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June 16, 2007


I trust he is receiving at least, if not more than, the 1.5 million "signing bonus" paid to the lower ranked Carol Lam in a city less illustrous than Washington DC and that has lower salaries for attorneys.

First goes Kyle, who tells the "aggregator" story and who was the first, not particularly successful, firewall.

Monica pleads the Fifth, maybe after Gonzales tries witness tampering and she realizes she has a higher up that she can feed to the prosecutors in exchange for immunity.

Battle, Elston, McNulty, Scholozman, and Griffin....that's a lot of bodies so far, and the whole San Diego/vote supression/DoJ coverup trifecta hasn't played out yet.

This is is starting to look like a staging of "Hamlet."

too much live-blogging these days, eh?
you must be really tired.
cheers to you! and hope you get to refresh your own refresh button this weekend!
all the best, stagemom.

"Riddents" brings to mind "rodents". I like it.

I guess the gradual removal of the characters involved in this play qualifies as gumming it to death.

I was wondering if there was anyone left. The only folks whose names I remember reading in the Judiciary Committee's first document dumps who aren't gone are Gonzalez and Tasia Scolinos, the public relations chief. Considering how bad things must be getting at the old DoJ, I wouldn't be surprised to see her leaving pretty soon.

Of course, as long as Bush is there Gonzalez will be, too.

bmaz, it was Debra Yang who got the $1.5 million bonus, not Lam. Yang is now working for Jerry Lewis' defense firm in Los Angeles.

Yep I knew that. Temporary insanity/idiocy/Alzheimer's. Shouldn't let sudden outburst of sarcasm get ahead of brain....

Off the top of my head Jane Cherry, Christopher G, Scholtzman, and McNaulty come to mind, as rats remaining on the last timbers of the deck. Actually, only the last two are in the DoJ. Then there are the unknown unknowns - Paul Corts, Stuart Frisch, Michael Allen, and Mari Santangelo - who are they and what do they know, besides email Goodling?

Glad Elston is gone. 'Night.

"Riddents" brings to mind "rodents". I like it.

How about Goodling's Riddents?

Mary Buchanan testified in closed door yesterday; complaint letters about Schlozman surface.

Which of either of these two events might have been related to Elston's announced resignation, or was there another driver? These guys don't do anything unless forced to by circumstances; this was a Friday news dump, too, suggesting the intent to buffer and dilute either this announcement or the driver. ??

With so many Friday news dumps and document dumps, a newspaper that actually wanted to write about the news would have reporters poised to pounce on these rats and shake them until some truth (or their false teeth) falls to the floor. In lieu of a sports section, a capital section could discuss "trades" between offices and departments and "bets" as to which committee could score points from a witness and doping scandals with real dopes. ;)

Under corporate ownership, the papers assume that everything affects business: if it is forgotten by Monday, it never happened. Unfortunately for them, We the People care more for how events affect us, and we don't forget. Thus the blogs have stepped up to deliver, analyze, and archive the news.

If much of the understaff was helping these guys prepare for testimony, then having the culprits leave might clear the way to getting real work done. OTOH, as I've suggested before, why not simply close down Main Justice for a few months and steam clean it? This would include confiscating every electronic device and every binder and investigating every transaction. I'm fairly sure that Goodling also kept a binder with "approved" Christian firms for all purchase agreements.

If this doesn't work, cut off all funds for Main Justice in the next set of Appropriations bills. With no water, coffee, or electricity, let alone paychecks, somebody might be willing to cooperate.

This Elston sounds like a nasty, sneaky person (only apologizes once he realizes that his victims will read about his knife-work?), so it is likely that someone has evidence against him. If all the rats swim to Akin Gump, we'll know where they are, but they will swim back into government asap unless charged with their crimes.

Are there any sources or stories about who is replacing all of these people? There are a lot of them at this point. What is the DoJ like after having them run the place and hire and fire for 2+ years, and of course aggressive guys like Schlozman for instance were in Civil Rights under the "rehabilitated" (?!--okay, no, not really) Ashcroft during the first Bush admin.?

The main replacement to watch is McNulty, who hasn't left yet, but the replacement requires a confirmation hearing, right? And there hasn't been even a whisper of a name yet, unless I'm mistaken. And of course we don't know exactly what happened when McNulty went to the USAs conference and then resigned the next day.

The follies continue, and make for good entertainment, at least from one perspective. Of course, it's a sobering disaster from the view of the rule of law, and outrageous when one after another of these people bluntly lies and throws sand at congress.


We know of only one replacement: Kevin O'Connor as Chief of Staff, the USA who didn't seem too interested in Joe Lieberman's $300,000 slush fund. You'd think Congress might inquire about the White House liaison, though, since presumably this person still has the ability to hire and fire some high level DOJ staffers.

As for Elston, I suspect they will only temporarily replace him until there's a McNulty replacement.

How thick is the scum on this government? How far down do you have to go to find something clean?

