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April 15, 2007


I hope you're right, Dr. Wheeler (see correction on earlier post). The "permanent Republican majority" needs to be prevented now, before it ruins the Republic.

Although the "thousand year Reich" perished in flames in only twelve years, and the legal fiction that the Emperor of Japan was a god lasted but nine (it became illegal in Japan in 1936 to suggest that the Emperor was not a god), these modern ideological misadventures caused as many as fifty million deaths before they were destroyed.

Yowser! This is fairly significant in that, as juicy as Schumer's nugget seems to be, I cannot imagine from a tactical point of view that he would have revealed any of his best cards. This was just a shot across the bow to get AG's head spinning, invitiate his two week cram session and make him unable to sleep. This is going to be fascinating.

Seems like the walls are slowly crumbling. Gonzo is going to have a very hard time on Tuesday, and I'm dying to know what Schumer knows that we don't know he knows.

As an odd side note there is one part of Gonzos bullshit op-ed narrative that I sort of believe, -- "... Sampson periodically updated me on the review. As I recall, his updates were brief, relatively few in number and focused primarily on the review process."

I mean truly Gonzo probably wasn't in on deciding who got the ax - Sampson's brief reports 'focused on the review procees' probably consisted of saying "karl's looking at it" or "Karl has a list over with Harriet, they'll get back to us soon." To which Gonzo probably replied - "Yeah, whatever we need to do."

I hope the committee pins him down every way from Sunday about interactions with, references to, participation of, e-mails from, e-mails copied from or to Karl Rove. I mean, lets face it, anyone with two wits to knit knows this was Rove's show, and Gonzo damn sure knew it too. Let him lie and deny - then wait for that one document to appear, and one will appear, that fries his ass but good.

All that said, I think he's toast on Tuesday as it is.

I think I've parsed the White House response, with the assistance of TPM's highlighted email.

Justice Department spokesman Brian Roehrkasse said the president did not tell Gonzales to fire Iglesias. He also said that Gonzales did not recall discussing with Domenici whether or not to replace Iglesias.

A White House spokesman, Trey Bohn, pointed to comments made by President Bush and his adviser Dan Bartlett last month when asked about the conversation with Domenici.

Bush said that in speaking to Gonzales about U.S. attorneys, "I never brought up a specific case nor gave him specific instructions." Bartlett said that "there was no directive given, as far as telling him to fire anybody or anything like that."

(my emphasis)

Pick that one apart: Bush never discussed hirings and firings with Gonzales. But did he discuss them with Rove, who (with the assistance of Scott Jennings) passed on word to Kyle Sampson? Running it out of Rove's shop makes it easier to hide via executive privilege, especially if it's done through a comms backchannel. And it keeps Gonzo's hands clean, even if the exposure of what went on suggests sheer incompetence in running the department.

I get the sense now that the 30-something loyal Bushies at the White House and DOJ worked this out between them, with Gonzales completely out of the loop, oblivious to what was going on. Look at Jennings' cc: and forward list, and get a sense of who he regarded as part of his top-priority contacts (Rove, Fielding, Sara Taylor, Kevin Sullivan, and Kyle Sampson) and his next-priority contacts (Courtney Ellwood in the WH counsel's office, who passed it on to Goodling first in the list of recipients).

Yeah, and with Bush out of the loop as well, but what's new about that?

I mean truly Gonzo probably wasn't in on deciding who got the ax - Sampson's brief reports 'focused on the review procees' probably consisted of saying "karl's looking at it" or "Karl has a list over with Harriet, they'll get back to us soon." To which Gonzo probably replied - "Yeah, whatever we need to do."

Great minds think alike. The problem that the Senators face on Tuesday is that Gonzo can probably plead ignorance truthfully. This was all done by the true believers beneath him, and he just showed up late as a warm body with the sign-off pen.

with Bush out of the loop as well, but what's new about that?

But Domenici spoke to Bush, which puts him in the loop. At least, more clearly in the loop than Gonzo.

What the heck does AG AG actually do all day?

the story line is too diffuse

the public is not going to stay with this story unless we get some easy to see scandals

Best story: crook Repubs protected by firing US Atty

but the kind of nitpicking that incites glee here is going to make eyes glaze over, and move elsewhere, for most of the rest of America

we are in a danger point

but the kind of nitpicking that incites glee here is going to make eyes glaze over, and move elsewhere, for most of the rest of America

I agree. I tried to explain the US attorney siituation to a Democratic friend who hasn't been following the story, and I lost her. We've got to simplify the narrative.

from tpm:

it seems clearer today


alberto gonzales is to pres bush


scooter libby is to vice president cheney.

both have lied to protect their boss and patron.

i wonder if gonzales sees this picture clearly.

at any rate,

now we know why bush would not let fred fielding negotiate with the congressional committees about making white house staff available to the congress.

i wonder what gonzales is thinking now,

knowing that he could damage the bush presidency in a way no one has, up until now, been able to do?

