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June 14, 2007


The DiFi and Spectre (mis-spelled intentionally) amendment takes effect either today or tomorrow someone at FDL was saying. Had to get one last bite out of this apple they swore they were not going to eat.

Something very odd is going on here. If you match up the LA Times story with this quote from the metnews (a local L.A. legal newspaper) on 11/21/2006:

Cardona, who was previously the number two person under Yang, said that he is not seeking the presidential appointment, but declined to say why.

The metnews also points out that Cardona once served as the heard of the criminal section, leading me to believe he was interviewed for the job. Add to that the little interchange between Sampson and Miers about Parsky in January, and you have a seriously weird situation.

EW - I could go look this up, but it's easier to ask you! :) Was Ms. Yang interviewed by congressional investigators about the circumstances of her decision to enter private practice? Seems to me that if someone wanted to put some pressure on her about the $1 million bri.. I mean signing bonus she received, a lot could happen - if Cardona is in place and won't do it, pleading the 5th in Congress and then getting immunity would open up some awfully wormy cans.

Emptywheel @ top: "So there's got to be something going on, if BushCo is willing to use the PATRIOT appointment provision in one last blaze of glory to bypass Gerry Parsky, yet again."

Not that Bush has ever been anything but the paradigm of self-destructive stupidity, yet doesn't it seem kind of counter-intuitive to piss off one of your own major financial and political supporters this way. No wonder Bush's political fundraising dinners are tanking.


Yes, that will go into effect on Friday. So for all the other replacement people, there will be a 120 day window for their appointment (they'll effectively become interims as it existed under the old law). But for some reason, they chose to try something different with Cardona.

ANd yes--as WO points out, there's something funky here.

Parsky was particularly pissed in December about the firing (he wasn't happy about Ryan's treatment). So they tried an end-run in the fall, somehow Cardona got appointed acting, and now they're naming him interim. It's actually unclear whether he'll have 120 days starting Friday, or whether this is an attempt to bypass Parsky altogether.

While Congress is in session, Under Art. I, sec 7, Mr. Bush has only ten days (Sundays excepted) to sign the bill or veto it; otherwise it becomes law without his signature.

Assuming Shrub is unwilling to take responsibility for vetoing this bipartisan measure, an interim appointment made before June 16th would come in under the wire. Another stick in the eye of the law and Congress from the Petulant President.


Unless she did it very quietly (which would be hard), no, she hasn't testified.

Marcy - First and foremost thank you for all your /redibly hard work, insights, and intelligence.

Re: Cordona. There was an article in WSJ that talked about O'Brien being suggested for the job - this was on June1. I do not know how this figures in, but clearly it was very important to WH to make this appointment.
link: http://blogs.wsj.com/law/2007/06/01/musical-chairs-californias-us-attorneys/


From zoe's link, it looks like O'Brian is the CRM Chief:

The Daily Journal reported yesterday (link unavailable) that the U.S. Attorney in Los Angeles might be filled by veteran prosecutor Thomas O’Brien. The timing of the announcement remains unclear. George Cardona, the chief assistant, has been serving as acting U.S. Attorney.

O’Brien is currently chief of the criminal division in L.A., where he formerly prosecuted gangs out the L.A. County DA’s office. He received his JD from the University of San Diego School of Law in 1993. Best biographical detail: After graduating from the Naval Academy, he went on to the U.S. Navy Strike Fighter Tactics Instructor program, aka Top Gun.

ANd Top Gun, too--so they can replace Duke Cunningham and David Iglesias in one fell swoop.


The L.A. Times reported the same story on June 1. Now here is what is puzzling. Because Cardona was the FAUSA, they could leave him in place as long as they make a nomination before the 210 days are up. So, if they actually nominate O'Brien some time in the near future, all this is much ado about nothing, just a case of not getting the background checks done on time. Of course, if that's the case, they brought it on themselves by Sampson and Goodling trying to go around the Parsky commission in the first place.


Yes, you're right, this might be one of two non-nefarious things.

First, just the coincidence of the 210 day deadline with the UnPATRIOT going through. Or it could be just a statement that they need to keep him on (which amounts to some of the same thing).

But it is weird, given Bush's reluctance to sign this.

I thought Bush answered a press question some time ago on the issue of Congress reverting the law to it's original form on this by saying he would sign that. I may be full of it, but that is my recollection.

Could someone clarify?

Didn't Bush promise to sign the bill back in about February?
Didn't AGAG say he would never ever use the law? and did he say so under oath? Or at a presser?

I am sneaking this post in while working on deadline, and apologize for not looking all this up myself.

Need to scramble and look into the 10-day "rule"...I thought I'd read somewhere that a bill becomes law even if the president does not sign it within 10 days of presentation to the president...?? Is this appointment not legal if this is the case?

U.S. Constitution, Article I, Section 7:

...If any Bill shall not be returned by the President within ten Days (Sundays excepted) after it shall have been presented to him, the Same shall be a Law, in like Manner as if he had signed it, unless the Congress by their Adjournment prevent its Return, in which Case it shall not be a Law.

We're past the 10-days, aren't we? What's the next step -- sue?

Ok, I think I have this figured out (but I hope one of our lawyers will correct me if I'm wrong):

Cardona, as FAUSA, was appointed interim USA under the provisions of the Vacancy Reform Act. If Bush doesn't submit a nomination to the Senate with 210 days of Cardona's appointment, it runs out. Until Bush signs the new law, the only two ways to have a USA for CDCA would be a AG appointment under the Patriot Act provisions or a recess appointment by Bush when the Senate recesses next.

If Bush signs the law before Cardona's 210th day, the old court appointment process would be in play. Unless they have some reason to believe that the court wouldn't appoint Cardona (something that seems unlikely since the DOJ, Parsky and the Dem Senators are presumably on board with him), the likely explanation for this is pure hubris.

