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L. Coyote Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-18-07 07:14 PM
Original message
The NEW Acting Attorney General = Peter Keisler = Who is he? Just a Gonzales CLONE?
Is Peter D. Keisler nothing more than a Gonzales clone.
For Bush, this seems to be what "Justice" requires just now.

A Google search turns up a lot of info links in 0.20 seconds, but hat does it all mean?

From wikipedia we see Bush likes him

Peter D. Keisler .... an Assistant Attorney General in charge of the Civil Division at the U.S. Department of Justice and a current nominee for a position as a federal judge on the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit. He was first nominated for the position on June 29, 2006 by President George W. Bush to fill a seat vacated by John Roberts ... His nomination was returned to the President on September 29, 2006. President Bush renominated Keisler November 15, 2006. That nomination was returned to the President on December 9, 2006 with the adjournment ... Keisler was again nominated .... on January 9, 2007...... Keisler clerked for Judge Robert Bork on the D.C. Circuit ....

On September 6, 2007, Keisler announced his resignation from the Department of Justice, effective September 21, 2007, in order to "spend time with his family."

And we see that, like so many Bush appointees, he is dedicated to spending more time with his family. This euphemism in Bush's DC has come to be equated with resigning due to scandal, corruption, and/or criminal conduct.

The WA Post reported the following in 2006:

Bush Picks Official at Justice for D.C. Circuit
By Eric M. Weiss - June 30, 2006; Page A10

President Bush nominated a senior Justice Department official yesterday to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit.

If confirmed by the Senate, Peter D. Keisler would fill the seat vacated last year when John G. Roberts Jr. was appointed chief justice of the United States.

It marked the second time that Bush has nominated Keisler ... Sens. Barbara A. Mikulski and Paul S. Sarbanes, both Maryland Democrats, blocked his bid ....

... the D.C. Circuit, considered the second-highest court in the nation because it hears so many critical cases involving the federal government.....

In 2002, he joined the Justice Department, rising to the position of assistant attorney general for the Civil Division in 2003.

In April 2005, Keisler defended the administration's policy of military tribunals in a case that was overturned yesterday by the Supreme Court.

In his argument before the D.C. Circuit, Keisler said that the president should be allowed to exercise his power to prosecute and punish al-Qaeda terrorism suspects for war crimes without intervention from U.S. courts.

So, we see he is in the Unfettered Executive camp, and defended military tribunals. There are other objections. Judiciary chair Sen. Leahy had objections to his current nomination. Keisler was knee deep in Reagan's illegal activities, for one, and turned a huge favor for big tobacco:

September 17, 2007 2:42 PM
Peter Keisler, the New Acting Attorney General

Senator Patrick Leahy (D-VT) and others have complained that the Judiciary Committee has received insufficient background materials on his nomination, currently omitting documentation of Keisler's Reagan-era work on arms sales, aid to Nicaraguan revolutionaries, and signing statements. "Keisler was described by Legal Times as "a well-connected Republican foot soldier during the 1980s and an acolyte of ultraconservative ex-D.C. Circuit Judge Robert Bork." Since joining the Justice Department more recently, he approved the government's unilateral concession of $120 billion in penalties previously sought from the tobacco industry, for which he has been publicly criticized by career lawyers in the Department.

The NY Times, in their editorial on the Michael Mukasey nomination, points out

.... Mr. Bush also announced yesterday that he was replacing Acting Attorney General Paul Clement, who was to serve until the Senate confirmed Mr. Gonzaless successor, with Peter Keisler, a hard-line movement conservative. Mr. Bushs sleight of hand in installing Mr. Keisler is an unfortunate indication that he intends to keep the department politicized for as long as he can. ....

That may be an understatement or euphemism, given the number of scandals under investigation today. What seems apparent is that Bush is not even willing to allow Paul Clement at the helm in Justice, but requires a Gonzales clone instead.

Enough to start a research/compilation thread.
Let's put together the facts on Peter D. Keisler.

