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April 27, 2007


On what grounds are they withholding these e-mails? Executive priveledge would not apply (not that that would stop them) unless it was a communication between the Prez and his advisors, right?

Does anyone know if the Comey appearance before the SJC will be televised? I have a very exalted view of Mr. Comey; I hope he doesn't let us down. I have a strong suspicion Ms. Goodling will have a lot of difficulty remembering as did her colleagues at Justice.

Lawyers' "work product" is often shielded, but that is for communications between lawyer and client. Despite the super-abundance of lawyers, they don't have that contractual relationship. They aren't representing anyone. Whether co-worker or superior, this discussion is mostly among employees of the same office. If Bush wasn't sitting in there directing the meetings, or if they weren't reporting directly to Bush, I don't see how any claim of executive privilege can be asserted. Where's the executive?

If they wish to claim that Rove was keeping Bush in the loop, and offer proof of Presidential involvement, THEN a claim of privilege can pass muster. Of course, that would shift the focus of the investigation. Slightly.

Following Lizard, yes, EW, please tell us a little more: what's the rationale for holding back these emails? especially interesting after you break it all down like this, showing it's easy to speculate, based on their short headings, on exactly what they're discussing and what the emails contain. They're releasing a flood of documents but are keeping back the ones that are clearly incriminating, and that's okay because....?

"In other words, one of the last things Harriet did as WH Counsel was instruct Sampson on how to go about replacing the USAs. Just after that exchange, Sampson forwards those emails to Paul McNulty, Michael Elston, William Moschella, and Monica Goodling."

Says a lot about who was in charge, doesn't it? So much for independence of OAG.

I think the reasons for holding back the e-mails are "because they would be embarassing" and "because we think we can".

I suppose it would be too much to ask DOJ for a cross-reference between the categories of withheld email and email sent to RNCHQ.COM or GWB43.com email addresses.

For example, all the Foggo/Wilkes emails that EW suggests Sampson must have sent? I bet they didn't go to anybody at EOP.gov. That's got RNCHQ.com written all over it.

also note this diary over at dkos. They've been graphing the volume of Kyle's email to three groups of recipients, before and after he "resigned." Turns out (shocking, I know) that before he stepped down, he sent a lot of mail to the white house. Afterwards, not so much. Maybe the whitehouse intertube gets plugged when you go under the bus.

Just to clarify tekel, that diary purports to show how much of the email was withheld, not a before and after on Kyle's resignation. But note--the N is so small, it's not really surprising we get those conclusions. Most importantly, note that these withheld emails are mostly from document dumps that came after WH realized the shit was hitting the fan, so the withheld decisions are not that surprising.

A little OT, but you'll love this, 'Wheel. From Laura Rozen

Update: House Oversight committee press release: "Waxman has invited former CIA Director George Tenet to testify before the Committee on May 10th regarding one of the claims used to justify the war in Iraq - the assertion that Iraq sought to import uranium from Niger - and related issues."

Posted by Laura at 10:28 AM

mk, GeorgeT's book preview.

I clearly misunderstood- of course you're correct EW. Not sure where I got the before/after Sampson's resignation divider from; I would assume that Sampson would lose access to his DOJ email account as a consequence of his resignation, so there should be ZERO emails from him after he resigned. in the diary I linked above there is a reference to this OTHER earlier diary by the same author (drational) which is a partial traffic analysis of the emails sent by Sampson before and after the USA firings occurred on December 8, NOT before/after Sampson stepped down in March.

That analysis was done on documents that have already been produced by DOJ, not on the new information in the privilege log of what the DOJ refuses to produce. I was thinking it would be interesting to compare the distribution of senders and recipients between these two populations of email, small though the sample may be. I guess I didn't communicate that very clearly. I'm in the middle of final exams this week, so I'm a little preoccupied.

Apologies for any confusion I may have caused...

Jane S. wrote:
Lawyers' "work product" is often shielded, but that is for communications between lawyer and client. Despite the super-abundance of lawyers, they don't have that contractual relationship.

