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April 05, 2007


Personally, I see nothing wrong with not only making her appear, but also making her assert the 5th on the record to specific targeted questions so that the American public can see exactly what their Justice Department is filled with. If the humiliatioin fits, a questioning she gets. It is the Republican position that politicization of the justice process is hunky dory; therefore, there should be no objection to a little political theater in thius regard. Screw them.

Yep, put her on the stand and build the montage.

Probably not news, but very interesting: Mark Corallo has now said Abu should resign:

"Some Republicans, including former Justice Department spokesman Mark Corallo, say Lone Star loyalty "is the only reason Gonzales is still around." He says Gonzales should step down over mismanagement of the U.S. attorneys flap.

"Alberto Gonzales' loyalty to George Bush has got to trump George Bush's loyalty to Alberto Gonzales," Corallo says. " (analysis yesterday in USNews and World Report)

Or is the need for a firewall extending? Maybe Monica is not enough? Or are these guys finally starting to realize that their game is going to be on public display, subject to analysis and questioning, for a long long time?

The whole thing makes me want to learn more about the transition from Ashcroft to Gonzales. Ashcroft is a partisan hack. But he is an old-style partisan hack. Gonzales is something more, a single party loyalist. ANd I wonder whether there wasn't a concerted effort to change the nature of DOJ after the transition (or is that why Ashcroft got ousted?)?

I think we can see the outlines of a strategy: "I am a victim ! Victim victim victim victim! Im a victim of those nasty partisan democrats. Feel sorry for me! Feel sorry for me! Victim victim victim! Victim!

These people are such cowards - they just leap up onto the cross at the first opportunity. Besides that, we need to see the logic in what she is doing from a right-wing strategic point of view. Their main concern is the narrative that emerges from all this, rather than the constitutional and legal consequences (which can be "fixed" by loyal judges). That narrative is: partisan democrats are victimizing republicans. It is a narrative they can push no matter what happens in the hearings or in court. If they are found to have wrongfully removed USAs, then the Democrats are politicizing DOJ; if no such wrongful removal is found, obviously, it was a partisan witch hunt. At this point they are reasonably anticipating that they will end up on the wrong side of the Judiciary committees, so they are pushing the former narrative with all they have. Goodling refusing to show up does 2 things: 1) it reduces the risk that she will actually testify; and 2) reinforces the narrative that the Dems are being bullies. Actually there's a third: it is a slap in the face to the Dems - always good to throw some red meat to the base, right Darlin?

Well that's the classic bully for ya, isnt it? Thrash your opponent, then play the victim, fool people into thinking you're the good guy, then turn around and go right back to the thrashing.

Slash, interesting points about the difference between the political narrative WH would like to create, and the legal and factual realities, and I agree up to a point.

WH does not control whether Goodling ultimately testifies.

Give her a grant of immunity, and she can face contempt charges for staying quiet, or perjury charges for showing up and lying under a grant of immunity....or she could tell the truth.

Either way, she is not a victim for a WH political narrative.

"single party loyalist"?
Single guy loyalist, more like.
I think you're right in looking at the Ashcroft-Gonzales transition -- but my feeling is that this whole administration has been an ever-expanding exercise in subverting both the political procress and the structure of the federal government in every possible way. And with no oversight, they've gone a long way in six years.
Yes, it's the "Emerald City" in Washington. Monica with her (I had to love it) "crackerjack box" degree.
But it's also starting to resemble a house of cards -- on public display.
The Wurlitzer isn't drowning out the message this time, and there's actually some oversight going on, unlike the Republican Rubber Stamp Congress.
It's enough to make me wonder whether an implosion is a possibility here. Not to get too hopeful.
But we're a long way from the early days of the Plame investigation.


I don't think we're headed for a full-scale implosion. But I do think pressure could be effectively used against Collins, Snowe, Specter, Grassley, Voiny, Murkowski, and their ilk. Because BushCo is close to destroying the GOP, and those whose primary loyalty is to the GOP, and not Bush, are bound to desert him, in a big way, in the near future.

Gee, I thought if someone was going to take the 5th they actually had to show up and do it.