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hang a left Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-18-07 07:30 PM
Response to Original message
1. What I have read is that he used to be general counsel for AT&T nt
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L. Coyote Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-19-07 03:13 PM
Response to Reply #1
12. Appellate Decision Rejects Privacy Claims: AT&T v. Conboy
Appellate Decision Rejects Privacy Claims: AT&T v. Conboy
April 2001

The Second Circuit recently held in AT&T v. Conboy* that transfers of personal information collected by a company do not necessarily cause injury or give rise to cognizable damages. Peter Keisler of Sidley & Austin argued the case on behalf of AT&T. The decision was announced on February 26, 2001.

AT&T prevailed over plaintiffs who claimed AT&T had improperly distributed their customer proprietary network information (CPNI) to AT&Ts former credit card branch, Universal Card Service (UCS), in order to assist in credit-card debt collection. The Conboys accused AT&T of obtaining the information through its role as their long-distance service provider. The information allegedly disclosed consisted of their names, unlisted telephone number, billing address, and details of their long-distance calls.

According to the allegations of the complaint, the plaintiffs Edward and Ellen Conboy were the in-laws of Maria Conboy, who owed money charged to a credit card issued by UCS. Though the Conboys were not obligated to pay Marias debts, the Conboys claimed that UCS contacted them at their unlisted home telephone number numerous times to seek information about Marias activities and whereabouts in order to pursue what Maria owed UCS.

In their complaint, the Conboys alleged violations of a number of privacy and consumer protection laws, .......
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L. Coyote Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-20-07 07:47 AM
Response to Reply #12
17. The United States of AT&T by emptywheel
Emptywheel has a good analysis of Keisler's role as AT&T lawyer and AAG, and where that overlap has significance.
This is the first analysis that points out how the AAG, under the new Protect America Act, has a role in unwarranted
surveillance authorizations. Was this the plan when FISA was amended, to have Keisler making decisions on who gets spied on.
Was Clement just the temporary poster boy for a false flag operation to make Congress think the DoJ was to have a new day.

Well, the DoJ had a new day, but only one of them. Clement was at the helm for a mere day.

September 17, 2007
The United States of AT&T
by emptywheel

Back in June, the Bush Administration invited one of AT&T's key lobbyists, Ed Gillespie, to serve as White House counselor.... days after Gillespie took over that role, the DOJ made an unusual intervention into the FCC's request for comments on Net Neutrality, weighing against Net Neutrality.

Well today, one of AT&T's former key attorneys, Peter Keisler, just took over the Department of Justice.


In June 2006, Keisler was one of a number of government lawyers arguing that New Jersey had no legal authority to subpoena documents relating to AT&T's and other telecomm companies' participation in the warrantless wiretapping program. Also in June 2006, Keisler invoked state secrets in Hepting v. AT&T, an attempt to scuttle the citizen lawsuits on the warrantless wiretap program.

In other words, both in and out of government, Keisler has represented AT&T's interests masterfully.

Which makes it rather disconcerting that the AG has the authority to authorize telecomm companies to cooperate in government spying.


Basically, Bush just gave AT&T the ability to have its long-time lawyer give it legal authority to collaborate with the government to spy on citizens.

And in case you're worried that AT&T is stuck with no good legal representation, having lost Keisler, rest assured. You see, former Associate White House Counsel Brad Berenson (who also happens to be Kyle Sampson and Susan Ralston's lawyer) has taken over for Keisler and is working on the AT&T case, among other things.
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L. Coyote Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-18-07 07:36 PM
Response to Original message
2. DOJ Sues to Block New Jersey Investigation of Phone Companies....
DOJ Sues to Block New Jersey Investigation of Phone Companies' Transfer of Phone Call Records

June 14, 2006. The U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) filed a civil complaint (14 pages in PDF in U.S. District Court (DNJ) against the the Attorney General of the state of New Jersey, other New Jersey officials, and phone companies that have been subpoenaed by New Jersey. The complaint seeks declaratory judgment that the state lacks authority to issue the subpoenas.

Background. On May 11, 2006, USA Today published an article ( titled "NSA has massive database of Americans' phone calls". It stated that "The National Security Agency has been secretly collecting the phone call records of tens of millions of Americans, using data provided by AT&T, Verizon and BellSouth ..."

