Rove’s Subpoena

Apparently, Chairman Conyers received yet another letter from Robert Luskin claiming that Rove can spout off all he wants about his involvement (or not) in Governor Siegelman’s prosecution, but he can’t or won’t do so before the House Judiciary.

Conyers isn’t going to wait around for more of the same.

We were disappointed to receive your May 21 letter, which fails to explain why Mr. Rove is willing to answer questions in writing for the House Judiciary Committee, and has spoken on the record to the media, but continues to refuse to testify voluntarily before the Committee on the politicization of the Department of Justice, including allegations regarding the prosecution of former Governor Don Siegelman. Because of that continuing refusal, we enclose with this letter a subpoena for Mr. Rove’s appearance before the Committee’s Commercial and Administrative Law Subcommittee at 10:00 a.m. on July 10, 2008.

(Nice touch, Chairman Conyers, having the Subcommittee vote on it without, as far as I’ve heard, the news getting word.)

Now, as Conyers points out, this subpoena is a bit different than the subpoena that Harriet Miers blew off. For starters, Rove has been completely willing to answer questions in writing–and at least until now, he hasn’t asked Bush whether Bush wanted to protect the alleged conversations between Rob Riley and Rove and the Public Integrity Division of DOJ. And, as Conyers reiterates, Rove has been blabbing and blabbing and blabbing about this to the press, so it’ll be tough to argue that he can’t continue to blab under oath.

One more difference. I wonder how the Courts will feel about enforcing a subpoena issued by someone who said "Someone’s got to kick his ass"?

Just off the House floor today, the Crypt overheard House Judiciary Committee Chairman John Conyers tell two other people: “We’re closing in on Rove. Someone’s got to kick his ass.”

Asked a few minutes later for a more official explanation, Conyers told us that Rove has a week to appear before his committee. If he doesn’t, said Conyers, “We’ll do what any self-respecting committee would do. We’d hold him in contempt. Either that or go and have him arrested.”

And finally, this weedy note. Apparently, Office of Professional Responsibility has informed the committee that it "has opened an investigation into" the politicized prosecutions of the Bush Administration.

Separately, Chairman Conyers recently received a letter from DOJ’s Office of Professional Responsibility (OPR) indicating that the office has opened an investigation into allegations of selective prosecution of Siegelman and others.

Call me crazy, but it sounds like OPR is trying to stave off the Rove subpoena by claiming it has a prior investigation started.

Update: Or maybe I’m just being paranoid about the OPR investigation. I had remembered there was an earlier OPR investigation of Alice Martin that seemed, um, incomplete. But maybe under new management (Mukasey) and faced with the news that the prosecution did not turn over information that should have been turned over under Jencks, they decided to really do an investigation.

Update 2: This is kind of cool. CREDO called on its customers last month to encourage Marshall Jarrett to launch an investigation into the politicization of investigations.

So we here at CREDO picked this issue up, and in our April phone bills, urged our customers to send a letter to Dept. of Justice Counsel H. Marshall Jarrett and ask that he launch an investigation of apparent political motives in the selective prosecution of Siegelman.

Almost 20,000 of our customers sent hard-copy letters to Counsel Jarrett over the past several weeks…and just this morning, it was revealed that he has in fact initiated an investigation into the Siegeleman case from the DOJ’s Office of Professional Responsibility.

192 replies
  1. darclay says:

    Who has presadence Congress or DOJ? Seems like DOJ could not claim it has prior claim when Congress has been investigating this for a while now.
    Of course if we leave all this up to Dear Harry and Nancy it will never see the light of day.

      • Prairie Sunshine says:

        yes, of course, exactly, ummm hummmm. I’m buyin’ that…

        cite one precedent of the Bush Administration acting in good faith in the furtherance of justice.

        just one.

      • bmaz says:

        Yeah, I dunno, I’ll stick with the paranoid thought until proven otherwise. I also stick with my thought that since the Bushie pukes challenged them to use their powers, they ought to step right on up and do him up with inherent contempt. And there is no reason to dilly dally either.

        • Mr.Cbl says:

          they ought to step right on up and do him up with inherent contempt. And there is no reason to dilly dally either.

          Oh, Bmaz, you sweet talker you. I sure do love the way you think.

        • DWBartoo says:

          Yes, bmaz:

          Inherent Contempt.

          Maybe we will be surprised, … this time.

 anticipation, however.

          This Congress has little apparent interest in accoutability, just as they have evidenced little interest in ‘oversight’…

          Prove me wrong, John, prove me wrong …

          You’ve stepped up tp the plate, John.

          Don’t wimp.

          No more strongly worded letters, John.

          It is time (past-time) for action.

          Remember the CONSTITUTION, John, let it be you guide.

          Remember truth … and justice.

          Remember, this is NOT about you or even about Rove, this is about what this nation has become … and what it needs to do in order to be a nation worthy of respect in the eyes of the world and in the hearts and concscience of its citizens.

          Presumably, John, you wanted the job which you have accepted, rise to the awful needs of the moment or you run the risk of damning us all something like Directive 51.

          You do remember Directive 51, don’t you John?

          • perris says:

            You do remember Directive 51, don’t you John?

            scary he knew nothing about it till a progressive asked him

            has he ever revisited the issue in public?

      • darclay says:

        the HJD started the investigation of USA purge and “RELATED” areas on 3/21/07 so would this not include Rove Sigleman? If so that would trump DOJ april 15 2008 in the real world?

      • Margot says:

        I’ve always thought there is a quota of speeling errors and ve haf not met ours so get busy!

    • Leen says:

      If congress ever wants the American people to have faith in this system the wheels had better keep grinding because the internal framework of this country has been crumbling under the Bush cartel.

      Still time for a “frogmarch”

  2. Prairie Sunshine says:

    anything…anything initiated by any past, present or future member of the Bush Administration, whether press briefing, investigation or anything should on its face be considered a delay, obstruct, obfuscate, spin, lie, … you get the idea … tactic meant to subvert Congress and the Constitution.

    The truth is not in them.

    And they have burned their presumption of anything but coverup.

  3. Bustednuckles says:

    Turdblossom himself said last year that he was expecting to be subpoenad.
    I bet he wasn’t thinking over this particular matter, either.
    He has a walk in closet full of skeletons.

    • PJEvans says:

      Jeebus, Busted, you’re thinking awfully small here!

