Mukasey’s Subpoena

Is here.

I’m going to run out to do battle with Sears again (they’ve got a new dehumidifer for me, and boy is it muggy here in the Midwest), so I won’t get a chance to analyze the full–and long–laundry list till I win (!) my next battle with Sears.

But just as a teaser, here’s how Conyers worded the demand for the Bush and Cheney interviews.

All documents from the office of former Special Counsel Patrick J. Fitzgerald described below for which the former Special Counsel has not determined that disclosure would be barred by Federal Rule of Criminal Procedure 6(e) governing grand jury secrecy:

a) Complete and unredacted versions of transcripts, reports, notes, and other documents relating to any interviews outside the presence of the grand jury of President George W. Bush.

b) Complete and unredacted versions of transcripts, reports, notes, and other documents relating to any interviews outside the presence of the grand jury of Vice President Richard Cheney.

c) Complete and unredacted versions of 302 interview reports relating to interviews of the following witnesses in the investigation: Karl Rove, Scooter Libby, Scott McClellan, Dan Bartlett, and Andrew Card.

I wonder if Bush and Cheney are rethinking their decision not to appear before the grand jury yet?

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47 replies
  1. bobschacht says:

    Thanks, EW!

    And if Mukasey replies, quoting Cheney, “So?”, what then?
    Will this just wind up in the place where all the other subpoenas are piling up?

    Or can Mukasey be slapped with some kind of obstruction of justice charge?

    Bob in HI

  2. Bushie says:

    Murkasey will continue to carry water for Cheney/Bush and refuse to submit the documents required by the subpoena. He’ll be out of office any beyond contempt citations by the time this hits the courts, if it ever does.

  3. bmaz says:

    I wonder if Bush and Cheney are rethinking their decision not to appear before the grand jury yet?

    No, because, irrespective of anything else, they are not under oath; and with the format they agreed to, false statements would be next to impossible to prove up too.

    • drational says:

      and the likelihood that an HJC hearing might have any consequences should be totally dispelled by how Addington flaunted the process yesterday.

      • bmaz says:

        Addington was a total prick asshole; but he still owned them yesterday. His reputation precedes him, and they still were not ready for him. And they were far better prepared and more on point than they usually are.

        • drational says:

          kinda like vader. you wouldn’t want to be his apprentice, but the fucker was good with a saber.

        • strider7 says:

          It’s the same ole ploy over and over.Constitutional obfuscation.Should’t these arguments be resolved before the hearing?The congressman don’t understand the constitution well enough to challenge their references to privilege or constituional law.The same philosophy they used at olc.Write an opinion,hide it under the nat security rug until someone forces disclosure and then establish the fact that these opinions were within their constitutional boundaries until disproven.So until those questions are resolved they are within their rights to write opinions that become policy.
          Come on!! somebody make some sense

          • PJEvans says:

            Maybe there ought to be a mandatory civics class scheduled for newly elected congresscritters: between the election and New Year’s Day, you have to take and pass a class on the Constitution. Grades on a scale, released to the public and part of the congresscritter’s record. Refresher class every 6 years, to make sure they don’t forget between times, while all those bribes donations are rolling in. Make it an online class so they’ll have to learn how to use the Internet too.

          • rxbusa says:

            That is what I find so frustrating. These guys don’t seem to learn from one time to the next to get their ducks lined up ahead of time. It’s not “blindsiding” when they do it to you 10 times in a row. And then there’s always some guy who just wants to hear himself talk…like whoever it was who addressed all his questions to the 3rd guy on the panel who was the only responsive one.

            Hell, Yoo had is lawyer sitting at his right shoulder, and so should each of the committee guys. And printouts of lists of questions with a, b, c followup questions from Emptywheel. Sheez!

            And why do they have to be so fuckin’ nice?…e.g., Nadler said they would decide whether the privelege claims were valid later on…why not do it right there? Why not have the Sergeant-at-Arms standing right there and be ready to call a contempt vote on the spot?

