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April 03, 2007

Comments

Ah, regarding Fitz, a return to the tale of the hidden WH-Plame emails perhaps, and a brand-new incursion into the off-site GWB emails.... I can only hope.

EW,

Sounds like Goodling has painted herself into a corner. I would say the advice she got from her lawyers wasn't good. If Goodling wants a deal I think she needs to do it fast because I don't think Leahy is showing much patience with this. If it goes from the Judiciary Committees to the Oversight Committee then she will be truely screwed. I think that the Judiciary committees ought to hire Lam as their lead investigator. I sure she would love to kick Sampson in the family jewels.

isn't it sad to think they are going to have to appoint a republican just so the fowl don't scream "witch hunt". who can you trust, ken starr? it will be much like what gomer pyle said to barney fife when barney did an improper U turn- "citizens arrest" "citizens arrest" and nobody went to jail because them's was all guilty and innocent.
but do we really have a justice department? or is it a collection of very frightened people that are more concerned about the pension than doing what they know to be right. please think about it, we have had almost no outcry from these people that have to justify their being employed by the department of justice during what appears to be a lack thereof.

I can't see Fitzgerald touching this. He's nothing if not scrupulous, and he's clearly a part of this story. I have no doubt that he could prosecute this case impartially, but I also have no doubt that he would see the obvious appearance of a conflict-of-interest here. That would lead him to recuse himself.

BTW, I love the way the Dems have played this. They simply called Monica's bluff and told her to come to testify to Congress. If she wants, she can still plead the Fifth on every single question she's asked. But it's going to be REALLY hard to do that for three or four hours without looking awful in the process, not to mention giving "The Daily Show" one of its best montages of all time.

"The office of the Attorney General appears to be hopelessly conflicted." About 8 revisions back, that line read something like "And don't even THINK of dealing with this yourself!"

As to what Frank said, that's gotta be a big problem with judicial corruption: where do you find the people to take care of it? I'm sure the Administration made sure they touched each and every USA (and beyond) in some way or another, and I'm sure they've done their research to know how much they have to touch in order to have a future hope of recusal if they ever met head to head. It's definitly a reasonable political defense to try to build bias into the system. They've probably been at this for at least 10 years, and there's probably already a book about it I've never read.

ew, it's always genius from you.
Thanks ever once more.

i' would really be a cryin' shame if they thunk no one could 'andle the job. My guess is what we all ready thought would 'appen.

Lordy, it is certainly fun watching a crafty bunch of Dems get a chance to practice their craftiness.

Best part about Monica is that she has not only backed herself into a corner but Abu as well.

Special Prosecutor=great cattle prod for now, but reality might be a bit not so much if they use Ken Starr or his ilk. btw, Carol Lam testified that she got a job before her toes hit the pavement with I think it was Qualcomm.

EW, what Elliott said. Thank you.

way to go monica goodling

that law degree you found is a crackerjax box is the gift that keeps on giving

kinda hard to say there is no criminal behavior once you've tried to invoke 5th Amendment protections

now you're between a rock and a hard criminal prosecutor

either there was a crime committed and you need to seek protection from self incrimination from an Independant Prosecutor, or there is no crime here and you can start answering the fucking questions

which is it ???

and do you really want to try that phony 5th Amendment shit with a Grand Jury too ???

btw monica, convicted felons ain't allowed to vote or practice law

have a nice life

Many thanks for your diligence and thoughtfulness on Plame and on this and so many other matters. Valuable service to this country.

My take (similar to one posted at TPM) is that Akin Gump attorneys are very smart, and when Monica talked over her situation with them, she was told she was facing criminal liability.

Strip the first Akin letter of its theatrics, designed to play to the administration, and the key words are "truthful testimony could expose her to charges." I think they know what she did, and they know where she is vulnerable, and are working on strategies to keep her out of the tank when the truth inevitably comes out.

The House letter today suggested a private chat before she testifies, which sounds to me like an invite to show what cards she has before any immunity is offered.

Akin may think they can bid for a Libby style defense fund and position her as some kind of Republican Joan of Arc, but that strategy could damage Bush as much or more as her testifying.

If she can put Karl Rove in the room when something illegal was planned, both sides have an incentive to bid up.

For Special Prosecutor -- I'd recommend Mary Jo White, currently in private practice in NY, Formerly Patrick Fitzgerald's boss as she was Southern District NY USA for nine years. Mob experience, al-Qaeda experience, and recently she was hired by the RC Church to oversee some of their necessary investigations of pedophilia and payoff's. (Her rate is 950 per hour if anyone needs to know that fact.)