Posted by: orionATL
Date: April 15, 2007 09:51 PM

PIN and jwp - You may be right, but on the other hand, I think the public has figured out this is a festering sore. They may not get excited, but I doubt they will right it off and the big shoe is going to drop sooner or later-there is just to much bunk out there. I have a tangentially related question that has been bugging me for a while: What exactly is going on with the Wilkes-Foggo-Lewis et. al. prosecution Lam initiated?

Geez, make that "write" not right - long day here.


I think the document that got passed out at the Nov. 27 meeting was a memo outlining "the plan" -- the sequence in which various actions would be taken, including the critical part about steeling themselves for the political pushback. It may not have been dated Nov. 27, but I think there are e-mails referring to it as being prepared for the meeting. I will go to the document dump and check....

Hmmm. I still don't think Gonzo's make-or-break date is Tuesday. I think it's tomorrow. That's when the subpoenaed documents are due. And I'm going to guess that they're not going to turn them all over. Congress knows this, of course, which means they're going to scour the docs right away. As soon as they can show that they didn't get everything they asked for, Gonzo's got some explaining to do.

Thank you for your help.
Can you provide the following information,who do you think is possibly the fifth person allowed to speak with the senate.

Re: D-Day for Gonzales.

I kind of go along with the school that says Gonzales stays unless Bush can find someone who is both confirmable by the Senate and willing to keep all the bodies buried.

Given this administration's record, keeping the bodies buried would be a full time job. Put in an honest AG, and this administration's past would look like a zombie movie at the drive-in.

Put in an honest AG, and this administration's past would look like a zombie movie at the drive-in.

I think Gonzo defines 'placeholder'. It's quite ingenious: have someone heading the DOJ who doesn't have a clue what kind of shit going on, and demand that the Senate come up with proof of active involvement to get rid of him.

Schumer, at least, has established the point that if he didn't have a clue what was going on, that's just as bad as being involved. And that's what will need emphasising once the hearing is over: he's an absentee landlord of Main DOJ, letting the underlings run riot and cook up schemes in concert with Rove's office.

Here is a question for AG. "Monica Goodling was a Senior Assistant Attorney General and your personal legal counsel at the Department of Justice, correct? Ms. Goodling has certified to this Congress that she will not give testimony on her duties in relation to her job as your assistant and counsel, because to do so would implicate her involvement in criminal activity; what criminal activity is she basing this claim on?" After AG says he doesn't know, the follow up is "What efforts have you undertaken to investigate the criminal activity Ms. Goodling claims occurred in the performance of her duties?" "What are the results, if any, of those efforts?"

I think the document that was passed out at the Nov. 27 meeting was a verision of "the U.S. Attorney Replacement Plan" dated Nov. 7, 2006, starting on OAG 000000040. After the plan was first circulated, there was a long delay before the "sign-off" meeting with Abu G was arranged.

And then they still had to get the "green light" from Harriet "Whatever You Want, George" Miers.

Litigatormom - Considering that there is probably a week of no activity because of Thanksgiving, the "long delay" may not be so long for this disjointed crew.

Josh's late teaser is intriguing, picking up on his nose for sourcing and the late, closely-worded WH response: "So what's up exactly? And what does it suggest about the facts alleged in the article?" My first take is that AG AG is being thrown overboard. But I dunno.

I wondered the exact same thing as Josh the second I read the article. I find it hard to believe that the paper would step into this hornet's nest without being sure of the sourcing unless Dominici is intentionally playing them, which seems highly unlikely. If this is a WH attempt to throw AG overboard, it is a pretty bizzare effort since it places Bush right in the middle. Seems more likely that Dominici, or someone in his camp, is cutting ranks.


Looks like you've been blogging up quite a storm these past few days :-)

You know, from day 1 of this scandal I've been wondering when the Dems would get Michael Battle in to testify since his resignation made it obvious that he didn't like what had happened and would therefore be more likely to tell us what really happened. Glad to see they finally got his testimony.

eriposte: to draw parallels with the Nixonites, Battle is GWB43's Robert Bork. He did the dirty job that nobody else would do, and for all we know, he was proud to do it. I'm not sure he's only the guy we want to base the case on.

To extend the analogy, if Battle = Bork, Carol Lam = Archibald Cox. I don't think we have found our Elliot Richardson yet.

Gonzo is gone, if not on Tuesday then at least by Saturday...My guess is late Friday afternoon,(typical newsdump time) Abu will have a new and overwhelming desire to spend more time with his family.

