DOJ Apparently Doesn’t Know Whether It Told Fielding that Rove’s “Official Duties” Include Witch Hunts

That’s not exactly correct. Apparently they’re still thinking about whether or not they told Fred Fielding that Rove’s "official duties" include obstruction of justice and channeling oppo research from Alabama Republicans to the DOJ. I called DOJ at the following times today:

8:30

12:30

3:00

4:45

Each time asking them whether Fred Fielding’s claim that,

We have been further advised that because Mr. Rove was an immediate presidential adviser and because the Committee seeks to question him regarding matters that arose during his tenure and relate to his official duties in that capacity, Mr. Rove is not required to appear in response to the Committee’s subpoena. Accordingly, the President has directed him not to do so.

…Means that DOJ told the White House that the subpoena requiring Rove to testify about his actions in the Siegelman prosecution "relate[d] to his official duties" in his capacity as Presidential Advisor.

Did DOJ, I asked, tell the White House they believed Karl Rove’s alleged actions in the Siegelman prosecution were part of his "official duties" as Senior Advisor to the President? Because that is the implication of Fielding’s representation to the House Judiciary Committee. If the matters the Committee seeks to question Rove about–the Siegelman prosecution, primarily–fall within his "official duties," then–at least according to an opinion from Steven Bradbury never validated by any court–Rove may choose not to appear in response to the subpoena. And Fielding strongly implies that DOJ has advised the White House as much–though to support that claim, he only provides documentation from a different subpoena seeking testimony about the hiring and firing of US Attorneys. I wanted to know–was Fred Fielding making that representation to Congress based on an eleven-month old memo dealing with a different subpoena entirely, or was the White House really advised–as Fielding asserts–that the matters the Committee subpoenaed Rove to testify about this time fall under his "official duties"?

Easy enough to figure that out, I thought! I’ll call DOJ and see if they have any record of advising the White House that Karl Rove’s alleged actions in the Siegelman prosecution pertained to his "official duties" while he was at the White House. It’s an easy, yes or no question. I’m sure they’ll be able to answer that question right away, I thought.

So I called. And I called. And I called. And I called.

More than eight hours later, they apparently still haven’t been able to determine whether or not they really did tell the White House that Rove’s alleged actions in the Siegelman prosecution pertained to his "official duties" in the White House.

I guess it’s not as easy a question as I thought … I guess they needed to take a weekend to think long and hard about whether or not they really did tell the White House that Karl Rove’s duties included the channeling of Republican oppo research to DOJ.

Worry not! I’m sure they’ll be able to figure the answer to the question out by Monday; so rest assured I’ll call back Monday to find out what the answer to this very simple question is. And I will let you know the results of my continued efforts to get DOJ to answer that very simple question.

Stay tuned … as they say.

image_print
  1. drational says:

    I think you would have better luck calling HJC staffers.
    1) you would show them that some folks in the real world have the scam figured out, so yes, they should pursue it, and
    2) They may be more likely to get an answer from the DOJ than a DFH.

  2. Fractal says:

    Marcy, what would we do if we didn’t have you on the job like this day in and day out? We would be up the creek.

    BTW, I’m amazed DOJ actually takes your calls anymore!

    • AZ Matt says:

      Probably too scared not to since the congressional staffers are probably reading this too.

  3. SaltinWound says:

    I don’t understand. Did you talk to someone who’s in the loop in any way? Or was this some functionary saying he/she will ask Mukasey, which we know will never happen? Still, it’s a nice gambit.

  4. Mary says:

    More than eight hours later, they apparently still haven’t been able to determine whether or not they really did tell the White House that Rove’s alleged actions in the Siegelman prosecution pertained to his “official duties” in the White House.

    heh



    Maybe they need a CatGotUrTongue Fun clock?


  5. AZ Matt says:

    On the other end of the line…

    8:30 Hey, a nice lady just called and wants to know if we told Fielding …

    12:30 That dame just called back, do you have something for her yet?

    3:00 This woman just keeps calling and nagging me, what can I tell her? What ya’ mean ya don’t know?

    4:45 That b**ch is back again, you wanna talk to her?! Chickensh*t!