See also, story ... ( ........

DOJ Complaint. Count I of the two count complaint alleges that the subpoenas are invalid and preempted by the supremacy clause of the Constitution, unnamed federal laws, and "exclusive control over foreign intelligence gathering activities, national security, the conduct of foreign affairs, and the conduct of military affairs"......

The first paragraph of the complaint provides that "the United States seeks to prevent the disclosure of highly confidential and sensitive government information that the defendant officers of the State of New Jersey have sought to obtain from telecommunications carriers without proper authorization from the United States. ......

+++++++ How can I not interject a comment here. The phone company has secrets the State of NJ cannot have. That's a real stretch! +++++++++

(The article continues) ... Peter Keisler of the DOJ wrote a letter to Farber informing her of the lawsuit, in which he stated that "it is our belief that compliance with the subpoenas would place the carriers in a position of having to confirm or deny the existence of information that cannot be confirmed or denied without harming national security, and that enforcing compliance with these subpoenas would be inconsistent with, and preempted by, federal law."

He added that "The subpoenas infringe upon federal operations, are contrary to federal law, and accordingly are invalid under the Supremacy Clause ..."

Keisler also wrote a second letter to the subpoenaed carriers. One of the addressees is Bradford Berenson of the law firm of Sidley & Austin ....

.... DOJ complaint lists the names of several DOJ attorneys. Peter Keisler is the first listed name. .... he was until recently a partner in the law firm of Sidley & Austin, where he represented AT&T.
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L. Coyote Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-19-07 12:23 AM
Response to Reply #2
9. Peter Keisler, Rove, Abramoff, DoJ, the USAs, Bradford Berenson, and Sidley & Austin
I'm no longer surprised when I encounter new Culture of Corruption links. It is one big Family, or perhaps "the Enterprise" is a better term.

Peter Keisler, who recently resigned along with Gonzales, represented ATT in a case while a partner in Sidley & Austin, before being hired by DoJ.
I recognize the law firm name because Bradford Berenson, another Sidley & Austin partner, represents other resignees in the Bush administration, Kyle Sampson and Susan B. Ralston, aide Rove and Abramoff and former White House political director..

Berenson, like Keisler, is also a former SCOTUS clerk, was a Bush WH deputy counsel, was involved in the Florida recount, and defends NSA spying and presidential power.

From: '78 Law Sought to Close Spy Loophole By David G. Savage

Administration officials refused Friday to discuss the National Security Agency spying program or even to confirm its existence.

Some former officials say it is important to put the program into the context of the time. "I wasn't aware of this when I was at the White House, but there was a tremendous sense of urgency to take whatever steps were necessary to detect and disrupt any cells that were out there," said Bradford A. Berenson

... Berenson, the former White House associate counsel, said that in rare cases, the presidents' advisers may decide that an existing law violates the Constitution "by invading the president's executive powers as commander in chief." ........

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L. Coyote Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-18-07 07:44 PM
Response to Original message
3. ABA Journal: New Acting AG Named = Big Tobacco & Keisler's $120M political interference
New Acting AG Named
Sep 17, 2007, By Debra Cassens Weiss

President Bushs announcement that he was nominating Michael B. Mukasey to become attorney general was not the surprising part .... More surprising was Bushs announcement that Peter Keisler ... was taking over as acting attorney general.


Keisler oversaw litigation over the rights of Guantanamo Bay detainees and approved a decision to reduce the amount sought in the governments suit against tobacco companies from $130 million to $10 million, noted in an earlier post ( The tobacco decision prompted the lead attorney on the suit to resign and complain of political interference.

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L. Coyote Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-18-07 10:10 PM
Response to Reply #3
8. Another Asst. Attorney General Resigns
Now that the OPR is under scrutiny in DoJ, how is it possible that one of a person most likely to be reviewed is to head the department?

Another Asst. Attorney General Resigns

Peter D. Keisler, Assistant Attorney General for the Civil Division, this evening announced his resignation... one of about 12 political appointees who have resigned this year ...

In 2005, Keisler signed off on the department's decision to reduce the amount sought in the government's civil racketeering suit against big tobacco from $130 billion to $10 billion.