Actually, "work product" (unlike attorney-client privilege) does not have to take the form of a communication between lawyer and client. It can be in the form of an internal legal memo, draft pleadings, or brief, etc. HOWEVER, to be covered by the "work product" doctrine, the work product has to have been generated "in anticipation of litigation." I do not believe that the anticipation of having to testify before, or produce documents to, a Congressional committee exercising its oversight responsibilities qualifies as "the anticipation of litigation."

I see that one of the dumpettes shows Sampson well pleased with a WaPo story by reliable GOP stenographer and anti-Dem shit-stirrer John Solomon.

Thanks for the update. You're a truth beast, EW, even way out in front of TPM on this one. They're a little busy with JM doing a quick and useful Iraq paper bag primer and yet another camera crew stomping through their world headquarters to show where the dissection of this USA scandal went viral. Hope you're ready to welcome Moyers and Lowell Bergman and others to your futuristic HQ while introduce the dozens of young, idealistic crack EW staff in the near future.

If Sampson uses the same technique I use then the reason he forwarded an email to himself was because everyone else on the recipient list was BCC (Blind Carbon Copy) and none of them would be aware of the other recipients. The only way to get the recipient list is to retrieve the original headers.

futuristic HQ while introducing the dozens of young, idealistic crack EW staff in the near future.

that would be the dog I think

Attorney Scott Turow, a former assistant U.S. attorney and the best-selling author of legal thrillers, said during a UW-Madison speech that the Bush administration overstepped its bounds in the controversial mass firing of federal prosecutors.

"It is true that all U.S. attorneys serve at the pleasure of the president, (but) prosecution of the crime is necessarily a local event," said Turow, who served as an assistant U.S. attorney in Chicago and was lead government counsel in trials connected to Operation Greylord, a federal investigation of corruption in the Illinois judiciary.


"Because the course of events indicates that these U.S. attorneys were being replaced because of the way they handled particular cases without contravening established policy, is an extremely troubling thing for those of us who have been federal prosecutors," Turow said. "The thought that they would take people's jobs because of whom they prosecute is deeply troubling."
Author says U.S. went too far in lawyer firings

- Anita Weier, The Capital Times, link


Are you on the master list of all Alumni news? ;-p

In reviewing the Constitution, I can't locate the I don't want to testify or turn over documents that make me look bad amendment. Am I missing something?

mickey @ 15:33, that's in the version that only Republics get to read.

When you mention SJC, do you mean the Senate Judiciary Committee or the House Subcommittee on Commercial and Administrative Law, when you discuss Comey testifying next Thursday? Because he is testifying in the House and not the Senate. Just thought I would make things more precise.


Yep. One L was on the reading list for one of the ILS courses, "Professions" I think.

I didn't know Turow was a Asst. US Attorney until I read the article, which I saw here: www.amerst.com

Truth be told, I do have a googlesearch bot feeding my newsreader all news "Amherst College"


Authorship of posts on this site is noted below the blue line, so I have to take responsibility for not being quite clear about work product.

Although I did say the staffers weren't representing anyone (the essential point), work product indeed includes internal preparation and notes for a case being brought. A conscientious lawyer will mark WP or some such note on these documents. Large law firms probably have stamps. Would Gonzales and his minions have anticipated a Democratic Congress back in 2005 when they were first discussing politicizing the DoJ? If they didn't anticipate ever being investigated, or sued, they wouldn't have prepared for discovery.

Years ago there was a famous magazine cover with a circle of politicians pointing the finger of blame at each other. I can imagine another cartoon of the DoJ with them representing each other before the judge. But in real life would anyone risk jail time by having a lawyer who is perhaps even more guilty of the charges in question? You'd have to trust each and every person in the office, because if anybody cuts a deal, the entire circle implodes. The prisoner dilemna should be a matter for textbooks.

The only circular firewall that I know of, was the one around Brunhilde... and it didn't deter Sigurd. ;^)

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