    • bobschacht says:

      I’m beginning to think the DOJ *is* a barrel of monkeys. One has his hands over his eyes, another has his hands over his ears, and the third has his hands over his mouth. But they sure are having fun as they crawl all over each other.

      Bob in HI

      • MarkH says:

        I’m beginning to think the DOJ *is* a barrel of monkeys. One has his hands over his eyes, another has his hands over his ears, and the third has his hands over his mouth.

        There are probably a bunch who have their hands over their Jesse Jacksons and there are some covering their assets.

        • bmaz says:

          WTF kind of comment is that? I saw your comment you just left on the FISA thread; it is cut from the same dull cloth. What exactly is your purpose here, to annoy or to look foolish? Or both?

          • earlofhuntingdon says:

            I thought the Rove Blogging Fellows had all graduated and gone on to Regent Ewe.

  6. Loo Hoo. says:

    Did you guys hear the one about the Alabama blogger?

    The abrupt dismissal of a veteran University of Alabama employee who blogged about the firing of seven US Attorneys has added a bizarre new twist to allegations that the state’s US Attorneys targeted political opponents for prosecution.

    Roger Shuler — a high-profile blogger and leading critic of Alabama’s judicial system — has written extensively about alleged corruption among U.S. Attorneys for over a year. In particular, Shuler focused on two US Attorneys from his home state: Alice H. Martin of the Northern District and Leura G. Canary of the Middle District.

    • Neil says:

      Wouldnt you like to have Scott Horton in your corner if you were fired and had a cause of action against the institution that fired you? I would.

      “Shuler’s problem arose not because he blogged nor because he did so from his workplace, because it’s clear he didn’t,” says Horton, who has been following both the Siegelman and Shuler’s cases closely. “His problem came from the fact that he wrote critical, well received insights targeting a number of very powerful figures in Alabama, starting with U.S. Attorney Alice Martin and prominent Republicans with which she is aligned, and including a number of major figures in the Alabama media.”

      • bmaz says:

        Maybe; but I wouldn’t be making a public persona out of my client this early on. The better practice is to stay quiet until you are deep enough into discovery to get your evidence locked down. And to the extent you go public, you don’t make it via statements by the plaintiff’s attorney. That makes it harder for you to work with the adversary counsel. You get stuff like that out through a brother, sister, cousin, distraught parent etc. so you can paint it as a source that is affected and that you can’t really control. You keep it away from you and your client at this stage if you are going to be going public at all which, again, I would shy away from. At least that is how I would play it….

  7. behindthefall says:

    Isn’t there some investigative reporter who would love to run with this? Somebody with some energy and perhaps even a sense of humor and irony? Maybe an axe to grind?

  8. SaltinWound says:

    Glad we’re all having fun. I’m still trying to get a read on this. Is it like “Roger and Me,” when he went to see someone who he knew wouldn’t meet with him, because it was good theater? Or are you actually going for an answer? That’s why I asked who you’re talking to. Is it someone capable of responding?

    • emptywheel says:

      I’m asking for an official statement, so yes, I’m going through the press office. Probably, when they got my request, one of the spokespeople got it. Perhaps they decided to blow me off altogether–though in my experience, when you call back a second or third time, they begin to realize they’ll have to give you SOME response. If that happened, then the spokesperson probably called OLC to see if they issued an opinion, OAG to find out whether they were asked or not, and White House liaison to find out whether that person knows or not.

      And then, once that spokesperson finds out, they will decide what they want to say “officially.” That’s the part I’m interested in. Fred Fielding made a sleek move, in a letter effectively to Congress, that I suspect misrepresents DOJ’s stance on the issue. Now, Fielding can’t really sustain that sleek move unless DOJ is willing to support it. It speaks volumes that they have not done so yet. Perhaps if I keep asking, DOJ will decide it has to support Fielding’s sleek move.

      But if I can’t get an answer by the time Mukasey goes before HJC to testify (he’s due in the next week or so), then perhaps they will ask Mukasey the same question and we can see whether DOJ has a stance or not.

      In the meantime, maybe Fielding will think twice about a statement that–effectively–makes the case that Karl, with the support of the White House, broke the law.

      • Tross says:

        I honestly just want to say “thank you”, EW.

        Not sure about anyone else, but these last years have been like living in the most horrible of nightmares that I just can’t wake-up from.

