Rove Looking for an Underground Railroad, Again

Scott Horton describes how the Alabama GOP has retracted their claims that Dana Jill Simpson never did anything for the state party.

What a difference 72 hours makes. Maybe they got around, in the three days after that “exhaustive search” to talking with Governor Bob Riley and Twinkle Andress Cavanaugh (the G.O.P. chair at the time of the events in question) about Jill Simpson? Maybe they recognized that it was going a bit far out on the ledge to deny that a former county co-chair was unknown to the party leadership? After all, an artful spinner of falsehoods knows that they must at least be somewhat plausible. Or maybe it was Simpson’s statement to NBC’s senior legal correspondent Dan Abrams, who has now adopted the Siegelman case as a staple of his “Bush League Justice” series, that she had confirming telephone records that gave Mr. Hubbard a bit of pause? In any event, what we see between these two statements looks remarkably close to a retraction. [my emphasis]

And then Hubbard turns around and asks for Simpson’s evidence.

Here’s what he says:

“Only the most committed anti-Rove/Bush activist could swallow such a tale,” party chairman Rep. Mike Hubbard, R-Auburn, wrote in the letter to “60 Minutes. If you are unable to publicly produce hard and convincing evidence that backs the outrageous charges you aired to millions of viewers across the nation, I ask that you publicly retract the story on your next broadcast.”

Note that Hubbard takes an immediate, intense focus on protecting Karl Rove, as if this were a chess game and Karl Rove were the player’s queen. Of course the accusations against Rove were presented by a Republican operative lawyer, who testified under oath and subject to cross-examination, and who produced boxes of documents to support her testimony.


But the most revealing aspect of Hubbard’s statement was his demand that CBS produce its corroborating evidence. That, of course, is what this entire contretemps is about. Karl Rove is desperate to know exactly what evidence Simpson and CBS have before he is compelled to give sworn testimony. Why? Armed with this, he hopes to walk through the minefield ahead of him, lying and avoiding being caught. It’s about that simple.

I absolutely believe that CBS should put its corroborating data on the table. After Karl Rove has given sworn testimony about this affair.

Horton simply reads the obvious in making this claim: Rove’s surrogates have demanded evidence while Rove has refused to hand over any of his own.

Then of course, it’s more than obvious. It’s Rove’s MO, a central strategy he used to avoid perjury charges in the CIA Leak investigation. Early on in the investigation, at least, Ashcroft got briefings of all the suspicions related to Rove.

Ashcroft was told no later than November 2003 that investigators also doubted the accounts that Rove, President George W. Bush‘s chief political adviser, had given the FBI as to how he, too, learned that Plame was a CIA officer and how he came to disclose that information to columnist Robert Novak.


In a briefing devoted specifically to Rove and Novak, sources said, officials told Ashcroft that investigators believed it was possible that the presidential aide and the columnist had devised a cover story to present to the FBI to make it appear that Rove had not been a source for Novak’s column.

Rove’s lawyer goaded Viveca Novak into revealing whether Matt Cooper’s source was known at Time.

Here’s what happened. Toward the end of one of our meetings, I remember Luskin looking at me and saying something to the effect of "Karl doesn’t have a Cooper problem. He was not a source for Matt." I responded instinctively, thinking he was trying to spin me, and said something like, "Are you sure about that? That’s not what I hear around TIME." He looked surprised and very serious. "There’s nothing in the phone logs," he said.

When Michael Isikoff later called for comment about Rove being Cooper’s source (according to Hubris), Luskin got Isikoff to read him Cooper’s entire email to his Time editors, revealing precisely what evidence there was against Rove.

And, apparently, Woodward passed his own information on to Rove, presumably revealing that Armitage had revealed Plame’s identity to him in mid-June.

MR. WOODWARD: And you know what? The special prosecutor, Fitzgerald, in a way, has discovered that there is an underground railroad of information in Washington. You’re smiling because no one knows more about it than you.

MR. BERNSTEIN: Well, you were down there.

MR. WOODWARD: Well, you talk to people, you talk to somebody in the White House or the CIA or the Democratic Party, and you say, "I’ve heard or I understand; what are you hearing?" And one of the discoveries in all of this is that reporters, in asking questions, convey information to even somebody like Karl Rove.

Meet the Press, July 17, 2005

Along the course of the investigation, then, Rove collected:

  • [Presumably] Details on FBI suspicions of the cover story he concocted with Novak
  • Confirmation that Cooper considered Rove his original source
  • The entire content of Cooper’s most revelatory evidence regarding his Rove conversation
  • Details of Woodward’s involvement that helped impugn the best witness against Rove

That collection of information served him pretty well, as it turns out.