The tradition prior to the mess we got in where Rheinquist appointed the special panel that oversaw the Special Counsel under the late and not lamented law that sunsetted at the end of the Clinton Years, was to appoint a highly distinguished trial lawyer or Law Professor of the opposite party as Special Prosecutor. Thus Archie Cox and Leon Jaworski. The theory is someone with an independent reputation, personally earned, will not throw it away with raw political gamesmanship in a case late in life. On these grounds I bounce the name Mary Jo White -- and perhaps we could add others so Leahy has a nice list.

One wonders what Conyers staff investigators are discovering this week as they interview the other DOJ staff. Nice that nothing is leaking however. Conyers committee could be where this next ends up, however, because if Gonzoles does not resign, they may have to impeach him for lying to the Senate. We know he has hired outside counsel for investigations -- so he may well be prepared for that possibility.

Important to note, I think, no one seems to be cc'ing Fred Fielding on these matters. They are ignoring the President's Counsel who has been shoved into a corner by Bush's stubborn streak so he can't negotiate. I wouldn't be surprised to see Fielding resign when he sees an opening -- he doesn't need this.

As to the off-site E-Mail matter, it looks like they are leaving that to Waxman who will deal with it as a violation of the Presidential Records Act. If they find official and/or security material on non-government servers, then it could be added to dealing with Gonzales, or if they get a special prosecutor, hand it off to him/her. I think records custody for a sitting President is officially with the Secret Service -- that is now Homeland Security, so yet another department perhaps looking at the Waxman treatment.

It isn't just in Walter Reed that the Fungi are multiplying.

What's Jim Comey doing these days? He's make a great special prosecutor.

Please, please, please NO SPECIAL PROSECUTOR.

Everything will disappear behind a cone of silence for three years as everyone piously declares that it would be inappropriate to comment while the case is under investigation.

This is a political crisis, not a criminal case. At least, not principally a criminal case.

Do the dance with Monica for a few days, then cut to the chase. Immunize her and put her in front of the cameras.

Frank

I agree, no way Fitz would touch this. It was a bit of a joke.

jwp

I think you may want to avoid immunizing MOnica, if you can. Schumer apparently already has evidence she's been taking loyalty oaths from AUSAs, a clear violation of law. If she's the one in charge of politicizing justice, it'd be a shame if she got immunity.

The double-teaming is interesting.
Conyers says she has to come and not answer each question specifically.
Leahy is suggesting she may not have to testify but is asking who can prosecute since the whole DOJ is conflicted.
Conyesrs could jail her for contempt, which would involve the Sgt at Arms .
Interesting.

The double-teaming is interesting.
Conyers says she has to come and not answer each question specifically.
Leahy is suggesting she may not have to testify but is asking who can prosecute since the whole DOJ is conflicted.
Conyers could jail her for contempt, which would involve the Sgt at Arms .
Interesting.

Much as I admire Mary Jo White, I think it would be a mistake to use a Dem as a Sp. Prosecutor.
Comey is a potential witness so he is out.

I think they are going to have to reach back and find a former prosecutor, not a Dem, with an impeccable reputation.

Is this going to end up as another deflated balloon, a la Libby trial? What I mean is, if she talks under immunity deal and says she asked inappropriate questions about loyalty to Assistant Prosecutors, so what?
Nothing happens.

We already know DOJ and WH targeted USA's for their political lapses, but that is not illegal, what am i missing?

did Gonzales testify under oath that he had nothing to do with asking the loyalty questions, it seems all he has said so far is he had little to do with the purge, but the purge itself is not illegal.

As far I can see, all we look forward to is Goodling going off to work behind the scenes, Gonzales taking a job with Microsoft to promote child protection on the internet and Orin Hatch as AG.

I think we're going to need more popcorn. Lots more popcorn.
And an honest SP.

Several points.
First, whose paying Ms. Goodling's legal bills?
Second,when you conduct your activities in a specific manner for a length of time, and then the situation changes it is not necessarily true your conduct will follow suit.
The Bush Roving Sons of Watergate have manipulated time in their favor whenever advantageous since using it so adeptly in Florida in 2000. The Rubberstamp Congress has been part and parcel to this manipulation. With the change of power in Congress they are now faced with a dilemma previously absent.
The oncoming elections of 2008 only plays in favor of the Democrats' stratagic use of time. The desire of moving up the time for the AG's testimony is an indicator of the Republicans acknowledgement of this.

