Fitzgerald Testifies Before HJC

He’s just answering questions–no statement.

Sanchez Do you think a President should consult with a Special Counsel on commutation.

PF The President has the power to pardon or commute.

Sanchez: Could you go whereever the evidence brought you?

PF No, I couldn’t go outside the scope. The subject matter jurisdiction was given to me, but I could follow the facts in terms of what I was investigating.

Sanchez: If Durham is given the same authority, would it be proper or improper to investigate underlying conduct.

PF I don’t feel comfortable opining about decisions others make.

Sanchez: You and your team expended significant time and energy. Should you have been required to submit a report to AG?

PF I was not required to submit a report. The AG was recused. Because a charge resulted, people learned a fair amount about what we did. I believe, I think it’s appropriate that when a GJ is used, we expect people to be candid, but we owe it back to people to respect the secrecy of the GJ. I don’t think a public report was allowed nor should it have been called for.

Sanchez: A report to Congress?

PF The executive branch has to have space in which it can conduct business and space for prosecutors to make decisions. I see the concerns on both sides, from my narrow POV we can’t break GJ rules.

Cannon: Distinction between special counsel and normal prosecutor.

PF One common misunderstanding is that we didn’t follow DOJ guidelines. I was bound by those guidelines. Many of the procedures I was the decision maker. When you prosecute as USA, you have to follow the guidelines. In an ordinary case, USA has an awful lot of power. In many cases, the volume of our cases, we can bring charges that will imprison people with out possibility of parole. No wiretap without DOJ, no immunity for witnesses, no govt appeal or attorney or member of the media.

PF Did need authority on racketeering statue for Gov Ryan, sometimes those powers are circumscribed.

Cannon You do consider the prominence of someone accused of a crime. More of a priority for prosecution.

PF In case of Ryan, widespread corruption in IL is something we ought to prosecute, not because he’s a public person, but for deterrent and very harmful. As with gangs, we’ll go after the most harmful bc of deterrent.

Cannon You did have guidelines to balance the priorities. Do you have guildelines to help sort?

PF The most important thing is to vet the crimes, to get a team of people who have experience to bat ideas around.

Conyers Did the investigation cost 1.5 million or more than that?

PF The last number was ballpark of 2.4 million. Bookkeeping cost–salaries of all of us who worked in the case. If I worked 50 hours on this plus 50 hours on USA Chicago tat didn’t get accounted. We had a pocket that was much less than that, much closer to zero, $550,000 by last count, $300,000 travel and much of the rest other court transcripts. Took us through trial and sentencing.

Conyers Who leaked it.

PF The name was discussed by three different officials. One was charged with perjury. [Ut oh, Pat, what about Ari? I count 4 people]

Sanchez Do you believe that conflicts subverts the confidence in DOJ?

Sanchez Why do you recuse if there’s the appearance?

PF So we can carry out justice. If I had better stockholdings, I wouldn’t investigate companies that affect my wealth. I’m blessed by not having that problem.

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102 replies
  1. Citizen92 says:

    EW published a link earlier to the McDevitt questionnaire relating to the White House e-mail scandals. The link is here.

    Page 4.

    MZM- Provided support for the implementation systems related to the email infrastrucfure.

    That’s Mitchell Wade’s MZM, mind you. Interesting to hear that the Wade-Wilkes-Cunningham syndicate conveniently touches White House e-mail. Is ths the “mystery” office furniture contract from MZM for OVP?

  2. nolo says:

    fitz just told sanchez that he thinks
    the rules on conflict of interest are
    important to preserve both the system
    of actual justice — and to preserve
    the “appearance of propriety.” that was,
    to my ears, plainly, a dig at mukasey’s
    failure to give durham full-on special
    counsel status.

    ouch.

    fitz just indicated, to sanchez, he
    will answer written questions submitted
    in the next five days.

    hearing gaveled out.

  3. Mary says:

    Well, so far the:

    One common misunderstanding is that we didn’t follow DOJ guidelines. I was bound by those guidelines.

    just makes me question that much more the issues of who could or couldn’t put the skids to a charging decision. Maybe that will come up more later.

    Also, the point on the limited mandate and scope looks like it got addressed short, sweet and up front.

    No, I couldn’t go outside the scope.

    And I have to agree with him that we have a spacey Executive branch. Oh, what was that – an Executive Branch that needs space, oh, to uh, conduct business. Oh -is that what the USAs are calling it these days – the torture, kidnapping, lieing to Congress, political prosecutions, obstruction of justice, destruction of records stuff – “Executive business.”

    Good to know.

    • looseheadprop says:

      Oh, what was that – an Executive Branch that needs space, oh, to uh, conduct business.

      I think that was his reference to executive privledge, though I have to admit that , for him, it seemed an imprecise way to refer to it

  4. Mary says:

    14 – He’s a DOJ employee with a set of bosses. I’m forever putting him in the good guy category on the basis of getting into the public record, when he might have had a way around it, that Bush covertly planted deliberately misleading domestic propaganda for poltical benefit – pretty much as impeachable as it comes; but I never was a fan of in-housing and all the hearings and how people like Fitzgerald and Weinstein waltz around is why.

    Who needs Dancing with the Stars when you’ve got Texas Two Stepping with the Dept of Justice?

    The limitations of scope aside, it still quintessentially games the system to inhouse the investigations imo.

    • looseheadprop says:

      Oh, I agree there needs to be a new Outside Counsel statute. But since there wasn’t one availeble at the time of Pat’s appointment, I thoight Comey came up with a pretty creative solution.