That move led the lead tobacco case trial attorney, Sharon Eubanks, to resign from the Justice Department. She later accused Keisler and two other political appointees of political interference. An internal investigation by the department's Office of Professional Responsibility found no wrongdoing.
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L. Coyote Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-18-07 08:01 PM
Response to Original message
4. BUSH botches announcement of Keisler, getting his name wrong.
Maybe Keisler isn't the first-rank co-conspirator some would think. After all, Bush doesn't even know his foot soldier's name.

Bush: "It's a pivotal time for our nation, and it's vital that the position of Attorney General be filled quickly. I urge the Senate to confirm Judge Mukasey promptly. Until the Judge is confirmed, Assistant Attorney General Paul Keisler will serve as acting Attorney General. Accepting this assignment requires -- Peter -- I said -- Peter Keisler. Accepting this assignment requires Peter to delay the departure date he announced earlier this month, and I appreciate his willingness to do so. Peter is the acting Attorney General. Paul Clement, who agreed to take on this role, will remain focused on his duties as Solicitor General, so he can prepare for the Supreme Court term that begins just two weeks from today."
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L. Coyote Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-18-07 09:15 PM
Response to Original message
5. Keisler was associate counsel to President Reagan.
Edited on Tue Sep-18-07 09:15 PM by L. Coyote
Head of DOJ's Civil Division Resigns
AP - September 7, 2007

Assistant Attorney General Peter D. Keisler, who oversaw the Bush administration's lengthy legal fight over the rights of prisoners at Guantanamo Bay, announced his resignation Thursday as head of the civil division.


Before taking charge of the civil division in 2003, Keisler was a principal deputy associate attorney general and acting associate attorney general. He came to the department from the Washington law firm of Sidley Austin Brown & Wood.

He also served as associate counsel to President Reagan.

D.C. Circuit Nominee Keisler Accused of Undermining Government Tobacco Case

Keisler ... Associate Counsel and Assistant Counsel in the Reagan White House ... reportedly worked on AIDS policy, the Bork Supreme Court nomination, and other controversial matters ... nearly all the documents pertaining to his work there remain locked away in the Reagan Presidential Library, apparently at the behest of the Bush administration.

01/09/2007 - President Bush has renominated controversial Peter Keisler to the D.C. Circuit. The White House is still stonewalling the Senate and the American public by blocking the release of relevant public records from Keislers tenure in the Office of Counsel during the Reagan Administration. People For the American Way believes it's critical that the Senate and the public get the material to properly evaluate Keisler's nomination to a lifetime seat on the nation's second highest court.

People For the American Way and the Alliance for Justice filed a FOIA request for the information last July to fill in many of the blanks in Keislers record and help provide the Senate and the public with valuable insights into Keisler's conduct and views on important constitutional and legal matters.

Keisler co-founded the Federalist Society, clerked for D.C. Circuit Judge Robert Bork, and served as Assistant Counsel and then Associate Counsel in the Reagan White House from 198688.
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L. Coyote Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-18-07 09:43 PM
Response to Original message
6. Keisler, as head of DoJ Civil Division, settled Medicare Fraud lawsuits
Edited on Tue Sep-18-07 09:43 PM by L. Coyote
Numerous questions have been raised about how government officials have settled billions of dollars in Medicare fraud lawsuits under the Bush administration. This issue is tied to the USA firings in several states, particularly in Missouri and Carol Lam in San Diego. Peter Keisler's name surfaces in this area, of course, since he headed the Civil Division. When these cases involved the SEC, they also involved the So NY USA office and courts.

Hospital Chain to Pay $265M to Settle Whistleblower Suits
Shannon P. Duffy = June 16, 2006
The Legal Intelligencer

A New Jersey hospital chain will pay $265 million to settle a pair of whistleblower lawsuits that claimed it had systematically inflated charges to Medicare patients in order to obtain enhanced reimbursements ... the massive settlement by Saint Barnabas Corp. -- the largest health care system in New Jersey and second largest employer in the state -- could be just the first in a wave because numerous other unidentified hospitals are apparently facing similar accusations.......

