News Rove Invoved In Firing Of Attorneys General

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drankin

There is nothing more important than the Constitution. This is what soldiers [and politicians] are sworn to protect with their lives.
That's a fine statement, Ivan. What exactly is unconstitutional here? Or is this one of those grey areas that simply needs to be defined?
 

Ivan Seeking

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Obstruction of justice by the White House is certainly a Constitutional concern. Whether or not that happened is what needs to be determined. On the surface things, it appears that the legal process was being manipulated for political reasons.

Oh yes, and it does appear that someone lied to Congress.
 
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Astronuc

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Oh yes, and it does appear that someone lied to Congress.
And it is way more serious than Monica Lewinsky. :yuck:

Arbitrarily firing people (when the motive is replacing people with political cronies) and covering it up might be considered a violation of due process.
 

turbo

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And it is way more serious than Monica Lewinsky. :yuck:

Arbitrarily firing people (when the motive is replacing people with political cronies) and covering it up might be considered a violation of due process.
And firing prosecutors for successfully prosecuting Republicans (Duke Cunningham) or for failing to aggressively pursue Democratic candidates prior to the election should be considered obstruction of justice. If politicians are allowed to use the Justice Department to shield themselves or smear their opponents, then the DOJ is a joke.
 

BobG

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And it is way more serious than Monica Lewinsky. :yuck:

Arbitrarily firing people (when the motive is replacing people with political cronies) and covering it up might be considered a violation of due process.
Arbitrarily firing people to replace them with political cronies isn't unconstitutional and isn't even illegal.

Firing a US attorney to halt an investigation of political cronies or as punishment for not investigating political enemies in time for an election would be obstruction of justice, which is a crime, but not against the constitution.

Lying about the firings raises strong suspicions that there were motives the Justice Department didn't want exposed, but isn't obstruction of justice in itself. In fact, the only reason this raised any hubbub is that the reason given by the Justice Department hurt the reputation of the fired US Attorneys. Had the Justice Department said the attorneys were leaving to "spend more time with their families" neither the public nor future employers of the attorneys would have raised an eyebrow.

Providing a hurtful reason suggests that the firings were aimed at sending a message rather than just the normal replacement of political appointees with a new favorite.
 

drankin

And firing prosecutors for successfully prosecuting Republicans (Duke Cunningham) or for failing to aggressively pursue Democratic candidates prior to the election should be considered obstruction of justice. If politicians are allowed to use the Justice Department to shield themselves or smear their opponents, then the DOJ is a joke.
OK, now I get it. Thank you, turbo. Certainly, if that was the motivation for the firings, there needs to be some rules around that.
 

Astronuc

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And firing prosecutors for successfully prosecuting Republicans (Duke Cunningham)
That is believed to be the case regarding Carol Lam, USAttorney in San Diego, who successfully prosecuted Cunningham and others.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Carol_Lam

The controversy includes whether or not the firings were legitimately 'performance-based' or were really political retaliation with some subsequent lying to Congress or investigators about what actually did happen.
 

Ivan Seeking

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This morning at the WH press conference with Tony Snow:

Reporter: Why is there a large gap in the emails [released by the WH] just before the firings occurred?

Snow: I've been led to believe that there's a good answer for that question.

Hmmmmm....
 

Ivan Seeking

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OK, now I get it. Thank you, turbo. Certainly, if that was the motivation for the firings, there needs to be some rules around that.
There are rules [laws] about this. That's why this is an issue.
 
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The firings were definitely not due to poor performance.

WASHINGTON (AP) -- Six of the eight U.S. attorneys fired by the Justice Department ranked in the top third among their peers for the number of prosecutions filed last year, according to an analysis of federal records.
http://www.fox11az.com/news/topstories/stories/kmsb-20070321-apjc-firedprosicuters.170cf4c.html [Broken]

Bush is not going to allow "his people" to testify under oath.

http://sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?file=/c/a/2007/03/21/MNGRUOOV9T1.DTL
 
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Ivan Seeking

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Bush is claiming Executive Privilege, which is a legitimate Constitional concern, but the Supreme Court has ruled that this [EP] applies to matters of national security and otherwise sensitive issues, so he probably doesn't have a leg to stand on. Still, this may go to the SC.
 

Astronuc

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This morning at the WH press conference with Tony Snow:

Reporter: Why is there a large gap in the emails [released by the WH] just before the firings occurred?

Snow: I've been led to believe that there's a good answer for that question.

Hmmmmm....
Or misled as the case may be. :rofl:
 

turbo

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Bush is claiming Executive Privilege, which is a legitimate Constitional concern, but the Supreme Court has ruled that this [EP] applies to matters of national security and otherwise sensitive issues, so he probably doesn't have a leg to stand on. Still, this may go to the SC.
Nixon claimed Executive Privilege, too. It didn't fly. If Bush and Rove want to drag this into the courts, they will benefit from the press coverage of this issue since it will take air-time away from warrantless spying on US citizens, torture of detainees, lying about the need to wage wars, and a dozen other things that warrant impeachment. Bush is already making pronouncements about how the Democrats are engaging in a partisan "fishing expedition" and otherwise denigrating the Congress' responsibility to provide oversight over the actions of his administration. He had a free ride for 6 years.
 

Ivan Seeking

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If Bush and Rove want to drag this into the courts, they will benefit from the press coverage of this issue since it will take air-time away from warrantless spying on US citizens, torture of detainees, lying about the need to wage wars, and a dozen other things that warrant impeachment.
A red herring...? I thought about that. I can even imagine that the [apparently] missing emails were intentionally left out, but that the emails are meaningless.

