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Tilting at Windmills

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May 23, 2007
By: Kevin Drum

IT'S GOODLING DAY....From Karen Tumulty:

How much will we learn [Wednesday] when Monica Goodling, the Justice Department's former White House liaison, testifies in front of the House Judiciary Committee under a grant of immunity from prosecution? A spokeswoman for the Committee says it has been given "every indication" that she will be forthcoming.

I can't wait.

Kevin Drum 12:56 AM Permalink | Trackbacks | Comments (67)

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Comments

Me either. She better give us something good, though, or I'll be forced to conclude the Judiciary Committee has been had.

Posted by: craigie on May 23, 2007 at 1:11 AM | PERMALINK

Monica Goodling is a name that is oh, so close to being the eye candy character in a James Bond movie.

Posted by: craigie on May 23, 2007 at 1:18 AM | PERMALINK

Is this whole Gonzales thing still going on?

Posted by: whistler on May 23, 2007 at 1:23 AM | PERMALINK

Monica Goodlay?

Posted by: Disputo on May 23, 2007 at 1:27 AM | PERMALINK

Monica Goodling is a name that is oh, so close to being the eye candy character in a James Bond movie.

Good one - I see her Tanya Harding look-alike ass in d-list porn

Posted by: Blue Girl, Red State (aka G.C.) on May 23, 2007 at 1:28 AM | PERMALINK

Isnt Monica the real reason that all these AlQueda/Iraq rumors are coming out yesterday and today? If the MSM evening news opens with speculation about BinLaden moving to Iraq, rather than Monica's testimony, then Gonzo wins? I smell a diversion.

Posted by: troglodyte on May 23, 2007 at 1:45 AM | PERMALINK

Monica will have about five minutes to show she's going to give up someone. If it doesn't happen that quick, she should be toast.

Posted by: bigcat on May 23, 2007 at 1:46 AM | PERMALINK

As much as I would like to see someone in this cabal have a cleansing afternoon of no-holds-barred truth telling, I have serious doubts we will get anything new or substantial from Ms. Goodling. Someone who behaved as she did is not the kind of person who suddenly becomes a heroic whistleblower. The only thing she's sorry for is getting caught. Deep down, she has nothing but contempt for those who got in her way, and I'll bet she rationalizes it by thinking they are just as crassly political as she is. Of course, you're supposed to use the DOJ to crush your political opponents! It's what anyone else would do! Anything for the Cause! Thus, she will:

1. Cop only to things that they have her dead to rights on (i.e. the e-mails in the Committee's possession)

2. Confirm what is already the established story, using bland words ("there was a review process, some names were thrown around, I don't know who started it, I'm not sure why these specific USA's were asked to resign, but I thought it had to do with their imperfectly serving the President's agenda, blah blah")

3. Minimize what she can (memory lapses, euphemisms)

4. Apologize profusely (and insincerely) for being too "imprecise" (or some such word) in her use of political affiliation as a hiring criteria

5. Not make any major allegation, or reveal any smoking gun. Her Regent's law degree isn't getting her anywhere if she burns her bridges with the right wing. Her career has taken a major hit, and she has ambition. She has to play the cars she's dealt. She will admit only what she has to, and no more. A nice position with a conservative lobbying firm or some such will then be hers.

I would, of course, love to be proven wrong on this.

Posted by: ppp on May 23, 2007 at 1:47 AM | PERMALINK

Placing my money on her pulling an Ollie North, or better by claiming it was all on her own discretion.

Posted by: kis on May 23, 2007 at 1:49 AM | PERMALINK

Hey troglodyte,

I agree. All those scary stories of everyone ganging up on poor little USA. Quite a coincidence!

Sorry to spout and run, but my cat wants me in bed RIGHT NOW!!!!!

Posted by: bigcat on May 23, 2007 at 1:49 AM | PERMALINK

I forgot one last prediction that should be in my list above:

6. Afterwards, Goodling's lawyers and water-carrying Republicans will go on TV and say, "You see? She was COMPLETELY forthcoming and HONEST. Sure, she made some mistakes, but she has ADMITTED them. There's nothing more to this story. Only a partisan Congress would want to prolong this investigation any further...."

