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April 04, 2007

Comments

As I consider this matter, I keep wondering how Akin Gump's conduct serves their client Monica, and Akin itself.

They are an institution that (a) has ethical obligations under the law, and (b) expect to be around post-Rove, post-Bush, and (c) do not necessarily want to be beholden to a single party or be perceived as carrying political (as opposed to legal) water for any one political party.

I would not expect them to take unjustified legal positions to score political points, which makes me assume that the Fifth Amendment position is being invoked not to avoid a hypothetical perjury problem, but as avoidance of self-incrimination by Monica regarding bona fide crimes (which may or may not relate to McNulty's briefings or loyalty oaths).

If Monica is their client, they have to be taking positions that are consistent with her best interests, which makes me think the high visibility fighting with Congress is intended to get her either immunity from Congress, or a pardon from the president (or maybe a bunch of well-heeled friends like Scooter had to help pay her legal bills).

Outside of angling for immunity or pardon, I do not see how invoking the Fifth and picking fights with Congress advances the interest of their client, Monica.

It is possible that they have two clients, Monica and someone else, who are acting together now, and whose interests might diverge at some point, but that seems kind of complicated to me.

I thought I read a comment that one cannot take the fifth in order to evade incriminating other people.

What crime is Ms. Gooding supposed to have done?

If Schumer, and the committee, has independent evidence of the suspected wrongs by Goodling, that would present a classic situation for the granting of limited use immunity for compelled testimony. The right to prosecute Goodling is maintained and she is placed in the chair for testimony. Personally, I am still curious as to whether Goodling is a member of any state bar. I have seen one lone statement that she is a member of the Virginia bar, but it was unsubstantiated, so it seems to still be an open question. If she is indeed a bar member, invocation of the 5th in relation to your duties and obligations as an attorney is certainly grounds for a complaint and punitive action thereon. It would be interesting for a Virginia resident to file a complaint simply to see how the bar there responded. I have seen Dowd in action in a high profile criminal case where he represented a politician, and he was, at least at first, not at all beligerent as he has been, curiously, right off the bat here.

Yes, it is a right not to incriminate oneself, so it can't be invoked to avoid testifying against someone else.

I am waiting to see the response to Leahy's letter to Abu G on who is in charge over there.

I seem to remember that McNulty supervised her when she was in the ED VA office, no? Perhaps he knows something more (or she does). This is going to get interesting, and these WH folks are all in uncharted waters facing a Dem Congress. Even the old Nixonian templates aren't going to work, but unfortunately that seems to be true for the Dems too.

EW,

You are losing perspective. Goodling is not the issue. And Goodling is not going to jail. Blonde 30 somethings are not the profile for prison. Get over it.

The point is political. How do we protect our children?

Politicizing DOJ is bad. It is important to get any such activities into the light of day. All the rest is small potatoes.

Immunize her. Completely. And put her in front of the cameras.

If she lies, then she will have trouble.

Besides, chasing some small fry like Goodling around with a bazooka is just STUPID politics.

By the way, there is a rumor that Elston ordered a lot of summer intern job offers revoked one year because the applicants looked too liberal or too Democrat to him.

Maybe true. Maybe not. If true, maybe legal. I really don't know. And I don't care that much. My point is that I doubt that Goodling was the lone ranger.

Anyway, let's hear what she has to say.

Yes, it is a right not to incriminate oneself, so it can't be invoked to avoid testifying against someone else.

But if you are innocent and you don't want to incriminate yourself, it can only mean you fear someone is building a false case against you. Which is what Goodling's lawyers have said they fear. They believe a perjury trap is being set against her, in which the committee will choose to believe someone else's testimony over hers. She's protecting herself by taking the 5th.

Based on all the crap that's been coming out of the DOJ lately, I think that it's quite reasonable to conclude that she may well incriminate herself if she testifies. Hell, I'd be afraid to even admit that I worked there. I liked the Congressional response, though: You can't claim blanket Fifth Amendement rights and just not show up. You have to come before Congress and exercise your right to remain silent. Furthermore, you STILL can't make a blanket invocation. You have to do it on a question-by-question basis. I'm not sure if the second assertion will hold legal water, but the first one seems pretty reasonable to me.