Now, the Republicans on HJC somewhat surprisingly supported making Dana Jill Simpson’s deposition public. But looked at from this perspective, that seems to make sense, too.

To which all I can suggest is that Dana Jill Simpson avoid talking to the known members of the underground railroad–people like Isikoff and Woodward (I gotta say, I’ve got my suspicions about a number of people at MSNBC, too, so don’t give anything in writing to Abrams, either). And journalists? Please be a little responsible when speaking with Gold Bars Luskin. I shouldn’t have to say this, journalist’s job is not to provide information that will help criminal suspects go free.

70 replies
  1. bmaz says:

    EW -No way to stop what you fear. Goopers from the House will have already done the deed. If there was any desire to do this properly, Rove would have already been attached with process and hailed before either the committee or, more properly a nice quiet sworn deposition with committee staff lawyers. Chances of that were nil.

    • emptywheel says:

      No, actually, I don’t think so. I think Simpson only gave over her evidence of having spoken with Rob Riley, not with ROve. At least that’s what came out in the report.

      And in the short term, it proved Riley was lying.

      • bmaz says:

        I hope you are right, but color me skeptical. Although I will grant your point on the furious demand for info by his surrogates….

    • Loo Hoo. says:

      But the Goopers would only be able to help him to keep from perjuring himself, right? The crime itself may be able to be proven this time. You can’t go around throwing people in jail for political purposes in America, I hope. Even the goopers wouldn’t put their careers on the line for Rove now. Am I naive or just plain stupid?

      • emptywheel says:

        But what’s the crime?

        Ashcroft and Gonzales changed the rules so Karl could get info on ongoing investigations, which provides cover for his conversations with NOel Hillman. I do think Hillman might be held ethically responsible, along with Canary and Martin and Fuller. But what is Rove’s crime in this case?

        Criminal Hatch Act, I guess. Which is, incidentally, almost certainly what DOJ IG is investigating right now.

        • BayStateLibrul says:

          His crime, his crime…

          being a knave, a rascal, an eater of broken meats, a base, proud,
          shallow, filthy, lily-liver’d, finical rogue, action-taking whoreson,
          coward, hypocrite, adulterous thief, and unbolten villain” (according
          to Shakespeare)

        • FrankProbst says:

          But what’s the crime?

          Aren’t there laws against false imprisonment? Karl would be up for a conspiracy charge of some sort, I’m sure.

        • bmaz says:

          Conspiracy to violate constitutionally protected rights; obstruction of justice, possibly misprision of felony (that would be creative and tenuous to make out) all could be alleged against rove under the facts you assume.

          • FrankProbst says:

            Conspiracy to violate constitutionally protected rights; obstruction of justice, possibly misprision of felony (that would be creative and tenuous to make out) all could be alleged against rove under the facts you assume.

            Conspiracy and obstruction, yes. Misprision, no. That’s only for cases involving Presidential blowjobs.

        • freepatriot says:

          But what’s the crime?

          let’s start with Obstruction of justice

          then there is Conspiracy to Obstruct Justice

          if kkkarl interfered in a “Professional” capacity, I could come up with a whole SHITLOAD of violations of Civil Rights

          and let’s top that off with a nice RICO wreath to pull it all together

          I’m not a lawyer, and I didn’t sleep in a holliday inn last night, but I can figure that much

          • BayStateLibrul says:

            and don’t forget defamation of character charges, for his lying, big fat flapper, In Re: Jill Simpson v Karl Roverboy

      • Peterr says:

        With all due respect, I’d say naive.


        The GOPers have bought into the Rove-as-Messiah stuff for so long, that there are plenty that would throw their buddies, if not themselves, under the bus to protect Dear Karl.

        They also have to wonder what would happen if Karl were in real jeopardy of serious jail time. Would he be looking to cut a deal, a la Jack Abramoff, to reduce his legal problems? If Jack could flip, so could Karl — and that’s got to worry a bunch of folks.

  2. earlofhuntingdon says:

    Excellent complement to Horton’s work, EW.

    With the wheels of government “formerly” at his disposal, Karl Rove dodged a bullet on the Plame investigation (though it took four trips to the grand jury) and avoided Libby’s fate as a convicted felon. Which suggests that street smarts and a sociopathic personality are more effective than two Ivy League degrees in helping you stay out of jail.

    Well, that and a president and his regent who let you see all the il-/legally gathered intelligence you want. And the ability to hide most of your professional correspondence at the RNC or other private source, which, when the government wants a record of its own activity, is artfully claimed as “lost” or “unrecoverable” or “in the process of being recovered”. (Which process will be finished about the time Godot arrives at the bus stop).

    Let’s hope that even the press is not so easily duped now as earlier in the Bush administration.