      At least two walk-in closets and all of the spare bedroom.

  4. perris says:

    Now, as Conyers points out, this subpoena is a bit different than the subpoena that Harriet Miers blew off. For starters, Rove has been completely willing to answer questions in writing–

    Marcy, you are using the flawed assumption that this administration or their minions have rules

    they do not

    the president can just as easily claim executive privilege as he has in the past, there are no rules, there is no law for this administration’

    you are thinking as if they are bound by some kind of box, they have no box, no boundaries, nothing, they are without law

  5. Quebecois says:

    Has the OPR done any conclusive work in the last few years? Can they be trusted, or are they highly politicised?

  6. WilliamOckham says:

    One thing I noticed from the DOJ’s letter re:selective prosecutions is that they left Wecht of the list of OPR investigations (compared to what Conyers asked).

    • scribe says:

      In Wecht’s case, the government has announced it plans to retry him. That announcement came shortly after the ink dried on the mistrial – the jury hung.

      Then the US Attorney sent the FBI out to interview the jurors and find out why they wouldn’t convict.

      I suspect there’s a lot more going on in Wecht than just “it’s an active case” – I wouldn’t be surprised if there’s an inquiry into the US Attorney misusing the FBI.

      • WilliamOckham says:

        That would be an OPR investigation and yet they didn’t mention it. I can’t believe they are going to try to hang tough on that one.

        • scribe says:

          If there’s an investigation into misuse of the FBI (atop the politicized prosecution), it could also be (a) the FBI or (b) a grand jury, too.

  7. perris says:

    to avoid a showdown I expect rove to at least appear, while there he will with no douby say;

    “I refuse to testify, it will breach national security

      • cbl2 says:

        Afternoon Empty and Firedogs –

        jes drivin’ by in btw shifts –

        nomolos – Addington belongs in Syria, Thailand, or Egypt

        too effin’ bad Big Dog – ya can’t campaign on ‘Change’ for 15 months straight and then include a Clinton on the ticket – nagunna, nagunna . . .

        • tejanarusa says:

          ya can’t campaign on ‘Change’ for 15 months straight and then include a Clinton on the ticket – nagunna, nagunna . . .

          Yeah, that idea bothers me, too. I might not mind, but the reason I didn’t support her (and I am, btw, a 58-yr old white woman w/ a professional degree) is that I think she is UN-electable because of all the well-known baggage, the well-known hatred of her from all kinds of people.
          I can’t believe what I’m hearing from some women that they will never vote for Obama because, essentially, Hillary deserved it. My only consolation is the hope that, with time, they’ll calm down and realize that McCain is the enemy of everything they support HFC for.

          • nomolos says:

            MSM will continue to push for clinton2 to be veep in the hopes that obama1 will have his term “shortened” and then the corporatocracy can continue unabated.

          • Leen says:

            Hillary’s vote for the 2002 war resolution and then her vote for the Kyl Lieberman amendment last fall pushed her into the darkness for me. But what is going to happen to the 80 something women like my mother, who is a Hillary “devotee”. My 80 year old mother still has a Hillary message on her phone machine. I went to several Hillary events in Ohio with my mother who grew up working in factories making a dollar less than the men standing right next to her doing the same job (my mother can still work any man or woman under the table).
            Hordes of older women like my mother filled the stands at these Hillary events. I talked to many of them they are devoted to Hillary and I mean “devoted”. They want to witness a woman break through that glass ceiling before they die, and they want it bad. Hillary as VP is the least these women will settle for.

          • demi says:

            I’m not sure what your are saying.
            This text-media precludes the subtleties of non verbal.
            Do you think she is more like McCain than Barama?
            Or are you saying that she doesn’t have a snowball’s chance with Obama?
            Jest wanted clarification.

            • Petrocelli says:

              ((((( demi )))))

              Sorry I missed you earlier … after demeaning him for the past few months, I would think she’s the last person he’d ask to be Veep.

              • bmaz says:

                Well, after all the holier than thou condescending bullshit from the Obama camp, her supporters might not feel real friendly either. It runs both ways; it has not been a one way street. That might be the point to consider.

                • Petrocelli says:

                  I’ve been loving your wit over the past 24 hours …

                  My feeling is, after Super Tuesday, she’s been trying to bully her way onto the ticket and the amount she has disparaged Obama is far, far greater than the condescension from his side.

                  • bmaz says:

                    I voted for Obama; although I have always thought they both would be fine and each had their strengths and weaknesses. While i think that the press has been a far bigger issue than the respective candidates, I have seen an overly smug and vitriolic side to many of Obama’s supporters, especially in the blogosphere. I hold no grudges except towards the press, I just wish the BS on both sides would stop.

                    • bmaz says:

                      And that is certainly not to say that the Clinton camp has not been loathsome in several instances too; they have.

                    • Petrocelli says:

                      I wish that I will have HRC’s energy level when I’m 60 … her motivation has to be as Edwards says, coming from her dedication and commitment to look out for the betterment of America.

                    • bmaz says:

                      I don’t know if she is the right choice or not; it’s not my call and I’m glad it is not. Optimally, there really could be a whole shift and out with the old and in with the new. But the old has made it through this far and has pulled in what 49%- 49.5% of the vote? If it really is to be a knock down and dirty general, having a junkyard dog that is relentless, and say what you will, Clinton has proven she is that, may not be such a bad idea. I just don’t know; but it shouldn’t idly be dismissed.

                    • bobschacht says:

                      I think he was being charitable, as was right and proper. But if her dedication and commitment to look out for the betterment of America is the answer, why do I have the feeling that in her mind, the betterment of America seems to be tied closely to the betterment of the Clintons?

                      Also, the constant brandishing of “Hillary the fighter” is getting old. We don’t always need a fighter; sometimes we need someone who knows when to fight, and when not to! Fighting is not the answer to every problem.

                      Bob in HI

                    • Petrocelli says:

                      I know what you mean, the MSM behave more like the tabloids than professional news media.

                    • masaccio says:

                      bmaz, there is plenty of anger to go around. Check out Tennessee Guerilla Women, and the comments. These are some really angry women, angry at Obama, and angry at the way HRC has been treated. This is what a front-pager says about Michelle Bernard, that idiot who went on MSNBC and called for race riots if the superdelegates take the election from Obama:

                      But seriously, we’ve said it before, when the corporate media is shoving your Democratic candidate down your progressive throat, it may be time to ask yourself: Are you are indeed on a bandwagon, or are you in a flock?

