1. Anonymous says:

    I don’t think this is what you were looking for, but there should have been substantial discussions with Lam, the AUSA heading the criminal division in that district, and the trial team assigned to the Cunningham/Wilkes/Foggo etc. investigation/prosecution and probably including the leads on the FBI end as well. This is a big and complex investigation/prosecution, and contrary to Gonzales’ inference, Lam was clearly the driving force. Especially given that they gave a short extension to Lam, there was plenty of time to make it a seamless transition, or at least as seamless as possible, in spite of the fact that the district USA was being changed out. It would be derelict for DOJ Main not to have had managerial transition discussions in light of the significance and public nature of the case.

  2. Anonymous says:

    It’s claiming it was the NIE when it was really blowing Plame’s cover all over again! Gonzales is especially irritating to me when he’s trying to reframe questions. When Schumer was questioning Gonzales, trying to ascertain whether anyone at DOJ had ever talked to Lam about immigration, Gonzales kept trying to reframe the question as, â€did anyone ever warn Lam she’d be fired if her immigration performance didn’t improve.†It’s why it was so satisfying when Whitehead went straight for the framing itself, pinning Gonzales down on his use of the word â€improper.â€

  3. Anonymous says:

    Abu’s deflection shows â€the Gonzalez strategy†and just how artful and well-trained he was. His response to ’did you review the impact on ongoing investigations’ is that ’you have to understand that most of the prosecution work is done by the AUSAs.’ Umm, okay, but it just so happens that Carol Lam (I believe, others could confirm) is a very much a full-fledged prosecutor, just like Patrick Fitzgerald. Major misdirect of the question, and it shows that Kennedy was very close to a direct hit.

    Funny how Gonzo brings up â€Carol Lam and her performance†all on his own, without any prompting. And then, as you point out, he covers himself, then goes back again once more just to make sure.

    Not sure why, when Kennedy got so close with the ongoing prosecutions question, he didn’t wade right into the deep warm water. â€â€¦most prosecutions are done by AUSAs… if we have information, that would be something… I don’t believe that would be a good idea.â€
    K: â€But Carol Lam was the direct prosecutor on Cunningham and the Foggo/Wilkes case, so forget the AUSA issue. This was an ongoing investigation and planned prosecution. You are claiming that you were considering and discussing Lam’s immigration record, although you weren’t talking to her about it, but did you do a review or have any discussions about the impact of her removal on the Foggo/Wilkes investigation? It wasn’t an AUSA, it was her. Just curious.â€
    G:…blah blah, wouldn’t tamper, no effect, nothing improper, blah blah.
    K: There was an ongoing investigation of the #3 guy in the CIA, etc. etc. and you removed the prosecutor on the case. What was your sense of the impact and what has been the impact?

    Working through this, I’m kind of surprised it never came up, really, even in the most indirect terms. Just because Abu says it wasn’t improper, and they would never have done it, the fact is that they did it, and it’s still his job to tell us what the consequences were.

  4. Anonymous says:

    Do you think Kennedy has some specific information? In mentioning a perjury trap, you imply not only that Gonzales is lying by amnesia but that he realizes the information he is trying to hide may have already been made available to the committee?

    How frankly did Sampson et al. testify, do you think? Is other information going to trickle out, or might the committee use the evidence they’ve gathered to begin contempt charges?

  5. Anonymous says:

    Mr. Gonzales’ definition of the leadership role played by US Attorneys may reflect the limits of his own leadership as Attorney General. But if it were any accurate definition of leadership itself, then the US Government would behave no differently under Mr. Bush that in it did under Mr. Clinton.

    Since that comparison is patently untrue, Mr. Gonzales is deceptively minimizing the role US Attorneys play and the likely impact that abruptly changing a US Attorney would have on ALL prosecutions in their office. Like Mr. Bush, Mr. Gonzales redefines the impact of his decisions to make his failings look like skills.

    The ship captain doesn’t often work in the engine room. But it makes a difference throughout the ship whether the captain is a guy named Halsey or a guy named Queeg. Everyone in Mr. Bush’s navy seems to be a guy named Queeg.

  6. Anonymous says:

    I’m a little confused. Wouldn’t US Attorneys keep the EO of USA’s, and hence, the AG, apprised of all of their most important cases? Wouldn’t it be normal for an AG to speak directly with a USA from time to time about some of them? Just as a CEO often talks with his or her principal subordinates about issues that most affect actual and forecasted costs and profits? Isn’t it only those outside the Justice Dept who are not supposed to have access to such details?

    My impression is that after a month’s preparation – while someone else did his work at the office once again – Mr. Gonzales can’t help describing himself as the president’s personal lawyer, rather than as the chief law enforcement officer of the United States Government.

