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EXIT RIGHT. Sara Taylor, WH political director, Rove Aide RESIGNS? "subpoenas for her testimony"

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L. Coyote Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon May-28-07 10:22 PM
Original message
EXIT RIGHT. Sara Taylor, WH political director, Rove Aide RESIGNS? "subpoenas for her testimony"
Edited on Mon May-28-07 10:25 PM by L. Coyote
"Taylor is reportedly intimately involved in the U.S. Attorney scandal"
So, what do the euphemisms mean? "cleared out her office," "leave the presidents employ," and "headed out to the private sector" ?

Either FIRED or RESIGNS, is my guess.

==================
Senior Rove aide leaves White House.
http://thinkprogress.org/2007/05/28/another-top-aide-le... /


White House political director and top Karl Rove aide Sara Taylor, who has been with George W. Bush from the outset of his first presidential campaign, is the latest staff member to leave the presidents employ.

Taylor cleared out her office early last week.......

Taylor is reportedly intimately involved in the U.S. Attorney scandal. According to Kyle Sampson, Taylor was directly promoting efforts to appoint attorneys without Senate confirmation. The House and Senate Judiciary Committees have approved subpoenas for her testimony. ......

========================
Another Top Bush Aide cleared out her office
By Michael A. Fletcher
Monday, May 28, 2007; Page A15
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/20...


...... more top aides are headed out to the private sector. Sara M. Taylor, the White House political director and microtargeting guru who has been with George W. Bush from the outset of his first presidential campaign, is the latest staff member to leave the president's employ.

Taylor, 32, was one of the first people put on the payroll of the Bush campaign, trekking through snowy Washington to interview with Karl Rove and Bush, who was then governor of Texas. Taylor worked on the 2000 campaign, and later became a political aide in the White House. ....

Taylor cleared out her office early last week. She plans to take her skills to the private sector, where the pay will no doubt be better than the $137,000 she earned in 2006 as a deputy assistant to the president. ..............

=================
Top Rove aide, implicated in Attorneys firings, clears out office
Michael Roston
Published: Monday May 28, 2007
http://rawstory.com/news/2007/Top_Rove_aide_implicated_...


A top aide to White House political adviser Karl Rove has 'cleared out her office,' according to a report in Monday's Washington Post. Sara Taylor, Rove's top lieutenant, has seen her name brought up in recent months in Congressional hearings relating to the firing of 8 US Attorneys.

"Taylor, 32, was one of the first people put on the payroll of the Bush campaign," writes Michael Fletcher in the new 'At the White House' column. "Taylor cleared out her office early last week. She plans to take her skills to the private sector."

Taylor is described by Fletcher as skilled in 'microtargeting,' the practice of identifying voting constituencies at their most elemental levels. She has also come up as a potential target for a subpoena from the House and Senate Judiciary Committees, as RAW STORY has earlier reported.

The White House political strategist was first identified as playing a role in the removal of US Attorney for the Eastern District of Arkansas H.E. 'Bud' Cummins during the Senate Judiciary Committee hearing with D. Kyle Sampson, the former Chief of Staff to Attorney General Alberto Gonzales.

=======================================
Importantly, regarding Griffin and voter caging and voter purging, is this bit in the WA Post story, "... Taylor was among those who helped use sophisticated analysis of consumer data to enable the Bush campaign to target potential voters..." I have to ask, targeted for what?
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blogslut Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon May-28-07 10:52 PM
Response to Original message
1. Disenfranchisement?
:)
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L. Coyote Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon May-28-07 10:55 PM
Response to Original message
2. White House Is Reported to Be Linked to a Dismissal OR the next Monica?
What can the 32-year-old Deputy Assistant to the President, White House Director of Political Affairs, and one of George W. Bush's top political aides tell the Committees about Griffin's appointment and the USA firings?

Sara Marie Taylor reputedly reported directly to Karl Rove.
Here is the article she discussed in e-mails with Kyle Sampson:

===================
White House Is Reported to Be Linked to a Dismissal
By DAVID JOHNSTON
Published: February 16, 2007
http://www.nytimes.com/2007/02/16/washington/16attorney...


WASHINGTON, Feb. 15 A United States attorney in Arkansas who was dismissed from his job last year by the Justice Department was ousted after Harriet E. Miers, the former White House counsel, intervened .....

Ms. Miers, the aides said, phoned an aide to Attorney General Alberto R. Gonzales suggesting the appointment of J. Timothy Griffin, a former military and civilian prosecutor who was a political director for the Republican National Committee and a deputy to Karl Rove, the White House political adviser.

Later, the incumbent United States attorney, H. E. Cummins III, was removed without explanation .....

Ms. Miers, whose resignation as White House counsel was effective Jan. 31, could not be reached for comment ....
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flyarm Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon May-28-07 11:01 PM
Response to Original message
3. PLACING BETS..DOES SHE OR DOESN'T SHE PLEAD THE 5TH??????? K&R
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L. Coyote Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon May-28-07 11:04 PM
Response to Original message
4. White House persists in refusing to provide information to the House Judiciary Committee
House Democrat on Gonzales: The country cannot wait
Michael Roston
Published: Monday May 21, 2007
http://rawstory.com/news/2007/House_Democrat_on_Gonzale...


A Democratic Congressman who is pushing for a vote of no confidence against the Attorney General said in a late afternoon press conference that Alberto Gonzales had 'low regard' for the US Attorneys working for the Justice Department, and that the country cannot wait for the end of the Bush administration to bring his tenure to a close. ....

... in the House of Representatives today, Democratic Congress members who are investigating the firing of the 8 US Attorneys renewed their focus on another area of concern: the White House's role in deciding which Attorneys were and were not fired.

"Even without a single document or witness interview provided by the White House, it is clear that the White House played an important role in the events concerning the US Attorney controversy," Reps. John Conyers (D-MI) and Linda Sanchez (D-CA) wrote in a letter to White House Counsel Fred Fielding. "If the White House persists in refusing to provide information to the House Judiciary Committee, or even to discuss providing such information, on a voluntary basis, we will have no alternative but to begin to resort to the compulsory process in order to carry out our oversight responsibilities."
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L. Coyote Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-29-07 12:39 AM
Response to Reply #4
10. April 25, 2007 - Dems Vote Subpoenas in Widening Probes
Dems Vote Subpoenas in Widening Probes
By LAURIE KELLMAN
The Associated Press
Wednesday, April 25, 2007
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/20...

WASHINGTON -- Putting their congressional control to work, Democrats approved new subpoenas Wednesday _ and a grant of immunity _ for probes ranging from the prosecutor firings and White House political activities to President Bush's justification for the war in Iraq.

Democrats said the broad array of investigations represents a revival of Congress' role after six years of little oversight of the Bush administration by Republican lawmakers.

Leahy's panel approved _ but did not issue _ a subpoena in the firings matter for Sara Taylor, deputy to Bush political adviser Karl Rove.

=============================
Hill Subpoenas Approved for Rice, Other Bush Officials
As Democrats Seek Administration Testimony on Various Issues, Ex-Justice Aide Receives Limited Immunity
By Dan Eggen and Paul Kane
Washington Post Staff Writers
Thursday, April 26, 2007; Page A05
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/20...


..... in the Senate, the Judiciary Committee authorized a subpoena for Rove deputy Sara Taylor, whose name has appeared among thousands of pages of e-mails and other documents released by the Justice Department in the U.S. attorney firings.

The five subpoenas and related matters, approved over the course of two hours yesterday morning, provided fresh evidence of the remarkable change since Democrats took control of Congress in January. Congressional committees have approved or issued more than two dozen subpoenas, most of them related to the U.S. attorney firings.

