Editore"s Note
Tilting at Windmills

Email Newsletter icon, E-mail Newsletter icon, Email List icon, E-mail List icon Sign up for Free News & Updates

June 28, 2007

PERJURY TRAP....The White House "offer" to the Senate Judiciary Committee was fairly straightforward: if members wanted to talk to WH staffers about the prosecutor purge, the discussions had to be a) private; b) not under oath; and c) without transcripts. It's that last one that never made any sense.

Indeed, the Bush gang never even tried to rationalize it. That is, until today.

The White House organized a conference call this morning with an official who certainly appeared to be Counsel Fred Fielding, who finally shed some light on why the president would make staffers available for private interviews, but only if there was no transcript of their remarks.

"Obviously, there has been a lot of discussion back and forth in that regard. The position that the president took and conveyed to the committees and the offer of compromise did not include transcripts. The accommodation was designed to provide information, not to appear to be having testimony without having testimony. One of the concomitants of testimony, of course, is transcripts.

"As far as the debate goes, often cited is that a transcript is not wanted because otherwise there would be a perjury trap. And, candidly, as everyone has discussed, misleading Congress is misleading Congress, whether it's under oath or not. And so a transcript may be convenient, but there's no intention to try to avoid telling the truth." (emphasis added)

Got that? As Fielding sees it, if there's a written record of what Bush's aides say, senators might have proof if they lie. It's preferable, then, to have no record and simply assume that White House staffers are being honest. And if you disagree with any of this, you prefer "confrontation" to cooperation.

He did not appear to be kidding.

Steve Benen 2:36 PM Permalink | Trackbacks | Comments (86)

Bookmark and Share
 
Comments

ups is down. I am not kidding.

Posted by: supersaurus on June 28, 2007 at 2:42 PM | PERMALINK

"... but there's no intention to try to avoid telling the truth."

Shorter version: we don't mean to lie. It just comes out that way.

Thank God these guys came along to restore dignity to the Oval Office.

Posted by: junebug on June 28, 2007 at 2:43 PM | PERMALINK

"What are you prepared to do about it?" -- Jimmy Malone (Sean Connery), The Untouchables (1987)

Posted by: Donald from Hawaii on June 28, 2007 at 2:47 PM | PERMALINK

Liberals always assume the worst. White House staffers are busy people, and answering questions is enough of an imposition. Having to wait for a stenographer to take everything down would only further burden them.

Posted by: Al on June 28, 2007 at 2:49 PM | PERMALINK

There's one surefire, absolutely fool-proof way out of a perjury trap: don't lie.

Posted by: Stefan on June 28, 2007 at 2:57 PM | PERMALINK

Steve, my dear young friend--

Slow down. You've already posted six times. I cannot harrass liberals and raise havoc when you are posting faster than a redneck on crystal meth.

I prefer to work slower and more methodically. I prefer to set traps and leave small rhetorical bombs where unsuspecting liberals can step on them and see themselves thrown into the sky, torched and miserable, screaming and confused.

This is my way, and my dojo is strong.

Posted by: Norman Rogers on June 28, 2007 at 3:00 PM | PERMALINK

Would impeachment not be easier than all this grab-ass?

Posted by: Rula Lenska on June 28, 2007 at 3:00 PM | PERMALINK

You gotta hand it to Fielding. He was brought in for the sole purpose of keeping Rove and Bush out of jail, and he is certainly pursuing that goal with focused intensity.

Posted by: Disputo on June 28, 2007 at 3:06 PM | PERMALINK

I've only gotten as far as Rula Lenska (great handle), and the quality of the humor in this thread is already sky-high. Al's stenographer comment even made me spit my hippie liberal green tea.

Posted by: shortstop on June 28, 2007 at 3:08 PM | PERMALINK

Actually, the "perjury trap" whining is not a Bushco invention. It goes back to Nixon (it always goes back to Nixon--follow the money right back to those mothereffers). Haldeman and Ehrlichman, in particular, went to their graves boo-hooing about how they were charged with perjury after falling sad victims to, they argued, setups more twisted and unsportsmanlike than a rural sheriff's speed trap.

Posted by: shortstop on June 28, 2007 at 3:12 PM | PERMALINK

This is my way, and my dojo is strong. Posted by: Norman Rogers

Dojo is the term for a gymnasium where martial arts (usually judo) are practiced (or the club that gatheres therein). Ones particular skill is sometimes referred to as their "mojo." So, if Rogers is stupid enough to mistake "mojo" for "dojo," neither of his must be strong.