As for immunity, there's no way in hell I'd offer anyone immunity at this point in the game. If Goodling has something to hide, Congress should try to figure out what it is. If she's trying to be the firewall, I can't figure out who she's protecting. Gonzo? He's in more than enough trouble already. She might as well be a plumber on the Titanic.

MayBee

Perhaps I didn't spell it out simply enough for you. It is illegal to require partisan vows from civil servants. That is what Schumer, by his questions, appears to allege she has done. It certainly was done with USAs (which don't qualify as civil servants). If she did it with AUSAs, it's illegal.

In any case, she has no reason to believe McNulty's testimony will be treated as more credible than her own. By not testifying, she's sure weighing the scales in favor of McNulty.

jwp

Sorry. Neither you nor I know whether we could have prosecuted Iran-Contra had Congress not offered immunity. Neither you nor I know WHAT role Goodling played. I'm not so ready as you to give Goodling the farm.

Or need I remind you that all the immunity deals in teh world only brought Abrams, Poindexter, and Bush2 back 15 years later?

Frank Probst

I seem to recall even Kenny Boy Lay had to show up to say he was taking the Fifth. If Bush's best buddy has to do so, I imagine Monica can hack it.

EW--Oooh! I didn't know he did that! Maybe when Monica invokes, they can run a "Best of the Fifth" montage.

On a more serious note, how the hell does she still have her job? In US history, has a government employee EVER said they'd take the Fifth in order to avoid testifying to Congress?

Frank

As to keeping her job, I don't think so. And if they did, I'm guessing it wasn't a top official in DOJ.

Unless I am mistaken, everyone who works for the U.S. Government signs an oath to uphold the Constitution of the U.S., not an oath of allegiance to a political party or individual.
The SS - Schutz Staffel (protection staff) - was the private militia (eclipsing the SA) of the NSDAP, and swore allegiance to Adolf Hitler, and Hitler alone. They were never an official organ of the German State.
So, if Ms. Goodling is/was administering oaths - exactly what are these oaths.
I don't think that anyone who is familiar with american politics is niave enough to believe that party loyalties don't run deep or are not an influential factor on all three levels of government. But there have to be perameters and limits for all involved.

They believe a perjury trap is being set against her, in which the committee will choose to believe someone else's testimony over hers.

MayBee,

The way to avoid a perjury trap is not to lie under oath. You can't lie under oath unless you're asked a question. She is claiming she doesn't even have to answer any questions because the committee might not believe her. Since when is 'No thanks, you won't believe me anyway' a serious option?

This isn't a trial, it's a committee hearing. She's being asked to tell what she knows and what she did. If her answer would incriminate her she's free to take the 5th. But preemptively? Based on an opinion that she won't be believed? What the committee chooses to believe won't put her in jail. Only what can be proved in a court of law would do that. She's free to lie, tell the truth or take the 5th. But not before being asked a question.

There's obviously a deliberate escalation going on, so that if Goodling does show up, she can be cast as the brave young blonde thing dealing with the scary Democrats ("look! one of them is black!")

But if she thinks that invoking the Fifth means she doesn't have to show up, she may end up led to the committee room in handcuffs. There is a right not to answer questions in a manner that would incriminate you; there is no right not to have them asked of you.

And I'm with Frank Probst: there are enough 30-somethings in this administration with sufficient power and authority to make it foolish to assume that they're mere functionaries. Dan Bartlett is 36. David Safavian was 38 when indicted. These people have spent their entire post-college lives (and some of their in-college lives) in the game.

Yup—no immunity, make her plead. At the least, it's good teevee and causes everyone to wonder.

I think she actually did commit crimes, but her expensive law firm is trying to do PR as well, but not so well. I don't get their insulting tone—that wasn't in her best interests. So they may have another client who's actually paying her bill. I don't think she comes from money, and she's not making enough on a government salary to afford them.