      • MadDog says:

        Oh, I agree there needs to be a new Outside Counsel statute. But since there wasn’t one availeble at the time of Pat’s appointment, I thoight Comey came up with a pretty creative solution.

        Was the timing of both Waxman’s “Missing WH Email” hearing a coincidence with that of Fitz’ testimony on the Hill?

        Do you think that perhaps Fitz got there early and decided/was invited to sit in on Henry’s hearing?

        Or perhaps Henry just slipped Fitz a copy of these fantastic documents?

  5. Hmmm says:

    “… MZM – Provided support for the implementation systems related to the email infrastrucfure…”

    Might that have included being the ones regularly wiping all the disks?

  6. Mary says:

    BTW – Dana Jill Simpson just picked up the Special Prosecutor slack and pretty much called Rove out as a liar in a conf with Abrams. Clip up at TPM.

  7. MadDog says:

    From the 1st document, more goodies:

    User Accountability – The approach of simply storing email message in .pst files provides no mechanism or audit trail that tracks changes to data files or the activities performed by users or system administrators.

    According to Mr. McDevitt, he brought his concerns to the attention of senior officials at the White House, including “White House Counsel Harriet Miers and members of her staff.”

    Sounds like Harriet was in on the plan to make their own reality.

  8. MadDog says:

    I keep tripping over more and more goodies with each paragraph I read:

    The documents received by the Committee show that the White House was repeatedly warned that its system for preserving e-mails was inadequate…

    These risks were reiterated in an internal White House “discussion document” from October 2005. According to this document:

    There is operational risk in current email storage management processes. Lost or misplaced email archives may result in an inability to meet statutory requirements…Standard operating procedures for email management do not exist. Automated tools that support the email archive process are not robust. The current version…is prone to failure…Searches of email in response to statutory requirements may not be complete, creating legal and political risk.

  9. Hmmm says:

    OT – Google invests in new undersea cable:

    “We’re not competing with telecom providers, but the volume of data we need to move around the world has grown to the point where in some cases we’ve exceeded the ability traditional players can offer.” … While Google probably doesn’t have any plans to compete with the telecom industry, owning a piece of the cable gives it a say in how that cables assets are deployed and how/when bandwidth capacity is upgraded.

  10. emptywheel says:

    Here’s a question, regarding the OVP search:

    According to this document, even after restoring backup tapes, the White House team was unable to find any joumal files or .pst files for the Vice President’s office during this period. The team’s first effort involved restoring from the backup tape o’the file servers that were used to store .pst filed during the target period.” This search uncovered “no messages … that filled the gap.” The team next restored from the backup tape the “server that contained the joumal mailboxes for the target period.” According to the document, the’Journal mailboxes were examined and no *.rrug”r for the target p.iiod were present in thejournal mailbox.”83 The
    team then restored from the backup tape the personal mailboxes of officials in the Vice President’s office and recovered messàges from 70 individual users.sa

    According to a document dated just four days later that was shown to Committee staff, but not provided to them, the White House team recovercd 17,956 e-mails from these individual mailboxes on the backup tape and used these as their basis to search for e-mails responsive to the Special Counsel’s request. A restoration of personal mailboxes from a backup tape does not recover any e-mails deleted by the user before the backup tape was made. The fact that the White House could not find .pst files or joumal files on backup tapes from this time period questions about the likelihood that these files will be found during the current search.

    Why would they give over the January 23 document, but not the document from four days later? What is it about the number of emails found that would permit them not to hand over the document?

    • MadDog says:

      Why would they give over the January 23 document, but not the document from four days later? What is it about the number of emails found that would permit them not to hand over the document?

      The gun wasn’t smoking on January 23?

      But 4 days later all the bullets were gone?

      Something smells and it smells like smoking guns.

  11. JohnLopresti says:

    Beginning to read the McDevitt interog responses, it seems carefully worded to depict only what the author did, as well as providing references to reports written and problems addressed early in his tenure; I think one of the reports he wrote which he says should be available at ocio, would provide more details about the environment mzm configured. It may be worth studying from the timeline perspective. It seems to fit the timeframe in which MZM worked under 4thBranch’s $155.k furniture plus IT contract originally. But later that year mzm’s contract became DoD budgeted FY2003-2007. I would wonder if the mzm work for dod was at wh on secure systems, or elsewhere unrelated. McD’s responses seem to allude to a threshold in September with respect to transitioning to a reliable, commercial-off-the-shelf email archival solution, without expounding with specificity on the part of the archiving problem that was mzm’s work, rather McD’s attention as stated, was upon solutions to remedy the weakness and gaps.

  12. MadDog says:

    And more:

    In 2003, the White House began working on a new e-mail archiving system called the Electronic Communications Records Management System (ECRMS). The White House awarded Booz Allen Hamilton a contract to begin designing a system in 2003…

    Funny how it is that Admiral Mikey McConnell, our non-political Director of National Intelligence, came to his new job from Booz Allen Hamilton.

  13. BooRadley says:

    FWIW and afaik, white supremacists hated Strom Thurmond, because he fought lynching.

    Strom wasn’t altruistic. He correctly understood that segregation would be easier to preserve if he helped end the epidemic of lynching that extended after Reconstruction into the 1920’s. Lynching still happened after the 20’s, but it was far less frequent.

    We soldier on.

  14. nolo says:

    from rep. waxman’s background materials, on
    the lost/missing/destroyed/not looked after
    emails — we garner this juicy tidbit:

    . . .Mr. Steven McDevitt – February 21,2008 – Page l3-14 of l5

    Q: 43. Do you recall any concerns that the searches were not picking up all of the responsive emails?

    Or did you hear that the searches ever reyealed erors in the way e-mails were preserved? If so, how did you respond?