Posted by: DJ on June 28, 2007 at 3:13 PM | PERMALINK

Al's stenographer comment even made me spit my hippie liberal green tea.

Yeah, well that crack cost me my last swig of quad-shot mocha!

Posted by: Blue Girl, Red State (aka G.C.) on June 28, 2007 at 3:14 PM | PERMALINK

The perjury trap excuse has never been accepted by a court:

http://backseatdriving.blogspot.com/2007/04/watching-right-at-left-right-and-center.html

They really are going all-out in perverting the law.

Posted by: Brian Schmidt on June 28, 2007 at 3:18 PM | PERMALINK

Of course, transcripts - not to mention cameras, oaths, people in the gallery, DVRs, YouTubes, etc. etc. - haven't stopped many members of the Bush Administration from repeated lying to Congress in the past.

But there's always the chance that next time would be different...

Posted by: Robert Earle on June 28, 2007 at 3:19 PM | PERMALINK

Dojo is the term for a gymnasium where martial arts (usually judo) are practiced (or the club that gatheres therein). Ones particular skill is sometimes referred to as their "mojo." So, if Rogers is stupid enough to mistake "mojo" for "dojo," neither of his must be strong.

You're lecturing ME on karate terms? I fought for several seasons in the Octagon in southeast Asia. I won eleven matches, lost two and suffered three broken collar bones and a shattered pelvis.

My "dojo" is the school of martial arts that I am master and black belt in; my dojo consists of the basement training facility that I have here on my New Hampshire property and the outdoors fitness area that I use, which abuts the natural trail and the ParCourse we have in our development. There's also a duck pond, but it is overflowing with Canadian Geese and a terrible fish kill, due to some antifreese being dumped there by some kids down the road.

If you enter my dojo, your ass will be handed back to you, sir. Fear my dojo. It is strong and it is like the tree that sways in the wind.

Posted by: Norman Rogers on June 28, 2007 at 3:20 PM | PERMALINK

And then, later in the same conference call:

SENIOR ADMINISTRATION OFFICIAL: No, there's no change in our prior position at all.
Q But that is -- the way I've stated it is correct?
SENIOR ADMINISTRATION OFFICIAL: Well, state it again. I'm going to make sure -- I don't have a transcript.
Q Maybe you should get one. That would help.

Posted by: Benson on June 28, 2007 at 3:21 PM | PERMALINK

But, but, but is this not one of them $750 an hr attys and all he can come up with is an excuse over 30 years old.

Posted by: jerri on June 28, 2007 at 3:23 PM | PERMALINK

Al's stenographer comment even made me spit my hippie liberal green tea.-- Shortstop

Yeah, well that crack cost me my last swig of quad-shot mocha!-- Blue Girl, Red State

Remind me next time I party with the liberal chicks on this site to wear an apron. Drinking problems seem to be endemic here!

Posted by: bigcat on June 28, 2007 at 3:26 PM | PERMALINK

This is bullshit. We taxpayers pay their salary. They keep secret what should be public knowledge and they make public what should be kept secret, like who works for the CIA, fr'instance. Enough is enough! Is the public so enthralled with entertainment triviality that they simply no longer care whether there is something rotten in the District of Columbia? Where are the torches and pitchforks? The tar and the feathers? The rails?

Posted by: c4logic on June 28, 2007 at 3:28 PM | PERMALINK

Norman Rogers wrote:
"If you enter my dojo, your ass will be handed back to you, sir. Fear my dojo. It is strong and it is like the tree that sways in the wind."

Mojo, dojo, wojo, it's more like your mouth that swaying in the wind.

Posted by: manowar on June 28, 2007 at 3:29 PM | PERMALINK

I won eleven matches, lost two and suffered three broken collar bones and a shattered pelvis.

Don't forget the cracked skull and perferated cranium!

my dojo consists of the basement training facility that I have here on my New Hampshire property

Are you referring to the solitary confinement chamber at Hew Hampshire Psychiatric? With or without the nice white jacket?

Fear my dojo.

That's doo-doo, Normie. And, yes, the interns at NH Psych certainly do fear your doo-doo. They have, after all, had plenty of experience with it.

Posted by: MeLoseBrain? on June 28, 2007 at 3:29 PM | PERMALINK

The "perjury trap" nonsense is, as Stefan and Brian note above, not something that any court has accepted, since the simple solution to it is to tell the truth.

Posted by: David in NY on June 28, 2007 at 3:30 PM | PERMALINK

See...
If you want to catapult... the...
If you want to... see...
In other words...
See...
We are doing a heck of a job...
And it's hard work see...
That's what we do...
Hard work
And see... we decide...
I decided see...
To catapult see...
The truth...
See...

