The Jeff Sessions-BushCo Mutual Protection Racket

Via CREW, E&P has the news that Jeff Sessions wants to help the Administration evade the Presidential Records Act.

Recalling last year’s infamous "secret hold" that for a while prevented the U.S. Senate from voting the OPEN Government Act, another senator has put a hold on legislation to ensure the records of former presidents cannot be withheld from the public indefinitely.

This time, however, the senator is placing the hold publicly. Sen. Jeff Sessions, R.-Ala., earlier this week blocked the Senate from voting on the Presidential Records Act Amendment of 2007 (H.R. 1255), the National Coalition for History reported.

The legislation would narrow a 2001 executive order from President George W. Bush that gives broad authority for former presidents to prevent public disclosure of their administration records — and for the first time extends the power to former vice presidents.

This is not the first time Sessions has been so willing to help the Administration cover up its own wrong-doing. Documents released in the US Attorney scandal suggest Sessions was running interference when Alberto Gonzales testified before the SJC on the firings; the emails documenting that assistance remain among the very few that have not since been released.

There a very good reason why Jeff Sessions is so helpful at protecting the Administration. After all, the politicized Bush Administration made sure Sessions didn’t get tagged with the influence peddling charges that Don Siegelman got indicted with.

One of the charges against Siegelman, on which he was convicted, was that he had accepted gifts from an Alabama lobbyist. When that lobbyist testified, he made the point that he done the same thing–except in a much larger way—with Alabama Republican Senator Jefferson Sessions, without the Justice Department raising any questions about it. Now, as we have already noted, Judge Fuller owes his judgeship in part to Jefferson Sessions, moreover, he was an active supporter and campaign donor to Sessions’s senatorial campaign.

Moreover, Sessions’s deputy and successor as Alabama Attorney General was Bill Pryor, who played a key role in directing the prosecution of Siegelman. When Sessions’s name came up, the Justice Department’s Public Integrity Section lawyer objected, asking that this evidence be excluded, and Fuller complied. No charges were ever brought against Sessions, nor was any investigation ever undertaken. Yet Siegelman was convicted on this charge.

I would imagine Sessions and BushCO will continue their mutual protection racket for some time to come.

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14 replies
  1. merkwurdiglieber says:

    I check out folo from time to time, hoping to see developments in the
    Siegelman case that might lead into Jefferson Beauregard Sessions’ little
    office… he is a strange George Wallace doppelganger, still trying to
    win Gettysburg. The Siegelman case could bear fruit, bears watching.

  2. BlueStateRedHead says:

    Glad you are in DC. You can cover two sessions for us, helping us fight cloture in one and begin to get cloture on the other. If they line the prisoners up alphabetically replacing Siegleman with Sessions should be no problem.

    Any chance for press credentials for you for the SOTU?

    Will you be liveblogging either here or with Jane?

    I’ll be watching Sotu with some BlueBayStater, bringing my Bush-adjusted plush animals to wave at the scene, a goat, a cod (we are the land of the bean and the cod), a snake, and anything the BSRH jnr left behind.

  3. Mary says:

    After all, the politicized Bush Administration made sure Sessions didn’t get tagged with the influence peddling charges that Don Siegelman got indicted with.

    Just because it bears repeating. Not because there is any better way to say it or comment that can expand on it.

    • sailmaker says:

      After all, the politicized Bush Administration made sure Sessions didn’t get tagged with the influence peddling charges that Don Siegelman got indicted with.

      Just because it bears repeating. Not because there is any better way to say it or comment that can expand on it.

      Is there a statute of limitations on influence peddling at the state level? Have they successfully run the clock on this? Thanks.

      • dsalexan says:

        As valid could be an ethics panel hearing on Sessions’ doings brought up in the new Congress – if a sufficient outcry is raised, and were we to have leaders installed who were both clean AND comprised of enough spine to go wherever any concurrent or subsequent, broad-based investigation into illegal acceptance of funds might lead – including to Dems…

  4. Gracchus says:

    I suppose we’ll now have to see whether Harry Reid still only respects holds placed by Republicans on progressive legislation.

    Hey, Harry! We’re watching…

  5. darclay says:

    Watching Jed Babbin on c-span Washington Journal, he just said that “THE DEMOCRATS are obstructing the FISA bill and the Protect America Act.
    Glad you are blogging!!

  6. BillE says:

    The Cheneyites have always looked for ways to control people who can burn them. They started the TIA program 2 wks into holding power. Jeff Sessions is wholly owned lock stock and barrel. He has also dropped supposedly secret stuff to the media that was used as an excuse to not share info with congress. Nice scheme they got going.

  7. WilliamOckham says:

    Ok, sorry for the off-topic comment, but I just discovered (on CREW’s site) the documentation for the proposed Exchange-ARMS interface that has been discussed. The link is to the government’s response to the FOIA request. This proposal was apparently rejected.

    The other geeks here may want to take a look. After a quick glance, I think it may answer a number of questions I have. I’m going to examine this thing in-depth on my lunch hour.

  8. Sedgequill says:

    If a Democrat wins the presidency, it won’t be long until there will be a Republican outcry to bring accountability to presidential actions and sunshine to presidential records.

    • watercarrier4diogenes says:

      No doubt. Their current ‘Oh MY!! Earmarks are BAD, BAD, BAD!’ is just verse one in their upcoming song and dance. Hopefully, they’ll keep singing it while the Dems lock in ethics and accountability structures that will completely expose their MO to even their pathetic base.

  9. JohnLopresti says:

    WO, I wonder how standard you assess the crew statement of work June 2003 is. This is the summer when Jennifer Mayfield still worked for Libby, v. her and her sister’s endorsement letters in the sentencing materials. Also perhaps standard practice would be subcontracting to DoD for much of the work if what had happened with the EOVP MZM contract had pleased EOP as well, which might explain what the $250.MM over 5 years to MZM helped deploy, though I have no idea what work they did; that contract was let as MZM completed the first work in that same year. Obviously there are parallel architectures in that branch of government. In some of the US attorney purge literature there was mundane metion of the need for a ‘Hatch’ compliant parallel universe, i.e., RNC server pathway, but IT filtering for transgressions should be fairly exoterically delineated in a statement of work; so I am still wondering what fragments we are reviewing, from a large enterprise architecture design vantage. So to me the issue is more amorphous than a simple Sessions attempt to sweep all under a security rug, or alternately perhaps a Sessions wish that the presidential records act could be amended to redact all material Bush has sequestered, likely beginning from key residua from the Reagan administration which Bush2 sequestered in 2001. Obviously, Cheney is going to want to sequester stovepipes populated with neocons, the WHIG and several Bolton workgroups, and some of the Libby allied temporary groups. But the recognition early that there needed to be three parallel systems may be an interesting IT perspective for evaluating email archival, logging, routing, etc.; I liked some of the comments a writer left about the morphing storage area network, as well. Likely these offices went first class, so assessing them could be a learing and fun process. I began to read the header stripping and content compositing part of the email discussion in the report entitled “EOP-OA-OCIO-CR&SE-ECRMS-SO- W v06″ in the file set, grateful I never had to deal with Notes. Being the 1-2-3 inhouse wizard was enough for me in that epoch. Also, looking at one block diagram, as predicted W2k NT and Notes all coexisted in the architecture then, pretty late for people to have remained dedicated to their messaging app and/or GUI of choice, but predictable, given government budget processes.

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