« The Inspector General | Main | Not Just Gonzales' Perjury, But Sampson's »

August 31, 2007


G'morning. And thanks again for your peerless sleuthing.

This is a repeat of a post below. with a correction of a typo.

proposal for a new acronym: ABDFBR. Another Bad Day for Bad Republicans. In use in our house on regular occasions, thanks to Abramoff, Libby, Ney, and a cast of tens, soon, it things be Fine, tens of tens.

Will it fly?

Do you read any sign that :

caging is part of the investigation?

there are criminal as well as civil Hatch act infractions?

Surely resignation does not immunize from them.

BTW, there is an article by Bloch on the Hatch Act on his site that I think you linked previously (or over at FDL). Would love to have your reading of it....

And again, re: earlier. Where or where has EW commented elsewhere on IGs' investigations. Eager to read them.

DOJ attorneys are among the most talented in the country. Some go on to become wealthy partners at major law firms and corporations, like Comey. Many more, however, are devoted to public service and become lead govt attorneys, agency heads, judges, law professors and deans of law schools. Opinion makers all, who could further or sidetrack the neocon's agenda for a generation.

It would be impossible for Rove not to look upon DOJ attorneys as a farm team that he could mould to his heartless desires, something he would have done after the victory in '04 if not before.

You can bet that the e-mail addy's in the cover letter will be swamped with "spam." And I don't mean the usual sex, drugs and money scams either.

It is good to see what appears to be a serious investigation. Chips fall where they may ... this might be part of the interview routine in the long run, instead of part of a after-the-fact investigation.


Here's a comment I posted elsewhere:

Problem with Office of Special Counsel is the only remedy for civil Hatch Act violations is firing; I'm not even sure OSC can refer a criminal Hatch Act violation. And the people who would be of interest to OSC for civil Hatch Act violations--Rove, Monica, Sara Taylor, heck, even Gonzales--are already beyond firing.

The OIG/OPR investigation, on the other hand, can make criminal referrals. Pat Leahy has kept OIG cc'ed on his recent moves with Civil Rights. And according to Isikoff, at least, has gotten some documents we haven't seen yet:

The investigation (headed by the department's respected inspector general, Glenn Fine) has already turned up new documents and e-mails about the purge that have not been made public and that are inconsistent with previous Justice Department statements, according to a key witness who was recently interviewed by the investigators and was shown the material. (The witness asked not to be publicly identified while the probe is ongoing.)

HJC, at least, alleged a fairly organized cover-up of the reasons for Iglesias' firing (I speculate that Isikoff's source is Iglesias here)--that would seem to fall between OIG, OSC, and OPR, though.

Which is all fine, because I trust Glenn Fine more than I trust Scott Bloch.

The others are in threads here and there--not sure how easily I can find them.

EW, while I wouldn't put it past this administration to have interfered with DoJ hiring before AGAG arrived, another reason Fine might be going back to a date prior to Gonzo's arrival is to pinpoint a date when the transition from above board hiring to manipulated hiring occurred.

I'm with Phred; the first line of defense these weasels will make is that "we've always done it this way...", trying to blame earlier DOJ folks. There has to be a line of demarcation that will show up once certain people came on board, and after certain people took specific actions. Perhaps looking earlier will also show that there had been resistance by earlier folks -- and that they were replaced with folks who rolled over and did their political overlords' bidding.

Rayne and Phred - Also keep in mind they have spoken with Ashcroft. So it serves the dual purpose of ascertaining when the practice started and also confirming whatever Ashcroft has stated in his private conversations; i.e. done with his permission during his tenure, done without his permission during his tenure, or not done at all during his tenure.

Rayne and bmaz -- good points there. I'm glad Fine gave them a short deadline for those surveys, it will be very interesting to see what turns up...

On the speculation that the parameters of Fine's investigation on hiring practices suggests he is after Ashcroft as well - I think that is a misreading of the tea leaves.

Bear in mind the foundational idea is that the BAdministration is the 'first to politicize the DoJ' - a conception that is prone to being fuzzified given the historical interest of Pretzels in assuring that whoever is AG during their reigns at the very least are predictable & won't go all Nifong-ish on them - a standard sufficiently malleable that the Loyal Talking Head Munchkins of Bushie Land have been able to argue that contrary to appearances things under AlG have really been quite "normal normal" - albeit perhaps EXTREMELY so - with some semblance of a straight face.

Fine's a Harvard Law type - which suggests a modicum of sense & a degree of ingenuity [though of course somewhat short anything approaching a money-back guarantee - AlG too has a piece of paper from Harvard up on his office wall]. Were I in his catbird seat I'd want to make sure I didn't start forming judgments let alone throwing brickbats until I had a BASELINE to which I could point.