        Reading day in and day out about these most spectacular of claims from this administration, and then hearing supposedly learned politicians discuss and debate these claims as if they actually have merit, has reduced me to an almost catatonic state of amazement mixed with disbelief, sadness and disgust.

        Thank you for doing something so simple, but so empowering. Just knowing that somebody has finally called “bullshit!” in the face of this crazy crime family has just given me a thread of hope that this nightmare will eventually end.

        • MarieRoget says:

          Yes, thank you, ew, & thank you for your eloquence, Tross.

          Marcy, your tenacity & perseverance more appreciated than you know.
          The essence of democracy is rooted in efforts like yours.

          AZ Matt @ 37- And as we all know, it takes leather balls to play rugby…

  9. SaltinWound says:

    Thanks, wheel! Sorry to be so literal about this one. The way you outline it, it seems like win/win. No matter how they respond or don’t respond, they’re cornered. I hope Mukasey realizes he’s losing this little game of chess, says something like “My God, what have I wrought,” and gravely tips over his king in your presence. Is that too much to hope for? Maybe that’s why I’m so often disappointed by life.

    • emptywheel says:

      Most likely, everyone will ignore that I’m trying to play chess and the Democrats will continue playing tiddlywinks.

      But it can’t hurt to try, right?

      • prostratedragon says:

        And that slender tranche of the MSM that notices anything at all happening on the matter of why Rove “needn’t” appear will cover the tiddlywinks like it was the Superbowl.

        That doesn’t mean this wasn’t worth doing, though —the immense entertainment value wouldn’t exist were it not for, what, the stickiness of the wicket? the charge of the petard? the Wile E.-ness of Fielding’s gambit?

        • skdadl says:

          People are going to groan and yawn when I mention the history books, but really, that is the only place that guys like Mukasey and Fielding are going to be caught.

          Rove and others may still be caught for criminal acts, but the rationalizers and facilitators like Fielding and Mukasey always know not to take that last step that would implicate themselves, so there really is no other way to hold them to account but to keep all their shameful twists and turns on the record.

          I always wonder why they would do it.

      • bmaz says:

        Were I them, I would reply “The documents speak for themselves. We have no further statement, thank you for your interest. Good day madam.”

          • PJEvans says:

            Smart, maybe.
            Intelligent – no.
            I’m still waiting for signs of intelligence from most of this maladministration.

        • klynn says:

          First, EW, enjoy the fact that some people will be in their offices all weekend working on your question and every third word they think…well…not pretty!

          Like I wrote the other day…You are a true patriot.

          Only a true patriot keeps on…catching them in the act…

          Thank you for a great day…

          Do you have any additional questions you might want to have all of us asking?

          • bmaz says:

            Heh. I’ll take that bet. My guess is they won’t spend that much time in having a low level person give a throw away answer, if they give one at all.

            • emptywheel says:

              If it involved nothing but a throwaway answer, they would have done that already.

              I don’t think they’re crafting an answer this weekend–there is none. Rather, I expect there are some negotiations between DOJ and WH about how to get out of this quandry.

              • emptywheel says:

                I shoudl clarify–I don’t think DOJ and WH are in negotiations bc of anything I’ve done. But I suspect this issue is unsettled between the two of them, and I suspect they’re hoping for some resolution before AG Mukasey shows up before HJC to testify.

        • emptywheel says:

          I’d love it. THen I can turn around and say that Fielding misrepresented what DOJ said, perhaps to the point of misconduct.

          The second DOJ admits they did nothing current to support Fielding’s letter, it’s open season on the WH. If I can get the press to notice.

          • bmaz says:

            Yep, I understand. Honestly, I would probably blow you off entirely, but if I were to respond, that would be it. Yes, you could take it the way you have stated (which would be exactly right if I were not wearing this damn DOJ/Fielding hat), but it is already out there, you don’t harm yourself further or say inconsistent things and saying that still preserves your ability to obfuscate later. FWIW.

  10. behindthefall says:

    Why isn’t Moore already doing a film about the Constitution’s being trashed? Step up to the big leaguew, Michael! Enough with post-industrial decay, guns, and our un-national health!

    (Actually, I’m serious.)