    Answer: The use of primitive search tools, both in the ARMS search and the search of the .pst files, was raised on a number of occasions. The tools that were used were both slow and primitive compared to current off-the-shelf search technologies. Each time a search was performed it consumed an enorrnous number of staff and contractor resources to set-up and perform the search.

    The fact that both the ARMS and .pst file search processes did not search the email attachments was raised on a number of occasions. At the time I believed that this was a short-lived problem as the ECRMS solution would provided fast and effective full search capabilities, including the
    search of attachments. . .

    Q: 44. At some point in late 2005 or early 2006, Ít appears that the White House alerted Special Prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald that some e-mails may not have been provided to the prosecutor in response to his investigation. According to a January 23,2006,letter from Mr. Fifzgerald to aftorney representing former aide to the Vice President, Lewis Libby:

    Out of an abundance of caution, we advise you that we have learned that not all email of the Office of the Vice President and the Executive Office of the President for certain time periods in 2003 was preserred through the normal archiving process on the White House computer system.” According to court filings, the White House produced 250 pages of emails
    from the Office of Vice President to the Special Prosecutor in February 2006. When wcre you first made aware that not all e-mail responsive to the Special Prosecutor’s investigation was preserved through the normal archiving process? Why weren’t these pâges included in the original document production? How were you made awåre of this?

    What steps did the White House take to restore these e-mails? Where did these 250 pages of e-mails come from?

    Answer: During the period in October through December 2005, when the .pst file organization and analysis was occurring, it became known that some of the periods for which not email was present in the retained .pst files were the same periods for which Special Prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald had subpoenaed the White House for emails related to his investigation.
    Most critical were a set of days in early October 2003 where it appears that all email for the Office of the Vice President was missing. A detailed plan was developed to attempt to recover
    the email for this period.

    This plan was prepared by the OCIO staff and presented to White House Counsel. I do not recall the specific details of this plan. A number of the activities identified in the plan were undertaken and to the best of my recollection, the email from the period in question was never recovered.
    I worked with OA Counsel and White House Counsel on efforts to provide an explanation to the Special Prosecutor. This included providing a briefing to the Special Prosecutor’s staff on this subject.

    There was a parallel effort to attempt to recover all ernail from this period. The results of this effort were the 250 pages of email. However, I was not directly involved in this process and am unable to provide any details relating to the 250 pages of email. . . .

    [emphasis supplied.]

    sickening. simply sickening.

    there likely went dick cheney’s
    most indictable [provable] offense:
    suborning the perjury of one
    scooter libby — by blackberry or e-mail.

    p o o f.

  15. MadDog says:

    And to what does Ms. Payton owe her employment to? Could it be that she is a loyal Bushie?

    Despite this extensive testing and preparation, the White House never implemented ECRMS. According to documents obtained by the Committee, the current Chief Information Officer, Theresa Payton, aborted the project in the fall of 2006. The Committee has obtained notes from an October 11,2007, meeting between Ms. Payton and officials from the National Archives stating that Ms. Payton rejected the system because “[t]he system would require l8 months to ingest the existing backlog of messages in the Microsoft Xchange system” and “[t]he system offered users no option to distinguish between Presidential records and political or personal materials.”

    Or could it be that Ms. Payton did exactly what she was hired to do? Hide the ball?

    • emptywheel says:

      Sure looks that way, doesn’t it.

      Also interesting that she says McDevitt reported to Deputy CIO for a time–he doesn’t say that. Suggests she was demoting him out the way or something.

      Also, her more important job is to stall and prevent any reconstruction of tehse emails. a year and a half and counting so far–good work, Payton.

      • MadDog says:

        Also interesting that she says McDevitt reported to Deputy CIO for a time–he doesn’t say that. Suggests she was demoting him out the way or something.

        And McDevitt knew what was going down:

        Mr. McDevitt left the White House in October 2006.30 He explained that one reason for his decision to leave the White House was the decision by Ms. Payton to abort the ECRMS system.

    • Rayne says:

      “[t]he system would require l8 months to ingest the existing backlog of messages in the Microsoft Xchange system” and “[t]he system offered users no option to distinguish between Presidential records and political or personal materials.”

      That’s another little slip on her part; she made at one other slip today.

      Why was there a need for concern over PRA-compliant records or political records on the EOP at all?

      Hatch Act.

  16. emptywheel says:

    One really aggravating thing about McDevitt’s responses is he never tells us how often “regular” manual and or automatic copying of the emails is.

    It would help us figure out how much time people had to cover their tracks.

    • WilliamOckham says:

      He says that it was daily:

      After the issue of potential missing email was identified in October 2005, one of the
      corrective actions was to implement a standardized formal daily procedure to ensure that
      the daily process to copy email messages from the Exchange journals to .pst files
      occurred without error and was completed as defined by the standard operating
      procedure.

      • MadDog says:

        He says that it was daily:

        After the issue of potential missing email was identified in October 2005, one of the corrective actions was to implement a standardized formal daily procedure to ensure that the daily process to copy email messages from the Exchange journals to .pst files occurred without error and was completed as defined by the standard operating procedure.

        Which is curious, because McDevitt also said/warned this:

        The current email archive process depends on manual operations and monitoring, standard operating procedures do not exist, automated tools that support the email archive process are not robust, and there is no dedicated archive storage location.

  17. emptywheel says:

    No, that’s after the email problem was discovered. And also, effectively after whatever attempt Libby made to hide evidence was over (bc of hte indictment). I’m talking about, say, the period from Sept 30 to October 6, 2003.