  3. FrankProbst says:

    It sounds like Dana Jill Simpson is well aware of what she’s up against. She’s pretty much playing her cards exactly the way you suggest she should. She tells her story, waits for someone to tell a provable lie about it, and then proves that they’re lying. I think she’d make one hell of a prosecutor.

    • emptywheel says:

      The most chilling part of her story, IMO, is that she drove to GA to sign her affidavit so as not to be in the jurisdiction of AL law.

      Yes. She knows what she’s up against.

      • Ishmael says:

        Was Ms. Simpson the target of some Silkwood-style intimidation as well? I admire her fortitude, after all, she was an eyewitness to ratfuckery as an insider and is dropping a dime on the Don himself, so she definitely knows what will await her – and she will be punished by the Republican howler monkeys for the rest of her career, if she still has one when this is over.

    • kspena says:

      ‘It sounds like Dana Jill Simpson is well aware of what she’s up against.’

      Don’t forget that she’s already been run off the road and her house has been burned down.

  4. FrankProbst says:

    “If you are unable to publicly produce hard and convincing evidence that backs the outrageous charges…”

    Sworn testimony from someone who was there is pretty hard and convincing evidence, in my book.

    • freepatriot says:

      Sworn testimony from someone who was there is pretty hard and convincing evidence, in my book.

      you forgot to add UNCONTROVERTED sworn testimony

      Simpson testified under oath and penalty of perjury

      until kkkarl and his ilk do the same, why believe anything they say


      by their FRUITS shall you know them

      repuglitard fruit is pretty BAD

  5. Ishmael says:

    Bmaz – Regarding the Siegleman case – IANAAL (I am not an American lawyer), but under our rules up here in Canuckistan, it is possible to get an order on appeal for consideration of fresh evidence (that was not available or conceiveable at trial), and to get an order for limited discovery. Could not Siegleman’s lawyers try and get an order for KKKarl to be discovered on his role in the prosecution, to support an appeal based on abuse of process? It would be hard to argue that there was any executive privilege involved here. I see that the trial court is trying everything to keep the matter away from the appeal court, even taking almost 2 years for a certified trial transcript. Up here, you could hire a certified court reporter who could transcribe the tapes of the proceeding. I don’t understand why it is taking so long to perfect the appeal, or is there some tactical reason for this by Siegleman’s legal team?

    • bmaz says:

      You know, I don’t have a good snappy answer for that, but i have been thinking along the same lines. to the best of my recollection, i never faced anything like this in any of my Federal cases. There are certainly avenues to explore. Personally, I can’t imagine that the CCA is allowing this crap to go on like this. As laughable as this is in this day and age, I wonder if his legal team has attempted some type of application for a writ of mandamus/Habeus.

      • Ishmael says:

        Habeus corpus? Wasn’t that suspended by Abraham W. Bush, as part of the War on Terror/Drugs/ChristmasHaters/Immigrants/Democrats? Seriously, though, the appeal tactics continue to mystify – even if the transcript is not available yet to perfect the appeal, was there no application for bond on appeal? For a non-violent, 1st time offender who is essentially a political prisoner and already spent a substantial time in jail? I can see why the Rovers would want to keep Siegelman under wraps in a jail cell where they can control who he talks to, but I can’t see why this would not be attempted – although I say this with all due respect to his counsel, it’s easy to be an armchair quarterback and I never appreciated anyone doing it in my cases when they didn’t know all the facts. Just askin’, though.

  6. Citizen92 says:

    Look for some forged documents to arise shortly that somehow incriminate Simpson for something.

    A Rove specialty.

    Like the discredited typewritten letters about the George Bush taht caused Dan Rahters’s story about the Air Force reserves fo fall apart. Like the Steve Forbes press releases that Rove forged in the ‘96 campaign.

    I sometimes wonder if he might have done the Niger “yellowcake” letter too. Or Chris Ward’s fraudulent NRCC audit.

    • emptywheel says:

      Agree. We ought to be expecting the attacks on Simpson and others at any moment (though AL, at least, seems to be taking care of this by charging people involved).

      Though I gotta say, Rove’s got much less of a grip on the press than he did during the CIA Leak investigation.

  7. allan says:

    “I shouldn’t have to say this, journalist’s job is not to provide information that will help criminal suspects go free.”

    How dares EW call into question the journalistic titans of our age?

  8. earlofhuntingdon says:

    As Horton points out, Hubbard chooses to focus on and defend Rove. His tactics come right from the pages of Rove’s playbook.

    Hubbard characterizes the Siegelman inquiry as if it were a vindictive attack on Rove for political reasons. He thereby deflates the impact of the reveal that behavior at the top of our government. The false framing distracts attention from the fact that he describes Rove, not his opponents and not those investigating the political railroading of Don Siegelman.