                      Compare that with David Niewart’s post at the mothership on the same issue.

                    • bmaz says:

                      Heh heh, my wife went to grade and high school with Michelle Bernard. Ahem, she has choice things to say and would not disagree with you. I am just sick of the anger and pettiness on both sides; time to go kick ass on the Goopers and we will need everybody for that.

              • Lindy says:

                If he’s willing to reach across the aisle for cabinet members after THEY have demeaned him for so long, I would think he’d be willing to let bygones be bygones.

                • Petrocelli says:

                  I’ve not been following your politics as closely as some of you, who has disparaged Obama as much as, or more than, Hillary ?

                  She has repeatedy suggested that White people, who are the majority of Americans will not support him before claiming she’s leading a civil rights movement … indefensible in my view, from the land of what seems to be neverending winter …

                  • bobschacht says:

                    One of the reasons I have felt confirmed in my support for Obama is watching Hillary’s seemingly shameless embrace of the White Bigot vote as proof that she is more electable than Obama. Gag me with a spoon! What happened to the Hillary who was my hero in the early 1990s?

                    Bob in HI

    • AZ Matt says:

      Rove in jail, Bush in exhile, Cheney at the Hague.

      bring it on.


      Rove in hell, Bush in exhale, Cheney in Vogue.

      bring it somewhere.

    • Leen says:

      Wolfowitz, Feith, Bolton etc join them at the Hague. This is the new “American Dream”

  8. hackworth says:

    What’s your take Marcy? Will Rove/Luskin show up under the subpoena or will they blow it off like Meyers and Bolten? I’m not aware of any penalty paid by either of those two. How badly did Conyers hurt himself with the kick Rove’s ass remark with the (Bushco) judge?

      • bmaz says:

        I would too if I were him, doesn’t mean it has any moment though. Contempt is contempt, if he meets the criteria, the rest is window dressing. Granted, he should have been a bit more restrained; but fuck Rove and Luskin, I believe it was them that said how happy they would be to show up originally. This is sideshow junk. Congress is a political body; this is political. Yada, yada yada – so what?

      • readerOfTeaLeaves says:

        I wonder how the Courts will feel about enforcing a subpoena issued by someone who said “Someone’s got to kick his ass”?

        But it was the committee that subpeona’d Rove, not Conyers as an individual.
        So the entire group had to take that vote; that would make Conyers’ particular remark irrelevant, wouldn’t it?

        Conyers remark just gives Luskin one more chance to bill Rove for writing up yet another document; doesn’t seem like it’ll change the long term outcome. The entire committee made no such comment, and they’re the entity behind that subpoena.

        • BillE says:

          Last time I read about inherent contempt, either body of congress can do it without approval of the other.

          • Petrocelli says:

            Wexler seems pretty ginned up, let’s hope he is allowed to carry through with it …

  9. AlbertFall says:

    Anyone have a checklist on the USA politicization questions?

    My list would include:


    2.Oppo research guy Tim Griffin as USA with subpoena power in Hillary Clinton’s home state of Arkansas.

    3. The USA whose closing argument in a $100m tobacco case was neutered by the admin.

    4. The woman in (MN? elsewhere) whose case was thrown out and the legislature voted to reimburse her for the false prosecution.

    I lose track….

  10. LS says:

    OT…but did anybody catch this? Mary Tillman on Democracy Now this morning:

    “AMY GOODMAN: That was Jessica Lynch. Mary Tillman, your response to what she had to say, and what you think are the parallels between what happened to Jessica Lynch and what happened to your son?

    MARY TILLMAN: I believe that she made it very clear that, you know, the soldiers are heroes in their own right. And there are heroes out there, and you don’t have to fabricate heroes. I thought that was a very, you know, remarkable statement, and so true. And, you know, she also indicated that she had these horrific injuries, and of course the Iraqis did the best to take care of her, to her mind, and they tried to return her to the US, and they wouldn’t take her. And it turns out, what was uncovered in the hearing is that they wanted to have this dramatic rescue videoed. So at the point they could have saved—you know, gone in to rescue her, the military held off for twenty-four hours to get a video crew in there. And what’s very ironic is that Pat and Kevin were also involved in this rescue. They, of course, believed that it was a legitimate rescue and that they were in great danger. But it turns out that it was more or less staged.

    AMY GOODMAN: Explain.

    MARY TILLMAN: Well, it was planned that they were going to go in. There was really no harm. The soldiers were under the impression that the Republican Guard was going to be at the airport. I mean, they really did fear for the situation. But as it turned out, the Republican Guard had already taken off. It was not as dangerous a situation as they were led to believe. And of course, in the hearing, they determined that this rescue was held off for twenty-four hours so a video crew could get in and take pictures of the rescue.

    AMY GOODMAN: And you’re saying that Kevin and Pat were a part of that rescue?

    MARY TILLMAN: They were part of the rescue, in the sense that, as Rangers, they kind of held the perimeter of the Baghdad airport. They were part of that. They didn’t go in and actually take her out, no.

    AMY GOODMAN: Did they write back to you, or has Kevin talked to you about what he feels in that situation?

    MARY TILLMAN: Well, I don’t speak to what Kevin knows. That’s—I will not divulge that. And he was not supposed to divulge that. They were not supposed talk about that at the time to us. We learned some things later, but I won’t speak to what Kevin told me.

  11. Hugh says:

    Someone’s got to kick his ass

    Conyers was speaking metaphorically besides this is covered I believe under the legal dictum of “Oportet aliquem dare pedis ictum ad nates.”

    • tejanarusa says:

      Conyers was speaking metaphorically besides this is covered I believe under the legal dictum of “Oportet aliquem dare pedis ictum ad nates.”

      Okay, I admit it, I don’t recognize all of the words, but enough to get the gist. (Latin class was 40 years ago, after all).

      Hi, y’all
      EW, can’t believe you were on this so fast.

    • bobschacht says:

      the legal dictum of “Oportet aliquem dare pedis ictum ad nates.”

      My snark detector is buzzing like crazy, but I remain neutral. Translation, please?

      Bob in HI

      • tejanarusa says:

        Maybe Hugh has left, Bob –

        don’t have a Latin dictionary handy, but it’s basically a Latinization of “kick his ass” – something about applying foot to the rear end….