    • WilliamOckham says:

      It was supposed to be daily before, I believe. That’s in the docs released to CREW through their FOIA. I’m on my way out the door now, but will definitely be back this evening with further comments. Pay close attention to how McDevitt describes management decisions.

  18. emptywheel says:

    Wow

    14. Who had access to the servers that held the archived Exchange e-mails? D¡d these servers have any extra security protections? Would these files ever be opened or modified – for example in a search for records? Who would have had access? Were there any protections to prevent them from being modified or deleted – either intentionally or accidentally?

    I had not operational responsibility for the email retention process and I do not know the answers to these questions.

    Søff from the IS&T Directorate had operational responsibility for the EOP email systems and the email retention processes. In mid-2005, prior to the discovery of the potential email issues, a critical security issue was identified and corrected. During this period it was discovered that the file servers and the frle directories used to store the retained email .pst files were accessible by everyone on the EOP network.

    • Rayne says:

      Yeah. That was my WTF??? in the last thread.

      3000 known users with access across the entire network.

      This is utterly inexcusable. They cannot explain this because it simply defies even gross ignorance. They literally left every door wide, wide open.

      That Philippino spy in Cheney’s office, for example? He had access to EVERYTHING.

      For all we know he was a deliberate plant and the work he did was hidden by the hullabaloo about his so-called apprehension.

      What’s $155,000 buy anyhow? I figure one really good tech and a hefty server, and hush-yo’-mouf money.

        • Rayne says:

          Yeah, I damn near fainted when she actually said “3000 users”.

          If that had been said in front of management at a Fortune 100 company I worked for, that the entire network for the corporate offices with 3000 users had been wide open like that, the network would have been shutdown immediately for intervention, and a human sacrifice would have been offered up before the end of the week, impaled on a pink slip.

          But then to read it in McDevitt’s response? Sucks the wind completely out of one’s sails. The entire IT department knew about it, at the very minimum. The Waxman should subpoena every single person in A&E capacity below McDevitt, and the entire operations group responsible for backups and system integrity.

      • sailmaker says:

        IIRC the House had problems with Republicans knowing that there was no password needed to get into the system and that the Democrats thought the system (and therefore their communications) required passwords to get into the system. Who knows who read who’s email? IIRC this was discovered in early 2007, and was addressed at the same time they passed a law prohibiting congressfolk (and more importantly, their staff) from insider stock trading.

    • Hmmm says:

      During this period it was discovered that the file servers and the frle directories used to store the retained email .pst files were accessible by everyone on the EOP network.

      You know that means there are archives of key peoples’ files out there somewhere. Just not in possession of the IT guys — the ones who should have them. I’d be looking into everyone who had a computer on the EOP net that was (is?) equipped with any form of high-capacity storage — big HD, RAID, DVD-R, tape drives, or even a bridge to another network (oh dear gawd, don’t let it be the public internet) where copies could be written to.

      • MadDog says:

        You know that means there are archives of key peoples’ files out there somewhere. Just not in possession of the IT guys — the ones who should have them. I’d be looking into everyone who had a computer on the EOP net that was (is?) equipped with any form of high-capacity storage — big HD, RAID, DVD-R, tape drives, or even a bridge to another network (oh dear gawd, don’t let it be the public internet) where copies could be written to.

        PSTs were originally limited to 2 GB in size. Now they can be upto 18 GB. Used to fit easily on a DVD.

        I would check out who in the WH has been purchasing/requisitioning DVDs. I’m kinda guessing Turdblossom (blackmail has always been his particular fetish), Deadeye (just like TB), and Hadley is probably weasel enough to participate too!

      • bobschacht says:

        You know that means there are archives of key peoples’ files out there somewhere. Just not in possession of the IT guys — the ones who should have them. I’d be looking into everyone who had a computer on the EOP net that was (is?) equipped with any form of high-capacity storage — big HD, RAID, DVD-R, tape drives, or even a bridge to another network (oh dear gawd, don’t let it be the public internet) where copies could be written to.

        High capacity storage? A gigabyte can hold one heck of a lot of emails. And one Gig thumb drive these days are easy to get.

        BTW, I haven’t seen this question addressed: In email systems of the type indicated, is it common to store attachments together with their message, or in a separate location? For example, I use Eudora, which keeps all attachments in a separate file. Ditto any embedded graphics (which are kept in a special folder named Embedded, IIRC). In other words, email messages in html could have their contents partialed out in a number of different locations. However, Lotus Notes and other mainstream email systems probably operate differently.

        Bob in HI

  19. emptywheel says:

    Does this mean the WH isn’t encrypting ANY of its emails?

    Use of encrypted email was prohibited because there ryas no facility to manage records retention of encrypted email.

    • MadDog says:

      Does this mean the WH isn’t encrypting ANY of its emails?

      Use of encrypted email was prohibited because there ryas no facility to manage records retention of encrypted email.

      Well, maybe yes or maybe no. *g*

      There is the “separate” email system used by all the folks on the National Security Council staff (and those who communicate with the NSC folks like Rove to Hadley for example *g*) which is operated by the WHCA – White House Communications Agency.

      The WHCA is 90% staffed by active duty military folks – predominately Army with something like 55% of the slots.

      The WHCA does journals/archives/backups of their Exchange Server email system.

      There is even an open question in my mind as to whether the WHCA folks secretly backup the OA Exchange Server email system.

      • jdmckay says:

        > Does this mean the WH isn’t encrypting ANY of its emails?
        >> Use of encrypted email was prohibited because there ryas no
        >> facility to manage records retention of encrypted email.

