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May 23, 2007

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Riddle me this, EW. How is it that the DOJ *White House Liason* was able to testify today with a straight face that she had no idea why people were on the USA purge list when Sampson testified that, at least in the case of Griffin, the marching orders came straight from the *White House?* Or are those titles just more misdirection, and the AG really just sweeps the floor?

Another brilliant job, EW. This should be the basis for another attempt to quash an indictment in Arkansas.

As I said in the other thread, I don't think Goodling did have the authority or stature to deal with Miers or Rove. Ahe would deal with Taylor or O'Prison. Sampson could deal with Rove, because he had been his COS, right? The people to subpoena are Taylor, Jennings and O'Prison.

I think, yes, the AG just sweeps the floor.

Mimikatz,

I gotta say. I've been making a concerted effort to call people by their real names of late, so I don't fuck up and speak "blog" in an inappropriate forum.

But every time I write O'Prison, I get sad that I'm not writing it the old IRish way.

Here's a somewhat related question. Who gave Monica her job?

Well then he should be very concerned about the guest worker program in the new immigration bill :-)

Monica said she personally didn't know the reasons, but she should have been asked who she thought would know. She clearly pointed the finger at the WH, that was the point. She was "WH liaison", but she wasn't liaison with the decisionmakers Bush, Rove, Miers), just with people at a lower level who conveyed their orders to her for Gonzales, like Sampson did. I'm not defending her, just trying to explain how it probably worked, based on my knowledge of government.

Markinsanfran

Ouch. That's painfully right on about 10 levels.

This is starting to sound a lot like Lisa and Bart Simpson taking over Springfield Elementary from hapless Principal Skinner, with Milhous's help. Seriously, did these kids run roughshod over Abu, deciding and announcing things without telling him until it was a done deal?

Didn't they know he could ship them to Gitmo?

Mimikatz

And no one asked her about her interactions with O'Prison.

Then of course, most of these emails were jsut released. COnveniently, I might add.

Greetings;

Are these correct?:

1)An order for appointment can be issued with retrospective effect.
2)But order is said to be issued on signing date.
3)Attorney General is the authorized official for appointing acting/permanent (under Patriotic Act) USA.

A simple question,is Mr Griffin serving as interim USA?
Furthermore,what is the normal procedure when the time period for interim appointment runs out without a permanent USA in place.

EW: Sorry about that chief :-)

Mimikatz: I see. Good points about the structure and about the questioning, with which I have been a bit disappointed. Doesn't the committee have decent counsel, or are some of the congresscritters just too enthralled with showboating now that they are in the majority?

are those titles just more misdirection, and the AG really just sweeps the floor?

Uh-huh. The redactions concerning the Arkansas Senators reek of intrigue. Now, we know that Abu was out of town for at least some of the 15th at the Project Safe Neighborhoods conference in Boston. Perhaps he was incommunicado and his little helpers decided to go over his head?

(I think Scott Jennings is the missing piece of the puzzle. He's Rove's little helper in everything from Hatch Act violations to Kyle's Little List.)

Timelining every one of these appointments is going to be critical. And that Delegation document gets weirder and weirder if Taylor/Miers are doing the work without authority. Why bother with it (besides the annoying legal part)?

This White House is starting to look like the church of scientology looked while L. Ron was alive. One central figure who is rarely seen, his will enforced by young fanatics given too much power way too early, intransigent dogma, doublespeak and loyalty above all.

Did everyone miss the first couple statements by Monica or am I out of the loop. Who in the hell is "The White House Judicial Selection Committee"? She obviously new it had existed she must know who is on it. Oh and by the way even though she handed out some golden nuggets, I thought she was as well prepared for this as Gonzo. A great deal of I wasn't there, cannot remember, to the best of my recollection, etc. Finally, as much as she threw just about anyone and everyone under the bus, she tried not to give up too much as well. Considering immunity the least she could have been is remorseful enough to admit guilt.

This administration has no shame, and no sense that it needs to do anything other than play to its 28% base of ardent Kool Aid drinkers.

Accordingly, the details matters, as those are the determinants of whether the elements of actual crimes can be proven.

It appears Leahy's comments today are correct, that each new denial by a DOJ official in a capacity to create the hiring and firing list puts the creations of the list in the hands of the White House.

If Miers gave the order on Griffin's appointment, Sampson can probably link her to it. Goodling today was linking Jennings, not Rove himself, to actions she took.

The road to Rove leads through Meirs and Jennings, and that will not be a short or simple path, unless the RNC and White House emails get subpoenaed and delivered.