            • strider7 says:

              Exactly . it’s all bullshit.
              Let’s say that Addingtons argument about the ovp are valid.
              Great, it’s settled now let’s get on with it. next olc’s ability to make policy.If these are valid opinions,they should be recognized.If not ther asses are in big trouble.You know, executive power,where does it stop ,is there any at all?Constituional loopholes like enron loopholes are allowed to exist to be exploited.All this doesn’t have to be that complicated.I’d love to siick mary on em!Just the fact that the constitution is left open to interpretation invites problems.By the time these bought and sold courts make a deceision there going to be long gone.This admin is a how to book on circumventing the constitution.

            • strider7 says:

              this kinda sums it up,
              “Could the president ever be justified in breaking the law? “I’m not going to answer a legal opinion on every imaginable set of facts any human being could think of,” Addington growled. Did he consult Congress when interpreting torture laws? “That’s irrelevant,” he barked. Would it be legal to torture a detainee’s child? “I’m not here to render legal advice to your committee,” he snarled. “You do have attorneys of your own.”

        • readerOfTeaLeaves says:

          I respectfully disagree.
          By lecturing Wasserman, in a very highminded priggish fashion, Addington looked like a jerk. His condecention was irritating.

          And Yoo — a Professor of Law (at an elite university) — repeatedly ’seeking the advice of his attorney’ before answering questions looked a fool. That’s what people do only when they’re afraid of answering questions. Note that Mora sure didn’t need anyone’s approval to answer questions in last weeks’s Senate hearings; what a contrast with Yoo.

          Sooner or later, these guys are going to pay the piper.
          I don’t know how it will happen, but I suspect that Congress probably already has what they need and just wants to get these guys out on public display so that people get a sense of how guarded, evasive, unapologetic, and uninformative they are.

          They’ve got “Slitherin” written all over them.
          Nothing they try will change it.

  4. DeadLast says:

    It is only a matter of time before Bush&Cheney devise a new privilege based upon the fact that they did not testify before the Grand Jury due to deference of the exalted position of the Executive. Therefore, their testimony should be even more sacred secret than if they had appeared before the GJ.

  5. WilliamOckham says:

    Here’s my prediction of the DOJ Response:

    1. (Plame investigation docs) Executive Privilege
    2. (Non-classified OLC opinions) Deliberative Privilege, claiming no policy based on them
    3. (10/23/2001 OLC opinion) Same as 2
    4. (NH Phone jamming) No responsive documents
    5. (Heffelfinger) Slow-walk and deliver a few documents
    6. – 12. (Civil Rights Div) Deliberative Privilege
    13. (Wecht/Siegelman) Deliberative Privilege
    14. (Wecht/Siegelman) Executive Privilege, privacy concerns, will turn over some non-incriminating documents
    15. – 21. (Wecht/Siegelman) Deliberative Privilege, will turn over some non-incriminating documents

    • bmaz says:

      Are there actually full and complete transcripts of Fitz doing Bush and Cheney, or just reports, summaries and 302s? I always kind of assumed there were full transcripts….

  6. Neil says:

    I wonder if Bush and Cheney are rethinking their decision not to appear before the grand jury yet?

    No but they’re none too please at the prospect of having the transcripts released.

    First of all, it’ll combine their role in Plame in the public eye. Secondly, Bush’s legacy is more important to him than anything else and if the transcripts become public, there is enough information on the public record to impeach (small i) their testimony, even if the only effect is a matter of public opinion. Instead of having Bush campaign for the RNC – Knesset, offshore oil – why not keep him busy defending his honor? Why not drive up the negatives and down the percentage of Americans who think Bush is taking the country in the right direction? Drive it down to single digits.

  7. Mary says:

    5 – Or they could let former OLC flunky, now Con law prof, Yoo answer for them.

    I guess it would go something like, “Uh, I don’t if it’s privileged or classified, or really, I’m not sure if classification is a privilege except that it’s illegal – not to classify, um, no, I didn’t mean that, but it’s, well, I mean if someone were to implement classification, and if I knew what it meant to implement (can someone ask me about compliments instead – I am very good at them, sir, really, sir, I am, prettyshineysir) then I think, uh, what was the question again?”