10 day rule here:


If the ten days passed while Congress was in session, I understand this to mean it is a law.

WO -- we very much need to determine the date that the bill was sent to the president. Somebody's playing games with this date quite deliberately. Who held it up after it was signed in each of Senate and House?

Marcy, have you seen this?

Fox News: "…Sources say VP Cheney will be pushing hard for a presidential pardon for Scooter Libby…"


If true, and one assumes Fox has good sources for Cheney, if nothing else (Fox being Cheney's very favoritest news network), then doesn't thi put Cheney directly in line for impeachment charges, as John Dean discussed in his column at Findlaw? ( http://writ.news.findlaw.com/dean/ )

Just seems kind of reckless, from Cheney and/or Fox.

Wikipedia, "Dismissal of U.S. Attorneys Controversy", on TITLE 28, PART II, CHAPTER 35 § 546

On March 20, 2007, the Senate voted 94-2 to re-instate the 120-day term limit on interim attorneys appointed by the Attorney General.[53] On March 26, the U.S. House overturned it as well, by a vote of 329-78.[54]

What happened after it left the House?


The bill was delivered to POTUS on either June 4 or 5 (the two February bills were different, so this is the one that was passed out of conference). So 10 days not including Sundays isn't until tomorrow or Monday.

House bill HR 580 -- status via Thomas.gov (link may age, good for a limited time)

Senate bill S 214 -- status via Thomas.gov (link may age also, good for limited time)

Lewis voted nay on HR 580. Bush signed S 214 TODAY.

Partial timeline of S 214 from Thomas.gov:

Passed Senate with an amendment by Yea-Nay Vote. 94 - 2. Record Vote Number: 81. (text as passed Senate: CR S3307)
3/20/2007 1:25pm:
Received in the House.
Message on Senate action sent to the House.
3/20/2007 3:08pm:
Held at the desk.
5/22/2007 12:03pm:
Mr. Conyers moved to suspend the rules and pass the bill.
5/22/2007 12:03pm:
Considered under suspension of the rules. (consideration: CR H5553-5556)
5/22/2007 12:23pm:
At the conclusion of debate, the Yeas and Nays were demanded and ordered. Pursuant to the provisions of clause 8, rule XX, the Chair announced that further proceedings on the motion would be postponed.
5/22/2007 3:53pm:
Considered as unfinished business. (consideration: CR H5580-5581)
5/22/2007 4:23pm:
On motion to suspend the rules and pass the bill Agreed to by the Yeas and Nays: (2/3 required): 306 - 114 (Roll no. 397). (text: CR H5553)
5/22/2007 4:23pm:
Motion to reconsider laid on the table Agreed to without objection.
Cleared for White House.

Presented to President.
Signed by President.

WHO HELD THIS UP BETWEEN 5/22 AND 6/4?? Did they manipulate the timing to coincide with the Memorial Day holiday break to appoint Cardona??

How in the hell did this get held up from late March to late May? I simply don't grok this. There were no substantive changes that I can see between HR 580 and S 214. EW, I know at one point we were wondering whether they'd do this...or did this. Do you have more on these two gaps?

hope this helps:
S 213, signed by the president, 6/14/2007 (today!)


oops, someone beat me to it and i see i got the number worng, sorry

wrong, okay I'll go back into my cave

eyesonthestreet -- 'sokay, I've been doing that for week now, sleep cycle completely out of whack and wearing on my wattage. I think the link is right if the bill number is short.

Add it up. First, Lam is fired with "no extension" or reprieve. Then the Lewis part of the investigation is transferred to Debra Yang, who suddenly quits, and takes a job working for Lewis' defense firm. Cardona is appointed interim, Congress (with Bush's official acceptance and promise to sign) strips the Patriot provision and sends it to Bush to sign. But Bush desperately needs a plant, in the form of Cardona, to keep Lewis from being indicted. So, with the worse possible timing, they take an action of brazenly bad faith and use PATRIOT to appoint Cardona with the world watching. What does that tell you about why Lam was fired, and how guilty Lewis really is?

yes, thanks, woke up today at 4:00 to take my daughter to work, so hubby woke up too, whole house up and everyone in a GREAT mood, so should not have even tried to be coherent.

I should say as well that there is a diary at Kos "US Attorney Daily Update: June 4, 2007 (UPDATED)
by cfaller96" that is a running inventory of the list of attorney's, not to say it comes near EW, but is useful nonetheless, but I am sure you are already aware of it, as you seem to be on top of these matters.

sponson -- exactly. Short of yelling about this stuff in EW's thread, I don't know how we're going to get the media to sit up and pay attention to the manner in which this was manipulated. It must go all the way to the White House from Lewis.

But where is the email from S. Leahy to Raw Story? I just get the home page, a link to the story but no email.

looking out over this wreckage of a presidency and of a doj,

i still feel that abu g. has been retained in place to perform certain "essential" acts.

after they are performed, he will resign,

not before.

the "acts" he has to perform are, i would guess, associated with hiding evidence or clearing people who might otherwise be pressured to rat on the prez or the v-prez.

i'm don't have any real basis for thinking this, it just seems to me what a good tactician in bush's place (which, by the way, is NOT a good place to be) would do.

I agree completely with you orionATL , Bush and Company needed an Att. Gen. with absolutely no conscience. But after finally resigning he should be very careful swimming in pools.

a new morning breaks

and we find that bush will sign the bill today (june 15) (courtesy "think progress" and its "corrupt establishment" dept.)

so why the timing? i still don't have the foggiest.

probably just to avoid a confirmation hearing at this time


to avoid having to deal with calif's two demo senators on who gets appointed..

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