    Hubbard draws attention to the easily understood (if unbelieved) meme that Karl’s the victim. He’s the one being attacked for his political beliefs and effectiveness. Like a David Brooks column, Hubbard needn’t be accurate; he need only tell his Base what it wants to hear. Which artfully distracts from the more complex circumstance: that Rove has orchestrated the systematic, criminal abuse of prosecutorial authority by Republican operatives across the United States, not just in Alabama.

    Hubbard acts like a foreign office official giving false information on the whereabouts of a war criminal hiding in Paraguay or in the rain forests of some remote Pacific island. Fortunately, even they get caught; it just takes time.

    This is a war of attrition. We and federal prosecutors, a Democratic Congress and White House, will face these tactics for years. We have to sort out ways to keep it fresh, and not let familiarity or exhaustion turn prosecutorial zeal into boredom – with pardons (not justice) for all.

    • prostratedragon says:

      This is a war of attrition. We and federal prosecutors, a Democratic Congress and White House, will face these tactics for years.

      Amen. While this is well-understood in these parts, a major task coming out of the campaigns will probably be to make sure that it’s understood by the candidate and the public.

      Regarding telecom or other lobbyist donations to the candidates, I know only a little in passing, but one thing that stands out in rifling the lists at is the way contributions sky-rocket with electoral success, and the speed with which they do so. Maybe think of the donations as options or activities on spec by the lobbyists, rather than done deals.

  9. orionATL says:

    the siegelman case really ought to finish off the careers (and “family time” for several years) of a number of doj officials.

    were rove to accompany them to the poky, that would be just too, too nice.

    but what i can’t figure out in all this is

    why siegelman’s lawyers are taking so long to take legal actions that would, at the very least, allow him to speak out publicly in his own defense and to be moved to a prison nearer to his home and his lawyers?

    gagging him and sending him off to a prison hundreds of miles away is just too much like the man in in the iron mask – or maybe a day laying block in the gulag – for even a republican-loaded appeals court to tolerate.

    to bad sara isn’t here to address the historical context of this. have we ever, in our history, had such a blatant case of using the law, not just to defeat a political opponent, but to incarcerate him for decades?

  10. Loo Hoo. says:

    Whoa!! Hope you all saw this happy news from Christy next door:

    Our First Monday series, in conjunction with the Alliance For Justice, will have a special guest next Monday: Scott Horton, the NY lawyer who writes for Harpers, will be here at 3 pm ET/noon PT on Monday to chat live. Scott’s superb work on the Siegelman case, the long-term effects of politicization of the Department of Justice and the continuing ripples from the USAtty firings and other issues concerning the Bush Administration’s undermining of the rule of law has illuminated a lot of the nasty, dark corners and hidden ick in all of this.

  11. danps says:

    Great post Marcy. I hope Simpson keeps her own counsel as much as possible – to continue the chess analagy it would be nice to see one of Rove’s opponents thinking a move ahead of him.

  12. Mary says:

    If you’ve spent any time around southern women and you heard the way DJS used the so-many-syllables-and-inflections-it-becomes-a-phrase word “cuuuuuuum-fuhr-tah-bul” when she responded to Rove’s posturing “well if he feels so cuuuuuum-fuhr-tah-bul sayin that, then …” you knew she holds cards.

    What I wonder about is what it was they approached her with, after Siegelman, that made her go to the Bar Assoc to start with, bc IIRC her affidavit doesn’t go into what that was.

    • Rayne says:

      Heh. Yeah, that multi-syllabic conveyance of multiple meanings within a single word always cracked me up about the folks I worked with from the South. Nothing quite like running smack into a problem while working with a group in a conference call when the IT guy from the southern-most location says, “Fuh-uh-uhck, that thar’s ba-a-ad.”

      Good point about the bar association; what would compel you to go there first, in your opinion?

      • Ishmael says:

        There is an affirmative duty on practicing lawyers to report unethical conduct to the bar – certainly this meets the test.

      • sailmaker says:

        Maybe the stuff that happened to Jessica Radnick ? She was the lawyer for American Taliban John walker Linde, who got disbarred in MD(that has been reversed) and DC (where she is still is disbarred), put on the no fly list (where she remains to this day), and fired from 2 jobs, yet was never charged with anything. She virtually has said that Chertoff lied under oath at his appointment hearings: Chertoff said he thought Linde had confessed in front of his, Linde’s, council. Radnick says Linde did not confess in front of his council, there was no council in Afghanistan, and so the conviction was the fruit of an uninformed at best, tortured at worst, confession.