        Which doc was that taken from? I wonder if it’s an ignorant commment (by whoever made it) or fact. If the later, it suggests to me incompetance rather than design (feature!!!). Centralized “signing” of email (eg. 3rd party “trusted” signing/encoding/decoding provided by companies such as RSA/Verisign for SSL/TLS email encryption) for “groups” or dedicated servers is now well established so far as retaining system wide administrator retention of required “keys” for decoding.

        Put simply, this means a secure, centralized repository (database) of encryption passwords & keys for given email server(s) which would enable the decoding of any mail sent from any account on said server(s) by an authorized administrator. I can’t site a specific post, but tech issues relevant to just this kind of implementation were discussed in detail in Bruce Schneier’s blog. (Schneier’s books are cryptography 101 for computer professionals doing this security/encryption etc.). He actually released on open source, secure encrypted database for just this kind of thing that has been a model used widely for this “stuff”.

        Beyond that, implementing what’s called “self-signing”… meaning having one’s own email server equipped with necessary validation procedures to handle all the RSA stuff, is widely used these days. It eliminates cost (RSA too pricey for many small startups, and unnecessary as well AFAIC), is as secure as RSA (or any other 3rd party “signer”), and makes it easy to centralize retention of all passwords/keys that would be necessary to establish a “facility to manage records retention of encrypted email”. All this “stuff” is integral part of my programming toolset, and something I’ve done a lot of for various HIPAA email.

        If I’m Dick Cheney, and I tell architects of WH email system I want full administrative control to delete any records, any time, then I’d build an EXCHANGE server similiar to what these hearings (especially McDevitt’s charactarizations: system wide PST access) reveal as implementation. It also makes me thing that if indeed expunging records was integral, any encryption might be considered both unnecessary and also a hindrance when examining email that needed to be scrubbed.

        There is the “separate” email system used by all the folks on the National Security Council staff (and those who communicate with the NSC folks like Rove to Hadley for example *g*) which is operated by the WHCA – White House Communications Agency.

        The WHCA is 90% staffed by active duty military folks – predominately Army with something like 55% of the slots.

        The WHCA does journals/archives/backups of their Exchange Server email system.

        MD, can you give me a source for all that?

        There is even an open question in my mind as to whether the WHCA folks secretly backup the OA Exchange Server email system.

        This is one of the big problems probing through smokescreens of lies: leads to guesswork, however well founded, and ensuing uncertainty.

  20. Citizen92 says:

    McDevitt is still a government employee over at FEMA. While it would seem as though he was pushed out of OA because he was disgruntled (or he knew too much) he still managed to land a job in a bureaucracy that vets all jobs through a political lens.

    Do you suppose that McDevitt’s present job at FEMA it what stands between him and telling the full truth to the Committee?

  21. FrankProbst says:

    PF The name was discussed by three different officials. One was charged with perjury. [Ut oh, Pat, what about Ari? I count 4 people]

    Armitage, Rove, and Libby. I don’t think Ari ”counts” in Fitz’s eyes, because Libby was the original ”source” his leak.

    • kspena says:

      Also Wolfie was dispatched to WSJ. From International Herald Tribune 2/9/07…’Libby recalled asking Deputy Secretary of Defense Paul Wolfowitz to deal with The Wall Street Journal.

      “I don’t have as good a relationship with The Wall Street Journal as Secretary Wolfowitz did,” Libby told the grand jury. “I talked to Secretary Wolfowitz about trying to get that point across, and he undertook to do so.”

      The Journal ran an editorial focusing on the theme Libby wanted. The editorial stated that the prewar intelligence the newspaper was describing had not come from the White House, “which to our mind has handled this story in a hamhanded fashion.”

  22. Mary says:

    28 – and remember that Booz got the “job” of “auditing” the SWIFT bank snooping program. The one the European privacy board found illegal. Which is one of the reasons I go back to whether or not what we have had telecoms do is illegal in other countries and where some of McConnell’s concerns about massive liability might (might not) come in too.

    37 – we’ve been around that ring before and I’m unchanged on thinking he came up with a solution most likely to protect who he perceived as his clients – Ashcroft and Bush. I know you think very differently and I respect the difference. Nothing I’ve seen changes me opinion though. But I admit pretty freely to a bias against all the torture enablers and cover up artisans and I admit that is where my opinion places Comey. So I’m a “consider the source” source of comment.

    Re McDevitt – even if he didn’t have “operational” responsibility, didn’t he have supervisory responsiblity? Or not?

  23. emptywheel says:

    Here’s an interesting point.

    WH didn’t want McDevitt to testify bc of deliberative discussions.

    Is this one of them?

    27.The Committee understands that you and John Straub met with White House Counsel Harriet Miers to discuss issues related to e-mail preservation. Did you discuss your analysis at this meeting? Please describe when this meeting occurred, the agenda for the meeting, and your recollection of what was discussed.

    I participated in a number of meetings in December 2005 and January and February 2006. Some Some
    oithese meetings included White House Counsel Harriet Miers and members of her staff. These meetings also included other White House management and OA Counsel staff. Given the nature of these discussions, I will defer to the current White House staff to characterize these meetings.

    Sure sounds like WH doesn’t want us to know what Harriet and Andy Card told McDevitt in 2005, when they were still trying to keep this under wraps.

  24. FrankProbst says:

    Hey, wait a sec. If the network was ”open” to anyone with access to it, does that mean that anyone on the network could have made copies of other people’s e-mail?

    • Rayne says:

      Ever notice how the emails we’ve seen in doc dumps have been curiously devoid of what you’d consider water cooler chatter?

      They knew something was up.

    • MadDog says:

      Hey, wait a sec. If the network was ”open” to anyone with access to it, does that mean that anyone on the network could have made copies of other people’s e-mail?