Posted by: ppp on May 23, 2007 at 2:12 AM | PERMALINK

Perhaps the reason she asserted the 5th was that she was obviously in violation of the Hatch Act. That would explain quite a bit...given that she may also have been in a criminal conspiracy to coverup violations of the Hatch Act and other conspiracies that may tend to subvert the Constitution of the United States.

Posted by: parrot on May 23, 2007 at 2:49 AM | PERMALINK

ppp:

The strategy you outline would be difficult to pull off even for a seasoned PR pro. What we know about Goodling's background suggests that she might not be all that bright.

Whatever: we'll see tomorrow. I predict ugliness. Hilarious, sobering ugliness.

Posted by: ethan on May 23, 2007 at 3:05 AM | PERMALINK

I doubt we'll hear anything important from her. She'll suffer from the same selective her boss does, claim ignorance, and that she was only following orders. They're all only following orders...

Posted by: TomStewart on May 23, 2007 at 3:44 AM | PERMALINK

Forthcoming... with tears?

Posted by: Kenji on May 23, 2007 at 4:44 AM | PERMALINK

Considering that she has refused to submit requested documents to the committee, it is unlikely she will be forthcoming in her testimony...

Posted by: mikey on May 23, 2007 at 4:49 AM | PERMALINK

Okay, so prosecution is out but can she still be lined up with that tithe of financial advisors?

Posted by: snicker-snack on May 23, 2007 at 5:34 AM | PERMALINK

Well, how do you plead the fifth, then get a grant of immunity, and then claim you don't know anything?

By pleading the fifth, isn't Goodling admitting culpability somewhere? Wouldn't the committee have some idea about what she's holding back before granting immunity?

Isn't that the point of this exercise?

How can she weasel out now?

Posted by: skeg on May 23, 2007 at 5:43 AM | PERMALINK

troglodyte: "If the MSM evening news opens with speculation about BinLaden moving to Iraq ..."

Osama bin Laden moving HQ to Iraq, where 150,000+ American combat troops await? It would indeed be really great news, and eminently worthy of a network lede.

(Sigh!) If only he were truly that fucking stupid ...

Posted by: Donald from Hawaii on May 23, 2007 at 5:44 AM | PERMALINK

She'll lie her ass off like a good Republican't "christian".

Posted by: merlallen on May 23, 2007 at 6:05 AM | PERMALINK

I'm sure it'll be exactly like listening to Oliver North's secertary.

Posted by: Me_again on May 23, 2007 at 7:42 AM | PERMALINK

We'll see if Monica takes her vow (on the Bible) to tell the truth seriously. She might have to choose between two masters, God and the DOJ.

Posted by: kgb on May 23, 2007 at 7:43 AM | PERMALINK

Dems are ALWAYS so ready to throw in the towel that know one will listen to them anymore.

Doesn't matter what Goodling says, the Dems already lost and any no-confidence votes are meaningless. You can go back to the buffet table now Sen. Leahy, nobody cares anymore what happens to congressional Dems. They always get what they deserve in end.

Posted by: Me_again on May 23, 2007 at 7:48 AM | PERMALINK

I hope there's crying. There's no crying in baseball, but there better be some today in the Capitol.

Posted by: shortstop on May 23, 2007 at 7:53 AM | PERMALINK

We'll learn NOTHING! This will continue to go NOWHERE! The immigration mess and the war have become issues that are so frustratingly complicated and unfixable that they only serve the major news outlets in filling their airwaves and print while providing continuing fodder for blogs. I've been trapped by daily concern and attention to the ongoing "news" to the point of near depression...seeing little HOPE to believe in American values/Congress/this foolish administration (that began in 2000) and the MSM...back to the garden...lots of luck to you all!

Posted by: Dancer on May 23, 2007 at 8:33 AM | PERMALINK

i bet she throw's leg.

Posted by: mestizo on May 23, 2007 at 8:49 AM | PERMALINK

i bet she throw's leg.

