« Bring on Foley | Main | Shorter Foggo's Lawyer: Please Give Us the Politicized USA »

May 02, 2007

Comments

Thank you once again EW. Scarecrow has informed folks at the Lake that this post is up.

This whole USA/Indian/Abramoff/Unitary Executive/Voter suppression/etc., almost needs to be diagramed so people can see the interconnectedness of the whole. It can be daunting to visualize the whole mess.

Do we know who else, other than Ryan, was on Comey's list?
What about Bill Mercer, acting associate attorney general and USA for Montana, who's been told he has "no credibility" and his office characterized as "a mess" by a judge there because he's AWOL on the Montana job 90 percent of the month? (see the WaPo this morning and the Muck's must-read).
There must have been other "loyal Bushies" who were characterized as incompetent and non-performing -- I wonder if anyone on the Judiciary Committee will ask Comey who they were?

The stories seem to get more unbelievable every day. Tho it all fits together nicely. EW must have a large brain to be able to remember all this stuff. Just read the TPMM post about Mercer canging laws to clear himself. If and when this all comes to light in a grander scale, can something be done to correct it? And will the perpetrators be held accountable in any meaningful way? Seems like 90% of the hierarchy of the government is involved.

Just read Comey's Farewell Address that EW recommended above. Wo. This guy is a patriot. Yes, tomorrow's testimony should certainly be interesting.

Thanks for the link to Comey's farewell. that was really a remarkable speech.

He is absolutely right about the trust accorded government lawyers--atleast so long as they maintain high standards. In my experience, judges will give the gov't the benefit of the doubt (as they ar erequired to, at least in CA) if they trust you, but if they fewel that the gov't or the gov't attorney has betrayed that trust, the hammer falls doubly hard.

This is yet another reason why it is such a shame that those little toadies who have no appreciation of the Law and Justice (both as a principle and an institution) were allowed to manipulate things to Karl Rove's will.

The sooner we are rid of the crime family now running the federal gov't the better. That will come when enough GOPsters realize that BushCo is an anchor not a life vest.

February 7, 2006: Federal Register publishes Gonzales authorization of Sampson/Goodling personnel decisions

February 24, 2006: OLC tells Gonzales his order is unconstitutional

March 1, 2006: Gonzales signs an order putting Sampson and Delilah Goodling in charge of hiring and firing our justice system

Slight modification to this, as best as I can tell, having tracked down the public part of this. On Febuary 7, 2006, the Federal Register publishes Attorney General Order 2800-2006, which is a Final rule (and the Order/rule itself appears to have been dated January 31, 2006). This rule amends the regulations on the structure, function and responsibilities of the DAG and the Associate AG - and the amendments relevant for us explicitly reserve to the Attorney General the authority to take final action regarding hiring, firing, and general administration of 1)employees in the Offices of Attorney General, the DAG and the Associate AG; 2)Schedule C employees; 3)Senior Executive Service employees where the incumbent serves under a non-career appointment.

That's all public, and is never questioned. I presume it takes the authority away from the DAG and AAG and reserves it exlusively to the AG - and I completely agree that it's likely that part of what is going on is a reaction to the relative independence and relatively depoliticization of the running of DoJ under Comey.

Then, pursuant to this rule that reserves the power of hiring, firing and administering these classes of employees to the AG, the AG sets about secretly delegating that power to his Chief of Staff and Liaison to the White House (who, remember, at this point is not yet Goodling). But such an entire delegation is unconstitutional, OLC tells him. So Gonzales modifies the new, secret order - still under the authority of the publicly promulgated 2800-2006 - so that his CoS and WH liaison still have effective final action, they just need to get his approval for their action. It is only on March 1, 2006 that this authority to take final action is formally - and secretly - given to Sampson and the WH Liaison, who would soon be Goodling.

I assume Comey will be able to shed real light on the nature and significance of this action. It looks pretty significant to me, if only because it means that the DAG suddenly had much less control over his or her very own office, to say nothing of all these other DoJ employees.

AZ Matt--It *can* be daunting to visualize the whole mess, and I've been thinking about the problem of complexity losing the media. I think an answer would be the Democratic leadership keeping the overview of the mess on the front burner and not let the discussion devolve into intricate details. The details will be reported, yes, but if the leadership continually summarizes the overall corruption of the GOP government, then we can keep the story on the front page and keep the energy building behind the investigations.

All of which is my long-winded way of saying that tomorrow's testimony might be fairly interesting.

More like a resfreshing breeze on a very smoggy afternoon...

On Febuary 7, 2006, the Federal Register publishes Attorney General Order 2800-2006, which is a Final rule ... amends the regulations on the structure, function and responsibilities of the DAG and the Associate AG ...reserve to the Attorney General the authority to take final action regarding hiring, firing, and general administration of
1)employees in the Offices of Attorney General, the DAG and the Associate AG;
2)Schedule C employees;
3)Senior Executive Service employees where the incumbent serves under a non-career appointment.

I guess this was step 1 of a three step plan [step 2, the secret AG Memo and step 3, the Patriot Act change]. A ton of thought and planning went into this little bit of skull-duggery. I can't conceive how they're going to spin this as not meaning what it obviously means. But I agree with AZ [almost needs to be diagramed so people can see the interconnectedness of the whole]. We need a graphic artists to create an effective chart [like whitehouse did] that makes this tangled piece of treachery clear and simple to understand...