      Absolutely yes!

      And if you were just to tired to make copies, you could at least read ‘em.

        • MadDog says:

          is this where Greg Palast comes in?

          And EW, Jane, Christy, Glenn, you and me and millions more!

          Arise ye serfs and throw off your chains! The world is ours and our enemies will be vanquished!

      • bobschacht says:

        In response to FrankProbst @ 58

        Hey, wait a sec. If the network was ”open” to anyone with access to it, does that mean that anyone on the network could have made copies of other people’s e-mail?

        Absolutely yes!

        So, should standard Congressional testimony always include the question, “Do you have any e-mails to support the testimony you provided today?”

        I’ll bet there are a bunch of underlings who made bugga bugga copies everytime their bosses told them to do something questionable or stupid. The Nuremburg defense isn’t much to rely on, but if its all you’ve got, you might as well give it a shot.

        Bob in HI

  25. emptywheel says:

    Holy shit, bingo:

    29.lVas any analysis conducted to determine how e-mail files could have been lost? If so, who took the lead on that, and what was the determination?

    From October 2005 through August 2006, no analysis was conducted to determine the cause of these issues. No direction was given by OA management to undertake such an analysis.

    The primary focus of the team addressing these issues was to create a proper inventory of ,pst f,rles, analyze these files to determine if issues related to email retention existed.

    30, Did the White House ever inform the National Archives of the results of your analysis?

    If so, when was this done? If not, did you or any others recommend that this be done? During my employment with the EOP, I do not recall if anyone at NARA was informed about these issues. Sometime during the Summer of 2006,1 was directed by the CIO that I was not allowed to discuss the potential email retention issues and the analysis that was performed by OCIO with the NARA staff. I was to inform any NARA staff who contacted me about these issues to direct all inquires about email records management to White House Counsel and White House Records Management.

    During my employment at the EOP, I worked closely with NARA staff on a number of issues related to records management. I had established good working relationships with them. I received a number of inquiries from them and in each case I redirected their inquires to the White House. I was verv clear to them that I was directed not to share information with them.

    • bmaz says:

      I trust we are not at a loss for the apparent implications of that?

      Next question. Why didn’t we have this little hoedown we are having today about one year ago??

    • MadDog says:

      Is anyone else coming to the conclusion that Henry Waxman’s bombshells today are part of an overarching Democratic election year strategy?

      I’m thinking this:

      1. Dems figured by mid-Feb that Presidential Nominees would be done. Didn’t quite happen on the Dem side, but bear with me.

      2. Dems figured that Repugs would retreat to their last resort of the Turdblossom-conceived, Junya and Deadeye-implemented, and general Repug cheerleading of Fear Americans, Fear!

      3. Dems figured that while the didn’t have the votes to impeach Junya and Deadeye (that wasn’t a good enough excuse in my eyes, but keep bearing with me *g*), they sure as hell had enough crimes and scandals to bury the Repug corpse continously for the rest of year until November arrives.

      Is this the Democratic 08 Campaign strategy with teeth we’re finally seeing unfold?

      The Repugs will try and sell their tired old fearmongering, and the Democrats will ramp up the voter anger at Repug criminals trying to get away with crimes?

      If the House Democrats manage to standup to FISA Retroactive Immunity, I might buy into this theory myself. *g*

      • bmaz says:

        Maybe. If so, then I am not a happy camper though, because that means the Democrats are toying with propriety and justice, and on a grand scale, for petty political purposes. It may not be as bad as the Republicans, but it is about the same rotten deal. If that is true, those making those dicisions should be ridden out of town on a rail and driven right into incarceration with the Republicans.

        I have just been trying to catch up here and have not gone and read the document you folks are working off of. Is it sworn or otherwise certified?

        • MadDog says:

          Maybe. If so, then I am not a happy camper though, because that means the Democrats are toying with propriety and justice, and on a grand scale, for petty political purposes. It may not be as bad as the Republicans, but it is about the same rotten deal. If that is true, those making those dicisions should be ridden out of town on a rail and driven right into incarceration with the Republicans.

          Yeah, I too would find that rather calculating. Twould seem to fit with folks like Rahm however, and I wouldn’t put political calculations past most politicians regardless of party.

          I have just been trying to catch up here and have not gone and read the document you folks are working off of. Is it sworn or otherwise certified?

          Good question! McDevitt’s is called “Interrogatory of Steven McDevitt”. Sounds legalese to this non-lawyer’s ears, but not the same as “deposition”.

          • bmaz says:

            In civil litigation, interrogs are countersigned and certified as accurate by the client/respondent. Guess I better go look. Thanks

    • MrWhy says:

      For emphasis:

      Q:

      Did the White House ever inform the National Archives of the results of your analysis?

      A:

      I received a number of inquiries from [NA]and in each case I redirected their inquires to the White House. I was very clear to [NA] that I was directed not to share information with them.

  26. Rayne says:

    This bit, from Q.44 –

    The fact that both the ARMS and .pst file search processes did not search the email attachments was raised on a number of occasions. At the time I believed that this was a short-lived problem as the ECRMS solution would provided fast and effective full search capabilities, including the
    search of attachments. . .

    This is another great way to hide responsive content, right under their noses.

    Email sent, with a cryptic or non-existent subject, no text, only an attachment.

    This is likely why she killed ECRMS.

  27. Hmmm says:

    Wait a minute. If someone on the EOP net was snooping the computers of other people on the EOP net, and sending it outside of the EOP net via some other network link — maybe a dedicated private and supposedly secure one from SmarTech etc., or maybe the insecure public internet — then there would have been no need to keep any backups within EOP, because backups of whatever they cared about were being kept elsewhere. Might help explain the very very odd nonchalance at not having any produceable backups.