"A subpoena is not a request; it's a demand for information," said Rep. Henry A. Waxman (D-Calif.), chairman of the House oversight committee that issued the bulk of yesterday's subpoenas. "They ought to understand it's no longer a request, it's no longer an option." ..............
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L. Coyote Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon May-28-07 11:21 PM
Response to Original message
5. Email Raises More Questions about Rove's Role in U.S. Attorney Appointment
Edited on Mon May-28-07 11:27 PM by L. Coyote
Sampson implicates Sara Taylor and Scott Jennings:

===========================
Email Raises More Questions about Rove's Role in U.S. Attorney Appointment
By Paul Kiel - May 25, 2007, 5:17 PM
http://www.tpmmuckraker.com/archives/003295.php


On February 24th, just eight days after the email, the Justice Department wrote in a letter to Congress that the department wasn't aware of Karl Rove playing "any role" in the decision to appoint Griffin. The letter was drafted by Sampson and signed off on by Oprison of the White House.

Sampson, who wrote in that earlier December 19th email that Griffin's appointment was "important to Karl," explained the letter's disavowal of Rove's role in testimony before the Senate by saying that "the e-mail was based on an assumption":

"I knew that Sara Taylor and Scott Jennings had expressed interest in promoting Mr. Griffin for
appointment to be U.S. attorney, and I assumed, because they reported to Karl Rove, that he was interested ....."

Sampson's answer -- and by extension the letter to Congresss -- nakedly relied on (barely) plausible deniability of Rove's interest in Griffin's appointment.

Rove's presence on the February 16th email does not shatter that delicate stance -- but it's just another sign of Sampson's willful blindness and the basic dishonesty of the denial. The Justice Department has apologized for "the inaccuracy." ......
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L. Coyote Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-29-07 11:03 AM
Response to Reply #5
29. "Sara Taylor is the new person overseeing political affairs, that division"
Home > News & Policies > February 2005
Office of the Press Secretary - February 8, 2005
Press Gaggle with Scott McClellan Aboard Air Force One
http://www.whitehouse.gov/news/releases/2005/02/2005020...


MR. McCLELLAN: .... I want to make some announcements on the White House staff.... it essentially finishes up the senior staff of the White House going forward into the second term. Karl Rove will now assume the position of Deputy Chief of Staff and Senior Advisor to the President.... Karl will continue to oversee the strategy to advance the President's agenda. He will also coordinate policy within the various White House councils ... to make sure that policy is complementary and consistent within the various councils. I mean, the various councils will continue to develop the policy -- the Domestic Policy Council, the National Economic Council, the National Security Council, and the Homeland Security Council. Those are the four White House Councils, really. And Karl will continue to oversee the intergovernment affairs, political affairs, and strategic initiatives. And I don't know if, recently, we announced that Sara Taylor will be coming on to be -- oversee political affairs. She'll fill that role for overseeing the political affairs aspects of things. ...

........

Q: Politics is still in Karl's portfolio, right?

MR. McCLELLAN: Yes, Sara Taylor is the new person overseeing political affairs, that division.

============================
No disambiguation followed that one. The "White House Political Director and Deputy Assistant to the President of the United States," is often termed "Rove's top political lieutenant."
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blogslut Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon May-28-07 11:30 PM
Response to Original message
6. Fair is foul, and foul is fair
Hover through the fog and filthy air.
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L. Coyote Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon May-28-07 11:35 PM
Response to Original message
7. Rove's senior aide Sara Taylor was "upset."
Sampson: Rove Aide Was "Upset"
By Paul Kiel - May 16, 2007,
http://www.tpmmuckraker.com/archives/003234.php

... Kyle Sampson has told congressional investigators that when Alberto Gonzales finally nixed the plan to permanently install Karl Rove's former aide as a U.S. attorney without Senate confirmation, Rove's senior aide Sara Taylor was "upset." And according to Sampson's testimony, Gonzales didn't say no until late in the game -- when the U.S. attorney firings controversy was already gaining steam. That's not what Gonzales told Congress.

When Gonzales testified before the Senate last month, he claimed that he'd always rejected the idea of using a Patriot Act provision to appoint handpicked U.S. attorneys and keep them in place indefinitely without Senate confirmation.... In a December 19, 2006 email to the White House, Kyle Sampson had specifically advocated using the provision to install Timothy Griffin ... over the objections of the state's two Democratic senators....

According to Leahy, Sampson told congressional investigators that Karl Rove's senior aide Sara Taylor "was upset when the Attorney General finally rejected this use of the interim authority" ...

.... it looks from Sampson's testimony like Gonzales only rejected the plan when members of Congress started asking questions.
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L. Coyote Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon May-28-07 11:51 PM
Response to Original message
8. Tim Griffin E-mails White House Politicos About Arkansas Paper Article
Edited on Mon May-28-07 11:54 PM by L. Coyote
The recent document dump incudes Jennings e-mail to Rove, Taylor, Jennings, Cherry, and Oprison.

----------------
Tim Griffin Emails Karl Rove About Arkansas Paper Article on Fri. Feb. 16
view e-mail in an HTML file - http://www.talkingpointsmemo.com/docs/griffin-rove /

-----------------
DOJ Document Sets Released on 5-22-2007 = PDF files.
http://judiciary.house.gov/Printshop.aspx?Section=565

Letter from Deputy AG Regarding Goodling Privledge Log Documents - http://judiciary.house.gov/Media/PDFS/Hertling070522.pd...
DOJ Document Set 1 Released on 5-22-2007 - http://judiciary.house.gov/Media/PDFS/OAG1646-1705.pdf
DOJ Document Set 2 Released on 5-22-2007 - http://judiciary.house.gov/Media/PDFS/OAG1706-1749.pdf

===========================
http://www.tpmmuckraker.com/archives/003295.php
"Emails show that White House and Justice Department officials worked together for months to install Griffin, dating back to last summer. Rove's aides in the White House Office of Political Affairs were intimately involved. Up until now, however, there had been no evidence of direct communication between Rove and Griffin about the appointment. But an email contained in documents released earlier this week shows Griffin directly emailing Rove and his deputies in the White House Office of Political Affairs..."

===========================
Prosecutor Griffin now rejects post
DEMOCRAT-GAZETTE STAFF AND WIRE REPORTS
Posted on Friday, February 16, 2007
http://www.nwanews.com/adg/National/182004/print /

Tim Griffin, whose December appointment as U. S. attorney for the Eastern District of Arkansas sparked a national outcry about surreptitious changes made to a law affecting federal prosecutors, says he no longer wants the job permanently.

I have made the decision not to let my name go forward to the Senate, Griffin said Thursday evening.

He was referring to the U. S. Department of Justices stated intention, amid heavy criticism, to subject Griffin and others recently appointed to interim federal-prosecutor posts to the standard process of being nominated by the president, scrutinized by the U. S. Senate Judiciary Committee and then voted on by the Senate.

Griffin, 38, a former military prosecutor, was appointed Dec. 20 by U. S. Attorney General Alberto Gonzales under a little-noticed provision tacked onto the 2006 reauthorization of the USAPATRIOT Act that allows the attorney general to fill prosecutorial vacancies on an interim basis without Senate approval.