The lawyer for Little Goodling (what's the opposite of an aptonym?) seems to expect a Congressional Committee to just fold up shop and move along because she won't come down from her room.

This victimizing would have been far more effective if Goody Monica was an accused witch in a real witch-hunt. Hysterics are expected when confronted with stakes rising from readied piles of faggots (please note that I'm using this word properly in its sense of small branches gathered for burning) and torturers deciding between thumbscrews and burning coals.

However, this is simply a fact-finding Committee executing their job of oversight and asking legitimate questions. No whips. No thumbscrews. No shackles. No white penitential garment. No rotten fishheads thrown by the observers. No heckling. Nothing but sitting quietly at a desk with her lawyers behind her.

As an innocent woman under law, she has the right to remain silent. The questions must be asked, but she doesn't have to answer them.

This is still a nation of laws. She must be subpoenaed. She must appear. Buttressed by the law and her roster of lawyers, she would make an impressive statement by sitting quietly and calmly.

Why is she afraid?

If she has any prosecutorial experience at all, she'd know there was a limit even to the types of questions which may be asked. The senators will be on live TV and there will be a transcriber which ought to allay any fears about bullying or harassing or snickering.

If her throat gets dry from repeating the strictures of the 5th Amendment, water will be provided.

So... why is she afraid?

Goodling is partly "afraid" because that's her job: make good theater. Goodling pleading the Fifth puts a lesser-known and more physically attractive victim on the cross. The mighty Wurlitzer can huff and puff all it wants, magnifying hamster farts into hurricane-force gales, but that isn't going to blow away the pre-existing PR baggage that Rove, Miers, and Gonzales have. Watch the right wing spin this into "helpless young woman being beat up by those partisan meanies". The media focus will be on Goodling and not on Rove. Funny how someone else always pops up when things start getting warm for Karl, isn't it?

Kenny Boy is laying low above ground.

Or to put it another way, hauks, why is the presumptive accusation of causing perjury (McNulty's statements about Goodling) less of a risk than whatever Goodling would say under oath, including (presumably) her refutation of McNulty?

frivillous invocations of 5th Amendment protections can be interpreted as an attempt to obstruct Congress. Obstruction of Congress can be directly punished by a Contempt Of Congress ruling

lawyer goodling's counsel could find himself being escorted to one of the jail cells under the Capital Building for Contempt Of Congress, and lawyer goodling could find herself in front of the klieg lights with NO PROTECTIONS at all (transactional immunity)

some days the bullies don't calculate the many ways they can have their asses beaten down

lawyer goodling is going down in history as the straw that triggered the Special Prosecutor

some people need to learn to see the opportunity of the terrain here

Subpoena her for 4/17, slot her in for 10 minutes ahead of Gonzales, let her take the Fifth, and then ask Gonzales why she did it. That way they both lead the news, on a Monday with a full week of news cycles to show the clips over and over.

Huh. I kind of like that one, Albert.

Gonzales is something more, a single party loyalist.

Make that a single-family loyalist: he's not loyal to the GOP, but to the Bush Family.

And I do like Albert's idea. Ideally with Mistress Goodling sitting alongside Abu G for all that follows. Political theatre? So what?

bit of a Goodling timeline

1999 new law degree, workiing RNC war room doing political opposition research associats include Barbara Comstock who was later spokeswoman for Ashcroft (1)

2001 Comstock's deputy Griffin leaves, Goodling becomes her duputy. both help prepare Ashcroft and Theodore Olson for confirmation hearings (1)

2002 Comstock becomes Ashcroft's spokeswoman, her deputy still Goodling When Comstock became Ashcroft's spokeswoman in 2002, she brought Goodling along as her deputy...Goodling often traveled with Ashcroft.... She was the point person on judicial nominations, often working in the Office of Legal Policy...Goodling also played a key role in putting together briefings for the Hill. "She would check them for accuracy," says Corallo. During this period a classmate, Susan Richmond Johnson, who attended Regent at the same time,.. served as White House liaison under Ashcroft (1)

2004 (September) Goodling was dispatched to the U.S. Attorney's Office in the Eastern District of Virginia as part of a program to train department officials in the basics of prosecution (1)

Goodling was away from the Attorney General's office for the kerfuffle, but I'd sure like to know more about that "program to train department officials in the basics of prosecution."