If it turns out that he isn't able to obtain reliable evidence of a substantial distinction between how things were in Ashcroftia & versus how things have been in Gonzoville - it could well end this line of inquiry. That doesn't mean individual incidents of such behavior would not remain vulnerable EG Monica in particular - - but it might make it difficult to draw conclusions as to a systemic perversion.

Logically this would explain the interest in the Pre-AlGean Era practices of Ms Williamson & Ms Williams.

On of the things I really like about this approach is the sense of Fine resorting to the purity of the inductive method. Just like in Real Science - we could end up with something determinative - or something else counter-intuitive - or it could lead to justifying a wider probe at the entire history of the BAdministration - or it might even lead to some serious methodology aimed at determining whether there is objective support for the allegation the Bush Cheney Gang - or any administration - politicizes government in an unprecedented or unacceptable fashion.

As one who has sat on at least one board considering authorization of public funding for apparently 'worthy' academic pursuits - I am inclned to regard this Bushie as most promising on whether it might bear fruit.

I mean think about it: McCarthy - Nixon - Reagan - Bush: It's not like this recent New Improved edition of Authoritarianism by promising to make the trains run on time & to bomb the Shi'ite out of those who are failing to show appropriate gratitude for years of trying to impose regime change on them as the priorities won't repeat. It might be right handy to have some reliable means by which we can identify likely carriers of the virus before the infection spreads too widely [tho I might regret stretching this particular analogy.]

So I am inclined assume the OIG is going thru all that fresh scat the Bush-Cheney Gang have left behind in the DoJ with a Fine toothed comb in hopes of establishing some baseline - - though it would not trouble me if all this were to lead to a down-grade in the value of Ashcroft stock which has been riding a bubble since Comey's testimony in May.

Looking for whether Ashcroft hired based on political affiliation, I found this site. After reading it, I would have to say Yes, he did.

The son of a Pentecostal preacher, John Ashcroft is a man who doesn't drink, doesn't smoke, and doesn't dance. He doesn't mince words about his far-right views: "Two things you find in the middle of the road" are "a moderate and a dead skunk."
...John Ashcroft lied to the American people when he said he didn't know the teachings and practices of Bob Jones University

Now that the racist policies of Bob Jones University are widely known, John Ashcroft says he didn't know their teachings and practices when they awarded him an honorary degree. There are three solid reasons this is impossible to believe.
Ashcroft was Missouri Attorney General when the Supreme Court issued its opinion denying tax exempt status to Bob Jones University for its racist policies. Ashcroft's job was to read and consider landmark U.S. Supreme Court rulings. While Ashcroft was Governor he considered three people as potential nominees to a vacancy on the Missouri Supreme Court. One of them was Carl Esbeck, whose writing in defense of Bob Jones University was featured in a major St. Louis Post Dispatch story (8/6/92, p. 1b) at the same time Ashcroft was considering his Supreme Court choices. Again, it was his job to study the background and the opinions of the lawyers he was considering naming to the highest court in Missouri.
Ashcroft sat for a lengthy interview in 1997 with Bob Jones IV for a Web publication called What in the World, an interview that has mysteriously disappeared from the Bob Jones University Web site.
When Ashcroft says he was unaware Bob Jones University prohibited inter-racial dating, he's lying. Read Mark Shield's piece on why it is impossible to believe Ashcroft's lies about Bob Jones University.

Lab Dancer - Oh, I was not saying Fine is after Ashcroft; merely that you want to confirm everything you here and they have talked to Ashcroft. Also it is quite possible that such hiring practices occurred during his tenure without his knowledge. It is also possible they occurred with his knowledge. Whatever the status is, you want to know. I have no reason to believe that Ashcroft is a target of any kind though; so if that was how my comment came across, it was unintentional.

One gets the feeling that if Gonzo and Card had gotten to Ashcroft alone in the Hospital Visit that they might have 'twisted his arm' with a little 'insider' knowledge and left with a signed document.

But, Comey was able to be the fair witness and keep that from happening.

Don't you know, Bush and Cheney must have been royally upset when their guy Ashcroft suddenly stopped playing ball. So upset that they shoved Ashcroft out the door and stuffed Gonzo in the job to ensure they would never have to endure such disrespect for their immune-from-criminality wishes again.

radiofreewill -- and you know, that could be another very good reason why Fine wants info preceding Ashcroft's hospitalization. There may be incriminating information that shows exactly who was pushing back at the BADministration (thanks, I like that) before Ashcroft's hospital room scene; it might be disclosed in such a way that Fine isn't doing a full frontal attack on Cheney, but the sneaking around him.

Agh...I completely forgot about this bit: New Hampshire phone jamming case.

That happened on Ashcroft's watch, and the case was stalled and delayed during both Ashcroft's and Gonzales' tenures.

And Ed Gillespie was in the mix. Was Ed involved in any way with the prosecution or adjudication of this case??

The comments to this entry are closed.

Where We Met

Blog powered by Typepad