Posted by: mestizo on May 23, 2007 at 8:49 AM | PERMALINK

She's been given immunity, right? Now all she has to do is say that she was the mastermind behind it all and everyone else is off the hook - end of story.

Posted by: Virginia Dutch on May 23, 2007 at 9:00 AM | PERMALINK

I thought the whole idea was that now her testimony was compelled? Doesn't her immunity depend on her cooperation? If she isn't cooperative, can't the immunity be waived and she can be prosecuted for contempt?


Plus, I'm not a lawyer but aren't there two kinds of immunity, general and specific? Does anyone know what kind she received?

Posted by: not the senator on May 23, 2007 at 9:02 AM | PERMALINK

I agree, there'll be tears, with pix of Jesus and Mom pinned on, perhaps holding her little dog.

And it's not lying if you're advancing the Cause in the face of the Enemy.

In the end? Probably the same ol talking point: they were fired for good reasons, but mistakes were made in the execution(pun intended).

Posted by: Horatio Parker on May 23, 2007 at 9:16 AM | PERMALINK


The self-righteous bag of bones will likely lie, and will then be congratulated by the Christianist Kool-ade crowd as a good christian girl. For lying. For breaking the law. For being a traitor to the constitution.

But, she's a Bushie so she's ooohhhkayyy!!!!

Posted by: dejah on May 23, 2007 at 9:18 AM | PERMALINK

She's been given immunity, right? Now all she has to do is say that she was the mastermind behind it all and everyone else is off the hook - end of story.

Posted by: Virginia Dutch on May 23, 2007 at 9:00 AM

Virginia, it's my understanding that immunity does not protect her from perjury. She might try to say she was the mastermind. I'm guessing there's enough evidence to show she's not. Thus, this tactic brings her distinctly into the danger zone, as far as prosecution. Doubt she'll risk that. Fresh meat in the pen, and all that...

Posted by: bigcat on May 23, 2007 at 9:41 AM | PERMALINK

Good one, BGRS.

Was she the one with Ron Jeremy?

Posted by: thethirdPaul on May 23, 2007 at 9:50 AM | PERMALINK

"There's no crying in baseball"

Hmmm, after two blowouts to the South Side Bullies?

Perhaps Monica wishes she had taken more of auto mechanics classes offered at Regent, instead of "Law according to God and Pat".

Posted by: stupid git on May 23, 2007 at 9:56 AM | PERMALINK

bigcat,
my understanding is that she is only getting immunity for those things she testifies about.
That is, if evidence against her is developed independently of her testimony, or on a subject she doesn't testify about, she can be indicted with no recourse such as Poindexter had.
This thread may have more definitive info:
http://www.firedoglake.com/2007/05/22/do-the-perp-walk/#comments

BTW - always remember, John Poindexter was freed on a technicality - he was found guilty, but a technicality got it overturned, like a drug dealer who wasn't mirandized at his/her arrest.

Posted by: kenga on May 23, 2007 at 9:58 AM | PERMALINK

Yeah, I've been wondering about the tears thing.

Something about this Monica has struck me as being, if you'll pardon the expression, rather hysterical. There was of course her breakdown into sobs with this senior lawyer in the Justice department. But her rather loopy pre-emptive invocation of the fifth amendment also impressed me as the product of someone who had emotional self-control problems.

Maybe she'll keep her shit together for the duration of the interrogation (she could defensively become very rigid instead of slobbery, of course), but I'll be looking for signs of instability.

Posted by: frankly0 on May 23, 2007 at 10:17 AM | PERMALINK

For the latest news, document dumps, email archives, hearing transcripts and other essential materials in the firings of U.S. attorneys, see:
"The U.S. Attorney Scandal Resource Center."

Posted by: Angry One on May 23, 2007 at 10:22 AM | PERMALINK

Well, I made the comment about no crying in baseball, and I'm mean-spirited enough to want to see her cry today, but I have to come to the defense of criers now.

