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Tilting at Windmills

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March 19, 2007
By: Kevin Drum

YET MORE PURGEGATE....On Face the Nation this morning Dianne Feinstein pointed out an odd coincidence surrounding the firing of Carol Lam, the U.S. Attorney for San Diego:

Feinstein said Lam notified the Justice Department on May 10, 2006, that she planned to serve search warrants on Kyle Dustin "Dusty" Foggo, who'd resigned two days earlier as the No. 3 official at the CIA.

On May 11, 2006, Kyle Sampson, then Gonzales' chief of staff, sent an e-mail to deputy White House counsel William Kelley, asking Kelley to call to discuss "the real problem we have right now with Carol Lam that leads me to conclude that we should have someone ready to be nominated on 11/18, the day her 4-year term expires."

The email did not spell out what the "real problem" was, and it was unclear whether Kelley and Sampson talked later.

Meanwhile, David Iglesias, the U.S. Attorney for New Mexico, who was supposedly fired for being insufficiently aggressive at prosecuting voter fraud, tells the Washington Post that that's an odd complaint indeed:

David C. Iglesias, who was dismissed as U.S. attorney for New Mexico in December, was one of two chief federal prosecutors invited to teach at a "voting integrity symposium" in October 2005....Iglesias, a Republican, said in an interview that he and the U.S. attorney from Milwaukee, Steven M. Biskupic, were chosen as trainers because they were the only ones identified as having created task forces to examine allegations of voter fraud in the 2004 elections.

Patrick Leahy says he's "sick and tired of getting half-truths on this" and wants to issue a slew of subpoenas next week. Good for him.

Kevin Drum 12:15 AM Permalink | Trackbacks | Comments (71)

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Comments

The real story behind the Purge story is the operation, at long last, of mechanisms that have brought about the release of documents relating to it. Without those documents, the story would have gone nowhere.

The big question now is, how much further will those mechanisms take us? When and where will the WH declare Executive Privilege?

The problem the WH has now is that it's just way too obvious that they're simply covering up when the invoke Executive Privilege. It's become a cure that may be worse than the disease.

Don't you just think that Bush wishes he had managed to save at least a teeny bit of his credibility? Now would be a really good time for it, you know.

Posted by: frankly0 on March 19, 2007 at 12:36 AM | PERMALINK

Obstruction of justice. Grounds for impeachment, if it can be proved that someone is guilty of it.

Posted by: Joel Rubinstein on March 19, 2007 at 12:37 AM | PERMALINK

The trolls here have been pissing me off. It's not like they've said anything remarkable yet. So, why acknowledge them? They aren't welcome. Let's ignore them until they find somewhere else to piss.

Some people just want attention, even masochistic attention.

Posted by: Absent Observer on March 19, 2007 at 12:40 AM | PERMALINK

As a guy who's generally sympathetic to Pat Leahy's positions, I gotta say: I saw a clip of him talking about how he was going to get to the bottom of this, and somehow he managed to come across as a complete dick.

Posted by: dj moonbat on March 19, 2007 at 12:49 AM | PERMALINK

tip o' the iceberg

Posted by: Disputo on March 19, 2007 at 12:49 AM | PERMALINK

somehow he managed to come across as a complete dick.

You say that as if it's a bad thing.

Posted by: Disputo on March 19, 2007 at 12:51 AM | PERMALINK

You're right, AO. The trolls are slap-happy, and not in a good way. Think Jack Nicholson in the original Little Shop of Horrors — an apt name for Cheney's White House cabal.

And no, I don't think Bush wishes he had saved a shred of his credibility, quite frankly0. To the extent that he has any self-awareness at all, I think he knew he was in over his head as Governor of Texas and couldn't believe his luck in getting away with it as long as he did. The rest is just the hubris that came with Unca Karl convincing him it would be more of the same, but with even better food.

You know, the more I look at this whole purge, it seems that the whole maneouvre was designed to swamp the news that they were getting rid of Lam. Sure, they didn't like Iglesias, or any other competent professional, but in their fever-dream wisdom, Abu Gonzales and his fellow toadies figured no one would notice them going on the Lam if they cluster-fucked the others at the same time.