  8. Mary says:

    I’m kind of waiting for word that, like the torture tapes, the transcripts have been destroyed. With Authorizations from the Department Obstructing Justice.

  9. BlueStateRedHead says:

    If not destroyed–ok, I am naive–where do they go? Or do they stay? After all, the investigation is on going.

  10. freepatriot says:

    there is one factor you ain’t using

    on January 20, 2009, at 12 noon, george loses control over who decides what is covered by executive privilege

    I’m sure Barack Obama will give george a chance to make his case for continuing the claims, ON THE RECORD, WITH FULL TRANSCRIPTS OF GEORGE’S REASONING

    and anything that doesn’t meet BARACK OBAMA’S definition of Executive privilige can and WILL be released into the public domain

    so you might call this the “Wold Card” in the executive privilege deck

    if Barack Obama is really smart, and really vindictive, he could pick somebody special to vett george’s reasoning for the executive privilege claims

    I nominate Patrick Fitzgerald

    let georgie discuss his legacy with Fitz

    • perris says:

      if Barack Obama is really smart, and really vindictive, he could pick somebody special to vett george’s reasoning for the executive privilege claims

      I’m sorry, barak has already proven he’s going to bend over for bush

      not the man we wanted in office, I have lost any faith he will do anything to bring these criminals to the bar of justice

      • PetePierce says:

        I agree he made the wrong choice, but he’s not bending over for Bush. Your Congress did that and they bent over to make sure their asses are covered so they aren’t bent over. He’s bending over because (and I could not disagree more with this) he and his advisors think it is politically expedient.

        It is a significant lack of leadership to be sure.

        • victoria2dc says:

          Question: Did you note that Rep. Frank (R) wrote it into the record (kinda like a threat) that Pelosi was briefed?

          Does anyone have that thing taped? I need a YouTube (really… it’s important) of that moment.

          Anyone?

          • PetePierce says:

            Frank has said she smiles too much in public. She’s covering many asses with her insipid response to FISA legislation.

          • rxbusa says:

            didn’t tape it but I definitely heard it because I remarked on it in the comments at the time (see comment 73 in the liveblog part one)

            can’t get the link to work, but it is in HJC Testimony: Mr. Unitary Executive and Mr. Yoo, comment 73 at 11:00AM EDT.

      • PJEvans says:

        The alternative is much worse: McCain.

        Do like the rest of us and hold your nose when you vote. It won’t be the first time.

  11. bell says:

    13- i don’t sense obama is up for the job.. he is smart, but i don’t sense any vindictiveness in him… someone needs to hold these traitors accountable..

    12- that is why addington is cheneys # 1 guard dog…

  12. bmaz says:

    Uncle Sam Ponies Up 6 Million for Steve Hatfill

    The Justice Department has agreed to pay former Army scientist Steven Hatfill almost $6 million to settle his claims that the government violated his privacy rights during its investigation of the 2001 anthrax attacks.

    Hatfill charged that the Justice Dept. violated his rights because officials spoke to reporters about the case.

    And apparently no confidentiality agreement. Wow.

    • bobschacht says:

      “The Justice Department has agreed to pay former Army scientist Steven Hatfill almost $6 million to settle his claims that the government violated his privacy rights during its investigation of the 2001 anthrax attacks.”

      B-B-but there haven’t been any terrorist attacks since 911, have there?

      Or doesn’t anthrax count?

      Bob in HI

      • freepatriot says:

        this might be the cheapest settlement of a “Bush Terrorist Prosecution” that we see

        I mean, we dinnt waterboard this guy or anything

        probably why we got off so cheap

  13. Peterr says:

    IANAL, but there are limits to the lies you can tell, even if you aren’t under oath, aren’t there?