Some people just cry more easily than others. In women especially, tears are often stand-ins for yelling or otherwise expressing anger, particularly for people raised with the expectation that rage or even serious frustration should not be expressed as such. So I don't think I can agree that crying is necessarily a sign of instability (although it isn't a great habit to indulge in the workplace).

However, if today's WaPo and LAT profiles, and all the other things we've read about Goodling, are to be believed, there are plenty of other indicators of her instability and hyperemotionalism. She has been described as mercurial, opinionated, bullying. She's also got a mighty peculiar moral code: This is a person who has no problem lying, lawbreaking and subverting justice to protect God's Own President, but she wouldn't attend a baby shower for an unwed DoJ employee and she liked to ask job applicants if they'd ever cheated on their wives. If I'd convinced myself that the end justifies the means that way, I might very well cry at the jarring realization that the party was over.

As for her invoking the fifth being a sign of instability, it seems likely that she did that on the advice of her lawyer, who must have realized pronto that she was in deep trouble if she took the stand without immunity.

Posted by: shortstop on May 23, 2007 at 10:39 AM | PERMALINK

I saved the American theocracy with a few well-timed tears. Top that, Monica!

Posted by: Mrs. Alito on May 23, 2007 at 10:51 AM | PERMALINK

For lying. For breaking the law. For being a traitor to the constitution. Posted by: dejah on May 23, 2007 at 9:18 AM

Seems organized religion isn't holding the lid down on much these days. Seems anything goes. 95% of the world is said to believe in some kind of deity, but when that belief no longer impacts day-to-day habits and personal conduct, what then is organized religion really for? Bush and his ilk are undermining the credibility of many many things, peace, justice, religion, media, international relations, contracting, energy...

Why is there no outcry by our religious leaders over the continued blatant behaviors of this administration's personnel being at such cross-purposes with the very moral standards they claim to hold as sactified? Does being Republican somehow cancel one's Sin Card or something? And where is the Almight to swat them with a bit of lightening or something to remind them, and everyone else, that it doesn't?

The various array of tools utilized by these people has been astounding, the whole legal system, media, PR, has all been used to protect them. What once was a principled legal and governmental system has been undermined, manipulated, and polluted to harbor and protect the machinations of the GOP.

The on-going and unabated actions of these moral conservatives offend my sensibilities on every level, Ms Goodlings self-preservational actions being only the latest.

Posted by: Zit on May 23, 2007 at 10:54 AM | PERMALINK

The poor baby knows nothing. Nothing.

Posted by: JohnHenryCouldHammer on May 23, 2007 at 10:56 AM | PERMALINK

let's see if she can showoff some of those debating skills I am sure she honed at good ol' Liberty U. I'm sure Schumer is shaking in his skivvies over the prospect

Posted by: ny patriot on May 23, 2007 at 11:03 AM | PERMALINK

If I'd convinced myself that the end justifies the means that way, I might very well cry at the jarring realization that the party was over.

"Mais l'état, c'etait moi! C'etait moi!!!"


Posted by: trex on May 23, 2007 at 11:40 AM | PERMALINK

"honed at good ol' Liberty U"

Did Regent debate Liberty? If so, and the argument concerned Roe v. Wade, which side took the Pro-Choice argument?

Posted by: thethirdPaul on May 23, 2007 at 11:45 AM | PERMALINK

Oh, Jesus H Christ on a raft! Does this woman have a whiny voice! Yuck. It's painful to listen to her.

She sounds like a little girl. A whiny, little girl.
And, now Lundgren's soft-soaping her. Double yuck.

Posted by: phoebes on May 23, 2007 at 11:52 AM | PERMALINK

Monical Goodwrench.

Posted by: cld on May 23, 2007 at 12:28 PM | PERMALINK

She won't tell the truth. She claims to be a Christian. Those who claim to be Christians are all liars because they really aren't Christian.

Posted by: Mazurka on May 23, 2007 at 12:36 PM | PERMALINK

I heard everything she needed to say when she was quoted, and then confirmed her statement of: "all I ever wanted to do was serve the president..."

Madam, you are an idiot, and more-over a fool. Now please go away and never resurface again.

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