Griffins predecessor, Bud Cummins, later acknowledged that he was asked to step aside from the job he got five years earlier after going through the Senate confirmation process, not because of performance issues but to make way for Griffin, who worked briefly in the White House under presidential adviser Karl Rove and was a political director for the Republican National Committee. ...........
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L. Coyote Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-29-07 12:20 AM
Response to Original message
9. Griffin faced an uphill battle to win confirmation "in charge of opposition research" on Kerry, Gore
Long article with careful analysis:

===========================
Administration Withheld E-Mails About Rove
By Murray Waas, National Journal
National Journal Group Inc.
Thursday, May 10, 2007
http://news.nationaljournal.com/articles/070510nj1.htm


Griffin faced an uphill battle to win Senate confirmation because, in addition to having served as an aide to Rove, he had served as the research director of the Republican National Committee in 2004, when he had been in charge of opposition research efforts against Democratic presidential nominee John Kerry. He had been involved in similar efforts against Al Gore four years earlier as the RNC's deputy research director. .........

Pryor later became suspicious that the Bush administration was attempting to bypass the Senate confirmation process by invoking the PATRIOT Act. The special authority, granted to the president, allowed interim U.S. attorneys to continue in their job indefinitely without Senate confirmation to help prosecute the war on terrorism.

Pryor, who had voted for the authority, was upset that the original purpose was now being abused to circumvent the Senate and avoid a confirmation vote on politically contentious nominees such as Griffin. He was especially upset because he had been one of only six Democratic senators to vote for Gonzales's confirmation-a vote that sparked criticism from liberal interest groups. As he saw it, he had stuck his neck out for Gonzales with his vote.

On December 15, 2006, Pryor spoke to then-White House Counsel Miers and Gonzales about the issue, Russell said. The discussion left Pryor with the impression that if Griffin was named U.S. attorney, his name would be formally sent to the Senate for confirmation.

But White House and Justice Department officials, afraid that Griffin would not be confirmed, asked Cummins to resign more quickly so that they could name Griffin as an interim U.S. attorney, which under the PATRIOT Act would allow him to forego a confirmation vote in the Senate.

On December 19, 2006, four days after Pryor and Gonzales spoke, Sampson e-mailed Oprison with a strategy to have Griffin stay permanently as U.S. attorney: "I think we should gum this to death," Sampson wrote in an e-mail turned over to Congress, ..........
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blogslut Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-29-07 12:57 AM
Response to Original message
11. I kick thee
:)
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L. Coyote Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-29-07 07:26 AM
Response to Original message
12. Parallel thread: TOP ROVE AIDE Involved In Attorney Firings-Exits White House
kpete May-28-07 09:05 AM
http://www.democraticunderground.com/discuss/duboard.ph...

Good discussion highlight:

Botany 21. you were micro-targeted

"In Ohio d-bases of likely Kerry supporters were hacked and stolen. In Toledo the
district office for Kerry or dems was broken into and a computer w/ GOTV files
was stolen ..... In Columbus @ the State HQ for Kerry's computers were always under
assault..."
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LiberalHeart Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-29-07 08:39 AM
Response to Reply #12
19. I don't think GOTV files were on the computer stolen in Toledo.
No news stories at the time said that. Also, police say they know who took it and he was just a street thug from the neighborhood (a high-crime area, by the way).
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opihimoimoi Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-29-07 07:49 AM
Response to Original message
13. Need one more R...Stage Left
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L. Coyote Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-29-07 07:49 AM
Response to Original message
14.  Breaking March 30, 2007 = Rove Aide Resigns By Paul Kiel
Note the timing of the "resignation" in relation to Kyle Sampson's hearing. Once her role in the Griffin "installation" was revealed, she was out, albeit the alteration was seemingly routine. Kiel's sarcasm is anything but obtuse.

===============================
Rove Aide Resigns By Paul Kiel - March 30, 2007, 1:13 PM
http://www.tpmmuckraker.com/archives/002927.php

Maybe it's a coincidence.

White House political director Sara Taylor is out the door at the White House, according to Washington Wire. Taylor came up a number of times yesterday during the Kyle Sampson hearing as having worked closely with Sampson (along with another Karl Rove aide Scott Jennings) to install Rove's former aide Tim Griffin as the U.S. Attorney in eastern Arkansas.

===================================
The comments there include "we never got an explanation of why Susan Ralston left."
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G_Leo_Criley Donating Member (553 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-29-07 07:52 AM
Response to Reply #14
15. k & r
:kick:

glc
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L. Coyote Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-29-07 08:12 AM
Response to Original message
16. Huffington Post "Sara Taylor" page cached on Google, loaded with links
The page is gone now, but Google has it cached:
http://64.233.167.104/search?q=cache:K6nY5hyW6woJ:www.h...

Did Sara Taylor Appoint Tim Griffin USA on December 15, 2006?
http://thenexthurrah.typepad.com/the_next_hurrah/2007/0...

Goodling broke down over attorney firings
http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/18816284 /
"...she was in frequent contact about the matter with such White House officials as Political Director Sara Taylor and her deputy, J. Scott Jennings..."

Questions for Monica
http://thenexthurrah.typepad.com/the_next_hurrah/2007/0...
"Describe any contacts you had with Karl Rove, Sara Taylor, or Scott Jennings on hiring and firing decisions"

Politics, Private Space, and Total Persuasion
http://feeds.feedburner.com/~r/ConcurringOpinions/~3/11...
"...John McKinnon has a interesting article about Sara Taylor's decision to leave her job as the White House's political director ..."

Murray's Scoop: It's about Griffin
http://thenexthurrah.typepad.com/the_next_hurrah/2007/0...
"...Sampson consulted with Sara Taylor, the White House political director and an aide to Rove. Taylor had been aware of considerations that the PATRIOT Act might be..."

White House conducted election briefings
http://www.democraticunderground.com/discuss/duboard.ph...
"...it wasn't unusual for informational briefings to be given. They were run by Sara Taylor and Scott Jennings. Q But there's a higher standard, obviously, at the White House than no laws were broken...."

White House says it held employee briefings on GOP races
http://www.boston.com/news/nation/washington/articles/2...
"... for a total of about 20 -- most in 2006 and a couple in 2007. They were conducted by White House political director Sara Taylor or Jennings, her deputy. It had been known that other briefings were held, but not how many. Others were held ..."

=============================
This last article discusses yet another scandal altogether, albeit yet another dimension of the illegal politization of government by the GOP.
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The Backlash Cometh Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-29-07 08:32 AM
Response to Original message
17. Yes, she's a specialist in micro-targeting. Which is profiling with a
fancy name. I'm guessing she helped put the caging lists together.
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L. Coyote Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-29-07 08:36 AM
Response to Original message
18. Sara Taylor's OTHER SCANDAL: White House produced employee briefings on GOP races
Edited on Tue May-29-07 08:36 AM by L. Coyote
White House says it held employee briefings on GOP races
By Deb Riechmann, Associated Press | April 27, 2007
http://www.boston.com/news/nation/washington/articles/2...

WASHINGTON -- The White House acknowledged yesterday it has conducted about 20 briefings for federal employees on the election prospects of Republican candidates -- the sort of meetings that have led to an investigation into administration political activity.

An independent unit, the US Office of Special Counsel, began an investigation this week into a presentation by Bush aide J. Scott Jennings to political appointees at the General Services Administration. At issue is whether the January session violated the federal Hatch Act, which bars federal employees from engaging in political activities with government resources or on government time.........

White House spokesman Scott Stanzel said briefings were also held at other federal agencies, for a total of about 20 -- most in 2006 and a couple in 2007. They were conducted by White House political director Sara Taylor or Jennings, her deputy. .....

Others were held in previous years as well, but Stanzel said the White House had not kept a count.

Bush spokeswoman Dana Perino said that no laws were broken and that the White House counsel's office knew of the effort. "There is no prohibition under the Hatch Act of allowing political appointees to talk to other political appointees about the political landscape in which they are trying to advance the president's agenda," Perino said.....