  7. Anonymous says:

    Well, knowing that the Assistant USA is now the Interim USA for San Diego, I just don’t see any mystery here. If someone called her up to say, â€Hey, are you willing take over when Lam goes, …..†so it maybe that Kennedy was fishing in another state.

    What riles me is that unlike all the other interim and the new USA of Arkansas, the interim USA appointed to Northern CA is not from here, does not answer to anyone here, will not return to this community as far anyone can tell, he is from South Carolina, which is antithetical to the notion of districts for USA’s.

  8. Anonymous says:

    Kennedy shd have asked the obvious question: How often do you contemplate changes in the USAs (missed his chance).

  9. Anonymous says:

    zhiv: doesn’t matter if they bring contempt charges. Contempt charges would be prosecuted by DOJ. DOJ is corrupted and won’t prosecute. That dog won’t hunt.

    If Congress is going to charge Gonzales, it has to be with articles of impeachment, and those have to come from the House. I don’t think Conyers is quite ready to pull that trigger yet… but I’d be thrilled if he wanted to prove me wrong.

  10. Anonymous says:

    Josh Marshall drops in the name of Bradley J. Schlozman, Main DOJ’s voter-disenfranchisement specialist and now US Attorney for WDMO. Which makes this Kos diary interesting.

  11. Anonymous says:

    â€McNulty said he was concerned about Bogden, 50, getting a job outside government after 16 years at Justice and being able to care for his family… When it was pointed out that Bogden was not married, McNulty withdrew his concern†link

    So at the very least, being 50 and married presents a concern about Bogden’s job prospects, presumably due to age discriminiation, but being 50 and single doesn’t? Alternatively, confirmed bachelors can fend for themselves.

    With regard to this story – the US Atty terminations – if I ever found myself working in a place where my job security was dependent upon an expediant, slipshod review process, by such incompetent managers, I’d leave as soon as I could secure a new position. Thet are really f*cking up DOJ, aren’t they?

  12. Anonymous says:

    So if McMulty became okay about the firing of Bogden _because_ he was single, is that okay? Even to consider this factor? Related: are violations of the anti-discrimination laws one of the improper reasons that a president cannot fire a USA? Does the president have to be aware of the improper reason, or not? I’m confused as to who actually fires these USAs.

  13. Anonymous says:

    tomi: I’m confused as to who actually fires these USAs.

    Lord, aren’t we all…

  14. Anonymous says:

    I had always thought the John McKay letter of support for LInX to McNulty was an interesting distraction from Rossi/Gregoire voter fraud allegations but after Gonzales went out of his way to say McKay was fired for pushing an â€information-sharing project†I’m not so sure. McKay was pushing the only ’information-sharing project’ that was available. Why did the ’information-sharing project’ that was only available in San Diego have such strong defenders?

    I don’t think the choice of law enforcement databases was central to the USA firings but it’s possible (I’m wildly guessing) that the contracting of the databases was tied into the corruption investigation that USA Lam was pursuing against Duke, Foggo, and Wilkes. And maybe Gonzales had conversations about Lam and McKay supporting LInX.

    LInX is ’the little database that could’. Orphaned by DoJ after 9/11 to pursue massive projects like Virtual Case File, LInX was picked up by Navy CIS and funded on a shoestring. To date LInX is the only information sharing database that has been duplicated and deployed. LInX is in use in 5 regions with 2 more in the works. So why would McKay be fired for pushing something that A) is the only working database sharing option and B) is cheap ($8.8/million per year Navy CIS contract via competitive bidding)?

    One wild-arsed guess is that the LInX competitor ARJIS has a lot of friends in high places. Sun Microsystems, who designed and manages ARJIS, has a partnership with San Diego Data Processing Corp. to run ARJIS and has been trying unsucessfully to sell it across the nation. The US Border Patrol loves ARJIS (ARJIS has a plug-in project called ’BorderSafe’) and ARJIS appears to have some devotees in the San Diego-area including former Rep. Duke Cunningham, and current Reps. Hunter, Issa, Bilbray, and Filner.

    Sun Microsystems has recently been involved with the GSA scandal involving Lurita Doan giving Sun a contract against the recommendation of career GSA employees. And Sun Microsystems is the subject of a Qui Tam lawsuit(s) in Arkansas, just joined by the Department of Justice on 4/20/07:

    â€The suits, originally filed in U.S. District Court in Little Rock, Ark., by Norman Rille and his co-plaintiff Neal Roberts allege that HP, Accenture and Sun submitted false claims to the United States for information technology (IT) hardware and services on numerous government contracts from the late 1990s to the present. The core of the allegations, in which the United States has joined by filing its own complaints, is that the defendants have systematically solicited and/or made payments of money and other things of value, known as “alliance benefits,†to a number of companies with whom they had global “alliance relationships†or an agreement to work together. The government’s complaints assert that these alliance relationships and the resulting alliance benefits amount to kickbacks and undisclosed conflict of interest relationships.