  11. MadDog says:

    As much as I really applaud EW’s willingness to tilt at this windmill, I’m guessing if we ever do hear back from the DOJ, we’re gonna get one or a combination of the following. Ya can take yer choice:

    1. No comment, due entirely to Executive Privilege/Deliberative Process Privilege, which in a “cup half full” sense, amazingly places EW on a pedestal at the same height as those vaunted institutions of the Congress and the Judiciary.

    In a “cup half empty” sense, said pedestal is replaced with this Administration’s typical Unitary Executive disdain toward having to respond to anyone about anything anytime.

    2. Doubletalk, contructed by Fred Fielding himself and in the same vein as his letter to Goldbars Luskin that intimates things decidely not true, but that can be swallowed whole by a gullible MSM.

    3. Mumbles by Mukasey in which not even a transcript allows one to determine what he said.

  12. Leen says:

    Another day in the life of former Bush administration officials ignoring subpoenas and “scooter Libby” justice

  13. MadDog says:

    I better sign out for a bit since a line of severe thunderstorms (radar showing almost all of it in red with a few tornado warnings as a bonus) stretching to almost the entire length of the state is about ready to pound us here in the Twin Cities.

    See ya’ll (I hope) in an hour or so.

  14. Mary says:

    Have Seigelman’s lawyers subpoenaed Rove? That’s where it is going to get fun – bc there the courts do play a role and you do have a criminal justice matter.

    Oh well, later days.

  15. prostratedragon says:

    “People are going to groan and yawn when I mention the history books […]”

    Hey, not me, not at all. In fact I’d go this far: since this whole discussion is based on some harm having occured, which no amount of stretching Mukasey’s (et alia) tanned hide out on the wall could really compensate, at least getting historical satisfaction looks pretty good compared to nothing. And this cohort of public servants is really in for it in the histories, they won’t be able to shred enough.

    ‘Sides, sometimes the opportune person actually winds up reading one of the history books.

  16. sojourner says:

    Marcy, I have been reading along with you yesterday and today, and all I can say is it is wonderful stuff…

    As for your phone work today (and I hate to be the one to ask this) do you know what insanity is? It is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result.

    Who knows? Maybe Cheney is cowering under his desk…

    Seriously, it is all phenomenal work — and I hope you keep it up!

  17. freepatriot says:

    face it, you’re gonna have to waterboard these guys to get an answer

    and now that I think of it, that WOULD make the congressional hearings more interesting (I can see the commercials now …)

    will kkkarl rove tell the truth ???

    or will he face the TUB OF JUSTICE

    find out tuesday at 3:00, on “Congressional Confessions”

    only on FAUX

    I’m thinkin we could get a “20 share”, and we’ll probably do even better among the young consumers that ad guys love

  18. earlofhuntingdon says:

    I like the point of the petard you are hoisting DOJ onto:

    If Rove was acting as a private person, for himself or a client (he was not supposed to have any of those while working in the WH), when communicating to the DOJ about the alleged misconduct of Don Siegelman, an Alabama state official, then those communications are not within the scope of the President’s executive privilege. There would be no basis for Rove lawfully to refuse to comply with Congress’ subpoena and to respond to its questions in good faith and to the best of his knowledge and recollection.

    If DOJ doesn’t respond favorably, then Fielding’s communication to Luskin was incorrect (and it’s possible Fielding knew that at the time he wrote the letter). Luskin would have acted reasonably in initially advising Rove that he need not respond to the subpoena, but he and Fielding would have to start over, though they would have both run out the clock a little more. Though Rove’s being out of the country — and outside the reach of the Sgt.-at-Arms — was a two-finger salute that Congress should remember.

    If DOJ responds favorably, they have to support their assertion. Is this an assertion of EP? If so, what’s the basis and legal support? If it is as airy-fairy as Bradbury’s claims of a year ago, Congress should come up with its own hard arguments and either go the inherent contempt route or go to court.

    Separate from the EP claim, there’s still the issue of whether Rove performed his official duties in violation of the Hatch Act or other laws. Congress ought to be able to pursue that on their own and put pressure on Consigliere Mukasey to do it through the DOJ. He would either refuse or give it the go slow. But unless Obama hires Lieberman for his AG, this should be teed up and ready for the next AG to look a little harder.

