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April 25, 2007


Isn't the old addage that if you don't want to address something then have a committee look at it. This would seem like another case like the internal OPR / IG Justice department investigation. More smoke and mirrors and no comments about ongoing investigations.

These guys are very good at this. January 2009 isn't that far off.

In this chess match, the junta seems to a lot of pieces and is not playing with a blind fold on.

Hey EW,

I haven't read much of anything that seems to indicate that Bloch will do diddly. He has focused on the New Mexico stuff but today the Wall Street Journal has the article on delays with the Renzi investigation due to delays from DoJ for a year before the election. This just adds to the pile of crap that is covering Gonzo. With the Waxman-Conyers-Leahy posse riding fast the DoJ mafia is going to be running for the hills.

Beautiful analysis.

And it got me thinking. The inclusion of the RNC e-mails into a nearly meaningless executive branch investigation -- as opposed to the congressional one -- would allow the executive branch to get their hands on the e-mails first before Congress is able to get them from the RNC.

That would give them a chance to slow down the congressional investigation. They can say that the executive branch investigation should take priority over the congressional one and obtain the e-mails first. Then they can release the e-mails in drips, holding onto the more damaging e-mails for as long as they can, like they have done with the US Attorney scandal.

They are going to get the evidence from the white house AND the RNC, and they are going to use this fake investigation the same way they used the fake investigations of Abu Graib - that is, they are going to run out the clock by refusing to release "evidence related to an important internal investigation", and use the very presence of the investigation to justify (and allow their troubled republican friends to justify) calls for delay. I can hear it now: "Let us let the investigation run it's course, and then we will have all the answers"

Would DoJ be able to use Goodling's inclusion in this investigation to try to squash the immunity deal just approved in Congress?

This is a little more interesting than the Wilson-Plame-Rove affair. I am not sure it has any more legs though it could.

excerpts from Iglesias above on Rove---

"could have violated the Hatch Act by putting undue pressure on Justice Dept"

"some emails, some evidence it is circumstantial now I believe if OCS digs in, they can get direct evidence"

Is this Wilson again, meaning strictly political, or is it attorney payback?

The main thing I see here is the supposedly wronged person sees some circumstantial evidence, but he is an attorney, so it has more credence, or why would he go out on limb?

Except there could be a Democratic Administration next term, and it could mean a job for Iglesias if he makes noise. It will be appreciated I am sure.

"Circumstantial" along with Rove could explain why the honey bees are dying, and what is happening to Britney Spears. Some have the whole world revolving around Rove, and I believe to their own detriment, because it means they don't look at their own actions while blaming everything on Rove and diverting their energies to him.

it's a whitewash and a fuckup at the same time

here's my take

george is trying to move the RNC emails back in to whitehouse jurisdiction, so he has the OSC subpeona the emails, and then tries to keep the emails under wraps in the OSC office under Executive Privilige

the fuckup occurs in the jurisdiction of the OSC

the OSC is remedial in nature, not prosecutorial

the "remedy" to the problem is for the OSC to release the emails to a prosecutorial office for criminal referal

george is trying to play a shell game with the rnc emails, and OSC was the best he could come up with

ya just can't find a good "fall guy" when you need one

I wonder if they can use thins "investigation" as a method of allowing the justice department to refuse to confer immunity? The DOJ MUST sign off on immunity deals for them to be valid. What if the Cult of Bush trots out the idea that giving Goodling immunity would interfere with the OSC query? It would at least run out the clock whit it was being litigated.

I assume the OSC can only investigate matters within its jurisdiction, as defined by various statutes. To the extent missing e-mails are relevant to those jurisdictional issues, the OSC should, by law, go after them.

You point out the same missing e-mails could be relevant to other violations that are outside the OSC jurisdiction -- but the fact OSC wants them for one reason does not legally preclude them from being sought/used in another investigation. I don't know any legal requirement that would require exclusivity here.

The concern is that the WH is manipulating everything, and the OSC will be used to hide from other investigations. But of course, the WH has every incentive to hide whether or not there is an OSC investigation. I don't see how the OSC investigation becomes a legally valid reason for refusing to cooperate in the other matters. Not that "legally valid" is relevant to the WH, but I think we need to separate the legal arguments from the diversions.

One question: how would the OSC's taking up the whole thing, including the missing emails, serve to derail or discourage other investigations? Would this investigation preclude another agency pursuing its own investigation, say of the missing emails just as such, and not necessarily strictly in terms of potential Hatch Act violation?

(though I play one on some blogs)

An allusion to the funny fact that for some unknown reason Maguire seems intent on referring to you as a lawyer?

Jodi - Circumstantial evidence is still evidence, as distinct from speculation without any basis other than the wishful thoughts of the speculator, such as this:

there could be a Democratic Administration next term, and it could mean a job for Iglesias if he makes noise. It will be appreciated I am sure.

Scarecrow - they don't NEED it to be legally valid, they need a VERY thin crust of bogus reasonableness. They can refuse to provide evidence for any reason they think they can pass time with, and historical evidence shows clearly that if they give the bobblehead republicans in congress that thin crust of bogus reasonableness, they will stand on it, wave a few flags, and stonewall.

These are they guys who are pretending there is some basis in law to let the WH go througn RNC e-mails BEFORE they are provided as subpoenaed.

And I also do believe that they could contrive a reason that granting immunity to Goodling would interfere with another investigation and use that as a reason to refuse to sign off.

