd's fiddle, his lectures on the Roman Senate, and Leahy's craftsmanlike leadership -- plus much else. Did anyone see the little behind the Dias act today when Leahy -- pissed at the objection to the committee's meeting during floor debate, sent Grassley packing over to the Senate to read the riot act to the objectors. If it is re-run -- watch the look on Grassley's face as he get's his marching orders from Pat Leahy, as Spector lays back from the conversation. Notice that Grassley actually did what he was told, and delivered. "Yes Mr. Chairman, I'll deliver." Talk about deliverables!!

This dynamic that is empowering Pat Leahy is time sensitive, but it needs to remain powerful until Gonzales resigns, and Leahy can force Bush to appoint a professional and essentially non-partisian AG to replace him, and who can clean out the Bushies from DOJ. Other things will follow from that (such as the end of Hertling and his limitations on truth) -- but he is not the actual problem right now. Rove and Bush need to agree to accept Gonzales's resignation (or fire him) and then deal with what Leahy will demand in a New AG. To say the least, after today, Bush and Rove have a very weak hand. No one is in a mood for buying what they are selling these days.

Never forget that Leahy is playing a nifty one vote margin for all it can be worth (which might be worth a shout out at the right time -- let's say to the 7000 folk in VA who voted for Webb and produced our grand margin,) but it was enough to get this dynamic going. Such a thing does not happen very often, so we must enjoy and yet carefully conserve and observe it.

Am I the only one who sees the sad irony of this letter. It's the Justice Department lawyering up.

so has leahy also agreed?

or just conyers?

sara is right about the time sensitivity and about keeping the momentum going.

i just hope hertling's document isn't used at some future time to argue for these same limitations on testimony.

i would ppreciate comments on leahy, similar to e'wheels comments last year on her impressions of sen reid.

i like leahy, but he seems very slow - maybe that's age and experience plus a lot of lawyerly patience, but i just don't know.

William Ockham,

No you aren't the only one seeing sad irony. I believe that the look on Fitzgerald's face in that photo was due to the deeply-felt realization that his "team captain" in charge of Justice was fully as corrupt as those he'd been investigating. And remember what I said about corruption a couple days back? With the move to appoint prosecutors who were political hacks, the rot spreads. That probably galls him, too. Quis custodiet ipsos custodes.


Have you seen this?

Did prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald know about this bypass when he subpoenaed White House emails pursuant to the Plamegate investigation? If he had, "Scooter" Libby might not have been the only one brought to trial.


I think that the revelation of additional emails on additional servers might qualify as new evidence, and as further bases for "obstruction of justice" charges. Did Rove, or anybody he questioned, tell him about the alternate email stream? Who invented it? The server was running for the 2004 campaign, so this underground traffic ought to have been flowing in 2003.

Fitzgerald might be content to let Congress take this over, so he can get back to his day job of cleaning up Chicago, however, the information his team has acquired should be dovetailed with anything new... so I think he'll have to stay involved.

However, if I was Rove, and I didn't tell him about the hidden messaging system, I'd make an appointment for a 6th appearance "to clarify". With jurors asking "where's Rove?", he has to know he could be sharing a cell with Libby if he doesn't come clean first. Or at least cleaner.

I especially like the idea that server traffic not on the government's protected site isn't privileged. If congressional investigators can get their paws on the data, the Justice Department won't be the only place lawyering up.

I'm also reminded of the Dead Sea Scrolls, where outside scholars used the reverse concordance to reconstruct not just essential passages, but most of the opus. Each email or fax or text message is a piece of the story.

OrionARL -- Vermont Senators -- Democratic or Republican, are a little different from some others. One I think should be much better known is Ralph Flanders, a rock ribbed Yank Republican, served from about 1946 till 1961, and who spent half of that time trying to defeat McCarthyism from within his own party, along with Margaret Chase Smith of Maine.

A long time ago there was an article about a section of the Department of Justice utilized for parking favorites who are there waiting for better jobs, like a federal attorney patronage assignment.

The next week a newsitem reviewed the record of some of the neoPatronage asignees. Like a dishearteningly typical number of Bushco appointees, those selected are depicted as suppressors of minority vote. Following the practice of parking, v.supra, likely these suppresive candidates would work in the vote repression unit; the business card could read "RichFolks VoteAccess Assurety Section, DOJ".

One fired federal attorney at first spoke tentatively about the rough tumble of patronage in the job; but after the longterm planning of the purge began airing in congress and the press, that former federal attorney waxed more voluble in public comments concering an election aftermath batch of lawsuits in which the state Republican party lost; the national party blamed the court loss on the now fired federal attorney, so the state continues to have a newly elected Democratic Party member as governor. That material is all very old news; even that opinion read by a folksy judge in the final court case handing the Republican challenges a loss, made clear that the narrow victory by the governor was about as fair as modern electoral politics permits, imperfect as that is.

Is this only for the House Judiciary Committee? Evidently it was negotiated with Conyers.

I have a suggestion for anyone longing for that sweet redaction action we had going over the Plame investigation. While Hertling negotiates with the Congress for access to the unredacted documents, we can have a little fun. I'll just point out that Kyle Sampson used a fixed width font (Courier New) for his Outlook messages. Here's a little hint to get folks started. From the first document dump, find the email to Sampson from Harriet Miers that asks about the U. S. Attorneys and also about somebody's intentions. Figure out what name would fit that space. Here's a hint: He played rugby at Amherst...


Already on that, a week ago! Though it could also be Kevin Ryan, if it was first and last name.

my guess is that Leahy will make an offer to most of the interviewees -- something along the lines of

"I understand that we've agreed to limit our questions today to subjects X, Y and Z. However, we are also interested in subjects A and B and others. So, its up to you... answer those questions here -- with the strong likelihood that we won't need to supoena you for a public hearing, or be forced to testify under oath in public on these issues."

I suspect Hertling thinks he is being more clever than Fielding, but maybe too clever by half.

So long as the prior offer's ridiculous clause agreeing to forgo future subpoenas has been dropped, the only possible favorable outcome for these interviews is to convince the Comittee there is nothing more to get from them.

It'll be hard to do that if their lawyer keeps objecting to the scope of questions.

Have you seen this about Rove and Coptix, the company that services gwb43. Circumstantial, but prompted a preemptive comment from a friendly coptix employee.

Oh please. Oh please. Respond to Judy Miller's US News & World Report Interview: if we had all hung together, we wouldn't have hung separately.


I would like the FBI to get a warrant (there certainly seems like there is enough for a judge to sign off on an investigation)... and then raid coptix and wherever the servers are actually located the same way they raid any enterprise: take all equipment not nailed down back to the lab for analysis. Photocopiers built within the last 5 years have hard drives and records, too! It is possible that if they have smart printers, there is another document trail. And those servers would be stuffed with information which ought to have been on the government's official server.

However, Ohio is Republican territory and the judges would ignore any attempt to weed out records of chicanery.


I feel like a cat knowing that there are birds feeding and fighting just outside the window, with no way to see what they are hoarding.

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