    By then, of course, Mikey Mukasey should be helping to move the family business to Nevada, on the premise that one day, it will be completely legit.

    • emptywheel says:

      Couple of points–I’d prefer if we just left the phrase EP out, as it gets a lot of people needlessly distracted.

      Second, I think there’s another possibility.

      Before you get into what DOJ will say going forward, think about why DOJ hasn’t already issued an opinion in this matter. They did with Mieres, with Rove’s former appearance, with the EPA. They do that. Always have before an Aide has decided not to testify. But not now.

      I would submit that somewhere along the way it became clear that WH wouldn’t like what DOJ had to say. Perhaps that came after an informal query to see what they would think of an old-fashioned EP claim (remember, Rove said he would “probably” get one), and decided, after that informal query, not to ask formally. Perhaps they actually GOT an opinion, which says Rove has no excuse, but WH is suppressing that under attorney-client privilege, and Fiedling wrote this memo as a fuck you to DOJ, basically saying, “we don’t need your EP opinion, we’ve got Bradbury’s opinion from last year.” That is precisely why I’m hammering on Fielding’s suggestion that they “were advised” that this falls under Rove’s duties. They weren’t, I’m almost certain of that, and if we can make the case that they weren’t, even better, that WH knew that, then not only does Rove’s excuse on testifying fall away, but so does DOJ’s excuse to not pursue the contempt charge.

      So I don’t really know what the answers are. But I do know that Rove thought he would get an EP claim, but didn’t. What is the explanation for that???

      • earlofhuntingdon says:

        Fielding, at least, would have known better than to request a formal opinion if his informal discussions had already suggested that he wouldn’t like the result. On this topic, Mukasey himself probably would have had a chat with Fielding about what his OLC could or couldn’t say.

        You’re probably correct that all Fielding had to work with was the letter Bradbury wrote in connection with a Congressional subpoena from a year earlier. Which would explain the passive, almost indirect, way in which Fielding used it in his letter to Luskin. If so, I would say that’s already unethical conduct.

        Had Fielding actually received written confirmation from OLC that it couldn’t justify asserting EP (or any other legitimate basis to ignore) the current subpoena — and hasn’t this administration relied on the characterization of such advice as binding on the executive branch? — then Fielding’s letter would be considerably farther beyond the ethical pale. Under color of law, he would have knowingly led a private individual unlawfully to ignore a valid subpoena. I wonder what the criminal law gurus here would say to that?

        My guess is that Mukasey will try to fudge the issue altogether. He might try the DOJ’s venerable, “We already responded fully to your request”. More likely, he’ll try the “parallel lines” fudge. Something like, “If waterboarding is torture, then it’s illegal,” a rhetorical device that attempts to hide whether the lines intersect by refusing to connect the obvious dots and say that waterboarding is widely regarded as torture and that waterboarding is illegal.

        In this case, it would be, “The Committee wants to ask Rove about his conduct during his tenure as White House adviser. It can’t do that….” All while avoiding asserting EP or admitting whether the behavior the Committee does want to ask Rove about was part of his official duties. I think the technical term for that is “circle jerk”. The DOJ’s getting good at it. Keep the calls going, this time to Committee staffers with questions their CongressCritters ought to ask.

        • emptywheel says:

          Absoutely agree. I think your first scenario–that Fielding knew he wouldn’t get what he wanted out of DOJ–is the most likely if in fact WH did broach this with DOJ. Which would then make Fielding’s statement–suggesting DOJ supported Rove’s actions–unethical but not as bad as if it ignored a stated opinion.

          And all that’s assuming that DOJ was less than willing to support Rove’s no show, which is just one possibility.

  19. MadDog says:

    Would the response come back like this:

    Ring, ring.

    EW: Hello?

    DOJ: This is…ummmm…Snidely Q. Fibber…the 3rd from the DOJ with an official response on your question regarding Señor Rove.

    EW: Great! Let’s hear it.

    DOJ: Ok, here goes…(heavy breathing)…(more heavy breathing)…

    EW: Ummm…Hulloooo? Is anybody there?

    DOJ: That was it.

    EW: Whaddya mean that was it? All I heard was some heavy breathing.

    DOJ: So?

    EW: Waitaminute! Dick Cheney, is that you?