She's not low level if she was determining which USAG was going to be canned and which kept. She and her like should be brought before one or more of the Committees, and asked under oath, among other things, 'what are your qualifications for this job?' The American people have got to learn that 'Brownie' was not a loner. They are all Brownies up there. As to the point at issue, they can depose her in private.

Frank: She's kept her job so far because her job is to follow Karl's orders. Karl ordered her to stall: voila. She's doing her job about as well as the boss could ask.

Her problem now is, how to explain that to the board of directors without getting her boss fired?

Perhaps I didn't spell it out simply enough for you. It is illegal to require partisan vows from civil servants. That is what Schumer, by his questions, appears to allege she has done.

I can quite simply read what you are saying. I guess my problem is that I am unable to read Schumer's mind as you are. To me, it looks as if a partisan (Goodling) might have asked polical appointees(the USAs) about politics, and another partisan (Schumer) is asking questions about it in a political setting.

irene-
The way to avoid a perjury trap is not to lie under oath. You can't lie under oath unless you're asked a question. She is claiming she doesn't even have to answer any questions because the committee might not believe her. Since when is 'No thanks, you won't believe me anyway' a serious option?

This isn't a trial, it's a committee hearing. She's being asked to tell what she knows and what she did. If her answer would incriminate her she's free to take the 5th

Has anyone ever been tried for perjury that didn't actually lie?
Why would any innocent person take the 5th - they can't incriminate themselves if they did nothing wrong, right?

I favor the assessment that Goodling is the firewall with legal liability of her own. Taking the 5th before the first question buys time but it sets up a conflict. I don't think Goodling is barganing for immunity, I think she'll stand mute and pay the penalty. She has signs of a true beliver; opposiitons research and claiming Libby testified honestly but was caught in a perjury trap, nonetheless.

Ace Armstrong,

Hitler was having trouble with the Wermacht (German Army), so he had the members of the Wermacht also take a pledge to the person of the fuhrer, Herr Hitler. So it went into the official government employees there also. It wasn't just the SS.

MayBe
you are not posting in "good faith"

is your point about the Fifth Amendment? Or, just to defend Monica Goodling?

and, why "defend" her?

Speculation aside, why rush to defend the lawyer's letter? Irene is correct - the point is regardless of the opinion of M and her lawyer, you either show up and testify willingly, or you receive a subpeona.

That's it. Simply speak or be called to speak. Ignore the committee, and receive another letter. Speak now, or someone else might beat you into the testimonial waters.

"Not wanting to" is not any part of this REALITY. "I shouldn't have to" is not part of this REALITY. Making an argument to try to stall is not part of this REALITY. Committees are acting under the authority they have. Opinions aren't real currency here.

So- let Ms Goodling, under counsel's advice, refuse to show. There will be consequences to that action.

When the USA firing questions first broke, the mystery was, what was the WH up to?

Those of us who are following closely are concluding that the answer was to put police power in the hands of Rove's olitical operatives, in pursuit of the permanent Republican majority.

Goodling and the Fifth Amendment is the next mystery. Why would someone who was not obviously one of the key players make her first public position the assertion of the Fifth, with a legally dubious explanation of fearing her testimony would not be believed?

Everything about this is speculation right now, but I cannot help myself from chewing over the mystery.

Under what scenario does Goodling asserting the Fifth advance any agenda Karl Rove would want to advance? I cannot see one, which makes me think that Goodling is doing this without WH guidance or approval.

Who knows....It may even be that Goodling, having been a good little authoritarian operator for so long, upon being apprised by counsel that she was committing crimes, is repenting.

I do not count on it. There is no evidence of it. The whole history of the Bush administration as being full of pious, self-righteous liars suggests that Goodling is likewise unrepentant.

But that still leaves the mystery....

24 hour cable news would be having a fiesta if Ms. Gooding ever sprinted from the altar or ran off with The Poorman or something. Loyalty oaths? ... boring.