The post will remain unfilled for the duration of Dubya's presidency( Non-Senate approved)...and it will be filled by a succession of the Kool-ADE drinkers. No one will serve more than 6 months, most fewer than 3 months.

And during that time, Justice shall not be served, nor oaths of office kept. And no true Independent Attorney will be tasked with looking in to anything, or if they are,will be hamstrung....

The new White House catch phrase will be forever enshrined as the original Valerie Plame phrase " we will not talk about an on-going investigations". These people will never change. They are shallow and quite ugly and damned bitter and need to be marginalized... because none of them speak for me. And if we can't arrest them or try them for treason, then our Constitution means nothing. And that is all I can say and all that I know... that if there are no criminal trials this behavior and thought process will never ever again count for anything...

And that is all I can say and all that I know... that if there are no criminal trials this behavior and thought process will never ever again count for anything...

They're counting on no trials. They're acting like a bunch of bullies because they think Congress won't want to spend the time or their political resources on the process of impreachment. However, Congress' willingness to stand up to Bush on the war has shed some light on these bullies' tactics, and Americans are beginning to see that Bush is just the man behind the curtain. He looks weak and is becoming, I think, isolated. Congress needs to proceed with impeachment anyway, or these thugs are going to destroy everything.

it is a pretty bizzare effort since it places Bush right in the middle.

Maybe this is what they want, though -- and I smell Rove. Placing Bush in the center of things suddenly makes it appear that it was his ultimate decision to fire Iglesias. After all, Iglesias "served at the pleasure of the President." Does not this let Abu off the hook for this USA? And, if so, perhaps Rove can somehow extrapolate this "involvement" by the Prez onto the other USAs who were fired?

The Prez was involved all along, nothing to see here. Please move along. Still politically motivated, but takes the heat off the Justice Department.

pol: that's a brave gambit, because it's essentially playing chicken with Congress on what constitutes grounds for impeachment, straight off the Nixon articles. I wouldn't put it past Rove to lay it out in that fashion: that is, 'c'mon, impeach Bush if you have the balls for it.' But I don't see it, not with the current White House line: if it could be explained away as Bush decreeing it so, they'd have come out with it a long time ago.

Tip of the Iceberg?

Published reports indicate election fraud is de-minimus. It mostly involves administrative errors. Yet this issue appears to be utmost in the minds of Republicans nationwide. Especially in swing states. And especially among USAs in swing states.

So Domenici wants Iglesias out. He’s not pursuing ‘voter fraud’ cases with sufficient alacrity. Not being a good Republican team player, like the NJ USA who made noises about Bob Menendez just before the election to cite just one example. (What other Senators and Representatives picked up the phone to dial for votes?)

Iglesias should be canned for not following the (Rove?) playbook. I’d like to see that playbook. My guess is that it resides on the RNC servers, along with lots of other goodies. Makes one wonder about those RNC email accounts. Does Domenici have an RNC email account?

Add to the equation that somehow Pete Domenici knows that the President of the United States will take his call (during a time of war) so that he can register his complaint about one USA in Albuquerque New Mexico not pursuing alleged Democratic voter fraud (for purposes of influencing close elections) to Domenici’s satisfaction.

How does Domenici know the President will take his call? How does he know that Bush will do something about this? There is no historical precedent to politicizing USAs. Why did Domenici violate the Senate rules and call Iglesias in the first place? Had he ever called any other USA?

What prior discussions and planning took place that would lead Domenici to pursue this particular course of action? Is this prima facie evidence of a nationwide Republican conspiracy to perpetrate election fraud through USA election fraud / political witch-hunt prosecutions? What prior planning took place within the Republican party/Bush administration regarding these matters?

The statistics indicate that prosecutions of Democrats outnumber those of Republicans 7 to 1. What are the odds of that being the result of chance?

What conclusion can be drawn other than Bush, Rove and Gonzales when he was WH counsel led the charge? A Nixonian conspiracy?

Sure explains why DOJ staff are taking the fifth, falling on their swords or otherwise contorting themselves into humanly impossible positions.

What about the other agencies? How many more Lurita Doans are out there? Why is she not facing charges for the clear Hatch Act violation?

And what has the MSM known about this? Much of the reporting/analysis on this is coming from print newspapers and bloggers. Did the MSM bet on Karl (Goebbels) Rove’s ‘math’ and act accordingly with respect to fair and balanced reportage? It has been a mystery to me why the MSM became complicit lapdogs. What else do they know the administration is doing which has the distinct possibility of a permanent Republican majority?

Have a nice day with Pat Leahy, Judge Gonzales. Think of it like take your kids to work day. You'll see what a prosecutor really does. He'll be doing it to you.

I just love the fact that Gonzales chose the death of a thousand cuts route rather than an early hara kiri. The end result will be the same, but we're getting so much more juicy information this way.

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