Justice Department lawyers said yesterday that between October 1995 and August 2003, the nine hospitals operated by West Orange, N.J.-based Saint Barnabas "purposefully inflated charges for inpatient and outpatient care to make these cases appear more costly than they actually were."........

A redacted copy of one of the lawsuits, unsealed by U.S. District Judge Juan R. Sanchez, shows that the identities of numerous additional defendants have been blacked out. Sanchez ordered that the original version of the suit must remain under seal.

In a press release, Assistant Attorney General Peter Keisler, head of the Justice Department's Civil Division, said, "Today's settlement demonstrates the United States' determination to make sure health care providers do not overcharge the Medicare program."

In the settlement, Saint Barnabas did not admit to any wrongdoing, but it entered into a "corporate integrity agreement" in which it promised to take a series of steps to ensure compliance with Medicare regulations and policies in the future.
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L. Coyote Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-19-07 03:53 PM
Response to Reply #6
13. Peter Keisler's connection to the USA firings, Carol Lam, and Debra Yang
Full Circle. The new AAG has a role in the USA firings scandal controversies.

"settlement amount was based on the companys ability to pay"

Tenet Healthcare Corporation to Pay U.S. more than $900 Million to Resolve False Claims Act Allegations

WASHINGTON Tenet Healthcare Corporation, operator of the nations second largest hospital chain, has agreed to pay the United States more than $900 million for alleged unlawful billing practices, Assistant Attorney General Peter D. Keisler of the Civil Division and U.S. Attorney Debra Wong Yang of the Central District of California in Los Angeles announced today.

Todays settlement reflects our continued resolve to hold responsible those who engage in health care fraud in any form, said Assistant Attorney General Keisler, head of the Justice Departments Civil Division. ....

Under the agreement, Tenet, which is headquartered in Dallas but operates dozens of hospitals throughout the United States, will pay a total of $900 million over a four-year period, plus interest, to resolve various types of civil allegations involving Tenets billings to Medicare and other federal health care programs. The settlement amount was based on the companys ability to pay. ......

The following divisions and districts of the Department of Justice assisted in bringing the above matters to a successful resolution: Civil Division; Central District of California; Northern District of Alabama; Eastern District of Louisiana; Eastern District of Missouri; Eastern District of Pennsylvania; and Western District of Tennessee. Assistant Attorney General Keisler and U.S. Attorney Wong also wish to acknowledge the extensive assistance in addressing and resolving the settled allegations provided by the Department of Health and Human Services Office of Inspector General and its Office of Investigations in Santa Ana, Calif.), Office of General Counsel, and Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services; the Federal Bureau of Investigation; and Medicare Contractors Mutual of Omaha, Inc., and IntegriGuard LLC.

Way more info on this archived thread:
FROM: US Attorney Firing: Voter Fraud, Medicare Fraud, WHICH IS IT ???

FIRINGS TIMELINE and HHS Seeks to Knock Out TENET's Alvarado Hospital
Tenet was facing, on May 10, 2006, a (quoting Kyle Sampson's May 11 e-mail) "real problem we have right now with Carol Lam"
HHS Seeks to Knock Out San Diego Hospital - May 10, 2006

The Office of the Inspector General for the Department of Health and Human Services is seeking the ultimate punishment against a San Diego hospital by seeking to bar it from participating in federal healthcare programs, most importantly Medicare and Medicaid. An OIG release (here) states that the Department has issued a notice to Alvarado Hospital Medical Center and its corporate parent, Tenet HealthSystems Hospitals, Inc., that it is seeking the bar because of alleged illegal kickbacks paid to doctors in exchange for patient referrals. Alvarado and its CEO have been tried twice on criminal anti-kickback and fraud charges in federal court in San Diego, and a hung jury resulted in mistrials both times. The U.S. Attorney's Office for the Southern District of California is considering whether to try the defendants again, but in the meantime HHS has acted to seek the "nuclear option" in healthcare that would likely cause the hospital to go out of business. ...................

