Executive Privilege, RNC Style

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emptywheel
The NYT reports that Sara Taylor will come before the SJC today and testify about some things. Sara Taylor, the former White House political director, has agreed toanswer some questions as a “willing and cooperative private citizen,”during testimony about the United States attorney firings last yearwhen she appears before the Senate Judiciary Committee later today. But, as a former presidential adviser, she will also honor thepresident’s invocation of executive privilege to keep quiet

No More $$ to Shred our Constitution

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emptywheel
Now that I'm in DC, I'm thinking maybe I'll just stay here until the impeachment. Because things are getting fun. As in, no more taxpayer dollars to help Cheney shred our Constitution. Senate Democrats movedTuesday to cut off funding for Vice President Dick Cheney's office in acontinuing battle over whether he must comply with national securitydisclosure rules. A Senateappropriations panel chaired by Sen.

"I Don't Know Enough About It"

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emptywheel
So says Pete Domenici, when asked by Andrea Mitchell whether he would testify before Congress if asked. ThinkProgress points out that a conversation between Rove and Domenici closely preceded David Iglesias' firing. But I'll go further, and raise this report. In the spring of 2006, Domenici told Gonzales he wanted Iglesias out. Gonzales refused.

Why Lefty Bloggers Should Always Get to Fly First Class

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emptywheel
As I've explained before, I used to consult for a big automotive company, working primarily in Asia (the job got moved to Asia earlier this year). I flew several times a year to Asia. So for the past several years, I've been an "Elite Level" flyer for Northwest. Which means I get bumped up to First Class pretty consistently. Back in February, during my first trip home from the Libby trial, I

IOB and Gonzales's Latest Perjury

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emptywheel
I've got just a few minutes before I've got to pack up for DC. But I wanted to point out a curious detail about the WaPo's story on NSLs: the centrality of PFIAB in it. The story, of course, reveals that Gonzales received reports of violations of National Security Letter procedures, and then went into Congress and said there had been no problems with the program.

Conyers Hearing on Libby Commutation

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emptywheel
HJC has announced the list of witnesses for Wednesday's hearing on Libby's get-out-of-jail-free. They are:Joe Wilson: You guys know him, I think. I suspect he'll talk about how Bush and Cheney are involved in this case.Roger Adams, US DOJ Pardon Attorney. He'll end up talking about the normal process for commutation.

Novak's July 7 Meeting

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emptywheel
Credit where it's due. Tom Maguire hits all the right notes about this Novak book excerpt, save one. He notes that Novak's story has a way of changing with the seasons. Interesting. This old post has the Novak version before he was willing to name Armitage; here is Novak (post-"Hubris") rebutting Armitage's version. There are subtle shifts in the story - now we are told that "Hementioned her first name, Valerie",

Just Scraps of Snark Remaining

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emptywheel
Fitzgerald's filing in response to Judge Walton's request for clarification on Libby's magical disappearing prison sentence has the feel of bitter duty. Much of it is an attempt to stave off any attempt by Libby's lawyers to disappear even the supervised release. As discussed more fully below, it is the government’s position that the supervised release term remains operative, and that, by effect of the commutation, the supervised release term began on

Fred and Paul Forget the Constitution--Time to Remind Them

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emptywheel
I'm supposed to be doing something else entirely. But I'm going to raise a point that I've raised already--because it sure seems like Democrats are sleeping through the Constitution. Paul Clement, in his explanation of why BushCo could invoke executive privilege in the USA scandal, claimed that the President has "nondelegable Presidential power" "to nominate orto remove U.S.

Isikoff's Worst

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emptywheel
Wow. When I railed on Mikey Isikoff's horribly conflicted coverage of the CIA Leak case while on Sam Seder's show today, I had not yet read Mikey's latest blowjob to Karl Rove. But this is truly shameful stuff. First, Mikey provides tons of details that make it clear that the White House has scrupulously tried to pretend no one influenced Bush in untoward manner ...