========================
Right on Dana, implicate the White House lawyers too!

Gotta love the brass ones on these people. Political employees can talk politics "to advance the president's agenda" which, of course, is political! Hello, it is called "government service" for a reason, no matter if you got there for being a member of "the party." Do they even realize how like the Communist Party back in the USSR this is?
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L. Coyote Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-29-07 10:23 AM
Response to Reply #18
27. Political Briefings At Agencies Disclosed = "on Republican electoral prospects..."
Political Briefings At Agencies Disclosed
White House Calls Meetings Lawful
By R. Jeffrey Smith
Washington Post Staff Writer
Thursday, April 26, 2007; A01
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/20...

White House officials conducted 20 private briefings on Republican electoral prospects in the last midterm election for senior officials in at least 15 government agencies covered by federal restrictions on partisan political activity, a White House spokesman and other administration officials said yesterday.

The previously undisclosed briefings were part of what now appears to be a regular effort in which the White House sent senior political officials to brief top appointees in government agencies on which seats Republican candidates might win or lose, and how the election outcomes could affect the success of administration policies, the officials said.

The existence of one such briefing, at the headquarters of the General Services Administration in January, came to light last month, and the Office of Special Counsel began an investigation into whether the officials at the briefing felt coerced into steering federal activities to favor those Republican candidates cited as vulnerable.

Such coercion is prohibited under a federal law, known as the Hatch Act, meant to insulate virtually all federal workers from partisan politics. In addition to forbidding workplace pressures meant to influence an election outcome, the law bars the use of federal resources -- including office buildings, phones and computers -- for partisan purposes. ......................
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L. Coyote Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-29-07 10:39 AM
Response to Reply #27
28. GOP Talking Point: each official said, "informational briefings about the political landscape."
April 26, 2007
"Informational Briefings about the Political Landscape"
by emptywheel
http://thenexthurrah.typepad.com/the_next_hurrah/2007/0...

The Talking Points

Jeffrey Smith strongly suggests that those he got to speak on the record were working off of one set of talking points--Smith repeats that talking point twice.

Those discussing the briefings on the record yesterday uniformly described them as merely "informational briefings about the political landscape."

By the end of yesterday afternoon, all of those describing the briefings on the record had adopted a uniform phrase in response to a reporter's inquiries: They were, each official said, "informational briefings about the political landscape."

.... this strongly suggests the spokepersons for all of these agencies received a talking points document from the White House or RNC directing them to describe the briefings as "informational briefings about the political landscape." ... Scott Bloch's take, that the briefings themselves, if they remain "information briefings about the political landscape," do not violate the Hatch Act. And because, if the spokespersons of designated agencies have been given such talking points, then surely this is a limited admission campaign, an attempt to try to spin these meetings as innocent "political forecasts."

Looks like there are two logical angles of follow-up. Get more details on Rove's "off the cuff" briefings with top political appointees, to find out how much detail they discussed about politicizing government agencies. And find more low-level appointees like those at GSA who will testify that these were more than "information briefings about the political landscape."
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L. Coyote Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-29-07 11:05 AM
Response to Reply #18
30. "Here's the scheme, as revealed over the past month:"
Today's Must Read
By Paul Kiel - April 26, 2007, 9:30 AM
http://www.tpmmuckraker.com/archives/003103.php

The entire scheme has been laid out before us. The question now is whether Karl Rove will get away with it.

Here's the scheme, as revealed over the past month: Rove and his deputies traveled to various agencies throughout the government, lecturing management there about Republicans' political prospects. Which House and Senate members were in trouble? Which Democratic seats were vulnerable? What were the major issues in the election?

But there was a line to be drawn: no commands were to be given -- because such a directive would be a blatant violation of the Hatch Act, which forbids the use of government resources for political ends.

On the contrary, the government officials receiving the briefing were supposed to get the hint -- as Tom Hamburger reported, "employees said they got a not-so-subtle message about helping endangered Republicans." The briefing simply gave them the tools to be helpful in the next election. They were supposed to take the ball and run with it. .............
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bdamomma Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-29-07 08:42 AM
Response to Original message
20. Taylor should be subpoenaed also.
Edited on Tue May-29-07 08:43 AM by alyce douglas
what more evidence do they need that these thugs have committed numerous crimes. unbelieveable how they are letting them get away with this sh$t. Throw this scum out now!!
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L. Coyote Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-29-07 08:58 AM
Response to Reply #20
21. Subpoena approved by Senate Judiciary a month ago. WH resisting.
House panel approves subpoena for Rice
Key aide to Attorney General Gonzales gets immunity in firings probe
http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/18308547 /
April 25, 2007

In rapid succession, congressional committees Wednesday ramped up their investigations of the Bush administration by approving a subpoena for Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and granting immunity to a key aide to Attorney General Alberto Gonzales.

By 21-10, the House oversight committee voted to issue a subpoena to Rice to compel her story on the Bush administration's claim, now discredited, that Iraq was seeking uranium from Africa.

Moments earlier in the committee chamber next door, the House Judiciary Committee voted 32-6 to grant immunity to Monica Goodling ....

Simultaneously across Capitol Hill, the Senate Judiciary Committee approved but did not issue a subpoena on the prosecutors' matter to Sara Taylor ....
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L. Coyote Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-29-07 09:09 AM
Response to Reply #21
22. THE WHITE HOUSE = Press Briefing by Dana Perino - April 25
This was the "embargo on truth" offer.
WH offered to talk if in secret, w/o transcription, and, of course, without taking an oath to tell the truth.

==================
Press Briefing by Dana Perino - April 25, 2007
THE WHITE HOUSE - Office of the Press Secretary
http://usinfo.state.gov/xarchives/display.html?p=texttr...


PRESS BRIEFING BY DANA PERINO
White House Conference Center Briefing Room
12:10 P.M. EDT

MS. PERINO: Good afternoon. I have no opening statements, I'll just go straight to questions. ......

Roger.

Q: On the Sara Taylor authorized subpoena by the Senate Judiciary Committee today, if one is issued for her, would it be the intent of the administration to resist that subpoena?

MS. PERINO: I think I'm not going to go down the hypothetical road. But what I would submit to the House and Senate Judiciary committees is that if they wanted to take us up

on our offer to have the four officials provide an interview up there without a transcript, and then if they would provide -- we would provide them with documents going to and from the White House, which was an extraordinary offer on our part, that we would consider adding additional officials to those interview requests.

Q: That offer, though, has been on the table for several weeks now. Is there anything happening on that?

MS. PERINO: No, the ball is in the Democrats' court.

Q: Can you explain the objection to a transcript?

MS. PERINO: I think what we have tried to explain is that there is a long tradition in history of not having presidential close advisors testify in front of Congress. But we do want to be responsive to the Congress, and in order to do that, we thought that an interview and a hearing -- an interview is not a hearing, and that's what we offered. ....
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L. Coyote Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-29-07 09:22 AM
Response to Reply #20
25. NY TIMES: Flexing Muscles, Democrats Issue 3 Subpoenas "vivid display of their new power"
Worth the read:

============================================
Flexing Muscles, Democrats Issue 3 Subpoenas
By NEIL A. LEWIS and ERIC LIPTON
Published: April 26, 2007
http://www.nytimes.com/2007/04/26/washington/26subpoena...

WASHINGTON, April 25 In a vivid display of their new power, Democrats across Capitol Hill on Wednesday approved a flurry of subpoenas to fuel a series of investigations of the Bush administration.