        If I were Simpson I’d go to the bar, the ACLU, and the rest of the legal mattresses. And I’d consider the real mattresses as well.

        • BooRadley says:

          The Trials of Jesselyn Radack

          Sitting in her well-appointed living room in a leafy northwest Washington, D.C., neighborhood, Jesselyn Radack seems an unlikely candidate for martyrdom in the war on terror. For three years the Yale Law School graduate and self-described soccer mom made her living telling other government lawyers how to stay out of trouble.

          The 32-year-old former U.S. Department of Justice ethics adviser says she thought she’d be a career government lawyer. But that was before she decided to object to the government’s tactics in the John Walker Lindh case last year.

          Since then she’s lost two jobs — pushed out of her Justice post and then fired from the firm that had taken her in — and now finds herself unemployed and in limbo. Her personal challenges are daunting: under criminal investigation, ailing from multiple sclerosis, and expecting a third child in January. But far from singing the victim’s song, Radack appears composed and stalwart, telling her story with short, chopping hand strokes and near-encyclopedic recall. …

    • lllphd says:

      mary, from simpson’s interview on 60 minutes, she said what got her moving on this is the fact that a man has been wrongfully imprisoned, and she just could not keep quiet about that.

      she seems sincere. and good god, do ah know about those multiple-syllabic inflections and their southern female implications!

  13. AZ Matt says:

    Oh Good! It was only an equipment failure.
    From NYT’s:

    Station Cites Equipment in Blackout of Program

    Published: February 29, 2008

    In an attempt to clear up questions about how an Alabama television station lost its signal at the start of Sunday’s edition of “60 Minutes” on CBS, the management of the station, WHNT-TV, issued a statement Thursday citing equipment failure.

    The station, in Huntsville, said that after a review, it had concluded that the blackout was related to a similar interruption during a basketball game the day before.

    The break in the signal, which lasted about eight minutes, came as the CBS News program was beginning a report of special interest to Alabama residents: an investigation into whether the trial and conviction of a former governor, Don Siegelman, was politically motivated. The report included charges that Republican and Bush administration officials, including Karl Rove, had sought to discredit Mr. Siegelman, a Democrat.

    • lllphd says:

      i actually have an email from the chief engineer for WHNT, in response to query. it says this:

      “Simple, a CBS satellite receiver failed at WHNT causing us to loose about 5 minutes of the story ,we aired it again at 10pm last night and again At 6pm tonight and had it posted on the web last night and all day today.”

      Of course, they are required by FCC to keep detailed logs on such incidents; it will be interesting to see if that’s pursued. i contacted conyers to hopefully include this in his inquiry.

  14. readerOfTeaLeaves says:

    Driveby — I’ll have to enjoy catching up with comments later. But I did want to leave an emphatic THANK YOU!! for this from the post:

    EW: I shouldn’t have to say this, journalist’s job is not to provide information that will help criminal suspects go free.

    In the Information Age, truer words can’t be spoken.
    Particularly given the scope and depravity of the crimes under suspicion.

  15. klynn says:


    If the House might take up immunity next week, is there any plan to do the letter push from the blog base? If so, will it start today? I’d make it a big issue before Tuesday. Honestly, once again the immunity issue may get “shadow protection” media-wise because of Tuesday elections. This is an interesting pattern but not a surprise…

    • JimWhite says:

      I’m with you on that one. See Matt Browner-Hamlin’s post on what is up. He links to a tool that can be used for communication.
      My weekend won’t let me get started on this till Monday morning, but I’ll be making calls and sending emails then. I encourage everyone to jump on this.

  16. JohnLopresti says:

    OT, although part of the background to the interesting link @39: The Radack firing from doj involved erasure of many of her emails by someone at doj while she had been put on leave, as described at her Orange website, and the subsequent reconstitution of some of those emails by her superiors during her appeal from the dismissal on whistleblower grounds. She also describes her own artful archival system which involved hardcopy of some of the employer-erased messages. The last update I found about her businesslife after the timeframe in which the 2003 law dot com article about her was written, was a communications consultancy she has developed with an associate in DallasTX, with, in late 2007, a cute web homePage which includes child-created art.

  17. Sara says:

    Sara here, but not necessarily thinking in Historical Specifics today.

    While it won’t happen (cause it is off the table) why not start a movement to impeach the Alabama Federal Judge in this case for failure to arrange for the transcript, required for appeal, to be prepared and delivered in a timely way? Pestering Conyers to consider a cause hearing regarding potential grounds for impeachment of the Judge for a deliquency that is clearly the Judge’s responsibility seems to me an avenue that calls attention to the situation while not walking into a Rove trap, yet sticking to something quite narrow, but also a violation of Judicial Standards.