Posted by: President Bush on June 28, 2007 at 3:30 PM | PERMALINK

Yeah, well that crack cost me my last swig of quad-shot mocha!

Don't be getting the wrong impression. I only drink it after noon to pretend it counteracts the effects of the ungodly amount of coffee I've sucked down during the morning.

In other words, my (noun) is as (insert adjective) as yours, beotch!

Posted by: shortstop on June 28, 2007 at 3:31 PM | PERMALINK

That statement is just the polite, sophisticated version of the justification for the political jihad that is coming.

The full-on partisan talk radio version of the excuse was delivered by Rep. Chris Cannon (R - UT) today, and this is what he had to say:

“It is unfortunate that the Majority has seen fit to turn down reasonable offers of cooperation in favor of court battles that will do nothing except draw headlines and further distract the Judiciary Committee from work that needs to be done. After close to 10,000 pages of documents, dozens of interviews and testimony under oath, this investigation has not led, as the majority has speculated, to the White House. This investigation has spent millions of dollars and thousands of hours of work to discover politics play a part in political appointments. If the Majority had accommodated the White House in the early part of the year, we could have already interviewed these people and moved forward with the investigation.

Cannon continued, “Instead, the Majority has stonewalled and denied the Committee the ability to interview the White House staff with the intent to promulgate a myth about wrongdoing. The Majority’s stonewalling has led the American people down a path of ‘constitutional crisis’. We take an oath to defend the Constitution, not shred it.”

So ... now Rush Limbaugh and the other conservative opinion-makers have their talking points. It is all the Democrats' fault. They will say that Democrats, in their lust for power and hatred for Bush, are upsetting the balance of powers and launching a vicious partisan attack on the White House. The investigation itself is illegitimate ... so pay no attention to it.

The game plan is plainly to distract, intimidate, and play a game of attrition with the Democrats. Let's see if it works.

-- Bokonon

Posted by: Bokonon on June 28, 2007 at 3:31 PM | PERMALINK

You're lecturing ME on karate terms? I fought for several seasons in the Octagon in southeast Asia. I won eleven matches, lost two and suffered three broken collar bones and a shattered pelvis.

My "dojo" is the school of martial arts that I am master and black belt in[...]

Norman Rogers on June 28, 2007 at 3:20

gosh, norm, it sounds like your black belt didn't do much good, did it? but i bet we should see the other guy.

your pal,
blake

Posted by: blake on June 28, 2007 at 3:31 PM | PERMALINK

"They really are going all-out in perverting the law."

Let's not needlessly tar perverts by associating them with the administration.

Posted by: junebug on June 28, 2007 at 3:32 PM | PERMALINK

I can help you install the program that filters out the Trolls. Just email me, & i'll get you started.

Or search the web for "Greasemonkey" and "Washington Monthly."

Posted by: absent observer on June 28, 2007 at 3:34 PM | PERMALINK

Chris Cannon has really emerged as one of the biggest asshats in Congress. Truly, there is no action so lawless, unethical, unconstitional, dishonest or just skanky that old Chris won't stand up and defend Bushco for it. He's not even remotely embarrassed when he does it, either.

Posted by: shortstop on June 28, 2007 at 3:36 PM | PERMALINK

Maybe Norman is threatening to put us all in his top-secret dojo, at an undisclosed location in New Hampshire, and use enhanced interrogation techniques on us until we stop criticizing the President.

Fear his dojo!

Posted by: Bokonon on June 28, 2007 at 3:38 PM | PERMALINK

So ... now Rush Limbaugh and the other conservative opinion-makers have their talking points.

That's true, but Rusty and his ilk are preaching to the choir; hardcore conservatives aren't going to give the dems a chance anyway. The problem comes when these talking points seep into the MSM. Dems need to be out in droves to pound home the fact that this White House thinks it is above the law.

Posted by: MeLoseBrain? on June 28, 2007 at 3:39 PM | PERMALINK

Blue Girl!

I just now found your email!

Sorry!

I've been over run with stuff this month.

Posted by: cld on June 28, 2007 at 3:39 PM | PERMALINK

"I can help you install the program that filters out the Trolls. Just email me, & i'll get you started."

Yeah, but that's like a post-Giuliani Times Square. What's the fun in that? There's nothing left to gawk at.

Posted by: junebug on June 28, 2007 at 3:39 PM | PERMALINK

"Where are the torches and pitchforks?"