2004, Ashcroft resigns, Gonzales nominated, sworn in Feb 2005

2005, maybe March Goodling returned to Main Justice, [a March 2005 Justice Department e-mail sent to the White House listing all 93 U.S. Attorneys in three categories:]
A few months later [roughly Jul/Aug 2005], she moved into Gonzales' office as a senior counsel and soon took on the responsibilities of White House liaison. In that post, Goodling served as the gatekeeper for the White House for all 400-some political appointees in the Justice Department, from U.S. Attorneys and marshals to secretaries.

Quite a resume in a short five years, RNC, DOJ with outreach to The Hill, Liason to the White House, policy, and the fundamentals of prosecution... and now considered a gatekeeper for White House interests...

I can't help wonder who dispatched her to the Eastern District of Virginia to learn more about the basics of prosecution, and whether the list of 93 US Attorneys in three categories might have been an extra credit project on her part, or had it been requested by someone in the White House?

But I'm with emptywheel... was the movement to transform the DOJ underway before Ashcroft left? If so did he fight it? Or was it a consequence of his leaving?

(1) http://www.law.com/jsp/article.jsp?id=1175245444489


I'm also wondering where Monica was slated to become USA. She's from PA originally, but there were no PA firings in this batch.

Anyway, thanks for the chronology. Have I mentioned I love chronologies?

Ok folks. Had a conversation with the membership representative at the Virginia State Bar Headquarters this morning. She reported that Monica Goodling is a current member in good standing.

Thanks bmaz.

If there is an enterprising Virginia resident out there, it appears to me that Goodling may have a problem with the following provisions of the Virginia professional responsibility edicts:

RULE 4.1 Truthfulness In Statements To Others
In the course of representing a client a lawyer shall not knowingly:
(a) make a false statement of fact or law; or
(b) fail to disclose a fact when disclosure is necessary to avoid assisting a criminal or fraudulent act by a client.
[1] Alawyer is required to be truthful when dealing with others on a client’s behalf, but generally has no affirmative
duty to inform an opposing party of relevant facts. A misrepresentation can occur if the lawyer incorporates or
affirms a statement of another person that the lawyer knows is false. Misrepresentations can also occur by failure to
act or by knowingly failing to correct false statements made by the lawyer’s client or someone acting on behalf of
the client.
Statements of Fact
[2] This Rule refers to statements of fact. Whether a particular statement should be regarded as one of fact can depend
on the circumstances. Under generally accepted conventions in negotiation, certain types of statements ordinarily
arenot taken as statements of material fact. Estimates of price or value placed on the subject of a transaction and a
party’s intentions as to an acceptable settlement of a claim are in this category, and so is the existence of an undis-
closed principal except where nondisclosure of the principal would constitute fraud.
Fraud by Client
[3] Paragraph (b) recognizes that substantive law may require a lawyer to disclose certain information to avoid being
deemed to have assisted the client’s crime or fraud. The requirement of disclosure is governed by Rule 1.6.
Paragraph (a) is substantially similar to DR 7-102(A)(5), which stated, “[I]n his representation of a client, a lawyer shall not
... [k]nowingly make a false statement of law or fact.”
With regard to paragraph (b), DR 7-102(A)(3) provided, “In his representation of a client, a lawyer shall not. . . [c]onceal
or knowingly fail to disclose that which he is required by law to reveal.”
The Committee deleted the ABA Model Rule’s references to a “third person” in the belief that such language merely confused
the Rule. Additionally, the Committee deleted the word “material” preceding “fact or law” from paragraph (a) to make it more
closely parallel DR 7-102(A)(5). The word “material” was similarly deleted from paragraph (b) as it appears somewhat redun-
dant. Finally, the modified Comment expands the coverage of the Rule to constructive misrepresentation—i.e., the knowing
failure of a lawyer to correct a material misrepresentation by the client or by someone on behalf of the client.


Would the person need to be a lawyer?

I don't believe so. Arguably anyone could do it, but from a credibility/standing viewpoint, I think the person should at least be a Virginia resident, if only for appearances. The general rule is that any jurisdiction's citizens have an interest in how their lawyers conduct themselves. I will go back and look at reporting requirements in Virginia a little closer.