McNulty doesn't finish up until late summer, as far as I can figure out. I wonder if this impacts the speed of finding his replacement?

with another few weeks of testimony, i suspect kagro x is going to get his impeachment trial.

i don't see any other resolution to the absolute abandonment of good government process in gonzales' doj.

If the only consequence for the corruption of the DOJ is the resignation of those who implemented it, then our form of government is in serious jeopardy.

The hearings by the House and Senate Judiciary Committees have been ineffective at clearly identifying the methods of operation, intent and law-breaking conduct. The justice obstructers have no respect for testifynig truthfully to Congress. There must be consequences for this problem too.

Accountability and consequence are essential to create a dissinsentive for government officials to cross the line into criminal conduct as well as to keep them from coming back under another administration and plying doing it again.

If the Judiciary Committee hearings have produced sufficient information to reach a threshold of probable cause, I would encourage them to refer the case to an independent special prosecutor, not one appointed by Bush or Gonzalez.

Neil - That is the problem. There is no availability of an "Independent Counsel or Prosecutor" anymore; that law either lapsed or was repealed. Lapsed I think; either way it is gone. A Special Prosecutor has to be appointed, and at least to some extent, be under the auspices of the Department of Justice; the extent of control being the key question behind the Libby sentencing kerfuffle. This is why you keep seeing Kagro X scream for impeachment, with me chiming in every time I see it. Initiating impeachment proceedings would allow the appointment of impeachment managers and an investigative team with very broad powers. Gonzales/DOJ is the perfect vehicle for this since the Dem leadership is to timid to go after Cheney/Bush. You probably knew all this, but for those who didn't, that is basically the deal. Trying to box and corner the Administration into appointing a Special Counsel is to time consuming and messy; we need to get on with it

Bush constantly claims Congress has no proof, not one shred of evidence. I submit that HJC and SJC should be focused on probable cause not proof and once they have it they should submit the investigation to a special counsil or impreachment proceedings... but what do I know.

I knew the special prosecutor law was (not renewed, repealed, whatever) after Ken Starr abused it for seven years and $76 million but I didn't realize the repeal left a hole in the investigative power of the justice system. It's frustrating watching corrupt DOJ and GSA officials lie and obstruct justice without consequence. And I believe the lack of consequence for the originl crime and the cover-up bodes poorly for the future of our Republic.

What do you think is the plan to replace McNulty? Is this a card that Schumer and Leahy are holding, that they wouldn't confirm anybody until they get something from the WH in the way of testimony? Why did McNulty give himself a rather lengthy fading out period, for the same reason? There seems to be a thread through all this and a story here, but I don't quite get it. I suppose it's simply a standoff that congress is going to bring pressure for a new AG who can put the DoJ back in order, but WH will just keep trying to run out the clock.

Neil - That is exactly why I with Kagro X on the impeachment bandwagon. I don't necessarily agree with taking it "off the table" as to Bush/Cheney, but I at least understand it. But if Gonzales can't be impeached, then what good is having impeachment in the Constitution anyway? Rhetorical question.....

Zhiv - Interesting question on McNulty. Both he and Schumer have mentioned a friendship, relationship or whatever; maybe there is something up there that we do not see. I doubt it, but who knows. Why is McNulty lingering? Why is the Administration letting him linger? All very good questions.


mcnulty haas vork to doo.

I believe Schlozman is still working at the DOJ in the Exec. Office of the USA's. Von Spakovsky has left DOJ, but is at the FEC, unless the Democratic Senate decides that it won't renew his recess appointment as a commissioner.

The pool of candidates to replace these folks must be shrinking. Legitimate recruitment efforts must have gone up in smoke like all of those RNC servers. What over-qualified lawyer traditionally drawn to the DOJ would join it a minute before Bush leaves office? What careerist with integrity is going to willingly associate with and support the Pauloses and Griffins in the field?

Restarting a quality recruitment program will take the first two years of the next administration. Even if they rehire dozens of the top staff who've left, it will take years after that before they get up to speed, and longer for them as a unit to regain the trust of the federal courts, FBI, federal marshalls and the defense bar. And what about the DOJ's management of collateral agencies, like the FBI and its job as legal adviser to other govt agencies?

My concern is this cancer-like dysfunction is a welcome outcome for KKKarl. Team Bush never seemed too interested in routine bad guys - the ones most likely to affect our lives and jobs by stealing our civil rights, invading our homes or corrupting our companies and pension funds. Many of those crimes will unprosecuted, many of their perpetrators will walk or get off more lightly because even a first-year defense lawyer could credibly allege undue political interference in a criminal prosecution.

Rebuilding the foundations rotted by these "men of honor and integrity" will take years and millions, and will divert attention from investigating the harm Team KKKarl has done that we don't yet know about.