I'm with bmaz:

"It would be interesting for a Virginia resident to file a complaint simply to see how the bar there responded. "

Nice work on everything EW and TNH.

Still don't think she's angling for immunity. However, I am beginning to believe she has some legal jepardy. She seems like the type that would have no problem pulling loyalty question duty. But all that aside, she's first and foremost playing for delay. She will have to appear, and for my money she won't answer a single question. Her handlers will see to that, answering some questions and not others would help the investigators, so even that won't happen.

My gut feeling is that Karl thought through this as a possible reality long ago. Monica is probably as much a cutout as anything. She's expendable, a true believer, and probably yet a level removed from Rove. Even if they get through her, there will be yet another expendable moderately complicit operator to stonewall yet again.

Somewhere the committe is going to have to find a loose stone. Monica covers for Rove and Abu. Abu covers for Rove and Monica. If these neocon dicks figure they can weather this if they can hold their line. And perhaps they can. But once that first Trojan goes down, the hole in the shield wall will allow one hell of a bloodletting.

Popcorn -- Need more popcorn.

Nice post EW - and solid comments all around, except for a couple of you pissy one's. You know who you are.

One more thought. I'm guessing Schumer and company have evidence for a bit more than they are letting on. Otherwise, I think they would be moving faster to put people on the stand. One day about 8 weeks from now the MSM is going to wake up to a brand new world having missed the biggest story in a decade.

By calling the House and Senate requests that Monica testify some flip flop version of McCarthyism, the Akin letter on behalf of Monica seeks to direct our attention away from the core reason Monica has been invited (will be subpoened) to testify. She is a Senior Management person in DOJ, and Congress in its oversight role, has a right to question her on ANYTHING she knows about DOJ management practices. They would have that oversight right if DOJ was running smoothly -- and they sure have it if DOJ has very apparent problems.

In a previous thread, I speculated that what the administration is trying to do is litigate a case that raises their Governing Principle -- Unitary Government -- to a ripe issue to be decided in the courts. Remember both Roberts and Alito seem to be believers in this principle, and they may see this as a chance to prevail in an appeals setting on this. For this reason, a cautionary reason, it is in my opinion in the interest of Congress not to play that game right now. Under the Unitary Government Thesis the claim would be made that Congress has no oversight or supervisory role in how the DOJ is run, because the management political appointees work for the President, and only the President and his appointees can supervise a staffer such as Monica. Congress, right now, does not need to put its well established oversight powers at risk in any litigation that raises this question.

If, as some assume, Schumer has other sources telling him Monica (perhaps at the direction of the AG) administered loyality oaths, or in other ways participated in inappropriate hiring and firing decisions on political ideological grounds, then Conyers's or Leahy's committees can establish those facts without any participation by 5th amendment Monica. They can process her through a Contempt Citation, and for the time, just let it hang. By taking the 5th, she would not be able to challenge that characterization. Fine.

But the key thing is to get rid of Gonzales and his whole top level DOJ Management team. If public opinion and all don't accomplish that soon, then Conyers has to proceed with impeachment against Gonzales, (I remind that impeachment is neither appealable nor a matter for a pardon), because the most important thing is to get him gone -- forcing the President to nominate an acceptable more a-political AG. Part of that package can be a Special Prosecutor to deal with the Monica case, and any others that might surface.

From a Democratic point of view (and I am not only a Democrat, I am a DFL'er) the most important objective for Leahy a DOJ that can do its regular work -- normal operations. Afterall, it is Democrats that run competent Governments and take care of normal everyday business. We like plain Jane Prosecutors, plain Jane Judges, and reasonably efficent, highly competent management that doesn't produce snits at every turn. Trying to get there will be one piece of the ticket to our next election -- and we don't need to do it below the radar. We don't need super secret E-Mail servers to accomplish this. Democrats are just plain brown wrapper normal order folk.

But I do favor a Gonzales Impeachment which would be rather attention grabbing. I'd focus on the Lying to Congress (a felony) charge, and perhaps a few minor ones, and I believe the votes might be there even in the Senate for this. I doubt if it would get far beyond preliminary hearing before Bush would push Gonzales out -- but he has no political base with Congress, and many Republicans are not going to vote that it is OK to lie to them. (And many are done covering up for Bush).