The Virginia State Bar Website confirms that it may be a member of the public:

"The VSB receives inquiries from the public, judges, and other lawyers about conduct that might violate ethics rules. Within the VSB, the Office of Bar Counsel reviews all the inquiries it receives to determine whether a lawyer might have violated one or more Rules. If a Rule might have been violated, the VSB investigates the situation."


Again, here's what concerns me: she was dealing with JUDICIAL nominees.

Hey, guys

Remember, the public does not care about Goodling. The public will never think that Goodling is a big deal.

In fact, Goodling is not a big deal.

We need to shift focus. The issue is what was gwb and Abu doing to systematically undermine DOJ, and certain cases in particular.

To make that case, we need info and we need to avoid sideshows.

Let's not worry about punishing Goodling. Who cares? Only a few, and it is not the crowd that we need to convince.

Don't care about punishing Goodling.

She is the first Bushie to act nervous about committing a crime.

Maybe we get to pick her off from the herd, and if she can put Rove in the room when the crimes are committed, that's where the value is.

"Subpoena her for 4/17, slot her in for 10 minutes ahead of Gonzales, let her take the Fifth, and then ask Gonzales why she did it."

And then follow up with a panel of DoJ employees describing all the things little lawyer Goodling, and perhaps Abu G, refused to discuss.

May it please the assembloggage, I offer the following pontoonifications of this arthritic water dog. As always, I stand open to persuasion elsewise.

From the Gomorrah which is the nation’s capitol came news of the debut of one Ms. Monica Goodling [“MsG” if you will]. Born & bred of the Heartland, lately blessed of the Right Reverend Pat Robertson’s University of Republicans Ascend To Sit At The Right Hand of God for Eternity Democrats Are Consigned to Everlasting Hellfire, MsG debuted in the role of Lamb to the Slaughter. Now yea tho she’ll be subpoena’d thru the Valley of Dems she will fear no contempt citation – because yes Jesus loves her - yes Robertson loves her - yes Dubya loves her - the Bible Bushi’ites tell her so.

For the purposes of this expostulation I pray you assume the majority party in Congress brings some combination of visual acuity, indomitable commitment, patriotic zeal & prosecutorial skill to bear on theor execution of the mandates of certain key Congressional Committees – notably House Oversight, Senate Judiciary & House Judiciary.

[1] MsG will see nothing throw her in the way of immunity meatier than the sparest of ribs [more likely Ms. Goodling will not be offered so much as a scrap], for the Democrat leaders of the key Congressional Committees are under no delusions as to what is behind her threat to down a felony of Fifths.

[2] Tho MsG has chosen to enter this drama in disguise as a lamb in fear of being nipped in virginal bud, in point of fact she entered stage Hard Right determined - or resigned [less likely methinks] or both [most likely] to exit a “Martyr” - to Washington Insider Partisan Politics As Usual.

[3] The instrument of her transformation is a dark band of “Democrat” thuggees so committed to their Party’s agenda of commie preversions they will subvert the Law to achieve their goal of World De-domination – or so goes the trumpet blares from the National Review, Wall Street Journal, motlier pushtans of WaPo & the Vasty Right Wing Blogospheroids.

[5] MsG’s destiny requires she reject whatever may be offered.

[6] MsG’s attorneys fully appreciate her stand [more to the point, they fully appreciates the standing of those who enable her to take it] & their representation will unfold accordingly.

[7] Other than that his letters to Congress give an appearance of academic incompetence, a level of tact approximately as subtle as an IED, & redound of partisan zeal, there is no evidence capable of supporting the conclusion that attorney Dowd is academically incompetent, or that he is by nature oblivious to whether his representations heightening the risks confronting his clientele, or his cases typically are suffused with partisan zeal. In point of fact, that evidence we do have supports quite the opposite conclusion.

[8] As these chapters unfold, MsG’s attorney will continue to perform his role in a manner consistent with his client’s determinate to morph into Monica the Martyr & only coincidentally in a manner entirely predictable given the dreadful contributions to her curriculum vitae earned from her thankfully brief career in the DoJ.

