HJC Testimony: Michael Mukasey, Three

Decided to make a new thread to keep this clean.

First order of business: did you notice that Darrell Issa said the Republicans had gotten answers from Rove himself, so he wouldn’t have to show before Congress? Well, Issa entered those answers into the Congressional Record and here they are. I’ll put up a post on them later–but the short version is the Republicans are now actively conspiring with Rove to allow him to evade responsibility for his actions.

Here’s the live stream for the hearing.

And, as a reminder, Governor Siegelman will be joining us at FDL tomorrow at 12ET/9PT. I’m sure we’ll talk about contempt for Rove’s dodgy answers and about the fact that Michael Mukasey seems to think Bush’s invocation of Absolute Immunity was proper.

Gohmert: Raid of Congressman Jefferson’s office–to cleanse of protected or privileged documents. Do you have a firewall capacity?

MM: Yes.

Gohmert: Scalia thinks the Courts know nothing about security concerns. blah blah blah SCOTUS micro-managing the trials.

MM: Decision is the law of the land, and I am moving forward to treat it as the law of the land.

Artur Davis: Sanchez raised and I raised in phone call yesterday. Siegelman prosecution. Possible political influence. Not been raised publicly. As you perhaps know, emails that surfaced that suggested that various jurors engaged in misconduct, they had consulted the internet and other conduct that I think you would agree was improper. Motions filed urging new trial. Protracted dispute. Series of hearings back and forth. Govt took position that evidentiary hearing had to be very limited. In July of this year, Chief of Appellate division notified Defense Counsel that while District Judge Fuller was considering these motions, that District Judge had ex parte communication with US Marshall Service, had been instructed by USA office to conduct its own investigation. US Marshall service reached conclusion that emails were not valid. You were a district judge. Would there have been any circumstance where you would have allowed yourself to have ex parte conversation while you were considering motions.

MM: Facts somewhat differently. Jurist co-workers got copies before judge, turned them to Marshall, Marshall to USA, gave them to US Postal Service. Turned over to someone else. Postal service reached conclusions.

Davis: While the investigation was ongoing in April 2007, after the first evidentiary hearing, Representatives apprised Chief Judge Fuller and concluded that purported emails not authentic. Chief Judge did not solicit this report. They all touched on the underlying question of these emails. Would there have been any instance where you would have allowed yourself to have an ex parte communication from branch of govt while considering a motion.

MM: Don’t know the reason here.

Davis: Would it trouble you?

MM: It is important, let me finish. I don’t know what role those emails have in larger investigation on OPR. I may be called on if there’s a finding of misconduct, so I can’t offer opinions.

Davis: Narrow in on alleged facts. Very subject is whether those emails were authentic. What troubles me is the notion that the govt asked teh Marshal service, to conduct an investigation, didn’t share it with the Defense Counsel, shared it with the Judge.

MM: Don’t know the basis for those rulings. Enormously big presumption against undermining jury decision.

Davis: Another quick question. Disclosed this info on July 8 of this year. Do you know about the circumstances about which Stimler learned about these communications? Concern again would be this–One year after this ex parte communication, the Marshall service disclosed it to govt. Would raise questions about whether they’ve turned over all information. Frankly, it appears that the Marshall service may not have told Ms Stimler until very recently. Does it trouble you that Marshall service didn’t disclose contacts with Judge Fuller? Should Judge Fuller have disclosed that to Defense Counsel.

MM: Not going into Fuller’s decision.

Davis: Are we confident that Prosecution did not have conversations with Judge Fuller about conversations with Marshalls? Should the Department ask them?

MM: Await the OPR report.

Davis: Can we see OPR report?

MM: Absolutely. Congress was the complainant. Complainant always informed. If finding of misconduct, then you’ll get the report.

King: If practice to get automatic stay on immigration hearings?

MM: Depends on whether they have a good faith basis for asylum.

King: They’re going to seek to stay here, if they’re automatically granted a stay, that’d be a human nature response. Looking at caseload, one to put more resources in courts. Another is statutory perspective to narrow appeal.

Keith Ellison: Reports regarding FBI investigations and new policy that would allow them to take into consideration race and religion.

MM: New guidelines. Speculation about whether they would allow that practice. Guidelines that forbid predicating investigation on race, religion, exercise of First Amendment rights. Rationalize process going on since after 9/11 on recommendation of at least Robb Silberman and 9/11 Commissions. FBI becomes intelligence organization. One on how to open investigation. At times cross-cutting. Same behavior described in different ways. New guidelines will also make it apparent, growth of monitoring within FBI and National Security Division that FBI not doing that kind of profiling.

Ellison: What kind of input can members have?

MM: Will be briefed before go into effect. Will be signed by me. Guidelines, not statutes. Can be changed. Plan to sign them, then show them to Congress.

[Shorter MM: No input]

Ellison: Unindicted co-conspirators. Case in Dallas, Holy Land case, 300 people subjected to public derision, but no way to get off the list. In general, whether it’s appropriate to publish list of unindicted co-conspirators.

MM: Required to turn over to defense list of unindicted co-conspirators. That’s why they do it. Just as much pleadings as any other pleading.

Ellison: I’ve been involved in cases where unindicted co-conspirators not made generally available. Legitimate to put people on list where you never make claim as to what statements might make them unindicted co-conspirators. What are your views on that.

MM: AUSAs take very great care when they compile such lists.

Ellison: What about when they don’t? Shouldn’t there be a way to exonerate them?

MM: In the same way you can’t announce that someone’s not under investigation. My experience those lists are drawn carefully.