    I don’t want to see this happen summarily — Conyers could be persuaded to look at it for probable cause, but wait till the next Congress to move forward. We have lots of these Bush appointed political judges, and while most of them will probably sit on the bench for years — this is a case where Judicial Standards can be raised, and perhaps an awareness that people are watching, and willing to rattle cages a bit, could be laid on the table.

    And of course if there is an eventual effort to impeach, all the questions about DoJ contacts, or Rovian contacts, could be asked as part of the process.

  18. al75 says:

    Anyone have a mail address for Don Siegelman? He’d probably appreciate hearing from us.

    Another address to bear in mind is Newsweek – remember, the editors of this rag have lent the credibility of their masthead to that newly-minted “journalist” Karl Rove. They’d probably love to have some feedback.

    [email protected]

    I prob. don’t need to remind EW readers that civilly-worded comments have more impact.

  19. watercarrier4diogenes says:

    OT, but from the Matt Browner-Hamlin link above:

    Jay Rockefeller has endorsed Barack Obama. I sure hope Obama picks up the phone and tells Jello Jay to cut the crap on FISA. Obama now has leverage to ask Rockefeller to drop his efforts to get an anti-Constitution FISA bill through over the better House version of the bill.

    I may be the least cynical reader here, but this seems like a possibility if the Obama camp can be ‘encouraged’ to do so. Anyone have a clue as to Obama’s financial backing from Telecoms? Is Telecom money necessarily going to be tied to ‘protect us’? Or might they want the whole thing out in the open so that they can show that they were coerced or possibly threatened if they wouldn’t comply with ‘requests’? Given the plausibility of the claimed QWEST/Nacchio actions/consequences, could there have been some who grudgingly gave in and now wish they hadn’t?

    • sailmaker says:

      Obama doesn’t look like the recipient of very many telcom donations up until the last numbers we have, end of January ‘08.
      open secret of his top 20 Senate contributors
      open secret of his presidential campaign contributors.

      I must caution that while the Center for Responsive Politics has good stats, sometimes the divisions are a little mysterious. They have a bucket called ‘lobbyists’ but no division of that bucket into industries. Similarly the categories are somewhat negotiable: softwear/internet are bundled, but what about phone/cable/internet?

    • JohnJ says:

      I think that actual the Telecom’s interest in this is minimal. I as sure they are going along with it….it’s double immunity for them.

      I doubt that any of the Telecoms are going to stop giving to a candidate that opposes immunity. They are not foolish enough to think that their contributions are going to hurt or help the chances of a Democrat for president.

      OT but
      Here’s a scary thought: what happens if the exit poles show the Dems win overwhelmingly in 2008 and the election returns show that the gooper wins with 51% ? Is there going to be the same stunned silence as in 2004 or will the torches and pitchforks come out? If the latter, will the WoPo and NYT be burned down as well?

  20. Dismayed says:

    There is definately a movie in this one! I’ve been waiting for this to gestate for quite a while. This is political intrigue at it’s dirtiest and finest. The wholesale criminality of this bunch of Rethuglicans, and still, still, they are getting by with it. Do we understand the meaning of power yet? They do.

  21. JohnLopresti says:

    Sara’s reflections called to mind the 2002 dispute over the predilection of nominee Pickering to bar publication of his opinions as a judge. Senator Leahy was eloquent in the SJC February 7, 2002 hearing in this regard, summing up the difficulty the Senate was experiencing in assessing Pickering’s jurisprudential qualities faced with the void of the predominantly unpublished character of his work. On July 28, 2002 NYTimes similarly decried nominee Shedd’s proclivity for preventing publication of his opinions from the time when he was on SoCarolina’s bench.

  22. Ishmael says:

    O/T – but significant in terms of the role the press can play in shielding political mischief-makers: From today’s Globe and Mail:…..ional/home

    “The Ontario Court of Appeal has ordered the National Post newspaper to hand over a document and envelope that could reveal the identity of an individual who tried to “undermine the authority” of former Prime Minister Jean Chrétien.

    The ruling came as a blow to several media organizations – including The Globe and Mail – who had argued that handing over the documents would put a chill into the relationship between journalists and their sources – regardless of whether the material in the National Post case was a forgery.

    In the ruling under appeal, Ontario Superior Court Judge Mary Lou Benotto prevented police from seizing a forged document in a package that had been mailed to the National Post. Purportedly issued by a bank, the document indicated that former prime minister Jean Chrétien had improperly used his influence.

    Police hoped that forensic analysis of the package would yield fingerprints or DNA from saliva on the postage stamp that would identify the sender. However, Judge Benotto ruled that seizing it would violate freedom of the press.