But above all, we don't want this viewed as any sort of "Constitutional Crisis" as some are suggesting. We don't want to play into an appeals game where the thesis of Unitary Government is at the heart of the issue. Monica is something of a bright object out there, and if we focus on that we chance litigation on who supervises her?

Well put, Sara.

I'm sorry, but giving immunity is pretty lame. You are left with perjury as an offense. It is better to find out what MG did, or could have done and hold those offenses (probably many of them) over her sweet golden locks.

Most of these idiots are not talking because the ultimate offense is treason, which probably does not have an expiration date.

Which Watergate figure was the one left "twisting in the wind"?

Any one remember?

That's Gonzales right now.

MayBee

No, it's this part you seem to be missing:

Note, Schumer was focusing on AUSAs, which aren't the same kind of political appointment, making the questions legally much more problematic than the same questions of USAs, at least as I understand it.

AUSAs aren't political appointees, they fall under civil service guidelines. So while it may be legal to ask USAs, it is not legal to ask AUSAs.

I'd also point out--According to Monica's lawyers, she has been unjustly accused. I hear what you're saying about perjury--after all, I'm the one who brought up the reason WHY they mentioned McCarthy. But she is doing more than refusing to put herself in a position to (falsely or no) perjure herself. She is forgoing the opportunity to counter McNulty's claims against her. She has already been accused, by a witness, of causing perjury. Invoking the Fifth doesn't remove her perjury risk. On the coontrary, it leaves it out there, uncontested.

tomj

My point about the Republican loyalty oaths is that, no, you're not just talking perjury. Schumer implied, at least, that he has evidence against perjury.

Sara

I understand (and agree with) what you're saying about a constitutional crisis. But I'd add one more thing: Bush has pushed recess appointments far beyond what has been done before. He didn't try recessing Bolton a second time, but seriously considered it. So keep in mind that we may get a constitutional crisis anyway, if on appointments, rather than justice.

Then of course, there's the bigger issue that there is no justice so long as DOJ is politicized to the extent it appears to be.

tomj:

You are not the first to reuse the metaphor "twisting in the wind," originally spoken by John Ehrlichman about L Patrick Gray, in the context of recent events.

The Quote is about L. Patrick Gray Nixon's nominee to head the FBI.

The Quote is from Ehrlichman's phone tape introduced into evidence during the Ervin Committee Hearings.

The occassion was Gray's testifying more or less truthfully about the ITT investigations. (Does one remember Ditta Beard?) This honesty was unhelpful, and what Ehrlichman proposed was to leave Gray twisting in the wind with no Presidential support, in hopes he would withdraw from the FBI nomination. (he did).

I don't think this is yet where Gonzoles has arrived. Bush still is stubbornly supporting him in public, though there are reports he is not making the requesite phone calls. It is a "watch all exits" time.

Btw

One other question is, at what point does Goodling get impeached for taking the Fifth? You can't be a senior appointee in a government agency and refuse oversight.

I agree largely with Sara.

Distract and delay is the game. And, if possible, gwb will try to claim the moral/constitutional/God-Given high ground -- saying -- somehow -- that it would violate the Constitution for Goodling to tell Congress what she has been doing at work. As Sara says, this should be avoided.

Congress should be seen as not vengeful, but as serious, respectful, and high-minded. The way to do that is to make clear that Congress is not looking for convictions. Congress should be looking for information -- to make sure that our Government is being run right.

If that is the agenda -- and seen to be the agenda -- it will be harder for gwb clan to resist providing information. Sunshine is key.

That is why Goodling -- and others -- should be given immunity. Make them talk. Now. While it matters.

EW, Iran - Contra failed because Congress did not have guts enough to step up and prevent Sullivan and North from turning their hearing into a propaganda session. And Congress did not have guts enough to demand testimony about all from everyone. At some level, Congress did not really want to know. It feared the story.