Insider trading "Barbakow made $111 million" Thomas B. Mackey "grossing about $10 million"

Edited on Wed May-09-07 04:10 PM by L. Coyote
Fair Use limits restrict how much of this article I can copy and paste. There is a much wider story with compensation, political connections, and more. See also link above, re BUSH Pioneer Barbakow.
Insider trading
July 2003 by Michael Wynne

(Big time Bush donor and Tenet CEO) ... Barbakow was paid vast sums in salary, bonuses, options and even in additional pension entitlements. Remaining senior executives wallowed in their big bonuses. This multimillion dollar piggery incensed the underpaid nurses ......

.... Corporate executives also have a canny ability to take up their options and sell shares only a short time before they claim to have become aware of adverse circumstances which cause company shares to plunge.....

Mr. Barbakow made $111 million by exercising stock options in January. Mr. Mackey, one of the men recently forced out, made $9.9 million last month, before the bad news started to break.

..... some Tenet directors and senior management exercised stock options. On Oct. 4, for example, Thomas B. Mackey, Tenet's chief operating officer, exercised options on 277,500 shares at $51.50, grossing about $10 million. ....
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L. Coyote Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-18-07 10:07 PM
Response to Original message
7. NELA< Keisler, Bork, The Federalist Society "not qualified to be appointed"

The National Employment Lawyers Association (NELA) is strongly opposed to the nomination
of Peter Douglas Keisler to the D.C. Court of Appeals. After reviewing Mr. Keislers background
and legal experience, we believe he is not qualified to be appointed to the federal bench.
Despite having been nominated to one of the most influential federal appeals courts in the
country, Mr. Keisler has no judicial experience and no published writings which may indicate
his judicial philosophy. Instead, the strongest indicator of his judicial philosophy is his long
association, involvement and leadership in the conservative legal movement. That association
shortly began after his graduation from Yale Law School, when he clerked for Judge Robert H.
Bork on the D.C. Court of Appeals. Mr. Keisler worked closely with Judge Bork on his
nomination to the Supreme Court of the United States and steadfastly defended him amidst the
controversy during the confirmation hearings. At Judge Borks Senate confirmation hearings,
Mr. Keisler expressed his admiration for Judge Bork and stated that he considered the judges
views to be mainstream. Judge Bork has said that Mr. Keisler is one of my favorites.

Even more troubling, however, is Mr. Keislers founding of the Federalist Society for Law &
Public Policy Studies. The organization, which he founded with other Yale Law students such
as noted conservative scholar Steven Calabresi, has created a conservative and libertarian
intellectual network that extends to all levels of the legal community. Mr. Keisler was a
Director and Secretary of the Society from 1983 to 2000 and, therefore, presumptively an active
figure in shaping the Societys policy during that time. ...

NELA is troubled that the Senate Judiciary Committee has been
unable to obtain a large number of documents he drafted while serving as the
Assistant/Associate Counsel to President Regan from 1986 to 1988. Such documents may shed
light on Mr. Keislers position on various legal issues, including employee rights. Without such
documents, it is difficult to assess where Mr. Keisler may stand on issues important to American

In November 2003, as an Assistant Attorney General, Mr. Keisler told a Senate committee that
more rights for whistleblowers could jeopardize national security. ....
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L. Coyote Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-19-07 12:44 PM
Response to Original message
10. Sen. Ted Kennedy on Nomination of Peter Keisler to D.C. Circuit
Kennedy on Nomination of Peter Keisler to D.C. Circuit

Mr. Chairman, Im concerned that the Committee is proceeding with undue haste on the nomination of Mr. Keisler. There are important unresolved matters that we should consider before we reach a decision.

First, is the issue we raised in the letter we sent you last week, urging the Committee to examine the need to fill the 11th or 12th judgeships on the D.C. Circuit. Republican members of this Committee strongly opposed attempts by the Clinton Administration to fill the 11th seat and they were successful in blocking well-qualified nominees. They argued that the court did not have enough cases to justify that number of judges. Since then, the number of written opinions issued by the court has declined by 17%. The number of cases resolved on the merits per judge is down 21%, and the number of cases filed per judge is down 10%. We should consider these caseload declines carefully before we fill the current vacancy. American taxpayers deserve no less.