    Just to follow the train of thought, I guess if it were being sent over the public internet, then any Narus-type taps would have snarfed it all up, so the NSA — or the CIA, or Amdocs, or whomever — would also have a copy of everything. So I’m guessing if it happened, it wouldn’t have been over the public internet.

    • Citizen92 says:

      I think it’s pretty well established that there was some sort of RNC-furnished computer network operating inside the White House. Whether it was Blackberries, or a wireless LAN, a full wired network with RNC computers, or just some sort of hole opened up in the EOP firewall to access RNC webmail it is not clear. But the capability was there.

      It’s not far from using a jump drive to download the EOP’s network files and dispatch them off the the RNC using computer equipment on the next desk over.

      But, aside from the BlackBerries, you need someone inside the WH complex (18 acres) to make it happen. Staffers don’t have control of the physical campus. Secret Service and the career staff do.

      So if it was a wired network, someone would have had to allow the RNC to come in, with their computers, run wires and set up.

      If it was a wireless network, much of the same.

      So who’s the inside person? Does this also relate to the Secret Service visitor records? Would the crack team from RNC Tech Support or SmarTech Corp’s visit to install the parallel network also need to be hideen like Abramoff and Jeff Gannon’s visits?

  28. Mary says:

    Think of all the topics beyond the Plame one – btw, did anyone ask Fitzgerald today if he was aware or became suspicious of PResidential Records Act or Hatch Act violations that were outside of the scope of his mandate and if so if he made any requests or referrals for investigation of those matters?

    Anyway, there was voter suppression and rigging, politicizing prosecutions, torture, kidnap, disappearing children, use of military bases for kidnap and torture conspiracies, setting up black sites for torture, the many oopses and releases on the torture front, money laundering, covering for Foggo, defense contracting thievery, Abramoff, casinos, mob killings, Indian funds, the Dept of Interior investigations that barely got going, and on and on. A glance at Hugh’s lists and the things which might have had some bits and pieces of an email trail are staggering.

  29. valletta says:

    If history is prologue, this next year will see the remaining rats jumping ship and a few will have to turn witness to save themselves. Also, this administration has been so sloppy and far-reaching corrupt that a smart Dem staffer who joins the White House staff in Jan 09 will find something left behind to pursue. I know that’s what I’d be doing instead of coffee breaks

  30. kspena says:

    somewhat OT

    Theresa Payton CIO – Government Organization

    Current CIO at US Government
    Past SVP at Bank of America
    SVP at Wachovia
    Senior Manager at Barnett Banks, Inc.

    Education University of Virginia
    Immaculata University

    Theresa Payton’s Experience
    CIO
    US Government
    (Government Agency; 1001-5000 employees; Government Administration industry)
    May 2006 — Present (1 year 10 months)

    SVP
    Bank of America
    (Public Company; 10,001 or more employees; BAC; Banking industry)
    September 2004 — April 2006 (1 year 8 months)

    SVP
    Wachovia
    (Public Company; 10,001 or more employees; WB; Banking industry)
    July 1995 — September 2004 (9 years 3 months)

    Senior Manager
    Barnett Banks, Inc.
    (Public Company; 10,001 or more employees; BBI; Banking industry)
    July 1990 — July 1995 (5 years 1 month)

    Theresa Payton’s Education
    University of Virginia
    M.S., Management Information Systems, 1989 — 1990

    Immaculata University
    B.A., Economics, Business Administration, 1985 — 1989
    Mission Statement
    Immaculata University is a Catholic, comprehensive, coeducational (since 2005) institution of higher education sponsored by the Sisters, Servants of the Immaculate Heart of Mary. Its programs, rooted in academic rigor, ethical integrity and Christian core values, encourage a commitment to lifelong learning and professional excellence. With belief in the dignity and potential of all men and women, Immaculata integrates students into a community of service and empowers them to assume meaningful roles in a diverse and changing world. Contributing to the development of the whole person of any faith, Immaculata affirms liberal education as an integrative process in the formation of a truly educated person who is value-oriented and committed to truth, service, justice, and peace.

    …In June 2002, Immaculata College received confirmation of university status from the Pennsylvania Department of Education. Effective August 2002, the college is now known as Immaculata University.

    In October 2003, after in-depth studies, the university decided to welcome men into its traditional undergraduate college beginning fall 2005. The University’s three-college structure now includes the College of Undergraduate Studies, the College of LifeLong Learning, and the College of Graduate Studies.

  31. Leen says:

    I went to the Judiciary website to find a link to the hearing, could not find. If I want to watch it a later date…where do I find it.

    • MadDog says:

      I went to the Judiciary website to find a link to the hearing, could not find. If I want to watch it a later date…where do I find it.

      On the HJC website, on the upper left quadrant is the “Schedule”.

      It has a scrollbar and if you scroll down in that box, you will see the links to the individual hearings.

      Based on what I’ve seen there right now, they only do the webcasts live. You can “read” the testimony from the earlier hearings, but apparently you can’t re-run the webcasts.

      Perhaps some other kind soul here knows where the previous webcasts can be found.

      • selise says:

        Leen – which hearing do you want? i don’t have everything, but i did make an audio recording of this morning’s hearing on voter suppression and i did make a video recording (for what it’s worth) of fitz’s testimony. if either of those is of interest to you (or anyone else here), i’ll post them.

  32. Citizen92 says:

    As for the hole in the EOP computer firewall to access RNC webmail, we know that the Clinton Administration prohibited and bloced access to all web-email type sites.