The people who are back now came back for much longer and more tangled reasons than that they got immunity.

And do you really fear the return of Goodling?

This situation is not Plame. Because of secrecy concerns, Plame could not easily have been investigated by Congress. Not in open session. You needed a grand jury approach.

Here, there is no reason for secrecy. And no excuse for it.

I don't think you guys are getting this. As long as thirty-four senators stand with the president, his power is unlimited. Some of you suggest that Goodling should be forced to plea bargain; plea bargain with whom? The Attorney General, whether Gonzales or another Bush appointee, is not going to allow any case against Monica Goodling to go forward.

If Congress believes subpoenaed witnesses are in contempt or have perjured themselves, all Congress can do is refer the matter to the Department of Justice. There won't be anymore Patrick Fitzgerald special prosecutions - that's the one that got away from the White House and it won't happen again.

The Bush DOJ is not going to pursue charges against administration figures who are serving as a firewall for higher ups. In fact, after the 2008 elections, President Bush may issue blanket pardons for a dozen administration figures including the vice-president and then resign prior to noon on the last day of his term and receive a pardon for himself.

The Founders never anticipated that more than a third of the Senate would be made up of members who would have a higher loyalty to their leader and their faction, i.e. political party, than to the Constitution and the Rule of Law. But that is where we are today.

I think "twisting in the wind" was applied in 1972 to the handling of George McGovern's first running mate, Thomas Eagleton (who recently passed away). When it was revealed that Eagleton had once sought psychiatric help, McGovern refused to back him up. So it was politically current already before the Patrick Gray incident.

jwp

Huh. I guess you differ with a lot of people in the law community, include Lawrence Walsh, who thought that immunity was a big problem.

CMike

Um, I think I understand that Congress doesn't have the power to negotiate pleas with people. Did you see how I suggested that Goodling could be impeached?

This is a game about proving to people like Specter and Grassley that this is a big deal as it is anything else. That's what this back and forth is, as much as anything else.

Can't the committee ask the AUSAs or USAsif they've ever had Ms. Goodling or her staff request loyalty oaths of them? And can't they get those answers before she appears, to then ask her about any positive responses they receive? I've got to believe that at least some of them are ready to tell the truth about any oaths demanded of them.
I may be missing fine points of this issue, and I haven't read all the comments to date. Are the AUSAs legally bound to secrecy about an oath if they were asked for one?

I think Sara has hit the nail on the head -- the aggressive posturing by Goodling's well-connected lawyers is part of a concerted strategy to delegitimize congressional oversight. This element of the strategy is a "PR trap" designed to elicit MSM "public" sympathy for Goodling -- I think they have been emboldened by the MSM sympathy for Libby.

CMike has a very good point -- under ordinary circumstances, Goodling's position would subject her to possible criminal prosecution by the United States Attorney for the District of Columbia, but she and her cohorts are effectively immunized on that flank by the politicization of the DoJ (bearing in mind that this sort of politicization is only OK for Republicans -- if the Democrats return to power the Republicans would be screaming for a regulation criminal investigation of possible Hatch Act violations for special counsel).

So I think we should not get too drawn into the manufactured drama of Goodling, which allows the MSM to divert attention away from Abu Gonzales, who is the chief legal officer of the Government and fully accountable to Congress for the mess he has made of his Department.

Even if the Goodling business has not been resolved, once Gonzales is gone the Senate can insist that any new Attorney General make her accountable, either by persuading her to testify before Congress or commencing a criminal investigation of her activities.

dustbunny

It appears that some of the AUSAs have already told the Committee about this--presumably that's the basis on which Schumer made the allegations.

But that won't make her talk.

"I can quite simply read what you are saying. I guess my problem is that I am unable to read Schumer's mind as you are. To me, it looks as if a partisan (Goodling) might have asked polical appointees(the USAs) about politics, and another partisan (Schumer) is asking questions about it in a political setting."