    If the cops come asking me what I know about the break-in next door, and I tell them that I saw a three-foot tall dwarf sneaking out of the house with a TV in his hands when really it was my seven foot tall sister that I saw with that TV, the fact that I was not under oath when I had my little chat with the investigators isn’t going to make a helluva lot of difference.

    It’s called aiding and abetting — and you don’t have to lie under oath to be charged with it.

    • freepatriot says:

      It’s called aiding and abetting — and you don’t have to lie under oath to be charged with it.

      you might also wanna look up US Code, Article 18, section 1001

      Patrick Fitzgerald is a federal employee conducting official US business

      USC Article 18, setion 1001 specifies that it is unlawful to lie to a federal employee under any circumstances

      so you get a trifexta with bush

      lying, aiding and abetting, and obstruction of justice

      add it all up, and your lookin at 18 to 24 months, for a first offender

      • drational says:

        They could be spending time in prison with Gonzales, and Sampson and Goodling, and McNulty, and Moschella and Elston. Right? Lie to congress and bad things happen? Contempt of congress and you are sent to the slammer?

        But, but, part of Obama’s first 100 days will be to get justice, right?

        They are only keeping after Schlotzman because juries don’t like oompa loompas.

        Bush and Cheney are freebirds.

  14. freepatriot says:

    and what’s all this talk about “Battling Sears” ???

    couldn’t choose a worthy opponent like the phone company or something, huh ???

    you don’t see me messing around with retailers

    I went right to the big leagues

    I do battle with a worthy foe

    the post office

    (adjusting tinfoil and ducking and running)

  15. freepatriot says:

    Bush and Cheney are freebirds.

    cheney might escape justice via the “ken kay” method, but george is a fairly young man, and he pissed away a lot of America’s influence on the world stage

    the ol magic 8 ball says “try again later”

    but I can see a lot of reasons for george to fear traveling in the future

    I wouldn’t wanna bet on george’s chances of escaping justice

  16. GulfCoastPirate says:

    If Conyers isn’t (or can’t) do anything to enforce his supoenas why is he even doing these things with only a few months before the election? It’s already quite clear the Democratic leadership doesn’t want to go affter the Bushies so why does he let himself continue to be embarassed?

    I don’t get it? Is it some kind of legal thingie that could pay off after the election?

      • PetePierce says:

        Do you know off the top what the precedent is for maintaining EP after a President leaves office on those matters that were claimed as EP before? If there were litigation with Bush or Mukasey over this, anyway, it would not mature until well after he left.

        I’ve been trying to sort through precedents to figure this out.

  17. GeorgeSimian says:

    July 7. I guess we’ll see. It seems like a pretty comprehensive list to me. And a sickening amount of information being withheld by the DOJ, who is supposed to be enforcing the law.

  18. perris says:

    I wonder if Bush and Cheney are rethinking their decision not to appear before the grand jury yet?

    I don’t understand the allusion, do they have some liability because they didn’t appear?

    • drational says:

      because grand jury testimony is off limits to conyers and the hjc.
      had they testified, their info might be protected.

  19. strider7 says:

    how’s it go?
    Get your blackjack off my table
    Get your gun out of my rack
    We don’t want you round here jerk off
    We just want you off our backs

  20. ezdidit says:

    I wonder why Conyers made it so simple for Mukasey to answer this one?

    There are fully a dozen separate subpoenas here, and ganging them together like this makes it impossible to enforce and easy to answer.

    Faulty prosecution to minimize the effect?

    If this is not misuse or abuse of “subpoena power,” I don’t know what is.

    Let us turn now to an Iran invasion and Congressional Democrats complicity in a new BushCheney venture. Indeed, Congress is challenging them to proceed.

    What a sham. Is this the very best that Conyers can do? I think not.

  21. Leen says:

    When was the last time congress sent out the Sergeant of Arms if subpoenas are ignored?

    http://jonathanturley.org/2008…..-congress/

    All I want to know is if a blue collar peasant ignored a congressional subpoena would they come after me? So why not Bolton, Rove, Meijers, Mukasey? Clearly two or more justice systems in this country

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