EW - By the time I got onto the Plame obsession, you were already a million miles deep into it. This time I'm watching you devour USAGate in real time and it's quite amazing to watch. You're a national treasure!

TPM Muckraker reports:

In a phone conversation last December, Deputy Attorney General Paul McNulty told then-U.S. Attorney for Nevada Daniel Bogden that Bogden's performance "did not enter into the equation" as a reason for his firing.

That's at odds with what McNulty told the Senate Judiciary Committee under oath in February -- that Bogden and others had been fired for "performance related" reasons.

Oops! Another "I know understand what I previously said is untrue" moment!

The Muck story has links to new questionnaires received from the fired USAs.

http://www.tpmmuckraker.com/archives/003131.php

Karl's is always playing three-dimensional chess. He is always looking ahead, looking at connections, looking for ways in and ways out or for plausible deniability. Like Vito Corleone, he's always makes sure there's body between him and the window or door through which someone unexpected may come calling. These extended machinations have Karl's name written all over them.

Two questions. What should Congress investigate to put these puzzle pieces together in ways that might constitute proof? Either for trial or for robust electioneering against corruption. What must the netroots demand from the Democrats to prevent them from being too tempted, like a ring bearer, to use these methods and extraordinary powers just like George?

A copy of Bogden's questionnaire can be found at:
http://judiciary.house.gov/Media/PDFS/sanchezQnA070430.pdf

Note the last two questions on the last page -- clearly inserted by a minority member of the subcommittee.

This rule amends the regulations on the structure, function and responsibilities of the DAG and the Associate AG.......

[snip]

Then, pursuant to this rule that reserves the power of hiring, firing and administering these classes of employees to the AG, the AG sets about secretly delegating that power to his Chief of Staff and Liaison to the White House...But such an entire delegation is unconstitutional, OLC tells him. So Gonzales modifies the new, secret order - still under the authority of the publicly promulgated 2800-2006 - so that his CoS and WH liaison still have effective final action...

That's very interesting. I hadn't realized that this was what was done.

I don't know what the rules are here, but in the jurisdictions that I am familiar with, an amendment to an order or regulation is itself an order or regulation, and so subject to the publication rules that apply to the original order or regulation.

That would mean, for example, that an order that amends A.G. Order No. 2800-2006 and gives Sampson and Gooding the authority to hire and fire would also be required to be published in the Federal Register.

And, in some jurisdictions, failure to (file and) publish means that the order or regulation is of no effect.

In addition, there are usually legal limits on subdelegation. The rule usually is that a person who has been given a particular power by legislation cannot subdelegate that power to someone else, unless the legislation (not the order or regulation made under the authority of the legislation) expressly allows subdelegation.

Once again, I don't know if these rules apply here.

I believe EW is doing such a fantastic analysis of this very important issue that Uncle Karl routinely gets updates regarding her posts.

Ruth, you are dead on the money. For a number of reasons, and on a number of levels, this was an illegal and impermissible order. To the extent it conferred any authority on Goodling and Sampson; it did NOT remove any responsibility and liability for Gonzales or anybody else in the normal food chain. this was most definitely not a zero sum equation. Who could have thought this type of mind numbing incompetent insanity would result from having Gonzales/Sampson/Goodling running the US Dept of Justice when, between all three combined. they do not appear to have a single day of meaningful experience in a jury trial court, criminal or civil?

Ruth

As to the first point, it looks to me like it is addressed in 28cfr0.180-183. And though there is some ambiguity, it looks to me like, while ordinarily the distribution of orders is determined by the Assistant Attorney General for Administration, it can be provided for by the Attorney General. In other words, I believe that the AG can simply determine and limit the distribution of an order (unless there is some other place where it says something like, unless the order is Classified, it goes in the Federal Register - which I doubt). And that is what he appears to have done in this case, keep;ing it out of the FR.

I don't know on the other point, but I would bet that the Attorney General has the power to delegate anything not determined by the constitution or statute to undelegatable.

Next to kicking the administration out early. protecting thr rule of law at the Federal level is way high up. But I'm not buying the Feds are white nights saving the downtrodden... if that is part of the package you lost my vote. Comer is faith based anything faith based is outside the government realm by separation of Church and State as defined in the constitution. Start with thr constitution and work your way down the ladder. Get opinions from Constitutional experts. Politicizing and faithiphising government is too much to bear. Their will be a big fight over this. Put 35 million people below the poverty level you get crime, stupid stuff. Those are social issue that justice is sticking it's nose in, that only perpetuates it. We have a defacto dictatorship here folks, Bushco has usurped the soveirnty of the USA citizens. Are our rights to be stepped on and the freedoms we have be taken away by the cowards that reside in the place of power that is overseen by the WH. Congress has a solemn duty to put this intolerable mess straight. Would have sooner had they been in office. What is Justice doing without the blinders and scales to balance the bias? The dialogue reflects a blase non chalance that is disturbing. We are at war with fascist. Read Dr Barnard Lewis, that is where they are coming from. They have no interest in the health and wellfare of the American citizen. You have had rights taken, the national treaury pilfered by corporate raiders. It is time to get to the business of punishing those that have duplicity and removing them from office. Time to talk to the insiders. Someone honest needs to buy back the press. "K" Street has to go.

The comments to this entry are closed.

Where We Met

Blog powered by Typepad