I don't know any legal requirement that would require exclusivity here.

watch george try to invent one or pull one out of his ass

that's why this is a fuckup

here's one of my favorite jokes

A guy walks up to a teller in a bank, pats his pockets, looks at the teller ans says this is a fuckup

the teller asks the guy if he means "this is a stickup" ???

the guy says "No, this is a fuckup, I forgot my gun"

I think george is "The Guy"


Just exactly how do you spell "obfuscation"....

This just has to be a ploy to hamper the release of the WH and RNC emails to Congress since there will be "an ongoing investigation". No one with 2 brain cells synapsing could believe that Bloch really means to do anything substantive - his track record sucks already and he can't have just suddenly got religion.

Not going to happen, guys. They will try to spin this out till eternity or 2008 unless the Democrats stiffen their collective backbone and, hopefully with the help of the career people in DoJ who are probably as pissed as we all are, put these slimeballs' feet to the fire.

Personally I can't wait.

jeff -- I agree that may be the WH' tactic; all the more reason to make an effort to explain it has no legal validity, so that less of the MSM buys it without question.

lizard, jeff -- sorry, my reply was meant for lizard's comment


you are right. However what circumstantial evidence? And what else? Usually there has to be something else though sometimes cases are built mainly on circumstantial.

The noise I refer to is that first he complained that he lost his job due to being in the Reserve, and now this.
But it is the details that matter, and they aren't known yet.

It is interesting though at the onset. One always wonders for a while, until the pattern is better understood.

You-all are so smart, it's a pleasure to come here and read.
I hope we see Waxman & Company look into this "investigation" and ask the hard questions about Bloch and his track record at the OSC. Also, seems appropriate to reestablish "investigation rights", if you will, stating clearly that just because the OSC has established an investigation it doesn't at all put a congressional investigation on hold, nor remove congressional rights to evidence. I'd rather get this out front instead of in reaction. When I was reading the morning LA Times Tuesday, sipping my morning caffeine, I thought this just smells like Rove.

"Some circumstantial evidence is very strong, such as finding a trout in the milk."

We're looking at trout in our milk.

Suppose the Bloch investigation is intended to block congressional oversight...

Given that Bloch is himself being investigated a/c tpm muckraker, couldn't this backfire quite badly - eg if Bloch has to resign, couldn't the investigation end up in someone else's - less compliant - hands.

(further wrinkle - how wd a replacement for Bloch be selected? Presumably it is too low-level a post to require senate confirmation?)

How would Bloch' replacement be selected? There's an as yet undiscovered secret provision of the PATRIOT Act that allows AG to pick someone from Ave Maria High in the dead of night, without telling anyone. Just a guess.

Regardless of what DOJ says about immunity, it goes to a federal judge. One reason that the Watergate investigation went somewhere was Judge Sirica, who refused to back down to the Nixon White House, and doggedly kept at it. With the conservative stacking of the judiciary, who would this go to? Yet another reason why no more judges should be approved until the WH comes clean. Let Bush recess-appoint them and let them all leave at the end of the year.

I think the OSC investigation is to take possession of the servers, as someone suggested yesterday. Bury the evidence.

I think the standoff with Congress is going to slowly escalate, encompassing the budget and appointments. The narrative is going against Bush now (largely because of Iraq) and it will only get worse. I think the Dems think that at some point the weight of evidence against Bush (adding corruption to the last year and a half's revelations of incompetence) will topple him.

I can't see Bush leaving voluntarily, but I do feel that there is a growing backlash in the country itself, and that if there are a few more big bad things, it is possible that Bsuh/Cheney won't serve out ther full terms in office. Note I do not wish for big bad things, but I think they grow in likelihood because of Bush policies--such as attacks on the lightly protected forward operating bases in Iraq, or some natural or financial disaster we can't cope with because they are all mired in Iraq or saving their skin.

Here's how they are going to use the new "investigation" to block immunity for goodling: They will claim that her immunized testimony will compromise anything they find subsequent to it (citing the problems with the North and Poindexter prosecutions) and therefor DOJ will invoke a "delay" of some period of time (translation: Until the Rapture) so that any case the OSC may prepare will be free of the taint of immunized testimony. Nixon tried to do that to Dean, but then AG Kleindeinst (who defferred to Peterson of the criminal division) wouldnt go for it. Bush doesn't have that problem.

How would Bloch' replacement be selected? There's an as yet undiscovered secret provision of the PATRIOT Act that allows AG to pick someone from Ave Maria High in the dead of night, without telling anyone. Just a guess.


it bothered me when i read it,

and it bothers me more now that i have read this post and comments.

given bloch's history,

why would david iglesias, who has been more publicly critical than any other former u.s. attnys,

expressed confidence in bloch's investigation, as he did yesterday or day before?

things are getting curiouser and curiouser.

Huh. But Bloch's OSC gig is a department investigation, not a DOJ investigation, so it's not working with a prosecutor leading to an indictment, right? So how can an OSC investigation trump a congressional investigation? To this bear of little brain, it can't. AND, at no extra charge, if this is not a federal prosecutor working a case, how does this create a reason for a DOJ delay in immunity for Goodling? I'm not seeing it. Thoughts, anyone?

marksb - As far as I can tell, there is no legal basis for what I think they are going to try to do. All they are doing is imparting a vague cloud of reasonableness, to give the bobbleheads in congress a little cover, in a P.R. sense, for supporting them. If they can create enough fog and confusion about what is or is not legal, they can get away with it. They have been doing exactly that since the beginnings of this administration.

Lizard, thanks. Makes sense: more smoke, a lot of bluster, and a compliant media. I'm thinking that Waxman et al is going to be forced to push the administration damned hard over the next few months.

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