    “The Department of Justice is acting in this case to protect the integrity of the procurement process,†said Peter Keisler, Assistant Attorney General for the Civil Division.â€

    Did Sun/ARJIS/San Diego have some heavy hitter support in the White House, DoJ, DHS, DoD, etc. that would cause the Bush Administration to put their thumb on the scale AGAINST LInX and the line USAs and law enforcement people that wanted it? LInX is still the only working database sharing program deployed in response to 9/11. Who gets the kickbacks alledged in the suit against Sun Microsystems? Did Gonzales talk to people about Carol Lam supporting LInX over ARJIS? It’s pretty damning that USA in San Diego County would pick LInX over San Diego’s own ARJIS.

    The more I read about LInX, the more I think McKay should have gotten a medal for pushing it, not fired for the same. Here’s an excerpt from a May 13, 2005 Seattle P-I story on LInX:

    â€Responding to the calls after 9/11 for federal and local law enforcement to share information, the Bush administration has thrown its support behind a powerful Puget Sound police database that went online in October and gives police and FBI agents access to each other’s files.â€

    DAG James Comey was also pushing LInX hard as well. Why was McNulty so opposed to pushing LInX a year later?

  15. Anonymous says:

    Sorry about that double post. Damn tubes!!

    Not sure why, when Kennedy got so close with the ongoing prosecutions question, he didn’t wade right into the deep warm water.

    If Kennedy operates like most US Senators (and there’s every reason to believe he does, Whitehouse being the exception), the questions were probably drawn up by a member of his staff experienced in this area, who then walked Kennedy through the line of inquiry.

    Kennedy probably understood the subject, and knew where he was supposed to go, but may not have appreciated the nuances. Someone like Whitehouse, who’s closer to the experience of â€real†questioning of â€real†Evil-Doers, can listen to answers and frame his next question to uncover what he wants to know.

    Kennedy, while good, just doesn’t have the same sharpness and focus.

  16. Anonymous says:

    Mauimon, I have been disappointed for quite some time with Kennedy’s questions on various issues. Maybe both he and his staff are slipping.

  17. Anonymous says:

    Kennedy is a superlative and prolific legislator, and maybe not as accomplished questioning witnesses. He’s been in the Senate 45 years, elected first in 1962.

    Harvard U., B.A. 1956. International Law School, The Hague (The Netherlands) 1958. U. of Virginia, LL.B. 1959. Apparently, he chose law and politics over professional football – Green bay Packers. Link

  18. Anonymous says:

    So if McMulty became okay about the firing of Bogden because he was single, is that okay?
    Posted by: tomj | April 23, 2007 at 00:47

    I don’t think marital status – being married or single – is a protected class. Race, gender, religion and age are protected classes in employment law.

    I think only a few states have laws that protect gay people from being terminated as a result of their sexual preference. Furthermore, it is not clear McNulty had the thought of Bogden’s sexual preference in mind during the discussion, or deliberation. We’d need to understand the basis of McNulty’s concern – it apperars to be Bogden’s age AND status as family breadwinner rather than just Bogden’s age.

    While McNulty’s decision is being based in part on issues unrelated to Bogden’s performance, that is not be illegal. It may be bad decision making and bad managment but I do not think it is illegal.

    Employee’s at will can be terminated for good reason, for bad reason and for no reason… but not for an illegal reason. I’m not a lawyer but I’ve worked in large law firms and have experience managing.

  19. Anonymous says:

    I wish someone would have asked Gonzales what in the hell he thinks he does to earn his salary. Since he took recommendations from his staff, why aren’t one of them AG?

  20. Anonymous says:

    John Casper, that is an excellent question and one I have been asking in one form or the other for some time now. Thing is, Gonzales does not possess the skills, knowledge or experience to do the job of AG. Normally you would think that, having a rube in the job, its good he doesn’t do anything and that the staff leads him by the nose. In this case, however, that does not apply because most of his senior staff is equally afflicted (if not more so; see Goodling, Monica) with the lack of skills, knowledge and experience for running the DOJ.