In addition, we have had very little time to consider the record of Mr. Keisler. He was nominated only a month ago, and the ABA did not complete its evaluation of him until yesterday. As we all know, the D.C. Circuit is second in importance only to the Supreme Court. We should proceed with particular care in confirming judges to that Court. ....

We know that he worked in the Reagan White House, but we know virtually nothing about what he worked on there. We have not had the opportunity to obtain records from that period of his career. We know that he was a founder and longtime high ranking officer in the Federalist Society and that he was upset that Judge Bork was not confirmed to the Supreme Court. Indeed, he dismissed criticism of Judge Borks record, stating: Its just a bunch of hot air. I think Bork is in the mainstream. And he is reported to have said: It was extremely frustrating to see ideas that had previously been considered part of a reasonable debate excommunicated and defined as extreme by the Senate. As one who sat on this Committee when Judge Bork was considered, I disagree strongly with those views.
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L. Coyote Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-19-07 01:51 PM
Response to Original message
11. While the Senate dickers on Mukasey, a dangerous Acting AG assumes the helm at DOJ.
seafan Sep-18-07 10:38 AM
While the Senate dickers on Mukasey, a dangerous Acting AG assumes the helm at DOJ.

With the unfolding scrutiny of Michael Mukasey as Bush's nominee for the next Attorney General, Glen Greenwald at Salon gets to the troubling heart of it:

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L. Coyote Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-19-07 05:10 PM
Response to Original message
14. Bait and Switch in the Attorney Generals Office = "continued politicization" at DoJ
Bait and Switch in the Attorney Generals Office
BY Scott Horton - Sept. 19, 2007

.... I spent some time talking with folks at the Judiciary Committee, in Justice and at the White House trying to figure that out. The explanations are consistent, and they point to a tactical move on the White Houses part.

One of the key issues in the background in the selection of the new attorney general was whether he would be what Republicans often call a movement conservative. .... Ted Olson, for instance, is widely viewed as one of the founding figures in the movement.

What distinguishes movement conservatives from others is a willingness to use all the institutions of government aggressively to accomplish the movements agenda.


Second, and more importantly, the White House fully anticipated that the Senate Judiciary Committee would hold the Mukasey nomination hostage to its demands for documents relating to the probe of Karl Rove and his involvement in manipulating hiring and firing and prosecutorial decisions within the Department of Justice. There is also a strong concern that the Senate will press for appointment of a special prosecutor to look at the question of politically motivated hirings, firings and prosecutions. But the documents are the special concern. As one source put it to me, I cant stress enough how mortified the White House is about the prospect of disclosure of these documents. I have no idea whats in them, but the way some people close to the president and Rove behave, youve got to think its something extremely worrisome. There is no way they are ever going to give way on this. They are intent on protecting Karl to the end. Since the White House isnt going to play Patrick Leahys game on the documents, it wanted to provide some reverse pressure.

I am told that Keisler is that reverse pressure. As several sources told me, Keisler means straight line continuity with Alberto Gonzales, his policies and approaches. Does that mean continued politicization of the Justice Department? Yes. .......

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L. Coyote Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-20-07 07:22 AM
Response to Original message
15. TPM Acting AG Was Last Minute White House Pick
My guess, it was a last minute revelation, but planned before Gonzo resigned.

Acting AG Was Last Minute White House Pick
By Paul Kiel - September 19, 2007, 10:29AM

On Monday, we noted that Peter Keisler was unexpectedly slotted in as the man to replace Alberto Gonzales until the President's nominee, Michael Mukasey, was confirmed by the Senate. This morning, The Washington Post is the first paper to take much notice of the move, and reports that it caught pretty much everyone, including officials in the Justice Department, by surprise:

While Mukasey's nomination is pending, the Justice Department will be run by former civil division chief Peter D. Keisler, a conservative appointee who this week was a surprise replacement in that role for Solicitor General Paul D. Clement. Clement, who was publicly tagged last month as the temporary replacement for Gonzales, wound up officially taking the helm at 12:01 a.m. Monday and relinquishing it 24 hours later, officials said.

