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ProSense Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Apr-17-07 10:42 AM
Original message
Edited on Tue Apr-17-07 10:55 AM by ProSense

Wheres Karl?

Attorney General Gonzaless testimony to the Senate Judiciary Committee is more notable for what it doesnt say than what it does.

By Michael Isikoff
Updated: 5:30 p.m. ET April 16, 2007


Gonzales also says he can recall two specific instances where Sampson mentioned to him that Miers had asked about the status of the Justice Departments review of the prosecutors. But he again never says whether he followed up with Miers at all or had any conversation with her-even in passing--about the subject. Even though Gonzales himself had served as White House counsel before Miers, and had regular meetings at the White House, he leaves the impression he left all status reports to Sampson.

An even more conspicuous omission is Gonzaless failure to mention any talks about the subject of U.S. attorneys with Karl Rove, the presidents chief political adviser. When Sampson appeared before the committee March 29, he testified under oath that Gonzales had told him last October that Rove had complained about the failure of three U.S. attorneys--including David Iglesias in New Mexico to prosecute vote fraud cases. It was shortly after that conversation-and after two Republican lawmakers pressed Iglesias to bring indictments in a corruption case implicating local Democrats before the November electionsthat Iglesias was added to the list of U.S. attorneys to be fired.

But Gonzaless prepared testimony says nothing about his conversation with Rove about the matter. The attorney general doesnt challenge Sampsons account. Indeed, elsewhere in his testimony he praises Sampson as a good man and a dedicated public servant, but doesnt say anywhere whether Sampsons account of the discussion mentioning Rove was accurate or whether it played a role in the decision to suddenly add Iglesias to the list.

New questions about the role of Rove, and President Bush, in the process were raised again as a result of a story over the weekend in the Albuquerque Journal about the firing of Iglesias. The paper reported that GOP Senator Pete Domenici (one of the two Republican lawmakers who pressed Iglesias to issue indictments) told Gonzales he wanted Iglesias fired in the spring of 2006. But Gonzales refused, saying he would act only under orders from President Bush, according to the papers account--which said it was compiled from a variety of sources familiar with the firing of Iglesias, including sources close to Domenici.

After the November election, the paper says, Domenici called Rove and told him he wanted Iglesias out, asking Rove to take the request directly to the president.

President Bush, talking to reporters last month in Mexico City, acknowledged that he had received complaints from some senators about U.S. attorneys. He also said he later passed this along to Gonzales. But I never brought up a specific case or gave him specific instructions," Bush said.


Sunday, April 15, 2007

The Misplaced Focus on Gonzales

Marty Lederman

In today's Washington Post, the Attorney General writes:

I know that I did not -- and would not -- ask for the resignation of any U.S. attorney for an improper reason. Furthermore, I have no basis to believe that anyone involved in this process sought the removal of a U.S. attorney for an improper reason.

I believe the first assertion. I don't think that Gonzales himself did recommend the removal of any U.S. Attorney for an improper reason. (UPDATE: Thanks to Paul Kiel for posting Gonzales's forthcoming opening statement.)

I also don't think he acted for any proper reasons, either. It is increasingly plain that he didn't act for much of a reason at all, other than that he was presented with a list of names that had already been cleared with Karl Rove and Harriet Miers. His previous statements that he was more-or-less out of the loop, in other words, are likely to be basically accurate. He didn't fundamentally mislead Congress. His role in this imbroglio was as the rubber-stamper. He writes:

To be clear: I directed my then-deputy chief of staff, Kyle Sampson, to initiate this process; fully knew that it was occurring; and approved the final recommendations. Sampson periodically updated me on the review. As I recall, his updates were brief, relatively few in number and focused primarily on the review process. During those conversations, to my knowledge, I did not make decisions about who should or should not be asked to resign.


Nevertheless, the real action on the "merits" was not at DOJ, but in the White House, where the process was initiated by Karl Rove and where the final decision was made by the President. Thus, the current focus on the Attorney General is something of a distraction, at least insofar as Congress's objective is to determine whether anything unlawful or unconstitutional was involved in the U.S. Attorney dismissals. Congress cannot determine whether the removals were made for improper reasons unless it discovers what Rove and Miers advised the President, and why they did so. But the evidence that would bear on that is precisely the sorts of internal White House deliberations that Fred Fielding would put off-limits to Congress -- or that have magically disappeared from RNC databases.


Edited to add: Clearly Gonzales lied to Congress. There is a lot of lying going on: Schrodinger's Prosecutor.

Conyers' deal: House Panel to Vote on Immunity for Goodling
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ProSense Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Apr-17-07 10:56 AM
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1. Updated! n/t
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liberal N proud Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Apr-17-07 11:01 AM
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2. When I see that headline all I can think, Did anyone look in the grass?
As snake in the grass
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Straight Shooter Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Apr-17-07 11:03 AM
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3. Or the septic tank. n/t
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me b zola Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Apr-17-07 11:43 AM
Response to Original message
4. k&r
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bleever Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Apr-17-07 11:47 AM
Response to Original message
5. K&R.
Lies all around.
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myrna minx Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Apr-17-07 11:49 AM
Response to Original message
6. K&R.
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pacalo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Apr-17-07 01:10 PM
Response to Original message
7. The second article is excellent & makes a lot of sense.
Edited on Tue Apr-17-07 01:12 PM by 8_year_nightmare
Turdblossom & the former Supreme Court nominee should be the targets. Rubberstamper, of course, needs to go, like yesterday.
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Supersedeas Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Apr-17-07 01:29 PM
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8. maybe Fred Fielding thinks that we can not handle the truth.
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