I've been asking that question for months. I really think these guys are just trying to see how far they can push it. Then, once they find that threshold and the anger boils over, they will have the opportunity to declare every angry villager an enemy combatant and lock them all away in their new Afghanistan torture center. Keep pushing to the right until the lefties explode, then sweep them out the back door.

Posted by: Stiff Mittens on June 28, 2007 at 3:40 PM | PERMALINK

If you enter my dojo, your ass will be handed back to you, sir. Fear my dojo. It is strong and it is like the tree that sways in the wind.
Posted by: Norman Rogers on June 28, 2007 at 3:20 PM | PERMALINK

Normie's dojo is legendary. He pioneered the innovative kung fu move: "ex-con pushes guy-in-wheelchair down stairs."

He also invented: "white-collar criminal slips bubba a shiv to protect his virginity."

Posted by: osama_been_forgotten on June 28, 2007 at 3:41 PM | PERMALINK

OBF, junebug et. al, cut it out. Now I have the giggles and can't stop.

Posted by: shortstop on June 28, 2007 at 3:44 PM | PERMALINK

There's nothing like a blog thread full of liberals to convince you that the world is full of weenies and wannabes.

Do you want to know something for nothing? I comment here because I simply do not care what any of you think of me. I am getting older, I am getting more involved in the world of the Internet and I see fallacies and half-truths being spread from here until doomsday. I see miseducation and misinformation and I do my utmost to correct it.

My life has not been perfect, but it has been my life. It has been my great fortune to MAKE a fortune and it has been my great privilege to have PRIVILEGES most of you cannot conceive.

Next time you see me, remember--your stinging, vicious attacks mean nothing to an old man who has stared down his competition in a cage. Your vile insults mean nothing to a man who has sat across from lawyers, prosecutors, lawmen and a crazed US Attorney. I have fought in the public arena and I have fought in the hidden arenas deep in the Orient.

But if you try--just try--to listen to what I'm saying, I can explain how things work and teach you a little bit about myself, about this great country that we live in, and maybe--just maybe--teach you a little bit about the biggest mystery of all--yourself.

Posted by: Norman Rogers on June 28, 2007 at 3:47 PM | PERMALINK

STOP IT!

Posted by: shortstop, prone on the floor and typing with one finger on June 28, 2007 at 3:50 PM | PERMALINK

Yeah, but that's like a post-Giuliani Times Square. What's the fun in that? There's nothing left to gawk at.

Yes! I never went to Times Square for Starbucks. I went to times square to gawk at the six-foot drag queen in six-inch pink stilettos walking "her" pot-bellied pig.

Sigh. I miss Ed Koch's New York.

Posted by: Blue Girl, Red State (aka G.C.) on June 28, 2007 at 3:50 PM | PERMALINK

Ah, Kevin.

You only ever see one side of the issue.

Ask your self this: Why does Congress want to set up a perjury trap? Isnt that entrapment? Isnt that creating a crime where no crime ever was? Didnt the country just go through a harrowing ideal with the Scooter Libby trial, and do we really think its for the good of the country to do that. This country needs to heal, not stir up more controversy.

Posted by: egbert on June 28, 2007 at 3:52 PM | PERMALINK

I went to times square to gawk at the six-foot drag queen in six-inch pink stilettos walking "her" pot-bellied pig.

I loved that pig. When she finally died, I didn't have the heart to replace her.

Posted by: Al on June 28, 2007 at 3:53 PM | PERMALINK

Uhh, egbert, you dipshit, pay attention. Kevin's on vacation. Now be a good boy, or Uncle Normie will steal your milk money.

Unless you're in a wheelchair, then he'll push you down the stairs. After stealing your milk money, of course.

Posted by: MeLoseBrain? on June 28, 2007 at 3:57 PM | PERMALINK

Only a fool agrees to have a transcript when giving testimony where there is even a hint of danger of being indicted for perjury, or having anything you say used against you. The two sides don't trust each other, and I don't blame either group.

Posted by: Yancey Ward on June 28, 2007 at 4:00 PM | PERMALINK

egbert- I think you meant "ordeal". I really wouldn't put "ideal"ism in the same sentence as Scooter Libby.
And you're right, why are we dealing with all this so called "accountability" , "legal" and "transparancy" nonsense.
We should all just go back to our little lives and leave the thinking to the all-seeing, all-powerful, always well-meaning demi-gods of Halliburton-no wait- the executive branch.

Posted by: cboas on June 28, 2007 at 4:04 PM | PERMALINK

But if you try--just try--to listen to what I'm saying, I can explain how things work and teach you a little bit about myself, about this great country that we live in, and maybe--just maybe--teach you a little bit about the biggest mystery of all--yourself.