Ellison: Sometimes that careful process not followed. Should be some way to clean up mistakes.  Watchlists, who get hospitality when they go to airports. We have gone overboard and we need to clean up these lists. Do you think it’s a problem?

MM: Seen reports. I know that airport screening process is not perfect. I’ve been stopped more than once. That said, there ought to be away of making sure the list is accurate. There ought to be a way of assuring that people who aren’t on list get off. 

Ellison: We waste time on people who shouldn’t be on there. Work with you to make sure there’s a way to do this.

Trent Franks: Those people just trying to protect the US, disheartened that our committee trying to paint people with recriminations. I agree that Congress should step up on habeas cases. Unelected judges.

MM: Everyone is forgetting 9/11. 

Franks: If we could do one thing to protect the country, what would that be?

MM: Pass this legislation. And remind people to be afraid.

[I hate when these things turn into blow jobs like that]

Jackson-Lee: Introduce info into record, Harris County Jail. Letter asking for full investigation on watchlist. CNN reporter John Griffin. Questions for this hearing on new guidelines on ethnic and racial criteria.  

  1. bmaz says:

    So King Karl Rove, the man with the plan, tough as nails spawn of Lee Atwater, is reduced to having Goober and Gomert run interference for him? Pathetic. Not quite as pathetic as the fact that the HJC won’t bring the wood of inherent contempt though.

  2. BillE says:

    Why is the GOP defending him at this point? He along with Mr 25% seem to be nothing but an albatross hanging around their necks.

  3. skdadl says:

    Wonderful to watch Artur Davis at work, even if at a level of legal detail I just barely follow, certainly can’t summarize. MM: I can’t answer those questions (we’re on Siegelmann — see EW above) until I get OPR report. Davis: And will we see the OPR report? MM: Yes (with a few mumbles). So hold him to that.

  4. bell says:

    MM >>I’m not going to endorse a system that protects leakers more than it protects journalists.

    >>MM: All of them are aliens caught abroad in combat with US troops. Or supporting those in combat with the US.

    translation: they are all guilty and we are not going to give them a fair trial anytime soon.. ‘throw away the key’..

  5. cbl2 says:

    outta breath from running over here from Josh’s place –

    has this already been posted ?

    EXCLUSIVE: Karl Rove Issues New Denials in Gov. Siegelman Prosecution in Written Answers to HJC

    more here

    sorry guys – didn’t see yet if it’s already being discussed

  6. JohnForde says:

    So all Karl has to do is come and and say these same things under oath and we’re fine.

    Well… and answer a few more questions.

    • JTMinIA says:

      That’s one way to call the buff. Simply ask Karl to re-submit his answers with a notarized oath attached. tee hee

  7. JimWhite says:

    So KKKarl is careful in his written answers to say he did nothing about the Siegelman case. Could he have communicated with these people about going after Scrushy instead, knowing full well they were in the same case?

  8. pdaly says:

    So is the contempt charge withdrawn just because Rove wrote something down?
    Tell him to come in person to answer questions, dear senators.

    It seems that the Bush Administration love say there is no paper when things are looking bad (no WH emails here!), but then they like to produce documents and to point to papers when things are looking worse (here’s my Hadley email, Mr. Fitzgerald!; here are my written answers, Senators!).

    Trying to figure out their equation for determining when producing paper outweighs the benefit of playing dumb.

  9. earlofhuntingdon says:

    Issa shilling for Rove. He must expect a little informal help in his re-election campaign.

    How is it that Goopers can introduce into the subcommittee’s record Rove’s written answers, not under oath or subject to cross examination, and not given to the subcommittee itself, when Rove refused to appear in response to a valid subpoena? It’s a Congressionally sponsored PR statement; it tells us less, rather than more, about what Rove did. Oughtn’t the Dems to object to that?

    The good news is that the harder Rove fights, the more, it seems, he has to hide.

  10. 1oldlady says:

    Cohen: if you can consider Memphis, we need the help. VP, in the abstract, he would not have EP extended to him. Addington told us Cheney not in Executive or Legislative, he said he was a barnacle attached to legislative branch, does he have executive privilege.

    MM: VP is member of executive branch. One of closest advisors to President. That’s where he sits. Aside from any abstract theory of whether there’s a barnacle status.

    Did anyone else catch this statement from MM? The VP is a “member of the executive branch” If I remember he said he is either a part of the executive branch nor congress, he is separate in his own dept?

    What do you think?

  11. 1oldlady says:

    MM: Everyone is forgetting 9/11.

    Franks: If we could do one thing to protect the country, what would that be?

    MM: Pass this legislation. And remind people to be afraid.

    Huh???? he wants the people of the US be afraid for???? and against who???

    Our own shadow??? Did he really say this??? This is a really-really scary statement about what this administration can and will do in order to keep the “status quo” alive!

  12. rapt says:

    Yes 1-old, fear is their trump card, their ace-in-the-hole, their spare tire, their fuel…so why shouldn’t we expect any properly trained party member to repeat it at every opportunity.

    I must say, it works, or did work very well. Oh yes and skdadl mentions MM’s circular references to 9/11, making sure we don’t forget to be afraid. No point in letting such an expensive operation lose its punch over the years.

    Here’s a good question: Do Mukasey and the many others like him really believe this crap, or 2) are they threatened/blackmailed into going along with the charade, or 3) have they been “mind-controlled”?) Those are the only three possibilities I can come up with; be glad to hear any others. Oh yeah, there is a fourth one. 4) They are not really human and so have different standards of conduct.

  13. MrWhy says:

    So KKKarl wants to avoid both contempt and appearance before HJC. Slick move, Karl. Did Conyers agree to this means of questioning?