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Is it possible to find out which congressperson added that particular provision to the patriot act?

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Fuzz Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Mar-15-07 11:22 AM
Original message
Is it possible to find out which congressperson added that particular provision to the patriot act?
The one I'm referring to is of course the one that allowed the replacement of the US attorneys without congressional oversight.

It would be interesting to find out who inserted that language and ask them why. It had to be someone.
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ramblin_dave Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Mar-15-07 11:28 AM
Response to Original message
1. Read this post from Josh Marshall...
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Fuzz Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Mar-15-07 11:40 AM
Response to Reply #1
3. Thanks!
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notadmblnd Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Mar-15-07 11:28 AM
Response to Original message
2. It was Arlen Spector
nt
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Norquist Nemesis Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Mar-15-07 11:42 AM
Response to Reply #2
4. Technically, an unknown staffer (corrected)
Edited on Thu Mar-15-07 12:27 PM by Norquist Nemesis
I'd mistakenly melded and confused together Gonzo's COS (Sampson) w/ Specter's COS.
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Blackhatjack Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Mar-15-07 11:44 AM
Response to Reply #4
6. Sure would like a link to your source that pins it on the COS...n/t
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Norquist Nemesis Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Mar-15-07 12:26 PM
Response to Reply #6
7. You know what?
You may very well be right about that! (Good eye!) The references I saw were mainly unsourced comments (likely speculation) and I've been trying to find the hard source other than "Specter's staff". So far, it sounds like Feinstein first brought it to Specter's attention on the floor. He asked his 'chief counsel' who told him it was 'at the request of the DOJ' (Gonzo's Sampson who was his COS). That may be where the confusion is coming in.

Something else I'd like some assurances on is that even if Gonzo is gone by Monday, that they still have hearings with subpoenaed witnesses--first and foremost, ROVE.
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Blackhatjack Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Mar-15-07 01:06 PM
Response to Reply #7
8. Before I began trying to ID the staffer that inserted it I read somewhere...
... that a staffer was added to Specter's staff, who he did not request, but came to him from the White House, and that this staffer had previously worked for Clarence Thomas.

Now I cannot find that reference.

But as I got curious, I began looking to see who it was and began to notice that at this late date no one in the Press has stated on the record exactly who it was.

So then I thought, well obviously Specter had to take some corrective action or it would look like he condoned it. NOthing.

Next I thought, well Specter has admitted it came from his staff, so there must be people coming out of the woodwork to question him about how it happened, and what he did in response once it was known. Nothing again.

There is obviously a lid on this -- and that staffer would be a key witness that needs to be receiving a subpoena to testify.
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Blackhatjack Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Mar-15-07 11:43 AM
Response to Original message
5. I have been trying to find out which staff member inserted it and if they have been punished...LINK
http://www.democraticunderground.com/discuss/duboard.ph...

Obviously that person needs to have a subpoena issued to them and let them testify under oath who's idea it was.

Some people have been named, but no one for certain --and I cannot find anyone fired from Specter's staff since it happened.
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Ino Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Mar-15-07 01:20 PM
Response to Original message
9. Here's Specter's explanation
http://www.tpmmuckraker.com/archives/002487.php

When Senator Schumer says that the provision was inserted into the PATRIOT Act in the dead of night, hes wrong. That provision was in a Conference Report which was available for examination for some three months. The first I found out about the change in the PATRIOT Act occurred a few weeks ago when Senator Feinstein approached me on the floor and made a comment about two U.S. Attorneys who were replaced under the authority of the change in law in the PATRIOT Act which altered the way U.S. Attorneys are replaced.

Prior to the PATRIOT Act, U.S. attorneys were replaced by the Attorney General for 120 days and then appointments by the Court or the First Assistant succeeded to the position of U.S. Attorney. The PATRIOT Act gave broader powers to the Attorney General to appoint replacement U.S. Attorneys. I then contacted my very-able Chief Council Michael ONeill to find out exactly what had happened. Mr. ONeill advised me that the requested change had come from the Department of Justice, that it had been handled by Brett Tolman, who is now the US Attorney for Utah.

That the change had been requested by the Department of Justice because there had been difficulty with the replacement of a US Attorney in South Dakota where the court made a replacement which was not in the course with the statute, hadnt been a prior federal employee and did not qualify. There was also concern because in a number of districts the courts had questioned the propriety of their appointing power because of separation of powers. As Mr. Tolman explained it to Mr. ONeill, those were the reasons and the provision was added to the PATRIOT Act, and as I said was open for public inspection for more than three months while the Conference Report was not acted on.

If youll recall, Senator Schumer came to the floor on December 16, and said he had been disposed to vote for the PATRIOT Act but had changed his mind when the New York Times disclosed the secret wiretap program, electronic surveillance.

May the record show that Senator Schumer is nodding in the affirmative; there is something we can agree on. In fact we agree sometimes in addition.

Well, the Conference Report wasnt acted on for months and at that time this provision was subject to review.

Now, I read in the newspaper that the Chairman of the Judiciary Committee, Arlen Specter, slipped it in. I take umbrage and offense to that. I did not slip it in and I do not slip things in. That is not my practice. If there is some item which I have any idea is controversial I tell everybody about it. Thats what I do. So I found it offensive to have the report of my slipping it in. Thats how it got into the bill.


So Brett Tolman added it... according to Specter, who was told that by his "very able" Chief Counsel O'Neill. And Tolman is now US Attorney for Utah, so I guess there's no one to fire. Am I following this tangled web correctly?

What amuses me is that Specter keeps saying that this provision was in the bill for three months before it was voted on -- implying that senators had ample time to review it. However, he admits that he HIMSELF only found out about it a few weeks ago when Feinstein mentioned it to him! Riiiiight.
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Blackhatjack Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Mar-15-07 07:15 PM
Response to Reply #9
10. You can imagine that the bill being considered is hundreds of pages long....
... and the provision was not always in the bill under consideration, and Specter admits he did not know about it. So it was 'slipped into' the bill without knowledge of the people voting on it.

But now we have yet another name connected with it.

And no one has been punished for misleading those voting on the final version of the bill.
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