Interesting Timing

I’m not so much surprised that Scottish Haggis Specter has urged Pat Leahy to ask for a meeting with the White House to negotiate testimony of White House officials.

For the last several months, I have been seeking the voluntary cooperation of the White House with the efforts of the Senate Judiciary Committee to get to the bottom of the scandal surrounding the firing of so many of the United States Attorneys you had appointed. 


I have sent numerous letters to your White House counsel to no avail.  For example, in a May 16 letter to Fred Fielding I outlined some of the indications of Karl Rove’s involvement.  Yet, all of my good faith efforts have been rebuffed.  The stonewalling leaves me and the Senate Judiciary Committee with few options other than considering citations for contempt of Congress against those who have refused to provide relevant testimony and documents to the Congress. 

Senator Specter has urged me to write to you directly and suggest that we sit down together to work out our differences with respect to this matter.  That is the purpose of this letter.

I’m just more intrigued by the timing. Leahy sent this one August 14, just one day after the Turdblossom wilted. The only known person the Senate Judiciary Committee has subpoenaed who refused to show up at all was that same Turdblossom (Sara Taylor and Scott Jennings showed up and answered only the questions that put the White House in good light; Harriet Miers was subpoenaed by the House Judiciary Committee). And Leahy names Rove specifically in this letter. While I’m not convinced that Specter was the "leading Republican" Novak invokes who had it in for Rove (Specter is weak enough, Novak would have felt free to name him, for example), I do find the suggestion that Specter used that opportunity to push Leahy to seek conciliation with the White House rather curious.

  1. Semanticleo says:

    Specter is looking better. He has been a cheesy WH apologist with lapses of conscience. I hope this is another lapse which may
    signal support for forcing the gritty details of a disrespected
    subpoena process. Hope springs infernal.

  2. oldtree says:

    Our elected officials don’t understand the real world, that little microcosm that we must deal with each day. They are so departed from the world on the ground. This senator, one that is fighting for what is right, is still treating the mafia like someone on the other side of a debating team. He doesn’t understand the kill or be killed mentality of these people, and he continues to think and act as though an entity that has ignored every rule of law from small crimes to treason, war profiteering, war crimes, bribery, ……. are going to begin acting as though they care about this?
    Mr. Leahy, these folks are laughing at you. Your silly methods of extracting information from these people is not working, hasn’t worked, and yet you grasp at straws. Your silly partner Arlen has undermined everything you do, put legislation in that makes what you are attempting to do impossible, and you know it.

    It is long past time you begin jailing those that do not comply with your subpoenae, contempt citations, and those silly old laws. I know it isn’t just you, and that you are helping. But by helping and staying within the decorum, you will be undercut daily and accomplish nothing. You have the power to incarcerate them until they comply fully with your legal demands. why haven’t you?

  3. Boo Radley says:

    Great post ew, as per usual. You routinely mine the obvious for gems that everyone else misses. IMVHO, Leahy has zero to lose in writing another letter. It’s also a good way to find out if Rove’s departure is anything more than ceremonial.

  4. casual observer says:

    Specter has been so spineless in all this, talking tough only to limply collapse a few moments later. I know Leahy has to work with the guy, but honestly–at some point, Leahy needs to move. He has the majority on the committee. Use it. He has been more than patient already on these subpeonas. This kind of disrespect for the 1st branch simply cannot be tolerated. And I would say this regardless of who the actors were in the executive and who had the majority in the congress. This is a constitutional issue regarding contempt for congress and drastically overreaching executive privilege. Enough.

  5. Ishmael says:

    IMHO, â€Magic Bullet†Specter will never do anything that will lead to any kind of concrete action being taken against Rove or anyone else. He is the ultimate Company Man, and preserving the appearance of effective oversight is the goal, not oversight for its own sake. I do believe, however, that Senator Leahy may indeed have the goods on Rove and others, and is waiting for the proper time to start hunting. The letter certainly telegraphs that there is specific evidence of something, and Rove’s sudden resignation, without a co-ordinated in advance media frame, tells me that BushCo is not that far out in front of events these days. After the FISA capitulation, I was despondent, but I am hopeful that SJC may be the saviour in all of this.

  6. clbrune says:

    Maybe Specter will stand up to the Administration now that he has the cover of being in the Minority (i.e. he can just â€go along†rather than actually taking charge of Congressional duties as a coequal branch of government), but I have doubts.

    Still, between this request for a meeting, Leahy’s letter to Fielding to establish a hard deadline (August 20) for documents related to the TSP, and Rove’s announcement, it looks more and more like something(s) is (are) about to pop.

    You know, if they can just impeach Gonzo, the whole house of (corrupt) cards will come down.

  7. jeff says:

    Leahy to Bush: You can’t tell me to go [email protected] myself anymore…I’m Batman!

    Oh, wait, he’s probably only going to end up being the Alfred, the butler.

    Leahy to Bush: Would Mr. President like his feet rubbed after another busy day of kicking Congress in its collective gonads?

  8. Neil says:

    Specter’s urging Leahy to ask for a meeting works for everybody, even if nothihng new comes from it. Let’s hope Leahy has enough to scare the shit out of Fielding – then the calculus changes.

  9. Anonymous says:

    extending improper political influence are misleading…the community itself should be more focused on changes dealing with the proper handling of justice system.