Thoughts? Anyone?

Posted by: Kenji on March 19, 2007 at 12:51 AM | PERMALINK

I keep hearing that the president can set the agenda for the US attorneys... be it anti-terrorism, illegal immigration, or whatever.

Can the president set an agenda with an emphasis on democratic corruption and ignoring republican corruption? I suppose it would be legal, but I'd love to get Gonzales to admit that under oath.

Posted by: tomboy on March 19, 2007 at 12:57 AM | PERMALINK

Is anyone claiming the Administration broke a law in replacing these US attorneys? It may smell of fish, but where does all this stuff get us at the end of the day?

Posted by: Trashhauler on March 19, 2007 at 12:58 AM | PERMALINK

Trashhauler, firing a prosecutor to abort a prosecution is obstruction of justice.

Posted by: Joel Rubinstein on March 19, 2007 at 1:02 AM | PERMALINK

Trashhauler -
If they fired any of those attorney's (Lam) in an effort to thwart an investigation, then it's called "obstruction of justice" and if two or more were involved, it's called "conspiracy". Those are felonies, my friend, and they're more substantive charges than Clinton lying about getting head. Legally, the obstruction charge would be the same, but I have a feeling that the conspiracy aspect of it will lead to numerous cabinet level officials. This could be big time. The Dems shouldn't over play their hand, but they've got some pretty solid on ground on which to operate, so it seems.

Posted by: Everblue Stater on March 19, 2007 at 1:03 AM | PERMALINK

Richard Nixon had the legal power to fire Archibald Cox. But that one act set in motion the investigations that wound up leading to his retirement. Articles of impeachment had been approved by the House committee, and there were sufficient votes in the House and Senate to remove him from office, when he resigned.

Posted by: Joe Buck on March 19, 2007 at 1:06 AM | PERMALINK

Is anyone claiming the Administration broke a law in replacing these US attorneys?

No. Bush has the right to set an agenda against democratic corruption and pro-republican corruption if he wants.

But giving false testimony to congress is a crime, and that is what several DOJ officials did. This after providing false statements regarding the FBI and the patriot act. Gonzales is done.

Plus, once it comes out that nobody was really fired for performance reasons, it will be obvious to everyone with a brain that Bush was trying to rig the whole justice system with cronies. It will ruin the reputation of every USA not fired as being a republican party shill (a whole crop of people the GOP has been grooming to run for higher office and federal judgeships), and it will be the definition of what Madison meant by "high crime and misdemeanor" (in case Bush doesn't fire Gonzales, he should be impeached).

Posted by: tomboy on March 19, 2007 at 1:10 AM | PERMALINK

Congress needs to demand that either a special prosecutor with real independence be named, or else launch an impeachment investigation, with Gonzales as obvious target but adding any other names of implicated people. The Justice Department cannot investigate itself, and it can't be allowed to impede an investigation.

Posted by: Joe Buck on March 19, 2007 at 1:12 AM | PERMALINK

The trolls here are complete brain-dead apparatchik idiots. They demonstrate, in a very complete way, the intellectual failure and vapidity that is conservatism today. There is no ability to think, just the ability to label R or D - that's the final analysis required by today's Repukeliscum.

Posted by: dataguy on March 19, 2007 at 1:13 AM | PERMALINK

The purge demonstrates that, in today's Repukeliscum Party, that politics is everything. The purge is about the suppression of justice in favor of Repukeliscum Party objectives.

It's like the early day of the SSSR, when every activity had the Political Commissar, and he had the last word.