    DOJ: (Giggling in the background) Quiet Scooter! Ahmmm…do you have Prince Albert in a can?

    And so it goes. Is there no place that Deadeye hasn’t wiretapped?

  20. bobschacht says:

    Jonathan Turley on Countdown tonight referring to IRC(?) officials who reported their considered opinion (to the CIA, a year ago) that Bushco has committed War Crimes. Yesterday he stated the opinion that Bush has committed 30 felonies.

    The interesting thing about the War Crimes charge is that it does not depend on the DOJ to enforce. Even if Bush is never brought physically before the World Court (or wherever it is that War Crimes are adjudicated), it supports my sense of karmic justice that Bush could spend the rest of his life as a fugitive from justice.

    Bob in HI

      • skdadl says:

        ICRC: International Committee of the Red Cross.

        Excuse me. I’m not actually awake at this hour. I’ll be back tomorrow. I wrote that in my sleep.

        • bmaz says:

          Yeah, I know. I saw Turley today; sure seemed to me he was talking about the Red Cross. Could be wrong in that assumption, but that is what I understood.

          • Loo Hoo. says:

            Red Cross.

            WASHINGTON — Red Cross investigators concluded last year in a secret report that the Central Intelligence Agency’s interrogation methods for high-level Qaeda prisoners constituted torture and could make the Bush administration officials who approved them guilty of war crimes, according to a new book on counterterrorism efforts since 2001.

            It’s a new book by Jane Mayer of the New Yorker.

            • skdadl says:

              Interesting correction this morning at the bottom of that NYT article on Mayer’s book. Very very carefully detailed recitation of what, I presume, someone in Cheney’s office insisted be said.

              “Because of an editing error …” Uh huh. Very curious incident, anyway.

  21. Sara says:

    Yer ever helpful Historian Here.

    It is very important to understand that 1) the ICRC, International Commission of the Red Cross, is NOT the same as the American Red Cross.

    2)The ICRC was organized in the 1860’s as something of a substitute for the former role of the Vatican in setting out Christian Rules of Warfare, given that the Vatican was no longer a state. It operates through delegates of the countries to a conflict, delegates who take a pledge not to side with either side, but most experience is that they operate under the government they represent. Thus during World War II, when people requested ICRC information on forwarding addresses for Jews who had been deported to the camps, the ICRC responded with a short notice on a postcard, that they could not deal with address changes post Jan, 1942, by German Law. Likewise they could not verify that food parcels were delivered. However with regard to POW’s during WWII, the American Red Cross verified parcel delivery to German POW’s, and the German Red Cross verified delivery to Americans.

    3) one reason groups such as Doctors Without Borders and Human Rights Watch are split-off’s from the ICRC is because of this obtuse attachment to the forms of 19th Century Diplomacy. ICRC does not wish to compromise their diplomatic aura by taking an affirmative right or wrong side in things. They all operate under Swiss Diplomatic Passports, and stick to the Neutral posture of the Swiss, and a variety of questionable agreements between the Swiss and the 19th Century Vatican about Neutral representation in time of war.

    4) and yes, they never make reports public. Of course, as in this case, someone can swipe them and publish them. They are totally committed to a state to state set of arrangements, with their delegates as the middlemen. It wasn’t till the late 1980’s that the reports on the Nazi Camps that were ICRC products were in any part available to the public, and that was only because some Swiss Historians swiped some of the files.

    5) the American Red Cross — and through it, US Delegates to the ICRC are chartered by the US Congress, and in fact are the only NGO to have that designation. One should assume that any report sent to State, also was referenced to the Foreign Affairs Committees of both houses of Congress.

    • bobschacht says:

      I think Turley referred to the ICRC as the international authority on what torture is, and their report says, without any qualification whatsoever, that what we were doing to some of our prisoners was torture, plain and simple. No ifs, ands, or buts.

      Bob in HI

  22. BayStateLibrul says:

    Many thanks for your persistance and excellent reporting
    I read Dana Milbank’s story on Rove’s non-appearance.
    I chuckled at first, but then felt betrayed, outraged, and
    helpless.
    What pyschological disease am I harboring?
    Rove’s TV appearance in Sweden opened my eyes.
    I was naively unaware that he was still briefing the Prez.
    Someone douse my nightmares.