    Today, the Court of Appeal emphatically disagreed. It said that “the considerations favouring disclosure of the document and the envelope sharply outweigh those favouring confidentiality. Indeed, as we view the case, the law enforcement interest in disclosure is overwhelming.”

    The Court of Appeal seems to endorse the arguments for lawyers for the Province of Ontario, who argued that freedom of the press does not exist to benefit liars or criminals who manipulate journalists for their own illicit purposes. Now, I suppose the reporter could have been duped by the source, who in turn could have been duped by the forger, but it appears that courts in Canada will take a dim view of those who wish to launder spurious leaks through journalists, and the journalists who seek to protect them and the journalists themselves from exposure.

  23. Mary says:

    34/48 – I may not have been very clear. If I remember correctly, and I may not, based on her affidavit, DJS did not go to the bar association after the phone calls when there was the reference to siccing Canary and Martin on Siegelman or immediately after any of the things she has talked about in the public parts of her testimony or in the 60 minutes.

    IIRC (and again, I may not), even later than all that, she was somewhere and approached by someone (why am I thinking a disbarred lawyer?) working for the party to do something that REALLY shocked her. Something we haven’t heard about. And I thought that was what prompted her to go to the bar association (she’d go there first for a few different reasons – one might be to clarify what kind of confidentiality relationship did or did not exist with the people she was speaking with and to what extent she could come forward, as well as issues of duty for ethical issues involving lawyers like Canary and Martin etc.)

    And again, I thought that it was in contacting the bar about the thing we haven’t heard about yet (and may not) that she gave them the whole story on everything else too, bc the Siegelman thing had also been bothering her, and they advised her to come forward. But I may be misremembering that. If I get a chance, I’ll go look.

    Personally, I cracked up when DJS answered Abrams with her “if he’s so comfortable saying that” and my reaction if I was involved with representing Rove would have been, CRAP! What does she have.

  24. Mary says:

    This is what I was remembering from the testimony Conyers released…..hibits.pdf

    Q How did it occur to you to talk to Mr. Espy about
    these matters?

    A In the fall of 2006, a Riley campaign person came by
    my office wanting me to meet with the governor at a — his birthday party out at Randy and Kelly Owens’ house, who Randy sings in the band Alabama and Randy’s bandmate, Teddy Gentry is my ex-brother-in-law, although he is still my brother-in-law. I mean, we get along. I see my ex-husband every day. But anyway, the thing is this, the governor was having a birthday party out there and they wanted me to meet with them to talk about some campaign stuff. And this lawyer asked me to do some things I did not feel comfortable with.

    Mr. Sandler. This lawyer who?
    The Witness. He was a disbarred lawyer at that time
    actually, but he had been a lawyer.
    Ms. Lynch. Can I clarify? Was that the campaign
    worker or –
    The Witness. The campaign worker is the lawyer. He
    was a disbarred lawyer working in the Riley campaign with a guy named Gerald Dial. And that lawyer’s name was Hoyt Baugh.

    Mr. Broderick-Sokol. Okay. He asked you to do something you were not comfortable with.
    Mr. Sandler. Hold on a second. I’m not clear on the record. The disbarred lawyer’s name was –
    The Witness. Hoyt Ball. Anyway as a result of that, I
    ended up calling Joe Espy.
    Why Mr. Espy?
    A I called Doc Barron, who is the brother of a senator
    that they had asked me to do this work for, a state senator. And Doc called Lowell Barron and Lowell called Joe Espy. And then they asked me — it got back down the food chain somehow for me to call Joe Espy.
    Q Was Joe Espy a lawyer representing any of these people?
    A He represented Lowell.
    A And I told Joe — all I had told Doc Barron is they asked me to do something I felt uncomfortable with and Lowell needed to be aware. And then, of course, I get this phone call back that they want me to talk to Joe Espy. When I talk to Joe Espy, he recommends that I talk to the Bar. So I ended up calling the Alabama Bar and talking to them
    about this also.
    Q And we’re not talking — we’re not talking about the Siegelman-Scrushy prosecution. You’re talking about something they asked you to do that made you uncomfortable,you asked the Bar about that at Joe Espy’s suggestion. How did you come to be talking to Joe Espy about the matters that ultimately end up described in your affidavit?
    A The Bar said that I could talk to Joe Espy, so I called him back and I told Joe Espy what they had asked me to do. Joe Espy felt it was illegal, I believe. I mean, he indicated that to me. And, anyway, at one point he says good God, why would they ask you, Jill Simpson, lawyer from Rainsville, to do this. And I said, well, I’m the one who took the pictures when Don Siegelman conceded and I said I’m sure you know about that because you represented Mr. Siegelman back at that time. And Joe Espy said, no, I don’t know about those pictures, but what are they pictures of?