Posted by: dataguy on March 19, 2007 at 1:15 AM | PERMALINK

Trash --
I agree with Everblue about obstruction. What is more, you had Mr. Gonzales, the current Attorney General (for the moment, at least) come out in SWORN TESTIMONY two weeks ago and say that these dismissals were business as usual, solely for "performance-related" reasons, and with no political dimension and no role/voice by the White House.
Now we find, in e-mails released by the Justice Dept., that White House political guru Karl Rove was in on the discussions from the outset in 2004, that U.S. Attorneys selected for the axe were those who weren't "loyal Bushies" (their words).
And now we find Carol Lam was the focus of attention immediately upon issuing search warrants against CIA no. 2 man Kyle "Dusty" Foggo in the ever-widening Duke Cunningham public bribery scandal.
So what a load of happy horses#%$ Mr. Gonzales delivered during his testimony.
Let's ask Scooter Libby if it's a big deal when you lie while under oath in an official investigation

Posted by: shystr on March 19, 2007 at 1:15 AM | PERMALINK

So what about my question above? Was Lam the real target of the massacre, with the others just cover-up gravy?

Posted by: Kenji on March 19, 2007 at 1:25 AM | PERMALINK

I just want to give Corpus Juris a nod for directing our attention to this from the outset. He has been at the forefront of the Lam angle in posts there and comments here.

Posted by: Blue Girl, Red State (aka Global Citizen) on March 19, 2007 at 1:26 AM | PERMALINK

Kenji - You've watched procedurals, right? When a crowd gets mowed down, there is always a lot of collateral damage and one real target. In this case, it was Lam, with a side of Iglesias.

Click that link I just posted. He lays it out...

Posted by: Blue Girl, Red State (aka Global Citizen) on March 19, 2007 at 1:30 AM | PERMALINK

Maybe they were really after Julio (down by the schoolyard).

Posted by: Kenji on March 19, 2007 at 1:39 AM | PERMALINK

What the hell is the matter with Leahy? Or for that matter anyone else who "requests" anything from this administration.

Issue subpoenas, get testimony under oath and publish the narrative every single day.

Posted by: James E. Powell on March 19, 2007 at 1:44 AM | PERMALINK

Okay, on tht groaner by Kenji, I am going to go reread some material - I have a written in bioethics tomorrow. One asshole prof who does the midterm after spring break. The jerk.

Goodnight all.

Posted by: Blue Girl, Red State (aka Global Citizen) on March 19, 2007 at 1:49 AM | PERMALINK

Well, Kenji. In the article, it mentions the fact that Iglesias was one of 2 men selected on 2 different occasions to teach other prosecutors how to set up a task force to investigate corruption because they were the only ones who had actually set them up in the then current bunch of US As. McKay, in Washington State, stopped a Republican Big Wig from talking with him concerning an ongoing election recount of the Governors' race because both would have been guilty of Obstruction of Justice had they continued talking. (BTW, the Democrat won the recount.)

If the email says what they say it does, sounds like Sampson, at least, is on his way to prison, IMAO.

So you tell me. There is no doubt in my mind that all were replaced because they would not toe the party line

Posted by: bob in fl on March 19, 2007 at 1:59 AM | PERMALINK

I guess whoever the main targets were they thought doing it en masse would draw less attention. Boy, they do everything well, don't they? (Duke Cunningham must have thought it would go on like that forever, eh?)

Posted by: Kenji on March 19, 2007 at 2:11 AM | PERMALINK

Absent Observer: "The trolls here have been pissing me off. It's not like they've said anything remarkable yet. So, why acknowledge them?"

Don't let the trolls get to you. They're basically harmless -- and besides, it keeps them off the streets. Nobody takes them too seriously, and you shouldn't, either.

Rather, think of them as a right-wing piñata, and your keyboard as the bat.

Posted by: Donald from Hawaii on March 19, 2007 at 3:00 AM | PERMALINK

Yeah, a special prosecutor indeed - However, Ken Starr is tied up at the moment defending Blackwater - Seems the families of those four contractors killed at Fallujah have sued Blackwater demanding to know why they sent into harm's way without proper protection.

Starr is helping to secrete all of the ka-ching, ka-ching, ka-ching over charging records of whomever they were really working for that day.

Starr, once again, just doing the Lord's work. George Bush, Erik Prince, two peas in a pod.