      • Hugh says:

        the legal dictum of “Oportet aliquem dare pedis ictum ad nates.”

        My snark detector is buzzing like crazy, but I remain neutral. Translation, please?

        Sorry I was away. This is just my Latin for Conyer’s remark: “Someone’s got to kick his ass.”

  12. Hugh says:

    I don’t see the problem with the OPR. OPR is Executive Branch. Conyers is Legislative Branch. The one has nothing really to say about what the other is doing. In the event, OPR hopped on this bandwagon fairly late so it’s not like Conyers is horning in on an inestigation OPR initiated.

      • tejanarusa says:

        Oh, hey I know that one. (waves hand in air)

        All through the Libby trial, Fitzmas was understood as meaning the culmination expected/hoped for by us DFH’s — the indictment of Karl Rove.

          • scribe says:

            Noooo. Inherent contempt is the committee sitting down and deciding their subpoena has been dissed such that it would be improper to sit there and take it. Then they go to the full body (House or Senate, as appropriate) and put a resolution (or whatever you call it) up for a vote the gist of which is to (a) hold the witness in contempt and (b) authorize the House to enforce its contempt by its own inherent authority.

            There would have to be a specification of which actions/inactions were contemptuous, but the authorization would include requiring the Sergeant-at-Arms to go out and arrest the contemnor and bring him to the Congress for further proceedings. Precedent exists which indicates that every law enforcement agency must comply and cooperate with the Sergeant at arms in bringing the contemnor in. And for those which might be balky, they need to remember that (a) Congress can cut off their money (be it directly for the feds or indirectly – grants and such – for the locals) and (b) worse comes to worst, they can f*ck with their tax rates such that the balky guys wind up with an income tax rate of 110% for life, or take away their social security or any number of other things.

            Once they get the contemnor in, he’ll likely be tried in some fashion, but until he’s either tried, testifies, or the Congress ends, he can sit in a broom-closet in the basement of the Capitol (or in the DC jail out at Lorton, with all the street criminals). If you ask me, keeping him in the basement of the Capitol is the better idea, since Bush will bust him out of Lorton.

      • punaise says:

        I don’t get the Fitzmas connection. Please explain.

        no direct connection, it’s just that we were all hoping Rove would be subpoenad in Libbygate.

  13. PetePierce says:

    If Conyers has a brain, he’ll jail Rove when he quickly refuses to comply with this subpoena. It doesn’t matter to Rove that he has been spouting off in numerous magazines and on Fox, and to Dan Abrams as far as he’s concerned. Executive Privilege is always selective for the Unitary Executive.

    It’s a waste of time, paper and money to try to get the D.C. trail courts and the D.C. Circuits to enforce these subpoenas. Too many gutless judges that are puppets of this administration.

    I would make a point of having Rove’s ass picked up if I were Conyers and I’d do it in a hurry. One hitch for Conyers is he has to get the Senate to vote on a contempt citation.

    • scribe says:

      why would Conyers need the Senate to go along – the contempt would be of the House and the HJC. The Senate has nothing to do with it.

      • PetePierce says:

        Sorry I got my wires crossed. Conyers is in fact in the House isn’t he? I meant Conyers needs to get approval from the House on the floor of the House to exercise his contempt options. But my point is that currently as to contempt citations Conyers has gotten nowhere. He’s wasting his time with the trial court and the D.C. Circuit.

        Inherent Contempt is the only way to go and it needs to be done fast. Conyers now needs Pellosi to bring it to a vote. That’s a bit like asking the Titanic to compete in a boat race.

        • PetePierce says:

          Subpoena>>>>>Contempt in HJC>>>>Pelossi off her $2000 suited ass to get it to the floor>Contempt>Rove’s ass thrown in jail when the House exercises the Inherent Contempt Option.

          But they haven’t done their jobs yet; I don’t expect them to now.

          I’ll lay you odds this will drag out for months. They could have this wrapped up in a few days if they had a brain.

  14. tejanarusa says:

    I must say, I was thrilled and relieved to hear the announcement—did anyone else see Rep. Linda Sanchez last night (Dan Abrams’s show? not sure) talking about what the committee might do.
    She seemed to be waffling, sounding wimpy, which surprised me.
    But maybe she really knew the subpoena was coming, and just trying not to let the cat out of the bag early.

  15. Prairie Sunshine says:

    CNN reporting on reports confirmed by that Hillary and her team are pushing for her to be the veep choice. Cafferty asking can she muscle her way on?

    • PetePierce says:

      Super Delegates that know her say she doesn’t want any part of VP under Obama or anyone. And the feeling is mutual 1000 times over. You will not see Hillary Clinton in the White House on this planet. Take it to the bank.

      Bill wants her to be VP because he wants his hands on the Oval–there is not enough limelight for him, and he misses the power. Hillary has already eschewed the graceful exit. She has chosen to push to the convention and it won’t work.

      The Super D’s are going to pull the plug soon after June. If I’m wrong, they really begin to snatch defeat out of the jaws of victory.

      It’s high time the Democrats concentrate on getting swing voters and swing states and greatly increasing voter turnout so they get the best general math possible. In some Southern States there are more than enough black voters not registerd to counter the previous two voting patterns in the general. West Virginia has only 5 electoral votes, possibly appropriate since so many of them are based on ignorance and racial bias.

  16. Hugh says:

    CNN reporting on reports confirmed by that Hillary and her team are pushing for her to be the veep choice. Cafferty asking can she muscle her way on?

    If I were Obama I would be saying what a great Senator is and that I looked forward to her continued leadership there.

  17. bonjonno says:

    Obama has already proven that he’s a smart cookie. Why would he consider Hillary for the #2 spot? Don’t think so.

  18. tejanarusa says:

    What does that mean…an opportunity to dare to stick one’s foot in one’s mouth?

    Nah, oportet comes from a root meaning to carry, maybe move – nates refers to those rear parts of a person of which Conyers was speaking…
    (approximation by your once upon-a-time language major, apologies for not knowing the literal translation)

  19. obsessed says:

    Question: If Conyers is still the chairman of this committee in 2009 and some like, say, John Edwards, is the Attorney General, and willing to enforce subpoenas, is there any statute of limitations of other legal loophole through which Rove might slither as a result of this being delayed until after the election?

      • selise says:

        nah, we need whitehouse in the senate. i nominate scott horton for AG. seriously. i think he would be the best – the torturers (and their lawyers) would definitely be getting charged.