I gotta hand it to ya, Normie, unlike the other trolls, you actually make an effort (although Al's stenographer comment was an all-time classic!). I'm afraid you don't get it Normie. We laugh at you, not with you. We laugh at you, and we laugh at you often. You are an endless source of amusement, kind of like the old, pathetic grandfather who somehow gets the TV remote to turn on the microwave. So keep it up Normie, the joint wouldn't be the same wuthout ya!

Posted by: MeLoseBrain? on June 28, 2007 at 4:04 PM | PERMALINK

No, cboas, he means ideal. Ideals are harrowing for Republicans, that's why they choose to have none.

Posted by: m on June 28, 2007 at 4:07 PM | PERMALINK

I think this Egbert's a parody, but in case not, I provide simple answers to absurd questions.

Q. Why does Congress want to set up a perjury trap?
A. It doesn't. It wants answers that are recorded so it can compare different versions and determine the truth.

Q. Isnt that entrapment?
A. No. Go to law school. If it were entrapment, every grand jury or trial or civil deposition would be illegal, since answers are recorded in such proceedings are routinely recorded.

Q. Isnt that creating a crime where no crime ever was?
A. No. The question does not create a crime -- on a willfully false answer does. It the administration official who creates the crime. (I love your theory. I guess my being alive would be entrapment of my murderer, sicne without me, there wouldn't have been a crime. Try that one in court someday.)

Q. "Didnt the country just go through a harrowing ideal with the Scooter Libby trial ...?"

A. No, what make you think so. The Republic stands (no thanks to Bush, Cheney or the Republicans).

Q. "[D]o we really think its for the good of the country to do that. This country needs to heal, not stir up more controversy."

A. The country needs to find out what has gone wrong and who is responsible for the political corruption of the Justice Department, a development that moves our government closer to that of a totalitarian state than ever in our history. Only once that responsibility is assessed can this grievous wound be healed.

Taking those questions at all seriously was a supremely stupid exercise.

Posted by: David in NY on June 28, 2007 at 4:08 PM | PERMALINK

Uhh, egbert, you dipshit, pay attention. Kevin's on vacation. Now be a good boy, or Uncle Normie will steal your milk money.

Posted by: MeLoseBrain?

Uh, that was a lot better answer than mine -- shorter and better typed.

Posted by: David in NY on June 28, 2007 at 4:13 PM | PERMALINK

Uncle Normie won't steal Egbert's lunch money; he'll send someone from his fearsome dojo to do it.

Posted by: DJ on June 28, 2007 at 4:16 PM | PERMALINK

a crazed US Attorney

Ken Starr?

Posted by: Jenna's Bush on June 28, 2007 at 4:19 PM | PERMALINK

Only a fool agrees to have a transcript when giving testimony where there is even a hint of danger of being indicted for perjury, or having anything you say used against you. The two sides don't trust each other, and I don't blame either group.

What??? If you were telling the truth wouldn't you specifically want a transcript so you could prove you hadn't committed the perjury you were charged with? If you had told the truth, a transcript would be pretty solid evidence of your innocence.

Posted by: Stefan on June 28, 2007 at 4:24 PM | PERMALINK

"Only a fool agrees to have a transcript when giving testimony where there is even a hint of danger of being indicted for perjury, or having anything you say used against you."

So the lying fool refuses.

Posted by: junebug on June 28, 2007 at 4:26 PM | PERMALINK

Bottom line --

Administration officials: "We're gonna commit perjury! Nyah, nyah, nyah. But we'd prefer not to go to jail for it."

Posted by: David in NY on June 28, 2007 at 4:29 PM | PERMALINK

If I were a senator, I would simply ALWAYS go into any testimony, whether "in private" or not, with a digital recorder and RECORD the testimony. Always.

I'd whip that sucker out and play it back the instant they argued they didn't say what I actually heard them say.

Posted by: Praedor Atrebates on June 28, 2007 at 4:29 PM | PERMALINK

Norman: This is my way, and my dojo is strong.

I bet our Brojo can whoop your dojo. With only one can of Disputo.

Posted by: thersites on June 28, 2007 at 4:32 PM | PERMALINK

You fools cannot understand Norman.

He used to live in his parent's basement. But then he trained and entered the Octagon.

Now he owns the basement and has a pond with dead fish in it.

Soon he will be the basement...