Posted by: thethirdPaul on March 19, 2007 at 6:14 AM | PERMALINK

But, one of them used to be a Seal, Uncle Paul.

Posted by: stupid git on March 19, 2007 at 6:15 AM | PERMALINK

..to serve a search warrants

Oh goody, can't wait. Is there where we get to impeach Bushie and the brain, Cheney/Karl Rove.

Pinky and brain get caught saying, "I am not a crook".

Posted by: Cheryl on March 19, 2007 at 8:07 AM | PERMALINK

Re the comments about the firings being possible obstruction of justice, I suppose it would depend on finding a case that 1) the fired attorney was zealously pursuing against someone the Administration wants to protect and 2) that will not remain on the books as an active case after the replacement takes office. Which makes the investigation somewhat of a fishing expedition in which Administration opponents can beat up on the incumbents some more, while hoping they can maybe find something big.

That's okay, apparently that's important to the politically dedicated. I was just wondering if there was something of prima facie substance the rest of us should know about.

Posted by: Trashhauler on March 19, 2007 at 8:29 AM | PERMALINK
I was just wondering if there was something of prima facie substance the rest of us should know about.

You're making a funny, right Trashauler?

Posted by: obscure on March 19, 2007 at 8:37 AM | PERMALINK

Which makes the investigation somewhat of a fishing expedition in which Administration opponents can beat up on the incumbents some more, while hoping they can maybe find something big.

I agree completely, and it is good to see one sane person around here.

The best way to go about this is to look and see if the law was broken. Was it? No. Case closed. Stop looking into the minor details because all one will find is that good people were doing the best they could with what they had. You fight crime with the Justice Department you have, not with the Justice Department you want to have. How is that not so glaringly obvious to you people?

Anyone can turn over enough rocks and find a worm who will whisper sweet nothings about a scandal that never was.

Posted by: Norman Rogers on March 19, 2007 at 9:21 AM | PERMALINK

Trashhauler, look at this Times piece. I think it makes a pretty good case that investigations into obstruction of justice are statutorily valid at this point. Given the little information we now have, I'd have to say no, there's no prima facie evidence for obstruction, but that's why you investigate. To figger stuff out, you know.

Posted by: the idiot on March 19, 2007 at 9:26 AM | PERMALINK

Trashhauler

On February 14, 2007, just two days before she left office Carol Lam secured the indictment of Dusty Foggo. She was actively pursuing Rep. Jerry Lewis. I suspect the Foggo prosecution will go forward, but given our president's priorities, Mr. Lewis might now have a pass. If he does the Attorney General, his subordinates and his allies in the White House have very effectively obstructed justice.

Posted by: Ron Byers on March 19, 2007 at 9:30 AM | PERMALINK

Does it need to be repeated, Norman?
Hard evidence exists, and worth pursuing, that at least one attorney was fired to thwart an investigation and that officials from the attorney general's office lied to congress. Does obstruction of justice mean anything to you?
"Scandal that never was," well, maybe in your own head.

Posted by: roy on March 19, 2007 at 9:38 AM | PERMALINK

Read the editorial cited by the Idiot. Not such an idiot he. The New York Times nails it. 18 U.S.C. § 1512 (c)

Posted by: Ron Byers on March 19, 2007 at 9:39 AM | PERMALINK

With both Duke and Maryland dispatched, Norman appears to have more time on his hands.

Posted by: thethirdPaul on March 19, 2007 at 9:48 AM | PERMALINK

Trashy wrote: That's okay, apparently that's important to the politically dedicated.

That's okay, apparently dismissing the mendacity, corrption and incompetence of this administration is important to dedicated Republicans.

Shame on you, Trashy.

Posted by: Gregory on March 19, 2007 at 9:52 AM | PERMALINK

I know this has been pointed out here ocassionaly, but just in case there's anyone who missed it, Norman Rodgers was exposed a couple years back as a professional shill (a standing board member of the Club for Growth noless). I'm surprised he keeps using his real name in adittion to his collection of 'fronts' (i.e. Am Hawk).