        • siri says:

          WELL, that too would be awesome selise, and I won’t argue with ya. I’m rooting for Whitehouse, but at least I hope they both get SOME position in the Obama administration. Both of them are stupendous patriots!

          • phred says:

            Ah, I see selise beat me to it ; ) And she was more courteous to boot ; ) I’ve been have a long argument on this very subject all week (I’ll go quietly to my corner now and keep my harumphing to myself ; )

        • readerOfTeaLeaves says:

          Whoa – there’s a thrilling notion. Although, he comes across more as a ‘teacher’ than an administrator… maybe he could keep the public teaching role and have excellent deputies.

      • phred says:

        Sheldon Whitehouse for AG.

        Please God, no. I’ve said it before and I’ll keep repeating myself… We are in the mess we are in because of the utter failure of Congress to do their damn job. We need Whitehouse right where he is in the Senate. And we need a lot more like him there as well.

        • bmaz says:

          I have thought long and hard on this, and i am absolutely convinced that, without any question, the best choice for AG is Janet Napolitano. Leave the Senators and Reps where they are; quite frankly, Janet is better suited and experienced for the job anyway.

          • Ann in AZ says:

            She is another good choice. She’s been Attorney General here in AZ prior to being Gov. Another good choice from AZ is Terry Goddard, the current Attorney General and the former very successful Mayor of Phoenix when Phx was one of the best run cities in the country!

            • tejanarusa says:

              Just curious – would that be when Sheryl Sculley was City Manager?
              I’m in San Antonio, which lured her here a few years ago. She does seem to know what she’s doing…as far as I’m competent to tell.

              • Ann in AZ says:

                Honestly, I don’t know who the City Manager was when Terry was Mayor. I do know that he was Mayor here in 1985 when I moved to Phx. I’ve always believed that the reason that Fife Symington decided to run against Goddard for Governor was because he didn’t get the zoning he wanted for his Esplanade Project, and he’d already started building it. He wound up having to reduce his plan by two floors because the city council would not accede to his wish to build up two more floors. The council said it would put too much of a strain on the major cross-street traffic. I think he felt he was entitled to do whatever he wanted and the Congress should just go along with it, and that if Goddard wanted to he could have made it happen, but since he didn’t, I think Symington ran as retribution. Seems fair, then, that he ended up in jail for, I think it was bank fraud, due to his dealings with the bank for financing of some of his developments, whether he was Governor by then or not! Interestingly, during the campaign, when Goddard said that since Fife was running as such a good businessman, if he is such a good businessman, why are all of his projects in the red. (I was in RE at the time; his projects were in the red) The press, being the lazy slugs and also the Rethug tools that they are, didn’t do their homework, so instead of checking up, they said this was just dirty politics. And the rest, as they say, is history.

              • bmaz says:

                Yes as to your question on Sheryl Sculley. She is not necessarily the most liberal person around, but she is major league competent and efficient. You got a good one.

          • phred says:

            the best choice for AG is Janet Napolitano

            An excellent choice bmaz. Perhaps we could suggest Edwards for HHS?

              • phred says:

                Dean would be very good at HHS. It might be fun to put Edwards in charge of the World Bank or IMF and start getting those institutions to do something helpful about global poverty instead of just freeing up new markets for multinational pillaging…

                • phred says:

                  Although, I should note that Dean has been great at DNC with his 50 state strategy. I would hate to see him leave and have some chowderhead like Emmanuel cause the DNC to backslide into their old bad habits…

                  • bobschacht says:

                    I agree with you, but (a) I don’t think Dean wants the job after November, and (b) whoever becomes the Dem nominee with want to make his/her own choice, and Hillary would NOT pick Dean. Hillary might choose Rahm, but I doubt that Obama would. But then, what do I know?

                    An interesting possibility: Obama picks Edwards to head the DNC!

                    Bob in HI

                    • bmaz says:

                      Obama has already indicated who the likely replacement may be, but I can’t remember the name. If I recall correctly, Dean would be left as the titular head but this guy would have the real power.

                    • emptywheel says:

                      Obama has already named who will replace Dean in the next few months. I’ll look for a post–but, assuming no crazy surprises from Hillary, it’s adone deal.

                    • randiego says:

                      That’s interesting – how does it work that the nominee makes this call? I thought it was like an election itself with the state party leaders… how did Dean get in there in the first place?

              • readerOfTeaLeaves says:

                Well, I defer to the greater expertise around here.

                It’s just thrilling to see the conversation, especially given how much things have changed the past 12 – 14 months.

            • bmaz says:

              By far. Napolitano is not just well versed and experienced with constitutional law and civil rights, she has sizable experience not only as the Arizona Attorney General (pretty big office) and as Arizona governor, but she was the US Attorney for the District of Arizona as well. The job ahead is going to, in addition to the legal skills, require someone with Federal experience and the established ability to manage a giant bureaucracy. She has a pretty rare combination of background and experience to fir that bill.

              • selise says:

                but would she push the investigations as far as they could fairly go? or would she, apparently as whitehouse has done, look for a way forward that does not include the public being fully informed about the past?

                • bmaz says:

                  She will do what Obama tells her to do. Her natural inclination left to her own devices would be to delve into it; how deeply, I don’t know, that would depend on a lot of things that none of us, including Obama and Janet yet really know fully. But there is a hell of a lot more to the job than just that aspect, and it is all critical. For the record, I like Horton, but he will never remotely even be on the radar for AG, so it is a fairly etherial discussion.

                  • selise says:

                    he will never remotely even be on the radar for AG

                    if for no other reason than i don’t see him doing what he’s told if it doesn’t comport with his idea of justice. (which is why i like him)

                    not to say i don’t agree with you on all the other qualities and experience that you describe…

                    • bmaz says:

                      Yeah, I didn’t mean that to be negative toward Horton in the least, just a fact as I see it. My understanding is Artur Davis is the leading candidate. Davis would be a fine choice, but I personally think Napolitano would be much better.

  20. Ann in AZ says:

    Update: Or maybe I’m just being paranoid about the OPR investigation. I had remembered there was an earlier OPR investigation of Alice Martin that seemed, um, incomplete. But maybe under new management (Mukasey) and faced with the news that the prosecution did not turn over information that should have been turned over under Jencks, they decided to really do an investigation.