EW,
Maybe it's late to be still thinking about USAgate, but I am confused. Could you clarify?
From Tpmmuckraker's timeline re: USA

June 5, 2006

# Mike Battle, director of the Executive Office for U.S. Attorneys, calls U.S. Attorney Bud Cummins (AR), asking him to resign. Cummins, in seeking an explanation, paraphrased Battle as saying "This is entirely about the administration's desire to give somebody else the opportunity." (sub. req.)

Is this right? Was he asked to resign 6 months before doing so? What then was Cummins told the weekend he was off hunting?

What's Harriet been up to since she "resigned"?

I'm looking forward to your over-view of today's testimony, Marcy. Am I wrong to be disappointed at how meager were today's pickings?

BlueState

Yes, he was told in June. They didn't pressure him to get out immediately, and he and Griffin got to set a resignation date, which was to be December 20. What happened on December 15 is that, for some reason, they decided to imlplement the plan 5 days early.

The question is why--was it a resposne the Pryor call (probably), and who did it (why did AGAG not sign off until afterwards).

desertwind

She went back to her old firm, though it took several months for that to happen.

Marcy, this is incredibly observant and I think an historic discovery. Would you or anyone comment on the possible ramifications of this? It seems to me that the White House Counsel (or any other White House staffer) countermanding the stated wishes of the Attorney General (to Pryor) and appointing a US Attorney themselves is an impeachable offense of the highest order, considering they also lied aobut it afterwards (other than McNulty).

As long as Gonzo ratifies what someone else does in his name, it becomes "his" decision. That's why they call him the "Autopen". It matters, however, when actions are not permitted to have retro-active effect. In that event, he can't ratify someone else's past act, he can only affirm as his a decision proposed by someone else, in which case, the "action" takes place as of the time of Gonzo's affirmation. A nuance that may yet trip up an administration that considers it nuanced when it cracks a breakfast egg with a baseball bat.

It seems absurd in an administration this addicted to personal loyalty and message discipline to imagine that Taylor and Miers were acting independent of Rove's Shoppe. There is no "independent judgment" exercised here; this administration does not tolerate it in its janitors, its Park Police, or its agency or department heads, let alone its WH staff.

The Sampsons and Taylors are both conduits and actors. If they proposed substantive changes in, say, top DOJ staffing - by definition, unrelated to the performance of the person replaced - it was to further political goals via a methodology agreed on by the administration's head political goal setter: Karl. If Miers left, it was not because she broke the rules - that would have been caught earlier - it was to make her unavailable for comment.

I am probably going to take some flak for this one, but what is the real significance of this Friday to Monday dating question? The Earl, I would think, is correct as to the ratification thought. As Bush has the ultimate stated power on the appointment of USAs, his acquiescence/ratification would only strengthen that of Gonzales. As to the thought that there are criminal cases in that district that have defecitve charging instruments, that question has already been determined in the negative by the court. I have spoken to John Wesley Hall's team in Arkansas (he was atty that raised the issue to the Court there). Their issue involved a death penalty allegation primarily, but the analysis and determination by the court was pretty conclusive on the authenticity of actions taken by the USA there. Additionally, as I described previously (and as Looseheadprop also alluded to) there appears to have been a delegation of authority for the endorsement of criminal indictments and charging documents long in place that meant there was no interruption in the validity of these due to the transfer of powere from Cummins to Griffin, irrespective of how bizarre it was. So why all the scurrying around of the rats between Friday and Monday? I don't know, but don't give short shrift to the thought that Sampson, Goodling, Miers, Taylor et. al. are so ignorant and inexperienced in the actual practice of law in this area that they mistakenly thought they had more serious procedural issues than they really did. Coupled, of course, with the known Pryor mollification and other purely political concerns.

It's hard to imagine that Sampson, et al, bothered much with procedural issues that affected a USA office's operation. They seemed less aware of and less interested in the substantive law. And unlike Comey or Fitz, they don't seem to have had the experience to know how to do much of what they set out to do.

They seemed more obsessed with a "the boss said get this done by noon and it's eleven-thirty" attitude, along with an inconsistent fear about getting caught implementing something for the real reasons they implemented it. (If the document dumps prove nothing else, it is that neither Gonzo nor anyone else at the DOJ was the "boss"; whomever it is, is in the White House.) Which gets us back to raw politics, and a brand of humor that thinks it funny to let the kids play with razor blades.

Earl - Agreed.

bmaz and earl

I'm revising my thoughts about this--but at the least teh back-dating indicates that they decided at the last minute to move the turnover over from Wednesday (the 20th) to the 15th. This MAY have been because of Pryor's conversations on the 15th (I'll have a more detailed post shortly). Or it may have been because folks were beginning to sniff out the other firings. So it seems like they decided to go sooner, WITH Gonzales' knowledge, but not his signature (since he was in Boston).

But I'm fairly sure that the decision was dictated tohim by Harriet. On the timing, I'm not sure (though I think so). But the decision itself--she made the call.

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