  23. darclay says:

    EW you are brilliant….would you move to NC and run for liddy’s Seat? Hell why not run for president..we really need someone who has first hand knowledge of what truth is.

  24. skdadl says:

    I think that some people here knew (at least as readers) Melanie Mattson of Just a Bump in the Beltway and the Flu Wiki. Memorial notices for Melanie have been going up in a number of places since yesterday; Melanie was a friend and colleague of my blog boss, pogge, who is keeping a list at our place, as is DemFromCT at the Flu Wiki.

    I never met Melanie 3D, but she was wonderfully generous and encouraging to me via back channels, and I find it hard to accept that we can’t talk to her any more. I used to love going to Bump early in the mornings to find that Melanie had been revved up even earlier. Her funeral is today, in St Paul.

  25. Leen says:

    Ew all
    Check this out (you may all ready be aware of this)
    http://rawstory.com/news/2008/….._0709.html

    Alabama US Attorney denies any involvement in university editor’s termination
    Lindsay Beyerstein
    Published: Friday July 11, 2008

    This ‘case is definitely about the first amendment,’ says Harper’s journalist

    The abrupt dismissal of a veteran University of Alabama employee who blogged about the firing of seven US Attorneys has added a bizarre new twist to allegations that the state’s US Attorneys targeted political opponents for prosecution.

    Roger Shuler — a high-profile blogger and leading critic of Alabama’s judicial system — has written extensively about alleged corruption among U.S. Attorneys for over a year. In particular, Shuler focused on two US Attorneys from his home state: Alice H. Martin of the Northern District and Leura G. Canary of the Middle District.

  26. earlofhuntingdon says:

    James K. Galbraith, admittedly no fan of the GOP’s economic priorities, has a lively take down on McSenile’s “economics guru”, former Sen. Phil Gramm. He and his wife, formerly a director of that stellar corporate performer, Enron, both have Ph.D.’s in economics. Hers is from Northwestern (1970), that school across the lake from the home of the Wolverines, which has a better theater arts than a football program. His is from the University of Georgia (1967), all seventy-nine pages of it. (I thought that would pique EW’s interest.)

    Galbraith reviewed both their dissertations in 1995, when Gramm was an untouchable powerhouse in the Senate. ThinkProgress helpfully resuscitated that review, useful to read since McSame has apparently named Gramm his Treasury Sec’y designate. Hers received glowing remarks. His, not so much. No math, no data collection or analysis, no use of archival or other original, unpublished materials. He critiqued an economic model for predicting consumer demand with what was presumably already available at the university library.

    On the whole, Phil Gramm’s thesis could have been condensed to an interesting article…. My guess is that the proper moment for that article would have come in the late 1940s [not 1967]…. By the time he did write it, the mathematical character of the field had long since outpaced the very modest display of technique here, and the concerns Gramm writes about would probably have already been considered antique in most quarters….

    On the whole, it is obvious that Wendy was trained to be a working professional economist — which she became. It is equally clear to me that Phil got his degree in order to move on and do something else. Had he stayed in economics, he probably would not have prospered.

    http://thinkprogress.org/wonkr…..aith-mcca/

  27. Mary says:

    63 – that’s very helpful and it shows even more clearly why a group like ICRC would be peculiarly ineffective with respect to having any kind of involvement with those who are claimed to be “stateless” actors. So do you think the report that was leaked would have been directed to State? To Rice? The excerpt from the book made it sound like it was the CIA who made sure it went to the WH. I may have misread that but I wonder how CIA got it – what the flow was. And also if the Foreign Affairs Committee received it, who is on that committee. I’d have to wonder if they didn’t get the report, too, what they think of that?

    46 et seq. I basically agree with everything you are saying, bmaz, from a standpoint of how DOJ/Fielding will handle things and the practical, short term effect. But I still really like the approach for several reasons. First and foremost is that this (the calling of Rove before Congress) is a political conflict and all things involving framing are important on those kinds of conflicts. The framing point is a nice one if the press or the committee or anyone picks it up and runs with it and hammers on it. Mukasey won’t about-face imo, but he should have to pay the political consequence for being craven, as should the others invovled

    So to hammer on the point that DOJ is not taking action on Rove’s failure to appear to answer questions about the politicizing of the Seigelman prosecution, bc DOJ is saying those questions impact on Rove’s “official duties” in the Exec, is politically a win. Mukasey probably would say, under questioning if it got to that, that he did not agree with that framing, and that the docs speak for themselves, etc. but something like “Rove’s WH Duties Included Overseeing DOJ Political Prosecutions” is a nice possible headline to have in the offing, or in the present with blogs if nothing else.