    I don’t know. I told Joe Espy they were fixing to file a suit because that disbarred lawyer had asked me to be involved in something illegal in that. So there was an ongoing suit. So I talked to him. And when the case was being dismissed is the date that he got back on the pictures.

    A He said, Jill, the case is about to be over with the
    senators. And he said, so, I really have no conflict in –
    you know, you can tell me this and I’d have client
    confidentiality if you told me kind of what the gist of this
    was with these pictures. I won’t ever tell anybody is
    basically — I can’t say exactly what his words were, but he
    said he would not ever tell. But he really wanted to know what those pictures were of. And he was speculating. His mind was in the gutter and I finally just told him what the pictures were of.

    emph added


    So she seemed to be saying that she was being approached to do something else (regarding a suit involving state senators including Lowell Barron maybe?)that made her very uncomfortable and precipitated the calls that ended up with her going to the bar, sending the letter, doing the affidavit, etc. on the things that have been disclosed.

    The pictures she is talking about above are the ones she took of a Seigelman operative putting Riley signs up at a KKK rally.

  25. MadDog says:

    OT – Just in case folks weren’t able to either view the hearing or follow the loveblogging here, Henry Waxman’s House Oversight Committee has the preliminary transcript up on the hearing about the Missing White House Emails.

    That transcript is here (pdf).

  26. JohnLopresti says:

    [email protected], we agree; my opaque text at fault. Sorry. What I was contemplating was the possibility that now Radack’s meticulous recordkeeping of emails may help solve some of the mysterious unarchival and inexplicable refound email legerdemain that accompanied politicization of various executive branch functions. My confusion was the 2003 lawDotCom article’s allusion to Radack’s events one year following her dismissal from the ethics office work she did at doj; I had confused her later work, in 2007, with Townsel’s.
    Footnote: SHorton’s Monday liveblogFdl appearance is cosponsored by Alliance for Justice; their ad is on their mainpage now.
    [email protected], helpful draft transcript re ocio, though I need to review the liveblog for the PFitzgerald segment. Reading of McDevitt’s gauntlet of censorship helped illuminate Payton’s executive disclaimers which I glimpsed for a while when the committee’s video feed was working, though this workstation kept continuity with the audiostream even when the picture freezeframed.

    • sailmaker says:

      I think that you hit on a very important point: Radack was able, with help, to reconstruct deleted DoJ emails. Her time frame was the end of 2001, first few months of 2002. The emails the White House claims are missing are from 2003-2005. Do we believe the White House? Do we even have to think about the White House? Maybe we only have to look at the DoJ emails (many of them are missing?). Maybe the DoJ system is much easier to reconstruct. Maybe whoever was doing the deleting at the DoJ was not as good as Rove/Addington, and left more cookie crumbs to be reconstructed?

  27. Neil says:

    Great stuff EW. Really great stuff.

    And since she can’t be with us…

    There you go again, beating up on poor Karl Rove.

    Don’t you remember the last time you had him cornered and were ready to string him up on the Plame-Wilson tree?

    Some people are slow learners.

    Posted by: Jodi | October 11, 2007 at 01:20

    Yeah, we know who.

  28. Neil says:

    Bush Aide Resigns After Admitting Plagiarism
    By Sheryl Gay Stolberg, NYT, Published: March 1, 2008

    WASHINGTON — A longtime aide to President Bush who wrote occasional guest columns for his hometown newspaper resigned on Friday evening after admitting that he had repeatedly plagiarized from other writers.

    … Mr. Goeglein signed on with Mr. Bush, eventually becoming a top aide to Karl Rove, the chief political strategist. He was the eyes and ears of the White House in the world of religious conservatives and an emissary to that world for Mr. Rove and the president.

    A review by The News-Sentinel found that of the 38 columns Mr. Goeglein published since 2000, 19 included plagiarized material, according to Mr. Hubartt. He said the paper would no longer publish work by Mr. Goeglein, whom he described as “well respected here by a lot of people.”

    “There was no reason for it that I can see,” Mr. Hubartt said, noting that Mr. Goeglein had submitted columns voluntarily and had no deadlines to meet. “He was not under any pressure.”

    Did Mr Hubartt say is “well respected here by a lot of people” and was “well respected here by a lot of people.”? Did someone say “eyes and ears”? What does Goeglein know about Rove’s skullduggery?

  29. Nell says:

    @Sara #44: I had the same thought, only I know very little about what kinds of things federal judges can be impeached for, and what the evidence would need to be.

    I’ve also wondered about the same thing as OrionATL #26 — is there really no way to stop a vengeful judge in league with prosecutors?

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