The House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform issued three subpoenas in quick order. One was to Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice to answer questions about the administrations prewar claims about Iraqs weapons programs and two were to the Republican National Committee and its chairman to be questioned about whether the partys e-mail system was used by Bush officials to conceal some of their actions.

The Senate Judiciary Committee authorized but did not issue a subpoena for Sara Taylor, the deputy to Karl Rove, President Bushs chief political adviser. The committee wants to question Ms. Taylor about the White House role in the dismissal of eight United States attorneys...........
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Blackhatjack Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-29-07 09:14 AM
Response to Original message
23. Check off resignations AND WHO IS LEFT? Gonzo, Rove, Bush & Cheney...
Can they run their offices without top staff who have already resigned?

Gonzo lost McNulty, Sampson, Goodlin, etc.
Rove has lost Ralston, Taylor.
Cheney lost Libby.
Bush lost a boatload of top staff --however, he did replace most with even more conservative GOP politicos.

So look around and you see the top dogs 'stonewalling Congress' are the only ones left, after losing their top staff implicated in wrongdoing.
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Blackhatjack Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-29-07 09:20 AM
Response to Original message
24. Does the Rove/Fielding 'Mysterious visit' to Capitol Hill Last Week Figure In Here?
It was reported that they made a very public appearance at Congress, but that Sen. Arlene Specter, ranking Repub on the Senate Judiciary Committee commented something big must be happening.

I am wondering if Rove/Fielding were trying to 'do damage control' knowing that Taylor would be leaving, and others to follow.
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L. Coyote Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-29-07 11:21 AM
Response to Reply #24
31. Blackhatjack: Conservative "place" > CU Central > Best/Worst of DU
Edited on Tue May-29-07 12:14 PM by L. Coyote
Blackhatjack = Rove, Fielding pay mysterious visit to Capitol --LINK
http://www.conservative delete .com/forum/showthread.php?t=100682 Link masked!

Does not say if Best or Worst!! Does say:

"Just when you think the DUmmies have hit the bottom of the barrel of stupidity, the DUmmies kick it out of the way and start digging where it stood. - zathras"

Congrats, your digging has gained attention in the RIGHT quarters! DU must be irking someone when whole domains appear just to comment on DU.

Googling your question I found this site!

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Blackhatjack Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-29-07 11:43 AM
Response to Reply #31
32. Thanks for the heads up! It certainly is bizarro world over there....
It makes you wonder what the posters there are breathing and drinking.

I have to keep reminding myself that there are people in this country who are still fully committed to Bush and his corrupt cabal.
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L. Coyote Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-29-07 12:56 PM
Response to Reply #24
33. SENATOR INSISTS THAT BUSH AIDES TESTIFY PUBLICLY
http://select.nytimes.com/gst/abstract.html?res=FB0A14F...
March 19, 2007, Monday
By SHERYL GAY STOLBERG (NYT); National Desk
Late Edition - Final, Section A, Page 1, Column 6, 1270 words

DISPLAYING ABSTRACT - Sen Patrick J Leahy insists that Karl Rove and other top aides to Pres Bush must testify publicy and under oath before Senate Judiciary Committee, which he chairs, about dismissal of federal prosecutors; rejects suggestion from some Republicans that Rove testify privately, saying his committee will vote on whether to issue subpoenas for Rove, former White House counsel Harriet E Miers and deputy White House counsel William K Kelley; at issue is whether White House allowed politics to interfere with law enforcement; ...

... White House counsel Fred F Fielding is said to be weighting whether to allow Rove and others to talk and, if so, under what conditions ....
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L. Coyote Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-29-07 09:30 AM
Response to Original message
26. GOODLING's Prepared Remarks Fingered White House Politicos
Goodling accuses Deputy Attorney General of withholding information from Congress; Admits 'I crossed the line'
Michael Roston
Published: Wednesday May 23, 2007
http://rawstory.com/news/2007/Goodling_appears_before_H...


"I did not withhold information from the Deputy ...despite my and others' best efforts, the Deputy's public testimony was incomplete or inaccurate in a number of respects," she said. "I believe the Deputy was not fully candid about his knowledge of White House involvement in the replacement decision, failed to disclose that he had some knowledge of the White House's interest in selecting Tim Griffin as interim US Attorney in the Eastern District of Arkansas, inaccurately described the Department's internal assessment of the , and failed to disclose that he had some knowledge of allegations that Tim Griffin had been involved in 'vote caging' in the President's 2004 campaign."

.............

"Mr. Sampson compiled the list, I know that he did speak to the Deputy Attorney General about it, and I know that he presented it to the Attorney General," she told Rep. John Conyers (D-MI) in questioning.

VIDEO: ... video clip of Goodling's exchange with Scott, in which additional matters are disccused, is presented ....
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L. Coyote Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-29-07 01:24 PM
Response to Original message
34. Bush ready to fight lawmakers on U.S. attorney firings flap
Bush ready to fight lawmakers on U.S. attorney firings flap
POSTED: 3:48 a.m. EDT, March 21, 2007
http://www.cnn.com/2007/POLITICS/03/20/us.attorneys.fir...

The Bush White House has been opposed to any of its officials appearing before congressional committees, ...( Watch VIDEO. )

Earlier Tuesday, White House counsel Fred Fielding met with members of the House and Senate Judiciary committees to discuss conditions under which Rove and Miers would be interviewed. .... in private and not under oath... he was not prepared to negotiate ...

... Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy emerged from the meeting with Fielding to say he would not accept the White House's offer.

"It is not constructive and it is not helpful to be telling the Senate how to do our investigation, or to prejudge its outcome," said Leahy. "Instead of freely and fully providing relevant documents to the investigating committees, they have only selectively sent documents, after erasing large portions that they do not want to see the light of day."

"Testimony should be on the record and under oath. That's the formula for true accountability," said Leahy, a Vermont Democrat. "I hope the president will agree to be forthcoming. The straighter the path to the truth, the sooner we will finally know the facts." .....
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L. Coyote Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-29-07 01:29 PM
Response to Reply #34
35. The One-Party State of Fred Fielding and the White House False Claims
The One-Party State of Fred Fielding
BY Scott Horton - April 13, 2007
http://www.harpers.org/archive/2007/04/horton-email-fie...

Politico reports that White House counsel Fred Fielding has responded to a request for certain emails written by White House staffers using Republic National Committee email accounts:

---------
"the White House has not budged in its refusal to allow the panels to question several White House aides, including Karl Rove, about what they know regarding the firing of eight U.S. Attorneys, moving the two sides closer to a constitutional battle over the scandal.

"Fielding also appears to be trying to head off an attempt by Conyers to obtain e-mails and documents from the Republican National Committee regarding the firings. Roughly 50 White House officials, including 22 curent aides, used e-mail accounts controlled by the R.N.C. to send messages, including some related to the prosecutor firings, and Conyers asked R.N.C. Chairman Mike Duncan to turn over those records today."
---------

Fielding's position supposes that communications carried out through the Republican National Committee are subject to the same claim of Executive Privilege that might apply to internal White House communications. This in turn supposes the legal unity of the Executive Branch and the Republican Party. Granted, this is the likely aspiration of Mr. Rove and his team, but things haven't quite progressed that far. As Congressman Conyers stated in his response:

The White House position seems to be that executive privilege not only applies in the Oval Office, but to the RNC as well. There is absolutely no basis in law or fact for such a claim. ..............
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L. Coyote Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-29-07 01:58 PM
Response to Original message
36. Sara Taylor's RNC E-mail Subpoened by HOUSE committees. Are they missing too?
"White House officials who we believe may have used RNC-affiliated e-mail accounts for these purposes are Karl Rove, J. Scott Jennings, Sara Taylor, and former White House officials Harriet Miers and Tim Griffin. But there may well be others, and we would ask that you provide them all."