    Then there is the secondary, non-political front. That’s the Seigelman prosecution itself and the appeals process there. And that’s where it is nice to see political pressure making DOJ and the WH shoot themselves in the foot some. Bc in the Seigelman case, you aren’t in a political confrontation between Executive and Legislative branches anymore. You are in a citizen v. Exec setting taking place in the Judiciary. And the public record on what the WH has and has not done is some nice fodder there, imo.

    Karl Rove can’t answer questions about the handling of the Seigelman prosecution bc his official wh duties included his involvement in and handling of the Seigelman prosecution? Really – hmmm, I have to think Seigelman’s lawyers are going to have fun with that as an admission against interest for the WH and on the discovery front for their prosecutorial misfeasance defenses.

    Someone could/should have some real fun with drafting discovery there – identify the persons and documents who are aware of, reference, explain, outline, detail, etc. etc. etc. involvement of Rove and his office in the Seigelman prosecution; etc. etc. etc.

    All Seigelman needs is a Judge who was a Lets Make a Deal fan and who will say, “President Bush [ex-Pres probably by the time it plays out] com’on down.”

    So while I don’t think that DOj will operate politically in the confrontation between Congress and the WH in any way but poorly and corruptly, I’m all in favor of having the fight against the DOJ Consiglieres take place on two fronts at once, bc eventually someone forgets to cover their backside.

    If bets were on, though, I’d bet money that at some point someone will use bmaz’s words about the document/letters/memos speaking for themselves, almost exactly.

    • bmaz says:

      Oh, don’t get me wrong, it was an extremely sweet play by Marcy. Perfect move. The question above was posited “how would they answer” so I was only responding to that. It really does put them in a sticky patch though doesn’t it? And you are right about potential uses as a putative admission against interest by Siegelman; however, he is caught in appeal limbo right now, so hard for him to do too much.

      As to the path of the ICRC memo, this WaPo article is a little more clear, but not a lot.

    • earlofhuntingdon says:

      Agreed. Gramm and Helms were bookends, models of constructive statesmanship. Not. Gramm’s support for the financial services sector is a pivotal reason for the current mortgage-cum-financial sector meltdown. Which was preceded by the hundreds of billions that his backers pulled out of the economy by way of their predatory lending and from selling highly questionable derivatives and other financial products”. But Gramm got his, so the rest of American can pound salt. And he’s said as much many times.

      No one here needs to be reminded about what it would mean to 99% of Americans if John McCain is allowed to put this man in charge of his economic policy.

  28. JohnLopresti says:

    I thought Luskin might have helped Rove arrange the timing of attendance at an extraterritorial event to coincide with the date congress demanded he appear in the US, and patterned the selection of which country to visit based on Sweden’s notorious uncooperativeness in extraditions based on that country’s long record of independence and respect for individual rights. However, it turns out JAshcroft cosigned with “Ambassador Sven-Olof Petersson, Sweden’s Permanent Representative to the EU; Ambassador Eikka Kosonen, Finland’s Permanent Representative to the EU; and Ambassador Jan De Bock, Belgium’s Permanent Representative to the EU” on December 16, 2004 a new extradition and mutual legal assistance treaty. So that strategem is out. I would have suggested Rove tour the applelike structure Stockholm calls the Globe, or some majestic architecture venue, or a convention center. However, that is moot now. Might as well return and utilize one of the 300 political conduits between DoJ and the pols in the whitehouse to devise a reply that keeps Fielding’s workgroup out of DoJ’s doghouse. Sometimes all tarnation breaks loose when Rove goes on a boondoggle to an EU member state.

  29. PetePierce says:

    You’ll have better luck calling Osama bin Ladin’s bunker in Pakistan and get a more coherent response than you will calling the scum at DOJ.