I think part of the problem may be nomenclature. A "political appointee" doesn't necessarily behave politically once his/her job begins -- in fact, the best ones in many government agencies strive to do just the opposite -- but since these positions wash in and out like the tide with each new administration, they're considered political. This unfortunately lends itself to the "it's all politics, so what's all the fuss about" talking point.

On a minor side-issue that has intrigued EW and a few others of us (on an FDL thread) -- to wit, whether Goodling is duly licensed to practice law in VA or anywhere else. Virginia's State bar does not have a very good website, and its search function only locates lawyers who have had disciplinary issues or who are practicing without malpractice insurance ... not very helpful. But because she did the obligatory short stint in the EDVA federal prosecutor's office (handling super-small-bore cases, usually Park Service prosecutions for petty offenses), and because she entered appearances in a few cases there (and I do mean a few, about 4), I think it overhwhelmingly likely that she does in fact hold a VA license. In order to practice in that court you have to give your VA license information, including Bar Number. In addition, although the Bushies may not care a whit about credentials, I doubt very seriously that career prosecutors in the EDVA would allow an unlicensed attoreny to practice in their office.
Nuts. It would have been delicious if it turned out she wasn't even licensed in addition to being woefully unqualified for the high position she holds (as EW says still!!!).

Sebastian

Somewhere I remember seeing that her DC and VA bar licenses are lapsed (Which is true of most of htese Bushies, including the guy they're bringing into WA--what's with that). Which woudl make sense--she had it, but is no longer paying dues.

The small-bore cases also point to a potential strategy of assigning these Bible-college Bushies a few resume-padding bullet points before pushing them through the ranks.

I'm with Marcy on the question of immunity: it's foolish right now to underestimate the importance of people like Goodling to the Bush machine. If she gets away with this tactic, then it sets a precedent against further oversight of those higher up the greasy pole. Which may explain why she's been fitted out with a very not-cheap attorney, and that's a subject worthy over oversight in itself. I'd like to see her claim the 5th if asked who's paying her legal bills.

Re Ms. Goodling's legal fees: is it possible that she's being allowed to "run a tab" at Akin Gump, to be paid after she leaves the Administration with leftover $$$ from the Libby Defense Fund (jk) or a new one set up at that time for her benefit? This to get around the "gift" etc. regulations.

BTW, the link provided somewhere (here or FDL) to Monica's web page, and the links thereon to her "resume" [three law schools?] and "research" is a source of endless amusement.

Marcy, above:

Sebastian

Somewhere I remember seeing that her DC and VA bar licenses are lapsed (Which is true of most of htese Bushies, including the guy they're bringing into WA--what's with that). Which woudl make sense--she had it, but is no longer paying dues.


I'm a member of the bar in California, but my membership is "inactive" because I don't practice any more. I DO pay membership dues, so that if I should need to, I could "reactivate". However, the dues for "inactive" members are far less that those for active ones.

It used to be quite easy to "waive in" to bar membership in DC on the wheels(wink) of your bar membership in another state. However, DeeCee lawyers got miffed at all the competition, so they made it a lot harder [e.g., had to have practiced for 5 years in other state, etc.]

Sometimes, as I vaguely recall, you could work "as a lawyer" in the Federal Government without becoming a member of the DC bar. But my role, when I did that, involved just "office work," and did not include appearing in court.

I think the trail of her bar admission is an interesting one. I don't know how hard it is to pass the bar in VA (in CA, it's VERY hard). Another thing people used to do in the past was go to some weenie-ass state with an easy bar exam, take the prep class & pass the bar there, and then parlay that bar membership into membership in DC.

Just some misc. pieces of info. Hope they're helpful.

Goodling's clearly not a member of the DC Bar. They have a directory and she is't on it. If true that her membership has lapsed in VA, there would definitely be a problem in that government lawyers don't have to be licensed in DC, but they do have to have active membership in some U.S. jurisdiction. While we can snark about whether being a DoJ political enforcer for the WH has anything to do with the law at all, given her title, and the Senior Executive Service salary, I'd hazard that maintaining licensure is a condition of employment.

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