April 12, 2007. Excerpts from the letter to RNC Chairman Robert M. Duncan:

..... we are therefore formally requesting that you provide promptly to our Committee all e-mail communications (including all meta-data relating to those communications) by any Government employee stored on or in any way retrievable from the RNC servers or in the possession, custody or control of the RNC, including any of its affiliated entities, that relate in any way to the recent termination of U.S. Attorneys, as well as all e-mails that relate in any way to any of the following related subjects: the performance of any U.S. Attorney; any consideration of whether to retain, dismiss, or seek the resignation of any U.S. Attorney; any candidate for possible appointment as a U.S. Attorney to replace anyone considered for termination; and any process for considering any of these subjects. Among the White House officials who we believe may have used RNC-affiliated e-mail accounts for these purposes are Karl Rove, J. Scott Jennings, Sara Taylor, and former White House officials Harriet Miers and Tim Griffin. But there may well be others, and we would ask that you provide them all.

We also request any other types of records of communications involving any current or former White House official involving any of these matters that are in the possession, custody, or control of the RNC or any of its affiliated entities. And in light of reports that some of the e-mails may have been deleted, we also request any information in the possession, custody, or control of the RNC or any of its affiliated entities, electronic or otherwise, including meta-data,

that might indicate when and for what periods any of those e-mails were deleted, or who may have been involved in deleting them. To the extent that you take the position that deleted e-mails cannot be retrieved, we must insist that, at the very least, technical experts working with us have the opportunity to question and work with RNC personnel to seek such recovery.

We understand that the White House has asked you for all e-mails by or to White House officials that are stored on or retrievable from RNC servers. Our request is narrower, specifically limited to e-mail and other records relating to the U.S. Attorney matters we are investigating, as described above. Particularly as these e-mails have already gone outside the confines of official White House communications channels, we would ask that, whatever you may be doing to respond to the White House request, you treat our request as separate and provide the materials we have requested directly to us, as quickly as possible, rather than diverting them into a White House review of the larger set of e-mails and thereby delaying our receipt of them. ...

....

We appreciate your cooperation in this matter and we look forward to your compliance as requested. Please provide us with the requisite information by close of business on April 20, 2007, by delivering a copy to us at the Judiciary Committee office, 2138 Rayburn House Office Building, Washington, DC 20515 (tel: 202-225-3951; fax: 202-225-7680). Please contact the Judiciary Committee office if you have any questions.

Sincerely,
John Conyers, Jr.
Chairman, House Committee on the Judiciary

Linda T. Snchez
Chairwoman, House Subcommittee on Commercial and Administrative Law
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L. Coyote Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-29-07 02:10 PM
Response to Reply #36
37. Waxman advises RNC not to destroy any e-mails
Waxman advises RNC not to destroy any e-mails
Michael Roston - Monday March 26, 2007
http://rawstory.com/news/2007/Waxman_to_Republican_grou...

Pointing to e-mails between Bush administration officials and convicted lobbyist Jack Abramoff that used private e-mail addresses, the Chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee ordered the Republican National Committee and the Bush/Cheney 2004 campaign to preserve all e-mail records and to ensure that they aren't purged or destroyed.

"White House officials have used nongovernmental e-mail accounts, including those maintained by the RNC, to conduct official White House business," Rep. Henry Waxman (D-CA) wrote .... "The Committee has questions about who has access to these e-mail records and how the RNC protects them from destruction and tampering."

..... Waxman also noted that according to the terms of the Presidential Records Act of 1978, "Such e-mails written in the conduct of White House business would appear to be governmental records subject to preservation and eventual public disclosure."
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L. Coyote Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-29-07 03:37 PM
Response to Reply #36
42. Email-Gate FACTS: Felons, georgewbush.com, gwb43.com , et. al.
April compilation thread focused on the e-mail scandals:
http://www.democraticunderground.com/discuss/duboard.ph...
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L. Coyote Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-29-07 04:01 PM
Response to Reply #42
43. Current and Former White House Officials With Political E-Mail Accounts
Listing of Current and Former White House Officials With Political E-Mail Accounts
As provided by the Republican National Committee to the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform.

-----------------------
Dan Bartlett, counselor to President Bush
Trey Best, associate director Office of Political Affairs
Mike Britt, associate director Office of Political Affairs
Jane Cherry, associate director Office of Political Affairs
Raul Damas, former associate director Office of Political Affairs
Melissa Danforth, former associate director Office of Strategic Initiatives
Paris Dennard, executive assistant Office of Political Affairs
Michael Ellis, former associate director Office of Strategic Initiatives
Jonathan Felts, former associate director Office of Political Affairs who became assistant to Vice President Dick Cheney for political affairs
B.J. Goergen, former executive assistant to Karl Rove who later joined the State Department's office of public diplomacy
Israel Hernandez, former assistant to Rove who later became assistant secretary of commerce
Taylor Hughes, executive assistant and special projects coordinator to Rove
Jason Huntsberry, former associate director Office of Political Affairs
Barry Jackson, deputy to Rove
Scott Jennings, deputy director of political affairs
Korinne Kubena, associate director Office of Political Affairs
Cathie Martin, deputy director of communications for policy and planning
Anita McBride, chief of staff for the first lady
Lauren McBrien, former special assistant to the director of political affairs for Cheney
Mindy McLaughlin, associate director of scheduling
Mel Raines, former assistant to Cheney for political affairs
Susan Ralston, former assistant to Rove
Cliff Rosenberger, staff assistant Office of Political Affairs
Karl Rove, deputy chief of staff and senior adviser to the president
Matt Schlapp, former director of political affairs
Jon Seaton, former associate director Office of Political Affairs
Scott Sforza, deputy director of communications for production
Nick Sinatra, associate director Office of Political Affairs
Brad Smith, executive assistant Office of Political Affairs
Steven Soper, former associate director Office of Political Affairs
Jessica Swineheart, former executive assistant Office of Political Affairs
Sara Taylor, director of political affairs
Nicholas Thompson, associate director Office of Strategic Initiatives
Jocelyn Webster, former staff assistant Office of Political Affairs
Pete Wehner, director of Office of Strategic Initiatives
Emily Willeford, director of Rove's office
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L. Coyote Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-29-07 02:30 PM
Response to Original message
38. Sara Taylor's (and Abramoff's) assistant Susan B. Ralston also resigned? Seeks Immunity.
Susan B. Ralston, former Abramoff associate, former executive assistant to Rove, also bailed out of the White House. Fired or resigned?

===============================
Memo: Rove's ex-aide would talk if given immunity
POSTED: 7:42 a.m. EDT, May 23, 2007
http://www.cnn.com/2007/POLITICS/05/23/rove.aide/index....

WASHINGTON (CNN) -- Susan Ralston, a former top assistant to President Bush's political adviser, Karl Rove, is willing to tell Congress what she knows about contacts between White House officials and disgraced lobbyist Jack Abramoff -- but only if she's granted immunity from prosecution, her lawyer has told congressional investigators.

During a May 10 deposition with Ralston, her attorney, Bradford Berenson, told investigators for the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform that she "has material, useful information" about contacts between Abramoff and his associates and White House officials, according to a memo sent to committee members Tuesday by the committee's chairman, Rep. Henry Waxman, D-California.

Berenson also said Ralston has useful information about the use of outside Republican National Committee e-mail accounts by White House staffers, which is also the subject of a congressional probe, according to the memo.

However, Ralston will only be "comfortable going forward" if she is given a grant of immunity, ......................