Posted by: Porco Rosso on June 28, 2007 at 4:35 PM | PERMALINK

Stefan, you're only telling half the story about evading the perjury trap!
Yes, telling the truth is a powerful talisman for warding off charges of perjury, but it's not the only one!

Now I don't know why so many of this current White House lot aren't interested in exercising their Constitutional rights, but they can very easily do so by referring to Amendment V of the US Constitution.

"FIF!!!"

Posted by: kenga on June 28, 2007 at 4:35 PM | PERMALINK

Stefan and Junebug,

It is naive to believe in the good motivations of any interrogator (I don't care if it is Jesus Christ himself)- even if you have no intention of lying. On balance, I think not having a record of the interview favors the one being interrogated, not the other way around. But that is just me.

Posted by: Yancey Ward on June 28, 2007 at 4:39 PM | PERMALINK

Yancy, a transcript protects both. The interviewer from accusations of badgering the witness, of influencing testimony, and for the the interviewee, a real record of what was said. Perjury is harder to prove with a transcript, since juries generally believe a civil officials viewpoint. For example, if you are interviewed by a cop, and there is no transcript, if the cop makes up shit about what you said, the jury is much more likely to believe him, as an officer of the law.

Posted by: MeLoseBrain? on June 28, 2007 at 4:49 PM | PERMALINK
....teach you a little bit about the biggest mystery of all--yourself. Norman Rogers at 3:47 PM
Norman's Yellow Belt is camouflaged by his used Depends.
Only a fool agrees to have a transcript when giving testimony.... Wancey Yard at 4:00 PM
See there is one law for everyone else in America, and a new improved law that applies only to Republicans -- no depositions, no transcripts. Posted by: Mike on June 28, 2007 at 4:51 PM | PERMALINK

It is naive to believe in the good motivations of any interrogator (I don't care if it is Jesus Christ himself)- even if you have no intention of lying.

That's why you have an impartial transcript of what was said so you don't have to rely on anyone's good motivations. Record it and videotape it. Then you don't have to take anyone's word.

On balance, I think not having a record of the interview favors the one being interrogated, not the other way around. But that is just me.

Having a record favors the truth. Not having a record allows one, whether the questioner or the questioned, to lie about what was said. Simple as that.

Posted by: Stefan on June 28, 2007 at 5:04 PM | PERMALINK

"It is naive to believe in the good motivations of any interrogator (I don't care if it is Jesus Christ himself)- even if you have no intention of lying. On balance, I think not having a record of the interview favors the one being interrogated, not the other way around. But that is just me."

Funny how now that it's a Bush administration, the interrogator's motives are malign.

Posted by: junebug on June 28, 2007 at 5:06 PM | PERMALINK

It is naive to believe in the good motivations of any interrogator (I don't care if it is Jesus Christ himself)- even if you have no intention of lying.

I assume you apply the same skepticism to the Guantanamo interrogators?

Posted by: Stefan on June 28, 2007 at 5:07 PM | PERMALINK

Having a record favors the truth

Which explains why the WH is against a record. Because seriously, folks, if you intended telling the truth why would you not want it recorded? The rest is just histrionics. Like someone already said upthread, the best way to avoid a "perjury trap" is simple. Don't lie.

Posted by: thersites on June 28, 2007 at 5:20 PM | PERMALINK

Obviously, the liberals do not believe in the principle that a person is innocent unless proven guilty.

Actually they go a step further, and assume that the Bush administration officials will lie to the Congress, thus presupposing the guilt of these officials even before the proceedings begin, as otherwise why would they want the officials to be under oath or want their statements transcribed?

Jonah Lucianne is right to point out this as yet unnoticed connection between liberalism and fascism.

Posted by: gregor on June 28, 2007 at 5:32 PM | PERMALINK

gregor,

Yes, I assume the Bush administration officials are guilty, but so what? I have the legal authority of a cockroach and so what I think means nothing.

If and when any of these people come to trial, they are of course entitled to presumption of innocence in a court of law, which is quite another thing. But none of this has any bearing on the question of should there or should there not be transcripts. After all, if you've done no wrong you have nothing to hide. Right? Right? Have we heard this somewhere?

Posted by: thersites on June 28, 2007 at 5:49 PM | PERMALINK

Gregor ... this isn't a partisan issue, despite the desperate attempts of the White House to turn it into one, like a squid squirting ink as it tries to escape from a predator.

You can't determine the truth -- or determine guilt or innocence -- unless people TELL the truth. And the only way to guarantee that people will tell the truth when it is inconvenient is to have sanctions for lying. That is why perjury and obstruction of justice are criminal acts.