[9] That same preparedness to drink from the vats of authorito-religiotic KoolAid that enabled the appalling MsG’s ascendancy within the DoJ has impressed first the sponsors of her legal representation & secondly her legal representatives of record, that she is ready, willing & eager for that same route to sainthood traveled by Judith Miller – a jail cell.

[10] My smell of the spore is that every time Dowd thinks he’s getting nowhere in private talks with the Great Triumverate [Leahy & Conyers & Waxman, in no particular order], we will see him surface for a public airing. Expect to lots more in the way of blasts from his blowhole.

[11] Further in that vein, Dowd has striven, and will continue to strive, to mix [What’s the wonderful word used in the blogosphere to prove you once read a book? Oh yeah – elide.] “threats” [Ha!] of his client’s considering resorting to a Fifth or more, with increasingly creative lectures on how such does not equate with his client’s criminal complicity.

[12] The bottom line: Dowd has diagnosed his client’s complicity in the confluence of crime & politics as ubiquitous, and that her current suffering derives not so much from the aimlessness of epidemic but more due to her conversion to something endemic to modern Republicanism.

While we are on politicization of the legal system, is it permissible that I close by suggesting we consider the case of McNulty?

The effectiveness of every government prosecution office in which I served - and every such office I confronted in defense – in upholding the hegemony of the Rule of Law, depended substantially on the ability of the resident hierarchy to navigate the shoals of politics. What we’ve seen in Fitz’s ascendancy from prosecuting scum drug pushers thru the Mob thru terrorists thru corporate theft thru graft to the reigning King’s own, is in fact a typical [albeit much more dramatic] career arc for all able prosecutors. At a certain point on that arc all successful prosecutors face this crisis: Where does one turn at the confluence of law & politics? Those with pretensions to personality abdicate: Dewey, Guiliani & now Switzer [to say nothing of what these days seems about a third of the sitting democrats on Congressional committees]. Some ascend to judgment. Some stay.

The last is the route most fraught with hazard.

Anyone else for taking control of public prosecutions out of the hands of the quadrennially-annointed monarchy?

Fitz! emptywheel! labdancer!


Lab Dancer:

If I am reading your scenario correctly, you see Monica Goodling volunteering to serve as a willing martyr to larger Republican talking points about Democratic over-reach (kind of the faith driven zealotry of a suicide bomber, only less messy and you can change your mind).

I can't dismiss the idea out of hand, since Loyal Bushies are sufficiently ungrounded in the common reality.

But the hallmark of Loyal Bushies is always to deny guilt, and taking the Fifth (legal presumptions or no) is not denying guilt--it is putting a big spotlight on someone and saying, look at me and see if you can figure out what I am hiding.

I doubt that Monica is John Dean....someone ultimately possessed of conscience, who repents bad acts, and speaks truth to power. The history of the administration is such that I would expect incipient John Deans to have been sifted out long since.

But she might be scared. Or it might even be that her religious schooling actually provided her with a true moral code that gives her a set of values higher than mere obedience to authority.

We don't know yet.

Bottom line, I do not think her pleading the Fifth is the WH playbook, which makes her motives a tantalizing mystery.

This is kinda funny.

The Democrats and the media are being suckered by a little sleight of hand.

"No, don't look. I said you couldn't look. No, don't focus your eyes. Hey don't pay attention!"

In the meanwhile the bunny is being slipped out of the hat and into a waiting taxi that will speed to the airport.

"In the meanwhile the bunny (GWB) is being slipped out of the hat (ultimate responsibility for everything, Plame was a spy you fraternity slug!) and into a waiting taxi (AF1) that will speed to the airport and safety (Texas vacume-land)...

[with Cheney having resigned for 'reasons of health' and micro-King 'W' claiming he was forced to abandon his illegitimate evil throne by a nefarious cabal - comprised of his wife and pastor, ok it's not the greatest imaginable evil... but hey, Bickus Dickus is out of the way now, ok, let's move on to who's the best to take over this nightmare, sigh]."