===============================
CrooksR'Us By: Jane Hamsher - March 27th, 2007

There just doesn't seem to be any good way to spin this (http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/20... ), but I'm sure they'll try:


Susan B. Ralston, while she was executive assistant to Rove, similarly used "georgewbush.com"
and "rnchq.org" e-mail accounts to confer in 2001 and 2003 with Abramoff, her former boss,
about matters of interest to Abramoff's clients.

In a related e-mail, an Abramoff aide said Ralston had warned that "it is better to not put
this stuff in writing in . . . email system because it might actually limit what they can do
to help us, especially since there could be lawsuits, etc."

Abramoff's response, according to a copy of his e-mail, was: "Dammit. It was sent to Susan on
her rnc pager and was not supposed to go into the WH system."


==================================


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L. Coyote Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-29-07 03:28 PM
Response to Reply #38
41. Spinoff thread: DEAL OR NO DEAL? ex-aide has "useful information" about Abramoff, White House
SPIN-OFF Thread w/ Focus on Susan B. Ralston, ex-aide to Abramoff, Rove, and Taylor:

DEAL OR NO DEAL? Abramoff's and Rove's ex-aide has "useful information" about Abramoff, White House
http://www.democraticunderground.com/discuss/duboard.ph...

------------------
"According to Time, Bush has ordered his aides to round up all pictures of him and Abramoff to head off any
bad press. Perhaps Bush should instruct them to widen the search to include photos ... of him with Ralston."
From: Connecting the Dots: Abramoff and Rove - http://www.rollingstone.com/politics/nataffdaily/story/...
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Dinger Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-29-07 02:32 PM
Response to Original message
39. All This Shit Is Interesting, But I Just Want To Hear When They're GONE!
That is all.
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L. Coyote Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-29-07 02:52 PM
Response to Reply #39
40. It is like the 'Mother-of-All Jig-Saw Puzzles' in many way
A deck of cards with pictures will not suffice. How many pieces (people) in this puzzle anyway.
Even the seasoned journalists must have spinning heads by now.
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L. Coyote Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-29-07 04:33 PM
Response to Original message
44. WSJ: Who's Who in the U.S. Attorneys Case
Who's Who in the U.S. Attorneys Case
http://online.wsj.com/public/resources/documents/info-k...

Documents provided to Congress show that senior White House and Justice Department aides carefully planned the dismissals of eight U.S. Attorneys while seeking to contain any political damage. Read more. - http://online.wsj.com/public/resources/documents/info-r...

Here, see profiles of top Bush administration officials and the ousted prosecutors involved the controversy.

Government Aides
Ousted U.S. Attorneys
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L. Coyote Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-29-07 05:39 PM
Response to Original message
45. The Emails the White House Doesn't Want You to See
The Emails the White House Doesn't Want You to See
The U.S Attorney firings provide more evidence of the Bush administration avoiding its own email system (and accountability, posterity, prosecution).
By Daniel Schulman
March 30, 2007
http://www.motherjones.com/washington_dispatch/2007/03/...


On February 6, 2003, lobbyist Jack Abramoff sent an email to his former executive assistant Susan Ralston, who had since gone on to work for Karl Rove, requesting that she pass along an important message to her boss..... Abramoff wanted Rove to intercede and "to get some quiet message from the WH that this is absurd." After Ralston agreed to pass along word, Abramoff replied to thank her. But he slipped up.

Instead of responding to an email account administered by the Republican National Committee (sralston @ georgewbush.com) as he had intended, he sent the message to Ralston's White House address. The following day Abramoff was alerted to his error by a colleague, Kevin Ring, who'd spoken to a White House official to whom Abramoff's request had been forwarded. "She said it is better to not put this stuff in writing in their email system because it might actually limit what they can do to help us, especially since there could be lawsuits, etc.," Ring wrote. Abramoff responded swiftly: "Dammit. It was sent to Susan on her rnc pager and was not supposed to go into the WH system."

The significance of this intriguing exchange, which was among thousands of emails reviewed by investigators for the House Government Reform Committee as part of an extensive investigation into Abramoff, might have gone unrecognized had it not been for another scandal, this one involving the abrupt firings of eight U.S. Attorneys. ... Department of Justice was forced to release thousands of documents, including email exchanges ....

Here too was evidence that White House officials were conducting business using RNC email accounts ... a way of bypassing the White House server and skirting its automatic archiving function, insuring that potentially damaging or incriminating emails will not be preserved for posterity by the National Archives, or worse, come to light through the efforts of a federal prosecutor or congressional investigator. .........
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L. Coyote Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-29-07 11:02 PM
Response to Original message
46. LEAHY letter to Fred Fielding, Counsel to the President. Says it all!
May 16, 2007

Fred Fielding, Esq.
Counsel to the President
The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W.
Washington, D.C. 20500


Dear Mr. Fielding:

I have reached out to you many times during the past two months seeking voluntary cooperation from the White House with the Judiciary Committees investigation into the mass firings and replacements of U.S. Attorneys. To date the White House has not produced a single document or allowed even one White House official involved in these matters to be interviewed.

It appears from the evidence gathered by the Committee in five hearings, eight interviews with current and former officials from the Department of Justice, and review of the limited documents produced by that Department that White House officials played a significant role in developing and implementing the plan for the dismissals. Indeed, the plan seems to have originated in the White House and was formulated by and with coordination of the White House political operation.

Along with nine other Members of the Senate Judiciary Committee, I sent you a letter on March 22, 2007, explaining why your take it or leave it offer of off-the-record backroom interviews was unacceptable because it would constrain the Committees and the publics access to key information and prejudge the outcome of the investigation. Republican Members of the Committee have publicly and privately recognized that such off-the-record meetings are inadequate, as well. In a letter I sent with Chairman Conyers dated March 28, 2007, I tried to work with you to find ways to narrow our dispute by gaining access to documents you had offered to provide as a way to further our investigation. Your response has been to restate your initial, unacceptable take it or leave it offer.

We learned from press accounts that the White House cannot account for the e-mails of almost two dozen people at the White House, including some the Judiciary Committee has asked to question in connection with its ongoing investigation. The White House has since admitted that these officials utilized e-mail accounts, addresses and equipment provided by the Republican National Committee and Republican campaigns to communicate about the plan to replace a number of United States Attorneys.

To date there has been no production of relevant e-mails to the investigating Committees. I have since learned that the White House has requested that any e-mails relevant to the Committees investigation that are in the custody, control or possession of the Republican National Committee, be turned over to the White House rather than directly to the Judiciary Committee. The Republican National Committee has apparently agreed.

The refusal of the White House to provide relevant documents and access to White House staff who played significant roles in these firings and in the encroachment of politics into law enforcement presents an obstacle to the ability of Congress and the public to get to the truth. The Committee has learned in documents and then heard in the testimony of Attorney General Gonzales, his former Chief of Staff Kyle Sampson, and other high-ranking Department of Justice officials, that Karl Rove, Mr. Roves deputies Sara Taylor and Scott Jennings, former White House Counsel Harriet Miers, and Deputy White House Counsel William Kelly, were involved.