  21. Anonymous says:

    â€If you want to justify getting rid of someone, you should have at least some paper trail,†Iglesias said. â€There’s been a remarkable absence of that. I’m wondering if the paper trail is at the White House.â€

    Of course, Iglesias is right about the business practice. You document all the legal reasons you terminate an employee so if it’s disputed, you have good documentation [to protect against loss.] In addition to pointing the way to where the termination decisions were made – The White House – Eglesias is tossing in a wee bit of snark re: some of the reasons the paper trail may reveal.

  22. Anonymous says:

    †rel=â€nofollowâ€>Elizabeth de la Vega’s description of DOJ seems spot on. Many of those forms recall what we had in the CA DOJ as ever more political AG’s tried to keep on top and control of the cases in the office, especially anything that had a remote chance of attracting press and potentially blindsiding the political people. It takes all of the initiative and creativity out of the job. She is right that it will take a decade to rebuild or gov’t. Probably the plan all anong.

  23. Anonymous says:

    Neil you are right. I’ve worked in government and a university and for tech companies that held gov contracts. You document everything in hiring and firing. Everything, every warning, every meeting, every contact. Otherwise you will be creamed in a hearing or lawsuit regarding the firing. Rule #1 in HR these days: as a manager you don’t do anything without a well documented paper trail and approval from HR.

    And it’s probably correct to assume whatever paper trail existed has been sucked into the WH, where it goes *poof*.

  24. Anonymous says:

    Is Congress planning to take a holiday over Memorial Day?

    If one of the problems with replacing Gonzales is that Bush won’t be able to get another â€loyal bushie†through confirmation, and doesn’t dare put a real lawyer in that position (overseeing all those files stuffed with incriminating evidence), he might wait for the next break to slip some other execrable toady into the job… thus avoiding confirmation altogether. Harriet BFF Miers is available. It isn’t as though Bush chooses qualified people.

    Perhaps the House might work through Friday and the Senate pick up on Monday (or vice versa), so that Congress isn’t officially closed, just to avoid another situation like at Easter. (I would have slapped Bush down for that and refused to acknowledge the appointees as bastards from the wrong side of the sheets, rather than accept the fait accompli.) If the Republicans complain, tell them to talk to their President about dirty deeds.

    And don’t accept promises. Bush’s word is not worth a wooden nickle.

    As long as Bush and his advisors cheat, somebody is going to have to stand guard duty. Will the Democratic leadership be willing to watch over government?

  25. Anonymous says:

    Sandy, excellent link.

    Over the weekend, I happened to talk with a couple of server admins, and I told them of my recent discovery that WH emails, RNC files, and gwb43.com were all apparently co-hosted on the same server. The news was received with scoffing, disbelief, and contempt… along with, â€Why didn’t we hear about THAT before?!!â€

    The rhetorical question was posed, â€Would any of you allow yourselves to be compromised by co-hosting political party files on THE VERY SAME SERVER as government files?†That was about as popular an idea as asking whether pedophilia directories should be co-hosted on a school district server.

    joejoejoe, last week Gonzo testified that McKay p*ssed off the WH. Which leads one to wonder, â€hmmmm… what was McKay advocating that p*ssed them off so much?†Why did LinX generate major push-back from the WH?

    Does LinX have any specific features or capabilities that would expose the fraudulent server activity, or enable improved computer forensics? Were Rove/Cheney/Bush actually afraid of any capabilities of the LinX system?

    Would LinX have provided any law enforcement cybercrime tools? Would it help detect any deleted or overwritten drives, like those involved in the WH coverup…?

  26. Anonymous says:

    readerOfTeaLeaves – From my limited understanding LInX was a very good search tool nicknamed ’Google for Cops’ with a good balance of information sharing and privacy protection. If LInX was opposed at high levels I would guess it was because it was focused on practical law enforcement applications with a modest scope. I’m sure the administration wanted some kind of Dr. Evil superdatabase program that allowed every manner of intrusion and no privacy – instead of simply a tool that allowed well-intentioned law enforcement to have the most complete and current information.

    In short LInX has no computer forensic detection features – it’s just a database of the various bad guy files (all closed cases) with an handy interface. It’s a Joe Friday kind of system, not Big Brother.

  27. Anonymous says:

    Thanks, joejoejoe. In view of EW’s subsequent posts on the possible espionage OVP linkages, it’s at least equally plausible that they **didn’t** want a functional system. Certainly not one they couldn’t hack, at least.

  28. Anonymous says:

    ew, I have read the press in SD, especially around the three-way controversial election a few years ago; one of the interesting voices seeming to transcend media monopoly in trying to grasp events there in politics much beyond the electoral issues is the SD city attorney’s own blog there; viz., read his remarks this month on the ongoing saga about the pension fund and KPMG audit. I have referenced LATimes, but less now that LAT has undergone several seachanges in the past two years. It is a complex region.