Please, not Mary Jo White. Remember when the regretable Robert Torricelli dropped out of the US Senate race in New Jersey a few years ago (2002)? He was effectively forced out because of damaging leaks from Southern District NY (yeah, not NJ), under Mary Jo White, IIRC. I'm suspicious that what we saw then was a precursor of a practice that became widespread later on, in Bush Junior's second term -- the use of DOJ investigations for partisan political advantage.

leahy may be a crafty fellow but

if there is one thing i would not want to have happen were i investigating the white house/doj prosecutor purge

it would be to encourage any sort "lawsuit-like" approach to the problem.

a special counsel would, in effect , conduct a trial,

which would take months or years

and would allow everyone in the white house, the doj, or congress to say

"we can't speak now about an ongoing investigation."

who wants that?

i don't.

congressional questioning, in public, under oath, right is the only way to go with this matter.

a year or two from know, the bush-appointed u.s. attorneys will have closed down all the corruption investigations of republican officials and congressmen and the matter will be , effectively, sealed.

orionATL -
Agree completely. Much as I'd love to see the Bushies behind bars, a Congressional investigation does two things: brings them into the sunlight (which will have consequences come election time) and to gather evidence and momentum to impeach.
The legal route takes too long and frankly, it is hard to trust the process because the DOJ is horribly conflicted and finding other remedies is unearthing new ground: difficult in the face of a stacked judiciary.

I don't think Leahy is really serious about the Special Prosecutor idea--it's just some effective saber rattling. And a sense of the kinds of questions we will see committee member's ask him when he gets there on the 17th.

Because, how the hell is he going to answer that question? Is he going to say that he can't comment on Goodling due to "an ongoing investigation?" Not likely. Or if there is one, the Senators are going to want to know who is in charge, and what they are investigating? Abu is really caught between a rock and hard place.

Plus the questions of why she is still working there (Have you Mr Atty Gen asked for her resignation, and if not why not?)...These people are all lawyers. And they are not going to settle for lame talking points.

I would also suppose that Waxman's committee will brief Leahy's committee and provide transcripts as to what they have learned in their interviews? I have no idea about how these things work between the Senate and the House.

They simply called Monica's bluff and told her to come to testify to Congress. If she wants, she can still plead the Fifth on every single question she's asked.

it never made sense to me that someone could invoke the 5th amendment before even being asked a single question.

is this stategy, invoking the 5th as a reason not to testify, to prevent the committee from asking any questions at all? wouldn't taking the 5th as an answer give as much information as it holds back? seems it would certainly point out the 'hot spots' to look into.

Irene, I am playing with the notion that the Bushies see this as an avenue for litigating their Unitary Government Thesis vis a vis the powers of the President and Congress. At this juncture I don't think it is in Congresses interest to play into this. By claiming the 5th as a reason not to answer any committee questions, essentially Monica is questioning the right of Congressional Committees to engage in Oversight -- of her as a political appointee of the President.

I think Congress has two parallel interests here. One is to get rid of Gonzales as swiftly and simply as possible, and then use Confirmation process to demand a far more a-political AG and at the same time set some requirements for Confirmation. We do have a national interest in a functioning DOJ, afterall. A new AG would bring in a new top management team, and would also be able to deal with USA's that are overly political.

If Gonzales does not soon resign -- then Conyers has to stoke up an impeachment hearing in the House. He has to be moved out. Impeachment cannot be appealed or pardoned.

A Special Prosecutor does not have to take three years -- it can be more like six months. The advantage is that it would use a Grand Jury and Rove and Miers would not be able to claim Executive Privilege. It also puts the past into the frame of a potential criminal case -- and allows a new AG, and new management at DOJ, get on with lesser reforms and management.

What worries me is litigation about DOJ that leaves Gonzales in place that tests how persuasive Alito and Roberts are on a Unitary Government Thesis. I'd rather avoid that issue right now.

Sara,
Thanks for sharing your thoughts. I can see how invoking the 5th preemptively makes sense if what they're really after is litigating on their Unitary Government theory.

Normally, I would wonder how anyone could question the idea that Congress has the right, duty even, to carry out their oversight role. But not with this crew. And certainly not with Roberts and Alito on the court.

If Gonzales were gone yesterday it wouldn't be soon enough. It's hard to imagine the discussions going on in the WH right now... hanging onto Gonzales vs. going through an ultra thorough confirmation hearing.

What a fascinating discussion of a fascinating letter by Leahy. I'm just a random guy out in the hinterlands of America salivating at the prospect of seeing these folks get what they deserve. This is better than football or basketball.

What a fascinating discussion of a fascinating letter by Leahy. I'm just a random guy out in the hinterlands of America salivating at the prospect of seeing these folks get what they deserve. This is better than football or basketball.

What a fascinating discussion of a fascinating letter by Leahy. I'm just a random guy out in the hinterlands of America salivating at the prospect of seeing these folks get what they deserve. This is better than football or basketball.

What a fascinating discussion of a fascinating letter by Leahy. I'm just a random guy out in the hinterlands of America salivating at the prospect of seeing these folks get what they deserve. This is better than football or basketball.

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