Didn't McNulty say he was resigning, pending confirmation of a successor? Someone somewhere said that might be intended to prevent the possibility of a recess appointment -- the President can't appoint someone to a post that isn't empty yet. I don't know if McNulty is actually that pissed or not, but it's an interesting possibility.

earl of h

well said.

behind all of this oversight is the fact that a major government institution is not functioning well,

in fact,

maybe not be functioning at all, except on small or ongoing matters.

i don't see how any manger there could start a new program or initiative right now. or even arouse much enthusiasm among the troops for current programs.

it must be hell working in the middle levels of the doj at the moment.

the general dysfunction at doj under gonzales would be the ultimate justification for an impeachment effort.

After the travesty of the Ken Starr and other Special Counsel investigations into the Clinton Admin (which turned out to be just another GOP welfare program for the well-connected) Congress changed the law, with the result that there is now no way to independently investigate the Bush Admin. We need to be especially careful that the same thing doesn't happen wrt the politicization of DOJ, so that the Dem AG in 2009 can hire his/her own people, rather than have to rely on a bunch of "career" sleeper Bushies slipped in during Bush's last 2 years.

How about a stripped-down Special Prosecutor law with cost controls to make the GOP vote on and send to Bush for his "consideration"?

Mimikatz -- CREW has called for an Office of Public Integrity for some time now; I think this is a possible solution, except that I can't see how it would file charges and prosecute criminal behavior it finds in any public agency if it is an arm of Congress. We need something with the clout of the Office of Independent Counsel without the abuses exemplified by Ken Starr, but something more systemic than the OIC was. Seems like OMB and GAO have some role here, but again they don't have the clout. ??

Rayne and Mimikatz - Both ideas worthy of inclusion in the discussion. Nothing with jurisdiction to actually prosecute will make it past the Bush veto and his GOP blockers; that is why I keep coming back to impeachment of Gonzales. The extent and depth of what has been done to the DOJ simply must be investigated and exposed. Now. There are multiple reasons. For one, there has to be accountability at some point. Secondly, the implants need to be ferreted out; if Gonzales just legs this out, there will be no energy for this in the excitement of a new administration. It will be "Let's move forward and put all that rancor behind us". That is unacceptable.

I agree that Gonzo should be impeached if he can't be forced to resign. I'm trying to think long term here, and I think there is a benefit in trying to pass stuff that the GOP tries to block and/or Bush vetoes. Call it the Jesse Helms strategy. He forced people to vote on things that cvould not pass, then used it against them in elections. Plus it is good to air out ideas.

I also do think the Dems should hold up the DOJ budget and confirmations until the Bush Admin is more forthcoming.

OK. I am down with all of the above then. It really is necessary. Many of the other agencies will be alright for the most part with the infusion of a new administration. DOJ is a different animal, however, and the cleaning needs to be public and above board.

I'm remembering Comey's testimony about the hospital visit and that the entire upper echelons of the DoJ would resign over the illegal wiretap issue. Bush was so nervous about the public perception of a mass exodus that he agreed to change procedures.

We do have a mass exodus here, except for the top mongrel... and they are all slinking out under the cloud of criminality rather than stomping away in righteous anger. The public needs to see a management chart with all those empty boxes and broken links before they'll realize the gap. If the NYT was a real newspaper they'd print the chart above the fold, because this is something their business readers would understand at a glance. Once Abu is impeached (and he better be!!! for mismanagement and dereliction of duties if not for war crimes!!!!!), then the DoJ will be shown as a headless beast.

Since Abu delegated all hiring and firing and promotion responsibilities to Sampson's and Goodling's positions, he can't fill those vacancies without running another secret Order taking the responsibility back, and he is a bit busy right now building a toilet-paper wall. Given the scope of the investigations and the orders to preserve all documents, lawyers in other departments might be cautious about approving anything involving transfer of powers.

Since there are so many vacancies anyway, this is an opportune moment to remove Abu, close down Main Justice, and clean it of vermin and illegal orders.

Congress hesitates, but they can educate the public as to the necessity. If the MSM reporters ignore the issues, why not call a press conference in advance where they can show the charts on TV and describe how the absences came to be. Whether they convince the public or not, they ought to have its attention when they impeach Abu.

Not the last- J. Scott Jennings, I believe, is still at WH.

"Of course, as long as Bush is there Gonzalez will be, too." --Cujo359

That's what NIXON said about Meese.

Gonzales is TOAST, and so is Libby, and Bush isn't gonna pardon anyone -- he's too busy trying to time his flight to Paraguay.

He knows if he turns around to help anyone, he'll turn into a pillar of salt.

Maybe once he does, we can truck him to Iraq and let the widows piss him down to nothing.

paul in la

i'm laughing at "timing the flight to paraguay" comment.

thanks for a moment of levity amidst this awful mess.

but then there's the pathos of "the widows in iraq" - they exist in the tens of thousands; we just don't think of them over here in paradise.

george bush, the wicked warlock of the west, dissolved in the urine of tens of thousands of grieving iraqis -

now there's a punishment to fit the crime.

in general, the latter part of your comment

leads me to reflect that bush's policy toward iraq smacks of the century-old "our little brown brothers" paternalism.


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Armstrong, Judy

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