In fact, White House officials have been involved at every step of the plan to replace the U.S. Attorneys:

* We have learned that Karl Rove and then-White House Counsel Alberto Gonzales were involved from the beginning in plans to remove U.S. Attorneys. According to documents obtained from the Department and Mr. Sampsons testimony, Mr. Sampson discussed the plan with then-White House Counsel Gonzales not long after President Bushs re-election in late 2004. A January 9, 2005 e-mail released by the Department shows that Karl Rove initiated inquires as to how we planned to proceed regarding U.S. Attorneys, whether we were going to allow all to stay, request resignations from all and accept only some of them, or selectively replace them, etc. In his response to queries from David Leitch, a White House official, Mr. Sampson expressly deferred to the political judgment of Mr. Rove as to whether to proceed with plans for the replacement of U.S. Attorneys, writing,f Karl thinks there would be political will to do it, then so do I.
* Mr. Sampson, who has testified that he aggregated the list of U.S. Attorneys to be fired, was apparently in frequent contact with White House officials about multiple versions of proposed lists of possible U.S. Attorneys for dismissal and potential replacements over the course of nearly two years.
* According to documents and testimony, Ms. Taylor, the head of the White House political operation and deputy of Mr. Roves, and Mr. Jennings, another aide to Mr. Rove, were involved in the discussions and planning that led to the removal of Bud Cummins and bypassing the Senate confirmation process to install Tim Griffin, another former aide to Mr. Rove, as U.S. Attorney in the Eastern District of Arkansas. They were part of a group that discussed using the Attorney Generals expanded authority under the Patriot Act reauthorization to avoid the opposition of the Arkansas Senators by appointing Mr. Griffin as interim indefinitely. In fact, in one email, Mr. Sampson described Mr. Griffins appointment as important to Harriet, Karl, etc.
* Mr. Sampson testified that Ms. Taylor was upset when the Attorney General finally rejected this use of the interim authority -- a month after telling Senator Pryor he was committed to finding a Senate-confirmed U.S. Attorney.
* The evidence gathered so far also shows significant White House involvement -- including by Mr. Rove -- in the decision to dismiss David Iglesias as U.S. Attorney for the District of New Mexico. We have learned from the testimony of the Attorney General and Mr. Sampson that Mr. Rove talked to the Attorney General about concerns that prosecutors were not aggressively pursuing voter fraud cases in districts in Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, and New Mexico. One of these districts was that of Mr. Iglesias, who was added to the list of U.S. Attorneys to be replaced. We have also learned that Mr. Roves aide, Mr. Jennings, set up a meeting between White House Liaison Monica Goodling and New Mexico Republican officials in June 2006 to talk about the U.S. Attorney situation in New Mexico, describing it as sensitive.
* We also know, through press accounts and testimony, that after the midterm election, Mr. Rove discussed the performance of Mr. Iglesias with Senator Domenici, who himself had called Mr. Igelisias before the election to ask whether he was bringing indictments against a Democratic official in the lead up to the election. According to Allen Weh, Chairman of New Mexico's Republican party chairman, when he asked Mr. Rove during a holiday party in 2006 is anything ever going to happen to that guy? -- referring to Mr. Iglesias -- Mr. Rove responded, Hes gone.
* The concern by White House officials with purported voter fraud extends beyond New Mexico. We have learned that Mr. Rove sent Mr. Sampson a packet of information related to Wisconsin. According to his testimony, Mr. Sampson gave this packet to another Department official, Matthew Friedrich, and also asked him to look into the voter concerns in districts relayed by Mr. Rove to the Attorney General. The packet apparently sent by Mr. Rove contains a 30-page report concerning voting in Wisconsin in 2004 and also handwritten notes suggesting a concern with prosecution in numerous districts.
* John McKay, former U.S. Attorney for the Western District of Washington, testified that when he met with Ms. Miers and her deputy Mr. Kelley to interview for a federal judgeship, he was asked to explain criticism that I mishandled the 2004 governor's election after which Republicans were upset with him for not intervening in that closely contested election.
* Since the firings of these U.S. Attorneys for political reasons became public, there has been an effort to hide the role of White House officials. According to documents and the testimony of Mr. Sampson, the Attorney General was upset after the February 6, 2006, testimony of Deputy Attorney General Paul McNulty because Mr. McNultys testimony put the White House involvement in the firings into the public domain. The Administrations February 23, 2007, response to a letter from Senators Reid, Schumer, Durbin and Murray regarding the firings stated, I am not aware of Karl Rove playing any role in the AGs decision to appoint Griffin. Earlier e-mails indicate that the appointment of Mr. Griffin, another former deputy to Mr. Rove, was important to Mr. Rove. The White House apparently signed off on this letter. Many parts of this letter have since been retracted. Recent reports indicate that among the e-mails withheld from the investigating Committees are e-mails indicating that White House officials were consulted about that misleading letter.
* According to the testimony of Department officials, Mr. Rove and other White House officials attended a meeting at the White House on March 5, 2007 -- the day before Principal Associate Deputy Attorney General William Moschella testified before the House Judiciary Committee -- to go over the admin position on all aspects of the US atty issue.

Even though the White House has not provided a single document or witness, the President and others speaking for the Administration continue to state that nothing improper has occurred and that there is no credible evidence of wrongdoing. I continue to await an answer to my April 5, 2007, letter to you asking for the reviews by White House staff that led the President to conclude as of March 20, 2007, that there was no wrongdoing, including any information that has led the President to discount the mounting evidence of impropriety revealed as the investigation continues.

The White House cannot have it both waysit cannot withhold the documents and witnesses and thereby stonewall the investigation and, at the same time, claim that it knows of nothing improper. The involvement of Mr. Rove was initially denied but must now be conceded, as it was by the Attorney General and by the Attorney Generals former chief of staff during their Senate Judiciary Committee testimony.

The strong, and bipartisan, concern and sadness about this affair and the damage that has been done to the integrity of the Department of Justice was only deepened after the Attorney Generals testimony. At the Senate Judiciary Committees April 19, 2007, hearing with the Attorney General, Senators from both sides of the aisle saw their questions go unanswered and witnessed the Attorney Generals failures to recall what he did and what others did in developing and implementing the Administrations plan to fire United States Attorneys who had not shown sufficient fealty to their political aims.

This appeared to be part of an effort to minimize admissions of the involvement of and direction received from the White House. There is evidence that White House officials were deeply involved in what appears to be an effort to impose political influence on federal law enforcement. If the White House continues its refusal to provide information to the Senate Judiciary Committee on a voluntary basis, I will have no choice but to issue subpoenas to try to get to the truth in this matter.

Sincerely,


PATRICK LEAHY
Chairman
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L. Coyote Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-29-07 11:18 PM
Response to Original message
47. White House Watch: Helen Thomas Watch = Ya Gotta Love Helen
Edited on Tue May-29-07 11:19 PM by L. Coyote
From Friday's gaggle with White House spokesman Scott Stanzel.
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/linkset/20...

"Q Since no Justice Department official has been forthcoming, who drew up the list of the attorneys -- the prosecutors to be fired?

"MR. STANZEL: Well, I think, Helen, that's a subject that's been covered exhaustively on hearings on the Hill --

"Q Okay. Tell me, I'm sorry, I have not read who --

"MR. STANZEL: I will allow the Justice Department to help you out with that question because --

"Q But I'm telling you they're not saying.

"MR. STANZEL: They've testified hours and hours and hours about this very issue.

"Q Did they say who drew up the list?

"MR. STANZEL: Well, I think it's been testified to the fact that Kyle Sampson was working on the process, and I think they testified to that fact.

"Q Did he think of the names, himself?

"MR. STANZEL: I think he's spoken at length about the review process that was underway.

"Q Don't stall, just tell me. Who drew up --

"MR. STANZEL: I will refer you to the Department of Justice, Helen.

"Q Well, that's another dodge.

"Q They won't tell her.

"MR. STANZEL: I got that. Thank you. Any other questions?"
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lonestarnot Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-29-07 11:21 PM
Response to Reply #47
48. Helen! I love you!
:applause:
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