Tokyo Jodi, I take your post Libby conviction "drive-by" comments as extremely disrespectful to emptywheel. Prior to Libby's conviction you stated that you had purchased ANATOMY OF DECEIT. I see no evidence of it from your posts. If you had read ANATOMY OF DECEIT or read her dead-on posts about the jury verdict, I doubt you would comment with such continuous disregard for emptywheel's extraordinarily rare expertise in this area. You clearly have no idea what a privilege it is to read such a distinguished thinker's unbelieveably timely posts at no charge. Even more than before Libby's conviction, your comments lack any substance or specificity. Your 23:02 drive-by could just as well be on a board about Medicare Plan D. Nothing in it addresses this topic or any other.

yo, tokyo jodi, the worm tongue

which sleight of hand would that be ???

the same one that got scooter lookin at 25 years in the federal pen ???

that was a real neat trick

who's next on the laugh parade ???

It's people like Goodling and her sweetie-poo Rachel Paulose, who make me regret we have no Romans and lions around to take care of these halfwits.


you need to read what kim had to say if you can't grasp analogs well.

freepatriot or course you can't grasp anything very well. That is your slip of hand.

Goodling has good lawyers. They're trying to keep her out of the hot seat based on the argument 'she won't incriminate herself (answer your questions anyway...) knowing that in advance, you shouldn't ask her to testify.'

It'll be interesting to read Gonzalez' response to rhe Leahy/Whitehouse inquiry about what DOJ advises as an appropriate course of action regarding Goodling's refusal to testify.

Having to decide when to answer and when to take the fifth is a pressured highstakes game. Her lawyers don't want her doing that but if she takes the fifth for EVERY question, she may draw a contempt of Congress charge.

TCinLA, Why did the Romans close the Coliseum? The lions were eating all the prophets.


I'm just guessing, but I doubt we'll see a response from Gonzales. Leahy might get the FBI answers (though he might not). But probably not a formal answer, at least not before the 17th.

LabDancer, nice to see you back in good form again.

Jodi, if you spoke your mind, you'd be speechless.

Tokyo Jodi, I get Kim's analogue. Have you read ANATOMY OF DECEIT yet?

hey, tokyo jodi, let's review the record

well, I predicted that scooter would be convicted on all 5 counts

you said that scooter would get off on all 5 counts

scooter was convicted of 4 of 5 counts

so who has the better grasp of reality the person who scored 80% on his prediction, or the troll who was 20% right

btw, tokyo jodi also said that the evidence was too confuxinig for the jurors

but the jurors came out of the courthouse asking "Where was kkkarl rove ???"

so I think the jury understood the evidence better than any of us hoped

other that scooter's one aqittial, what have you ever been right about ???


I believe I said he would be convicted on at least one count, but that on appeal he would do better.

I came back later and said that with that jury in that town, he really didn't have too much of a chance.

But I will affirm that you were closer to the final verdict than i was. ???You sure you weren't on that jury???

Forgive me for not bolding your name. This is a different computer with different characteristics.


yes at least in part. ew did a good job. However I can't say I agree. My grandmom has it now. She became interested in the case too.

yo, tokyo jodi the wormtongue, you believe a lot of bullshit

i don't have to rely on "Belief"

I can go check the record, and see the facts

once it became obvious to everybody and his brother that scooter was guilty as hell you might have admitted to a single conviction

but right up to the trial, you kept trying to convince people that the whole trial was too complicated to understand

it was kinda funny, reading your idiocy, in the face of emptywheel's excellent explanations of every detail

understand that as the most informative person on the planet was explaining the case in simple and easily understandable terms, you were here telling us how complicated it all was

you don't understand because you don't want to understand. you "believe" because you don't want to know the facts. you would rather wrap yourself in self delusion and bullshit, where you feel safe and warm, than understand the true dimensions of the crimes committed byu the bushistas

you returned here because your cognative dissonance just can't let go of it

you can't be wrong, can you ???

cuz if you are wrong, it means you sold out your morality and integrity to support this piece of shit presnit

why don't you just go back to freeperville, where there is no danger that anyone would ever tell you the truth about yourself

you've made yourself a joke around here, and soon we wont even be laughing at you, we'll just ignore you

have a nice life tokyo jodi the worm tongue, just have it somewhere else, ok ???

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