    Of course, there’s always the chance that Peter Pan is the true story of a boy who didn’t want to grow up, and who had a fairy friend called Tinkerbell, too! Mukasey is not going to do anything to upset the Bush applecart, and everybody knows it. Quite aside from the fact that Mukasey has already stated which side of the fence he is on, a really large part of the problem that I see has to do with the balance of power within our own government. Congress must reassert its own powers or those powers will die under the new precedents that are being set. The WH and Rove know exactly what they’re doing when they resist Congressional attempts to extract testimony. The WH is showing their strength (and their ass) while the Congress has been confirming their weaknesses. They must take the reins back and do just what Conyers said any self-respecting Congressional committee would do.

    • PetePierce says:

      Mukasey has been very convincing that he is never going to appoint a special counsel where it is badly needed, as Bmaz pointed out last night in the case of Durham running the probe over the CIA tapes.

      It’s very facade and cherade. That investigation and several others need a special counsel, and that’s not happening on Mukasey’s watch. The good news is unless the Democrats are stupid and let Hillary hijack this election into the convention, Mukasey hits the road in a few months and a lot of house cleaning that’s needed happens at Justice.

      I have yet to see an OPR investigation in the last 15 years that accomplished anything consequential or had teeth.

    • Leen says:

      We can thank Feinstein and Schumer for Muskasey. Feinstein and Schumer devoted to the “rule of law” and ‘accountability”. Yeah right

  21. Ann in AZ says:

    I think y’all are right; we need the best of the Senators to stay in the Senate. Robert Reich, I believe, thinks Clinton is angling for the first open Supreme Court seat. If that’s what she wants, I think she should have that because I think she would make a good Justice. So we can’t spare any others, unfortunately! But John Edwards doesn’t have a job and we know he can be a great asset! I wouldn’t mind seeing him in that very important role.

    And as far as that goes, I think PetePierce is right; the current structure of the Justice Dept. is utterly useless and will do very little for the remainder of their time in office to improve conditions. So be it; when there gone we can all sing a chorus of “The King is dead; long live the King” and get on with governance of a democratic republic as it’s supposed to be and concentrate on the next big thing, which I think will be climate change, before we end up with far greater problems on our plate than what we already have.

  22. maryo2 says:

    TPM is reporting that the OPR is investigating Rove political interference in the cases of Don Siegelman, Georgia Thompson, and Oliver Diaz and Paul Minor.

    Interfering in one case could be said to be personal interest, but interfering in multiple cases indicates a policy was in affect. If it is/was a policy and since Rove has no power at DOJ himself, then wouldn’t the arrows point to the White House?

  23. MarieRoget says:

    Call me crazy, but it sounds like OPR is trying to stave off the Rove subpoena by claiming it has a prior investigation started.

    And wouldn’t the conveniently timed revelation of OPR’s investigation allow Rove to answer most questions using the shopworn line that he “can’t comment on an ongoing investigation?” That is, if Conyers & Co get him to show up @ all.

        • bmaz says:

          That would be the way I see it; although I don’t think that will stop him and/or the Administration from trying to pull a privilege claim, which of course, they have already putatively asserted.

  24. melior says:

    According to his interview, Siegelman will file his appeal tomorrow.

    The Star: Where are you in your appeals process?

    Siegelman: We file on the 23rd of this month, and then the government has 60 days in which to file their reply, and then we have another 60 days after that to file our reply brief, so it’s going to be an eight-month to a year process before we, I think before we hear anything definitive from the court.

  25. MarieRoget says:

    Jonathan Turley just commenting on KO- said Conyers will be watched on this one to see if he goes to the mat re: Rove’s subpoena. Called Conyers someone “not to be messed with” & dear gods, I hope he’s right on this one.

    Turley also proclaimed Mukasey’s tenure as AG “a perfect nightmare,” & said Shumer & DIFi’s protection of him during the nom proceedings has made possible a “terrible legacy.”

    Hmmm. Turley wouldn’t make a bad AG himself. But if Obama wants Artur Davis, he is a wonderful choice. Davis has got the intellect, experience, tenacity, & that little item we’ve all been missing so much lately- integrity, to take on the job of cleaning out the Augean Stables DOJ has become.

  26. tejanarusa says:

    Hi–I’m back after getting some stuff actually done, away from the computer.
    Thanks for the responses, Arizonans.

    Alert-David Yglesias AND Don Siegelman up on Abrams now.
    Yglesias’s book is out!

      • bmaz says:

        I saw that and want to go. I have got to get that on my scheduler, but am often lame. If you happen to remember around that time, please remind me. By the way, one of the owners of Changing Hands Bookstore is the sister of an old law partner of mine; they are great people there. Very progressive.

        • MarieRoget says:

          A little late getting back to you- went out for a while to dinner. I’ll be happy to post a reminder of the book event for you, bmaz. Perhaps you can let us all know how it goes.

          It’d be great if Iglesias would do a Book Salon for In Justice over @ FDL. I think LHP may be trying to set something up along that line.

          • readerOfTeaLeaves says:

            Appreciate the Wiley link — I’ll be in town when he’s in my city, and see whether I can’t get a few acquaintances from a local law school to go with me. Unless they have some other event with him, which is certainly possible.

  27. Mary says:

    Re: the ‘kick his ass’ comment – If they are issuing a Congressional subpoena, a court won’t be enforcing it (since Mukasey has said that his DOJ won’t follow the law and enforce Congressional subpoenas to loyal Bushies) Congress itself would be enforcing it, if it is ever enforced at all, buy voting for contempt and sending out the Sgt at Arms. But/for a prosecutor bringing charges, which isn’t going to happen, I’m not following how the subpoena gets in front of a court for a court to enforce, or how a court’s ruling would be enforced with the Executive refusing to enforce.

    What I can see getting in front of a court is, for example, a habeas type suit if the Sgt at Arms does go pick Rove up in a Congressional contempt proceeding and if Rove feels he has a claim as to why he should be exempt from contempt. But since I never see that happening (Rove being picked up) I can’t really speculate

    Re: OPR, in a real world setting where someone really was going to do something about the political/illegal prosecutions and obstruction, I think if anyone should take the back seat on investigations it would be OPR. They have no real authority/precedent for recommending criminal prosecutions. At the very most, they seem to now and then make a referral to a state bar for possible disciplinary action in a clear cut setting. But OPR won’t be having evidentiary hearings and no state bar is going to take action on an OPR investigation that is NOT an evidentiary proceeding and so at most finds that there “maybe” was “possibly” an “appearance of” someone being engaged in political or selective prosecution.