Posted by: Thumb on March 19, 2007 at 9:55 AM | PERMALINK

Idle hands and all that.

And could Walter E be not far behind to remind everyone about the serving at the pleasure of the Prez and all that - Had one of those letters in the Sunday Oregonian - Thanks for the headsup legal, ya'll.

Posted by: Go Jayhawks on March 19, 2007 at 9:58 AM | PERMALINK

"firing a prosecutor to abort a prosecution is obstruction of justice"

Then explain why Robert Bork wasn't prosecuted for firing Archibald Cox...

Posted by: Lurtz on March 19, 2007 at 10:30 AM | PERMALINK

somehow he managed to come across as a complete dick.

You say that as if it's a bad thing.
Posted by: Disputo

Near spit take. Please, this place has already cost one keyboard.

Posted by: MsNThrope on March 19, 2007 at 10:38 AM | PERMALINK

The rest is just the hubris that came with Unca Karl convincing him it would be more of the same, but with even better food. - Kenji

And jumbo jets! And a $2.2 B fleet of helicopters! And toy soldiers to move around!

Okay. See, to him they are just toy soldiers. Another occasion to put on a macho costume and strut around.

'The reason our mission in Iraq has proven to be so disastrous and corrupt is very simple -- the advocates and architects of that war are completely corrupt, inept, and deceitful. Recognizing this fact and ceasing to accord people like this with respect and credibility is infinitely more important than any specific debates over particular policy or strategic questions.' - Glenn Greenwald

Posted by: MsNThrope on March 19, 2007 at 10:44 AM | PERMALINK

That's okay, apparently that's important to the politically dedicated.

It's important to me because I give a fuck about justice. And Justice.

Posted by: Blue Girl, Red State (aka Global Citizen) on March 19, 2007 at 10:48 AM | PERMALINK

Ron Byers, I just want to say thanks, one more time, for your dedication to staying on top of this issue, and for being one of the first to put two-and-two together on the Lam firing.

Kudos, my friend.

Posted by: Blue Girl, Red State (aka Global Citizen) on March 19, 2007 at 11:00 AM | PERMALINK

Don't have the Foggoist, what this is all about.

Posted by: Alberto G on March 19, 2007 at 11:12 AM | PERMALINK

What Global said.

Props.

If I'm not, you know, 'out of line' for daring to voice my observations here.

"This House cannot avoid its constitutionally authorized responsibility to restrain the abuse of Executive power." - Rep. Dennis Kucinich

Posted by: MsNThrope on March 19, 2007 at 11:13 AM | PERMALINK

Please, for the love of America, apple pie, and the National League, STOP appending every DC scandal with "-gate". It's horrifyingly cliche and hackneyed.

Posted by: ChrisS on March 19, 2007 at 11:14 AM | PERMALINK

Please, for the love of America, apple pie, and the National League, STOP appending every DC scandal with "-gate".

No shit.

Posted by: Blue Girl, Red State (aka Global Citizen) on March 19, 2007 at 11:18 AM | PERMALINK

Thanks MsN - (Smiles and waves, reading the blog, when she is supposed to be rereading material for an exam...)

Posted by: Blue Girl, Red State (aka Global Citizen) on March 19, 2007 at 11:20 AM | PERMALINK

Trashhauler, firing a prosecutor to abort a prosecution is obstruction of justice.

Posted by: Joel Rubinstein on March 19, 2007 at 1:02 AM

Is anyone making such a claim with respect to the US Attorneys who were "purged"? Even if the US Attorney is replaced, wouldn't any criminal investigations that were ongoing at the time simply continue under the new Attorney?

After all, it's not like the US Attorney is the only one who is doing the investigation and that all the information discovered is lost when the Attorney is replaced.