Remember Bill Clinton? We impeached him for making an evasive answer in a sworn deposition in a civil lawsuit. If you are going to try to make this into a partisan issue, how do you reconcile the Clinton impeachment with your current defenses of Bush? Are the GOP's former principles no longer operative?

Seriously. I am waiting for an answer. Take your time.

And ... no ... don't try to go sideways by accusing me of being a "liberal" that is not using my brain, or is blinded by Bush Derangement Syndrome. This is not a question of motive. I am a political independent, and I am a lawyer, and I am truly appalled by what I see the GOP doing to the rule of law here.

-- Bokonon

Posted by: Bokonon on June 28, 2007 at 5:57 PM | PERMALINK

gregor was being satirical. Referring to Goldberg as "Jonah Lucianne" is the tell.

Posted by: Disputo on June 28, 2007 at 6:15 PM | PERMALINK

So let's see.
Testimony has to be secret, there can be no record of it, and there's no requirement to tell the truth.
I know it's unrealistic given the timeline, but this really is impeachment time. Cheney apparently can't claim executive privilege anyway, as he's not a member of the executive branch.

Posted by: sal on June 28, 2007 at 6:22 PM | PERMALINK

Cheney's and Fielding's nonsense is perhaps a positive. Absolutely the most that that can be hoped for from this adminstration is that ends as a black joke rather than with with a bang.

Posted by: apollo on June 28, 2007 at 6:26 PM | PERMALINK

gregor was being satirical

Getting harder and harder to tell what's satire, these days. But I still think Bokonon's post was pretty damn good, because even if gregor doesn't believe what he's saying there are people out there that do.

Posted by: thersites on June 28, 2007 at 6:27 PM | PERMALINK

Apparently Fielding is willing to allow some lesser WH staffers fall into "perjury traps" -- he has agreed to allow Waxman access to WH staff for *transcribed* interviews regarding the WH Security Office scandal.

Posted by: Disputo on June 28, 2007 at 7:03 PM | PERMALINK

I think not having a record of the interview favors the one being interrogated, not the other way around.

As a practicing criminal defense attorney, let me assure you that you are wrong.

See, for example, the present controversy in California about legislation to require police to record interviews of criminal suspects. It ain't the criminal defense attorneys who are opposing it.

See:

http://www.talkleft.com/story/2007/6/27/3267/92112

Posted by: rea on June 28, 2007 at 7:29 PM | PERMALINK

See, for example, the present controversy in California about legislation to require police to record interviews of criminal suspects. It ain't the criminal defense attorneys who are opposing it.

The same thing in Chicago, except of course Chicago cops like to torture suspects into confessing, so it's not just perjury that they are concerned with.

Posted by: Disputo on June 28, 2007 at 7:35 PM | PERMALINK

The notion that trascripts turn something into a perjury trap jsut shows a lack of knowledge about what a perjury trap is.

This is a perjury trap: imagine you're a prosecutor who has been trying unsucessfully to make a criminal case against a suspect--call him C. C doesn't seem actually to have done anything criminal, but he has a rather dubious civil case pending against him.

Just when it looks like your investigation is going nowhere, you get a tip that C has had an adulterous affair, and that physical evidence of the affair exists.

So, you share your tip with the civil attornys suing C. The adulterous affair has nothing to do with that case, either, but you know that the affair would be highly embarrassing to C.

The civil attorneys take C's deposition under oath and ask him about the affair. If C's attorneys object, and argue that the affair is irrelevant, that will be taken by many as an admission of the affair . . .

So C makes a serious mistake--and the trap snaps shut.

Have you as the prosecutor acted illegally? No. Have you acted irresponsibly and unethically? Yes.

Posted by: rea on June 28, 2007 at 7:48 PM | PERMALINK

Habitual liars are very savvy when it comes to being placed into situations where their lies can be revealed and they avoid them like the plague.

One reason why Bush has had the fewest truly open press conferences of any modern president.

Posted by: The Conservative Deflator on June 28, 2007 at 10:09 PM | PERMALINK

TIME TO HEAD TO SCOTUS...

I don't have much faith in loyal Bush five - as it seem they are always trying hard to show Americans how partisan, and ready to trade duckhunting, and it appears Chief Justice Roberts had a passionate hate for Chief Justice Earl Warren, what with latest trashing of Brown vs. Education - Roberts is saying, "here is spitting at you, Martin Luther King, jr."

But however partisan five worthless members of high court rules, it should be the true indication of how Roberts is just another Gonzales, since he's trying hard to acting like Gonzales already.