    I just don’t see a bar feeling that an OPR investigation is something that would afford the prosecutors involved with the right kind of forum to represent their interests. So nothing is going to result, even from a negative OPR finding, imo. Alternatively, a glowy huggy OPR report makes for a crappy setting for the Congressional investigation.

    Really, if there has been shenanigans, though, what is the Congressional investigation going to do? There won’t be any impeachment proceedings. People won’t talk and will take the 5th if they need to and there is no way for Congress to get DOJ cooperation on document production. Mukasey, after all, is hunky dory with the destruction of evidence as per his position on the torture tapes.

    If there were an impeachment proceedings against a lawyer or official, then if they have a license a bar association might act on the impeachment hearings/finding. But there won’t be anyone in Mukasey’s DOJ to pursue criminal investigations for obstruction or matters related to the illegally based prosecutions. And a successor DOJ might have problems on the criminal investigation/charges front if the Congressional investigation isn’t handled correctly.

    So while I guess it’s good to see Congress get a growl, they are still toothless on the bite front. I just don’t know what they expect to accomplish, other than possibly set Rove up for charges for lying to Congress under a DOJ that has at least one person who isn’t a loyal Bushie aspiring to Monicahood. And since Fitzgerald never was able to pull of the charges for lying under oath despite trip after trip after trip by Rove, I’m not holding out much on that front.

    113 – unfortunately/fortunately Horton has been outspoken enough on enough issues that the list of things he should recuse on (and would, because he’s a real lawyer and not what has been passing for one in the upper echelons of DOJ for 7 years now) is so long it wouldn’t help that much to have him IMO. Have you seen the new video he has up at Harpers as part of his No Torture, No Exceptions initiative?

    • bmaz says:

      Couple of excepts from last night for you my friend:

      Gee, what was that bit about “no possible evidentiary value of the destroyed Abu Zubaida torture tape”? On the act of the torture tape destruction. On that one, due to the nature of the act, the clear prohibition of destruction of evidence (classifying it up the ying yang is one thing; but destroying it is quite another, you just can’t legitimately do that) and the way they have furiously boxed themselves into a corner since the story went public – all really place that case on a far better plane for prosecution. There are statute issues though, time is a wasting…..

  28. masaccio says:

    From the OIG Report. In discussing the case of Abu Zubaydah, the report says that the initial interrogation was conducted by two FBI agents who were familiar with al-Qaeda, the investigation of Abu Zubaydah, and who spoke Arabic. The investigation was begun by the FBI guys, who were making progress. It was taken over by the CIA, who did a bunch of redacted stuff. This is the part one FBI guy called “borderline torture.” There is a bunch of redacted stuff around that. When the FBI guys complained to the CIA people, the CIA people said they had a DOJ opinion saying the techniques were OK. None of this is given dates, but it looks like maybe April to June, 2002.

    The agents reported the steps taken to their boss. He took the concerns to DOJ officials, including Chertoff, Fisher, and possibly David Kelley. This apparently took place in late July or August 2002. The first Yoo torture memo is dated August 1, 2002. This demonstrates that at least the written opinion was issued long after the torture. Or, there is another memo we don’t have.

  29. Mary says:

    160 – heh. I agree. All the abstractions are actually real and need to be hung in good light, but the “consequences” focus has to be the “true to lifes” Those are the ones you take off the wall and hit them over the head with.

    Here’s the other one that IMO is a biggie and hasn’t gotten any attention. According to one of Priest’s articles, the “interrogation” tactics of putting hypothermia resulted in one man freezing to death. That’s “to death.” As in, no statute of limitations. I have yet to hear Congress ask anything about that revelation, even to get the expected stonewalling.

    I think you are absolutly right. The destruction of evidence, when as far back as Jan of 2002 Gonzales acknowledges the possibility of criminal litigation relating to the interrogation tactics, is the kind of more cut and dried scenario for generating consequences that needs the focus. Like you keep bringing.

  30. masaccio says:

    From the OIG report, page 85. Major General Dunlavey at GTMO wanted approval from SOUTHCOM of interrogation techniques not in the army field manual. One is “use of a wet towel and dripping water to induce the misperception of suffocation”. (This material is quoted from the Church Report.)

    The report goes on to say:

    Along with the list of techniques, Dunlavey provided SOUTHCOM two memoranda he received from the Staff Judge Advocate stating that the proposed strategies “do not violate applicable federal law.”

    Footnote 58, attached to this material says that some of the techniques were approved by Rumsfield on December 2, 2002.

    • readerOfTeaLeaves says:

      OT, but thx for the reminder about “Turandot”; I’ve been enjoying it ;-))

  31. dosido says:

    I see discussion of HRC being a possible nominee to SCOTUS? why does this keep popping up? I think this is a terrible idea. Not because I don’t like HRC or don’t want a woman on the bench, not at all.

    I think it’s an incredibly bad idea to appoint a partisan politician to a position that is supposed to have some semblance of impartiality and adherence to the letter of the law. I know that some of the ones already seated kinda strain that appearance, but appointing HRC would just let all the horses out of the corral.

    I really oppose this idea. There are other great important jobs that HRC could put great effort into and make an important difference, but not SCOTUS. Please.

    • Praedor says:

      Bull. There are few, if any, SCROTUS judges who weren’t “political” before they were approved. Scalia, Roberts, Alito, Thomas, were ALL extremely political but they did what they had to to get appointed: they lied about their biases, intentions, and views.

      • dosido says:

        I agree with your point. Absolutely. I don’t think the answer or response is to appoint a Hilary to the bench.

        I still believe it ought to be judges and not career politicians (I know, we can argue the distinctions if you really want) who get appointed to SCOTUS. And I think dems can do better than neo cons in the integrity department. That’s what I am clumsily trying to say.

  32. Rayne says:

    OT — this op-ed was fascinating in a bunch of ways (tks to scarecrow for it at FDL this morning. This bit I did not know about McCain:

    …His ties to organized crime. The money that was the seed cash for his run for the Presidency largely came from the Lansky-Bronfman arm of the US-Israeli Syndicate and the “Russian” Mafia. Also, his wife’s fortune (Over $100 million, was inherited from her father, who was an important figure in the Mob’s Arizona arm.) He is also deeply indebted to the criminals who operate international finance, the Rothschilds, Lazards, Rockefellers, and their like.