Posted by: Chicounsel on March 19, 2007 at 12:03 PM | PERMALINK

A nice NYT piece points out that there are possible criminal offenses involved in "Purgegate."
http://www.nytimes.com/2007/03/19/opinion/19mon4.html?_r=1&oref=slogin

Posted by: Alan Vanneman on March 19, 2007 at 12:09 PM | PERMALINK

Is anyone making such a claim with respect to the US Attorneys who were "purged"?

Yes.

Even if the US Attorney is replaced, wouldn't any criminal investigations that were ongoing at the time simply continue under the new Attorney?

No, not necessarily. The new prosecutor could simply decide the ongoing investigation wasn't, say, "a proper use of office resources" and sideline it. And as anyone who's ever litigated knows, there are all manner of ways to keep a case officially alive while actually subjecting it to slow and painful starvation with continuances, reschedulings, conflicting court dates, lack of investigators, etc.

Posted by: Stefan on March 19, 2007 at 12:10 PM | PERMALINK

Please, for the love of America, apple pie, and the National League, STOP appending every DC scandal with "-gate".

I guess I think of it as having gone beyond cliche by now. It really represents a new grammatical category, the corruptile form of a word.

Posted by: frankly0 on March 19, 2007 at 12:11 PM | PERMALINK

Here is a clickable link to that editorial referenced a couple of posts up by Alan Vanneman.

Posted by: Blue Girl, Red State (aka Global Citizen) on March 19, 2007 at 12:12 PM | PERMALINK

What's wrong with THIS WEEK for a slew of subpoenas, Sen. Leahy?

Posted by: SocraticGadfly on March 19, 2007 at 12:14 PM | PERMALINK

Here is the money-quote from the op-ed:

Senator Charles Schumer, Democrat of New York, said last week that “Kyle Sampson will not be the next Scooter Libby, the next fall guy.” Congress will be looking for evidence that Mr. Gonzales and Mr. McNulty knew that what they told Congress was false or misleading.

Posted by: Blue Girl, Red State (aka Global Citizen) on March 19, 2007 at 12:14 PM | PERMALINK

(Smiles and waves, reading the blog, when she is supposed to be rereading material for an exam...)
Posted by: Blue Girl, Red State

You'll nail it. Over prepping is the worst thing you can do. Clear your mind. Do some Yoga breathing. Show up at the last minute so as not to contaminate what you know you know with contagious test anxiety meltdowns.

Your brain knows. Anxiety is your enemy.

Go thou and conquer.

Posted by: MsNThrope on March 19, 2007 at 12:22 PM | PERMALINK

I know this has been pointed out here ocassionaly, but just in case there's anyone who missed it, Norman Rodgers was exposed a couple years back as a professional shill (a standing board member of the Club for Growth noless). I'm surprised he keeps using his real name in adittion to his collection of 'fronts' (i.e. Am Hawk).

Son, you have NO idea...

Posted by: Norman Rogers on March 19, 2007 at 12:31 PM | PERMALINK

"Is anyone making such a claim with respect to the US Attorneys who were purged?"

Yes. It certainly warrants investigation, which is precisely what Congressional Democrats, are proposing.

Given the conflicting stories and outright falsehoods that have been told thus far, such investigation is clearly merited.

Posted by: PaulB on March 19, 2007 at 12:40 PM | PERMALINK
Patrick Leahy says he's "sick and tired of getting half-truths on this"

I'm confused. When did the administration say anything about this that even rose to the level of "half-truth" instead of outright, bald-faced lies?

Posted by: cmdicely on March 19, 2007 at 1:22 PM | PERMALINK

"Please, for the love of America, apple pie, and the National League, STOP appending every DC scandal with '-gate'. It's horrifyingly cliche and hackneyed."

It's a scandalous abuse of the English language--we'll call it "Gategate" . . .

Posted by: rea on March 19, 2007 at 1:25 PM | PERMALINK

Re the half-truths thing, Leahy is being diplomatic—you know, that quality Repugs laugh at all the time.

Posted by: Kenji on March 19, 2007 at 1:41 PM | PERMALINK

Along with Carol Lam, wasn't there the odd coincidence of placing a very close associate of Karl Rove as USA in Little Rock? I wonder how someone who has learned all the tricks from Mr. Rove could use his position to begin (and leak) all sorts of juicy-sounding investigations into someone named Clinton as she runs for president?