AND since it seems likely Dems will control the Preisdental office next election - Repugs better learn to live with all the nasty, partisan behavior forever. AND personally, I will, NEVER, EVER vote for Republican candidate again. I hope that many Americans feel that way.

Posted by: Me_again on June 28, 2007 at 10:20 PM | PERMALINK

I suppose the President can commit any crime, cover it up by refusing to acknowledge anyone's right to investigate it, and then pardon himself and the other administration perpetrators in lieu of trial prior to leaving office? That is exactly what the framers of the Constitution had in mind in Bizarro America. The one where everyone wears a goatee and talks gibberish about Dojos and fish kills.

I guess they want a fight with the American people.
We allowed lunatics to ascend to high office with their enablers. I saw this coming in 1994.

Impeach.

Posted by: Sparko on June 28, 2007 at 10:41 PM | PERMALINK

Bizarro America. The one where everyone wears a goatee

I'm sorry, but bizarro America is the one where nobody (other than Vulcans)wears a goatee . . . I mean, look around you sometime, man!

Posted by: rea on June 28, 2007 at 11:45 PM | PERMALINK

rea at 7:48: Your example is silly. Such a scenario could never happen in America.

Posted by: shortstop on June 28, 2007 at 11:58 PM | PERMALINK

You just can't make up shit like this... Unreal.

Posted by: TW Andrews on June 29, 2007 at 11:26 AM | PERMALINK

Shorter Fielding:

Executive privilege is necessary for the President to get unvarnished advice. But as long as those "testifying" have no incentive to tell the truth, they won't be deterred, cuz they'll just lie their asses off or get fired.

Posted by: Cal Gal on June 29, 2007 at 3:24 PM | PERMALINK

Any defendant faces the perjury trap when they are suspected of crimes. Like any other perp, you can tell the truth, lie or take the Fifth. Chee-nee, step up to the plate.

Dick, even if you are an aye-lee-un and not entirely human, even us public school grads clearly recognize that you are the friggin' VP of the the our country, subject to the rule of law and its enforcement. Cloak yourself in whatever imperial rhetoric, you've got no clothes. For better or worse, you are just one of the folks. I'll bet an orange jumpsuit would set off that beguiling smile : )

Posted by: Human Entity on June 29, 2007 at 7:02 PM | PERMALINK

Bush doesn't need to claim executive privilege. He knows nothing.

In contrast, Cheney knows. He knows that he created a "shark tank" culture in which no one can be trusted. Even the RNC website ploy can't shield him. If he testifies, he runs the risk that some equally power-grabbing snark surfaces who saved his e-mails. He violated the greatest sin of scullduggery . . . he lost control. No amount of spin can protect Cheney from the revenge of the rogue who's blood he sucked in his arrogance.

Attorneys don't ask questions to which they don't know the answer. . . As a deponent, never answer a question when the truth is out there like a free radical, waiting for an opportunity . . . Cheney knows he's treed. He'll resort to any nutty legal ploy to insulate himself or shiney penny discovery to divert focus. "Dems are dumb . . . look, over there! Terrorists! It's Al Qaeda, look!"

When the heat is on . . . watch for a presser announcing an amazing vistory over impending doom - who cares that the loopy plot was discovered last year but was so inept, its announcement was saved for a more expedient opportunity.

Posted by: Enuf on June 29, 2007 at 9:14 PM | PERMALINK

Who's in favor of impeachment:

Dennis Kucinich
McDermott (D-WA)
Hank Johnson (GA)
Keith Ellison (MN)

The list of honor. Please add.

Posted by: M-peach on June 30, 2007 at 2:15 AM | PERMALINK

For better or worse, adding to your list:

1. Me.
2. Babara.
3. Iraqis.
4. Soldiers.
5. Generals.
6. Colin Powell.
7. Parents and families of soldiers.
8. Condi Rice.
9. Me & Barb (again)
10. Commanders.
11. Unit leaders.
12. Residents of Walter Reed.
13. Thinking Ameericans.
14. Poets.
15. Lovers.
16. Children.
17. Humanity.

Dub'ya, remember the commercial with a little girl and a daisy . . . mushroom cloud in the background? Yeah. You can make it happen. Yeah, you.

How the hell did we let it come down to you?

Posted by: HWB on June 30, 2007 at 2:35 AM | PERMALINK




 

 

Read Jonathan Rowe remembrance and articles
Email Newsletter icon, E-mail Newsletter icon, Email List icon, E-mail List icon Sign up for Free News & Updates

Advertise in WM



buy from Amazon and
support the Monthly