    Holy crap, how did I miss this mob thing? No wonder Princess Cindy doesn’t want to release her financials. bmaz, tell us more!!

    • readerOfTeaLeaves says:

      Shit. That makes two of us.
      And why do I so readily read this info and go, “okay… there’s a key puzzle piece’, without even stopping to first think that it might be false.

      If Abramoff was McCain’s small whack at ‘payback’ for 2000, he sure didn’t get as much satisfaction as he was due. This info makes it more sense toward explaining why he must have put the brakes on the Abramoff investigations so quickly.

    • bmaz says:

      I know more than a bit about the Arizona “organized crime” part of this. My firm was smack dab in the middle of the biggest part of it, the Bolles murder. To the best of my knowledge, the Hensleys are not particularly mobbed up. They have been around here for a long time and are in the liquor business; a few decades ago that meant that you dealt with some of the folks being called organized crime or the mob (most specifically Kemper Marley). Now Marley had ties, but the Hensley part of it is semi-tangential; they are not clean necessarily, but equating them with Gambinos, Gottis and Bonannos is not quite accurate (you didn’t do that, but I have seen others trying, and that is the gist behind what you are relying on). Every big time family in the state, from Goldwaters to Rosenzwiegs to Udalls to DeConcinis etc had some level of interaction and association with the same people the Hensleys did.

      • Rayne says:

        Very interesting. It’s the same kind of pernicious and unavoidable dirt that’s probably shot our chances at impeaching Bush, truth be told — because anybody and everybody in Congress has had some level of interaction and association with folks not unlike those the Hensleys interacted with.

        The Lansky-Bronfman bit is still very intriguing, and distinct from the Hensley stuff…wonder if that’s not a thread to pull further.

        • bmaz says:

          Well, about three weeks ago, Max Dunlap tried to get out of prison. After John Harvey died, I have only seen news accounts like this, but they keep cropping up every now and then.

  33. Leen says:

    Rove’s attorney slams Judiciary Chairman


    “I do not misunderstand either the Committee’s procedures or the scope of its interest in Mr. Rove; nor, in light of your reported remarks about the need for ’someone’ to ‘kick his ass,’ am I the least bit confused about the Committee’s motives and intentions,” Luskin wrote. “I confess, however, that I do not understand why the Committee is threating a subpoena to Mr. Rove for information related to the alleged ‘politicization of the Department of Justice,’ when, as the Committee is surely aware, Mr. Rove has already received a

  34. Praedor says:

    This is totally irrelevant. Conyers has NO plans to DO anything. This subpoena is a political joke intended to make points with the base but NOT to actually be enforced.

    I commented on this at DKos and another’s reply was very useful:

    Uncle Bob: The key tip off here is time. Conyers issues a subpoenoa for Rove and the date is…July 10. Six weeks away. Next step. Committee sets date for debate (on referring it to the Justice Dept) for July 31. The vote is taken to refer. Then, oops, it’s convention time. Actual referral is defered to September. The DOJ replies 2 months later that it will not pursue the case. It’s now November, after the election and Conyers apologizes to the Democrats that there just wasn’t enough time to pursue the charges. Crystal ball? Hah. There is no soothsaying in anything this obvious.

    Nothing more than business as usual: run out the clock without actually DOING anything. That is the modus operandi of the Dems: pretend to do what is both truly necessary AND popular with the core of the party but NOT actually follow through (but claim kudos for “trying” for electioneering purposes).

  35. numbertwopencil says:

    I’m delighted that Conyers is moving forward and I really hate to say this but…I’m suspicious that Rove has poisoned the well in the Siegelman mess. I think he has good reason to avoid testifying under oath and, yeah, I think he was improperly involved in all of the cases Conyers and company are looking at. However, I think Rove dropped poison way back by, say, suggesting various things to, say, Jill Simpson, that will be easy for him to deny and for which he has clear alibis. If I were Conyers, I’d be working the margins of the Siegelman investigation–putting Eddie Curran, Quinn Hillyer, and various members of the Birmingham News under oath, for example, would be a start. They need to make some of the smaller players sweat hard in hopes of turning someone. AFAIK, no one has the goods on Rove. It’s been suggested, of course, that Simpson has testified about certain things that will trip Rove up but, unfortunately, Simpson really is a weak witness and, of course, it’s likely that Rove knows what she said to the investigators. It’s clear that Rove laundered his influence in AL through various reporters and GOP operatives in AL but it’s unclear that Conyers has been pulling on the right strings. We’ll see but I’m pretty sure Rove has a longterm strategy in place that he hopes will undermine Conyers investigations.

    • BooRadley says:

      If Rover and gold bars were 100% confident that they had poisoned the well, Rover would still be pontificating.

  36. numbertwopencil says:

    …If Rover and gold bars were 100% confident…

    Well, no, I don’t think they are 100% confident but, as far as I can tell, no one has spilled _any_ serious beans yet and, of course, the e-mail is missing and so on. They have done a good job of laundering criminal acts, keeping the circle tight, and limiting the evidence. I think it’s going to take a couple of people breaking the silence to break through to the criminal evidence and testimony. Going straight at Rove and the other main public players as Conyers is doing, isn’t going to shake things up enough to send the people who deserve their day in court to trial. In fact, if they keep trying at the level they’ve been trying they are just likely to make it all that much harder to obtain convictions in the future. They would need to pro-active and run a real investigation. They have gathered some evidence showing that it’s likely crimes have been committed but that’s all. They haven’t shaken the trees, found the missing e-mail, the missing phone records, or even dug deeply enough to sort out how Rove’s machine worked in AL. Again, don’t get me wrong–I think the work Rove and Co. did was deeply illegal, I just don’t think, unless Conyers gets really lucky, that Rove’s testimony is going to sink him. How could it? Based on what we’ve seen of the evidence so far, where’s the crime? Rove can hem and haw and lie but assuming he avoids obvious perjury, I don’t see what he can possibly be indicted on at this point. All of the people, with only a few exceptions, that Conyers has dragged in so far are too far up the food chain, he needs to work the bottom, basically the GOP operative that Rove placed, and then leaned on, in various key positions and job in AL. Once a couple of the little guys run out of money for legal fees and turn on Rove and Co. , you can start to make a real case that Rove can’t easily side step.

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