Posted by: Yukoner on March 19, 2007 at 1:45 PM | PERMALINK

In many ways, the history of the Bush WH over the last 6+ years has become the long personal lesson to Karl Rove that, however much he may wish it were otherwise, the USA is NOT Texas.

Chickenshit politics that worked like a miracle in the wastes of Texas can backfire like a sonofabitch on the national scene.

Posted by: frankly0 on March 19, 2007 at 1:57 PM | PERMALINK

Chicounsel: After all, it's not like the US Attorney is the only one who is doing the investigation and that all the information discovered is lost when the Attorney is replaced.

If the USAs are irrelevant to what cases the office pursues, then why fire them in the first place for supposedly not pursuing the right cases?

And why duck the issue of obstruction of justice for pursuing and prosecutorial misconduct for pursuing meritless cases simply because news of the investigation and prosecution will damage political opponents?

Go kick your self in the ass for subverting your own argument.

Posted by: Google_This on March 19, 2007 at 2:50 PM | PERMALINK
The real story behind the Purge story...frankly0 at 12:36 AM
The real story behind it is all the other US A's who were more than willing to do Rove's bidding. Where is the concern for justice thwarted for the Republican political agenda? One of Rove's long standing ploys is to accuse Democrats of all sorts of misdeeds just before an election. His US A's were willing participants. Also, this political hack that they have appointed to Arkansas, what is his real job, more political hatchet work on Clinton?
Which makes the investigation somewhat of a fishing expedition... Trashhauler at 8:29 AM
Attacking the investigators is the old Nixon defense, as you see by how quickly old Nixonite Rogers jumps on it. Posted by: Mike on March 19, 2007 at 3:28 PM | PERMALINK

Patrick Leahy says he's "sick and tired of getting half-truths on this" and wants to issue a slew of subpoenas next week.

After the 2006 elections I started looking forward to some good committee hearings. Leahy will deliver, I'm sure. He's a tough partisan, and in this context that's a good thing.

To be prepared to replace a U.S. attorney at the end of her appointment is not much evidence of malfeasance. But I guess you have to start the investigation somewhere.

Posted by: spider on March 19, 2007 at 4:11 PM | PERMALINK

dj moonbat: As a guy who's generally sympathetic to Pat Leahy's positions, I gotta say: I saw a clip of him talking about how he was going to get to the bottom of this, and somehow he managed to come across as a complete dick.

He comes across that way a lot, when you agree with him, and when you don't. He is a "tough partisan" most of the time. That's what you want sometimes, and this is one of those times.

Posted by: spider on March 19, 2007 at 4:15 PM | PERMALINK

I've been thinking - everyone in the administration keeps saying these ttorneys "serve at the pleasure ofthe president". Well, doesn't that mean that they must have been fired at the "pleasure of the president". Clearly, the president must not have been pleased with them and so he had them fired. My point is this - if laws were broken in the process of firing these individuals, isnt the president the ultimate perpertrator of those crimes?? I mean, these people would not have been fired if they were performing as the president wished them to perform, right? They must have been doing something that the president was displeased with or else they would not have been fired. Isnt the administration hanging itself with its own rope by repeating this ridiculous statement over and over about "serving at the pleasure of the president"???

Posted by: jman_nyc on March 19, 2007 at 4:32 PM | PERMALINK

jman:

Aside from the boldface, I agree. It doesn't say anywhere that the AG, or the AG's COS, or the White House Counsel, or anyone else can fire the USA's. It (debatably) says that the POTUS can do it. So GWB had to be the decider on this. And, as it's been fairly well laid out, a strong circumstantial case exists for obstruction of justice, and you make the case that the Obstructor is the Decider.

As Norman Rogers would say: case closed!

Impeachment, baby!

Posted by: peejay on March 19, 2007 at 6:47 PM | PERMALINK




 

 

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