Who planted the doc that took down Dan Rather? I still wonder about that. Do we know?

Or, maybe they have gotten that sloppy with the free ride.
 
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turbo

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By making a huge issue out of the President's "right" to deny Congress the ability to question his aides under oath, Bush is muddying the whole issue, and is casting the issue as if it is nasty partisan Democrats trying to cause injury to hard-working political appointees in his administration. The whole issue of checks and balances and Congressional oversight does not exist in Bush's little peanut brain. He is "the emperor" and we mere citizens have no right to know what he and his minions are up to. I wish Pelosi would "grow a set". By taking impeachment off the table, she has told Bush that he can proceed with impunity.
 

Ivan Seeking

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I just heard another interesting point made: By allowing his people to meet with Congress under any conditions, Bush has already agreed to yield on the issue of executive privilege. Therefore, one would tend to conclude that Bush is really worried about accountability.
 

turbo

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Snow has said today that if Congress issues subpoenas, the "offer" to let selected members of Congress "interview" aides (not under oath, with no transcripts, and with no right of recall of witnesses) will be withdrawn. Big deal. Under those limitations, generalizations, "hazy recall" etc will allow perjury and cover-up to go unpunished. The WH has turned over no internal emails regarding this issue from mid-November until Dec 6th, when the firings started. This is suspicious, since after the Republicans lost both houses of Congress, Rove et al may have been seeking retribution against prosecutors who failed to bring enough cases against Democrats in the months before the election. It is time that Congress started providing the oversight that it is tasked with. The last six years have been disgusting, with a shameless grab of power by the executive branch and a compliant Congress satisfied with filling their own pockets and keeping their cushy jobs.
 

BobG

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I'd look for a few more instances of 'coincidental timing' of US Attorneys to come out.

Here's one. Abramoff was first investigated for lobbying activities back in 2002. The day after a grand jury in Guam subpoenaed records concerning Abramoff, the acting US Attorney, Frederick Black, was demoted. Black was also investigating Guam's Democratic governor, Carl Gutierrez, at the time.

Finally appointing someone to replace a temporary official really wouldn't be very unusual. In fact, having someone serve as a temporary official for over a decade, as Black did, is more unusual than replacing a temporary official. Still, I'd look for questions about the timing of that replacement to come up, as well.

And, obviously, while the replacement of Black delayed Abramoff's problems from hitting the headlines, it didn't prevent it.

Boston Globe - Bush removal ended Guam investigation - US attorney's demotion halted probe of lobbyist
 
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I am still hoping that this will be the Rubicon--too much executive arrogance, and fire in the belly provided by an upcoming election, and years of unfulfilled promise for bi-partisan politics from 2001 outward, with nary an olive branch. Dems are spoiling for a fight.

Bush, must have better reason than pure allegiance to his appointee, for a tooth and nail fight to the end, maybe hopeful that as a lameduck, and promises by pelosi it will never reach impeachment. But part of Pelosi's promise was meant to put some distance between her and her Northern California district that already has impeachment mandates in place--like yes this is my electorate, but I have more sweeping, national views. Well if the dominos fall, she may change her tune. Bush needs to be careful IMO.
 

Ivan Seeking

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Now I want to know about the "missing" emails as much as anything else. That is sooooo reminiscent of Nixon's missing 18.5 minutes. And it could well be an obstruction of justice issue. .

But I had hoped and thought that Gonzales would be gone by now. It seems that both sides are working hard behind the scenes to prevent an all out Constitutional crisis. Of course, I think we reached the point of a crisis nearly five years ago.
 

Ivan Seeking

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Whoops!

WASHINGTON -- Attorney General Alberto Gonzales approved plans to fire several U.S. attorneys in a November meeting, according to documents released Friday that contradict earlier claims that he was not closely involved in the dismissals. [continued]
http://www.indystar.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20070324/NATIONWORLD/703240464/1012/NATIONWORLD [Broken]

This is going to make the "you should trust us" argument a bit harder to push.
 
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Ivan Seeking

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This all just got much more interesting.

WASHINGTON Mar 26, 2007 (AP)— Monica Goodling, a Justice Department official involved in the firings of federal prosecutors, will refuse to answer questions at upcoming Senate hearings, citing Fifth Amendment protection against self-incrimination, her lawyer said Monday.

"The potential for legal jeopardy for Ms. Goodling from even her most truthful and accurate testimony under these circumstances is very real," said the lawyer, John Dowd. [continued]
http://www.abcnews.go.com/Politics/wireStory?id=2982627

I don't know what this means since there are no specific legal allegations yet.
 

Ivan Seeking

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WASHINGTON — Attorney General Alberto Gonzales was more deeply involved in the firings of eight U.S. attorneys than he has sometimes acknowledged, and Gonzales and his aides have made a series of inaccurate claims about the issue in recent weeks, the attorney general's former chief of staff testified Thursday.

In testimony to the Senate Judiciary Committee, D. Kyle Sampson also revealed that David Iglesias, U.S. Attorney in New Mexico, was not added to the dismissal list until just before the Nov. 7 elections, following complaints from presidential adviser Karl Rove that Iglesias had not been aggressive enough in pursuing voter-fraud cases. Previously, Rove had not been tied so directly to the removal of the prosecutors. [continued]
http://www.chron.com/disp/story.mpl/politics/4674034.html

If there is nothing to this, one really has to wonder why we have so many contradictions. I keep thinking that we don't know the real issue yet.
 
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gonz will resign. maybe the dems, so emboldened, will insist on a reexamination of all the spy issues gonz stamped as legal and valid.
 

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