The switch was made on Sunday by the White House with no input from Justice Department officials, said two sources with knowledge of the matter. The change added another level of uncertainty to life at the Justice Department, where nearly every top senior official has resigned .........
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L. Coyote Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-20-07 07:33 AM
Response to Original message
16. Eight Things We Already Know about Acting Attorney General Keisler
More like eight things we already know. There are many more things we should know, but which the Bush administration is covering up. Namely, the decisions Keisler wrote during the Iran-Contra heydays when he worked for Reagan. Also, a very close inspection of his role in corporate fraud sweetheart settlements is now in order.

How did one of the persons resigning in the Gonzales scandal suddenly ascend to AAG?
What was Clement about to do that required Bush to push him out after just one day on the job? Or, was this September surprise planned all along, since before Gonzo resigned, and kept hush-hush to enable its fruition?

It is good to see others are taking note of this extraordinary set of events.

8 Things to Know about Acting Attorney General Keisler
by HeyThereItsEric rcs1
Wed Sep 19, 2007

Some exceptional sleuthing from HeyThereItsEric

On Monday, TPMuckracker noted something hidden in the Michael Mukasey announcement: the appointment of Peter Keisler as Acting Attorney General.

8 things you need to know about Peter Keisler:

1. Keisler was a co-founder of the Federalist Society;
2. The Federalist Society was a checkbox in Goodling's evaluation of U. S. Attorneys;
3. Keisler oversaw the Administration's fight against habeas corpus for Guantanamo;
4. Keisler allegedly interfered with the Tobacco conspiracy trial;
5. Keisler received a recess appointment at age 24;
6. Keisler testified against extending whistleblower protections using arguments contradicting existing federal statutes;
7. Keisler defended secrecy for all Warrantless Surveillance info, arguing that even confirmation or denial of its existence threatens national security;
8. Keisler defended the Interior Department in Cobell v. Norton - a tour de force of legal maneuvering and alleged DOJ obstruction of justice.

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L. Coyote Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-20-07 10:39 AM
Response to Original message
18. WANTED: A credible choice for attorney general
Of course, this opinion also applies to the Acting AG! Just substitute Keisler for Mukasey ....

A credible choice for attorney general

Wanted: First-rate lawyer to run the U.S. Department of Justice. Position requires an outstanding rsum, including trial experience in criminal cases, broad knowledge of the law, familiarity with terrorism issues and some management know-how. Judicial background a plus. Must have bipartisan appeal. Objective: To restore credibility and integrity to a department crippled by political scandal. No White House cronies need apply.

That fairly describes what the Department of Justice desperately needs ............

One thing above all should be clear: The last thing the department needs is another errand boy for the White House and Vice President Cheney. ........

Mr. Gonzales never was the man to do that. Mr. Mukasey's success at the confirmation hearings will hinge on his ability to persuade senators that he is his own man and can keep the White House at arm's length. He can establish his bona fides by being open to the possibility of reviewing the most doubtful policies, such as denial of habeas corpus to terrorism detainees. He should also be open to reviewing the dubious prosecutions of high-profile Democrats, including former Alabama Gov. Don Siegelman and Georgia Thompson, a Wisconsin civil servant.

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L. Coyote Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-21-07 09:53 AM
Response to Original message
19. Conyers is putting preassure on Keisler without delay
Ellison, Conyers again seek information on Heffelfinger, Paulose...
Sep 20 2007 AP -

Washington (AP) Two congressmen are asking the U.S. Justice Department to send over documents showing whether politics played a role in the changing of U.S. attorneys in Minnesota last year.

Representative Keith Ellison and House Judiciary Committee Chairman John Conyers made a similar request in May.

The two wrote a letter to acting Attorney General Peter Keisler regarding Rachel Paulose's appointment to U.S. Attorney following the resignation of Tom Heffelfinger.

A blog report this week said that Paulose was being investigated .................

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book_worm Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-21-07 10:44 AM
Response to Original message
20. I can't think of anybody Bush would appoint who would satisfy us
Bush isnt going to appoint anybody that DUers like or would want. It isn't in his nature.
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