Cheney Plays Dumb

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emptywheel
As a teaser for the post I keep promising, but never delivering (identifying the document from which I think Cheney learned of Plame's identity), I'm going to make a quick point about Cheney's request to the CIA on June 10, 2003 for information on Wilson's trip. This email, written by Robert Grenier's Executive Assistant (but not seen by Grenier, if we can believe his trial testimony), repeats the story that Cheney
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The Guy Who Failed Points Fingers

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emptywheel
ThinkProgress had a piece the other day about Stephen Hadley visiting the Hill and blaming the military for the failure in Iraq. Two weeks ago, Sen. Richard Lugar (R-IN) shifted his position on Iraqin a speech on the Senate floor, where he called for a reduction of theU.S. military presence. After the speech, National Security AdviserStephen Hadley attempted to “calm Republican waters” over Iraq with avisit to the Hill, but his efforts

And While We're Talking about Taylors at the Center of the USA Purge

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emptywheel
281 days. That's how long--by my admittedly rough count--Jeff Taylor has been serving as Interim USA for DC. He's been serving roughly 21 days since George Bush signed a law that effectively did away with the PATRIOT appointment he currently serves under. Yet there he is, a former DOJ clique-member, Counselor to the Attorney General for four years, and before that Counsel to the Republican-led Senate Judiciary Committee. Yet come Wednesday, when

Sara's Sob Story

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emptywheel
Via Rawstory ... boy, Sara Taylor is pathetic. Faced with the likelihood that the Senate will hold her in contempt when she blows them off on Wednesday, her lawyer offers no legal argument, but a plea for pity. Until six weeks ago, Ms. Taylor was Director of the Office of Political Affairs in the White House.

You Want a Motive? Libby's Secret Mission

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emptywheel
Big Media Matt and Brendan Nyhan and Tom Maguire are puzzling over what motive Bush might have for commuting Libby's sentence. Since Maguire was helpful enough to quote from Team USA, I'll offer an explanation offered by Team Libby. (I could point to a number of Fitzgerald quotes about clouds and VicePresidents that Maguire is overlooking, but I find that Jeffress isbetter at soundbite than Fitzgerald.) In his closing argument, Bill

Libby's Going to Try to Get Out of Probation, Too

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emptywheel
At least that's what I'm wild-arsed-guessing from Libby's latest addition to his legal team. From the docket: NOTICE OF ATTORNEY APPEARANCE: Gregory Lawrence Poe appearing for I. LEWIS LIBBY (Poe, Gregory) (Entered: 07/06/2007) Greg Poe is from the same firm as Lawrence Robbins (the guy who argued for bond and deigned to tell Judge Walton how Scalia would rule on the Appointments Clause appeal).

Defense Lawyers Would Be Stupid

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emptywheel
I mentioned in my celebration of Jeralyn my friend whose clients never get the luxury of Presidential commutations. Well, he says this is an accurate quote, so I thought I'd let him have his say on Libby's commutation. David Moran, associate dean of the Wayne State University Law School,said Libby's commutation directly contradicts the Justice Department'sposition in the case of Victor Rita, a highly decorated veteranimprisoned for perjury under circumstances strikingly similar

Go Read Jeralyn

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emptywheel
I had a funny conversation about Libby's commutation the other with a friend who has argued several cases before SCOTUS--he pointed out that since he defends real thugs whose prosecutions included irregularities, his clients don't get considered for commutation. Like him, Jeralyn spends a lot of time dealing with clients who get none of the benefits accorded to Libby on Monday.

Libby's Timing

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emptywheel
In my post on the felon of considerable means, rhfactor noted that Libby's check paying his fine was dated July 2--the same day Bush obstructed justice commuted Libby's prison sentence. What a coinkydink, huh? But I checked with the good folks at the Prettyman Courthouse, and at least on the surface, there's nothing untoward about the date.
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The Woman Left the Commission

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emptywheel
James Fallows repeats a fascinating story Gary Hart and Lee Hamilton told him about the Hart-Rudman Commission. Early in 2001, the commission presented a report to the incoming G.W. Bush administration warning that terrorismwould be the nation's greatest national security problem, and sayingthat unless the United States took proper protective measures aterrorist attack was likely within its borders.
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