    And we know from McDevitt’s questionnaire that, at least on paper, that was the policy of the Bush Administration.

    15. Was there any policy that prevented White House staff from accessing external e-mail accounts on their official ilhite House computers? ilas this policy applied universally?

    In 2002 and 2003 the EOP Information Assurance Policy was drafted, reviewed and approved, The policy was approved by each component within the EOP. The purpose of the policy was to address the wide anay of information security and information assurance requirements of the EOP.
    Relating to email, this policy specifrcally prohibited the following:

    o Use of non-EOP email environments was prohibited because it would not provide a means for supporting records management requirements.

    o Use of encrypted email was prohibited because there was no facility to manage records retention of encrypted email.

    o Use of peer-to-peer messaging was prohibited.

    o The use of instance messaging environments was prohibited.
    Questions and information requests on the applications of this policy should be addressed by current OCIO staff.

    So question is, did they enforce the policy, or OOPS, just like all net files were available to any user on the system, web access was also free and open?

  33. behindthefall says:

    What part of the following is a gross exaggeration?

    Leaving a White House system open to 3000+ people is basically leaving it entirely open. The system contained the musings and dickerings of the Executive Branch. Any intelligence service worth its salt would have gone in and looked around. (What? They thought no one would be interested?? It’s the White House, for Pete’s sake!) This replaces the ‘bugs’ buried in the cement during construction of an embassy; here, the Administration simply retrofitted the White House with glass walls and loudspeakers, if you knew where to look and to listen.

    The Exec Branch may not only be anxious to hide the emails; it may also be terribly embarassed by its culpability — and the really bad PR — that could head its way should it become generally realized just how STUPID and INEPT they have been.

    • MadDog says:

      Leaving a White House system open to 3000+ people is basically leaving it entirely open. The system contained the musings and dickerings of the Executive Branch. Any intelligence service worth its salt would have gone in and looked around.

      I’m guessing the OA network was firewalled against intrusion, but that doesn’t mean that an intelligence service wouldn’t compromise some WH staffer to burn a whole bunch of DVDs daily.

      • Citizen92 says:

        Could have been Rove’s failsafe to keep everyone in line from telling secrets. Nothing’s more revealing than someone’s unvarnished e-mails.

      • behindthefall says:

        Yeh, one way or the other. Don’t these people realize that WH emails are practically the Holy Grail of intelligence gathering? Who wouldn’t want to know which way the elephant is going to roll? Unless the deliberations in the system have grown so centered on engineering the downfall of our previously-rather-democratic system that they are of no interest to observers outside our borders — elephant in process of imploding; no change.

      • MrWhy says:

        I don’t believe the WH system was open to everyone. I believe this is a CYA talking point. Whose ass does this cover? Everyone’s except for tech support and their managers.

  34. Citizen92 says:

    Totally C/T territory here, but Wachovia was the bank for of all the bad NRCC accounts being handled by Chris Ward.

  35. pseudonymousinnc says:

    I just want to pick up on what earlofhuntingdon said last thread:

    For such tech savvy players as Rove and Ken Mehlman, this could only be intentional, because credible, if slow, archival systems were readily available (eg. both tape and hard drive systems, including an real system prominently displayed on the film set of a Tom Clancy novel). Since 2000, these systems have become steadily more capable and searchable and cheaper-by-the-byte.

    McDevitt said that one of the rationales for the Notes-Exchange switch was that LookOut/Exchange was used on the campaign, and they wanted better MSOffice compatibility. Now, I can sorta kinda accept that, but a presidential campaign’s records aren’t the property of the people.

    I think it’s pretty well established that there was some sort of RNC-furnished computer network operating inside the White House. Whether it was Blackberries, or a wireless LAN, a full wired network with RNC computers, or just some sort of hole opened up in the EOP firewall to access RNC webmail it is not clear. But the capability was there.

    Absolutely. You just get the sense that BushCo’s political ops brigade thought that the official channels were a drag. They’d done things one way as private citizens, and they weren’t going to change it to satisfy the responsibilities of the office.

    The MZM connection? Weren’t they meant to be providing threat scanning? I’m not sure if there’s a smoking gun there, except for the fact that anything MZM touched from a tech standpoint turned to shit.

  36. rkilowatt says:

    Payton u’grad degree listed from Imm. University 1989, 13 years before it became a “university”. Er..ah..,

    …In June 2002, Immaculata College received confirmation of university status from the Pennsylvania Department of Education. Effective August 2002, the college is now known as Immaculata University.

    re kspena @72

    • Rayne says:

      I think it’s far more important to note that Payton does not have a technical background at all. There’s nothing in her CV that indicates she really understands the technology for which she was ultimately responsible.

      The only qualifying credential I can see is that bit about Immaculata College — was she an authoritarian adherent? Was she always someone who’d ask How high, sir? whenever asked to jump? Yeah, I can see DeadEye and Co. digging on that attribute.

  37. KenMuldrew says:

    A minor point that seems to be confusing some people. The access that everyone had to the servers is about stuff that is stored on those servers. People could read, write, and erase things on the servers just like you would to a file on the hard drive of your desktop machine. The network itself is ethernet and that is promiscuous by design. Everyone on the network has access to all the packets that are traversing the network (though you need appropriate software to see them). In order to prevent packets being seen by non-authorized people, you need either encryption or a physical break in the network (like a firewall).

    So anyone on the net could have archived all the traffic that was being generated (probably vetted to avoid all the web-based crap) if they were determined to do so, without having any access to the servers. Access to the servers just lets people with no particular expertise in networking play god with the email records.

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