Tag Archives: U.S. Attorney Purge


Senate Democrats Subpoena Rove

Frog march:

Senate Judiciary Chairman Patrick Leahy issued subpoena’s today for White House political director Karl Rove and one of his deputies, Jay Jennnings.

Leahy said he had tried to get information from Rove about the firing of U.S. attorneys apparently for political reasons but that the White House has refused to comply. “I’ve exhausted every avenue, sought the voluntary cooperatio of Karl Rove and J. Scott Jennings, but to no avail.”


Dems Pass Contempt Citation against Bolten and Miers in Committee

A House Judiciary Committee cited two top loyal Bushies with contempt of Congress charges today:

The Democratic-controlled House Judiciary Committee, on a 22-17 party-line vote, approved citations against Joshua Bolten, White House chief of staff, and former counsel Harriet Miers. Bolten refused to turn over documents related to the dismissals, and Miers disobeyed a subpoena to appear before the panel and answer questions about her role in the firings.

The issuance of contempt citations, which also requires approval by the full House of Representatives, would escalate the dispute between Bush and Congress over the president’s assertion of executive privilege to forbid testimony by his aides.

Ignoring the fact that the refusal of the White House to turn over evidence had led to the citation, Republicans argued that the citation was unnecessary because there was no evidence of wrongdoing.


“Warrantless Wiretaps” Now Spun into “Warrant-Free Eavesdropping”

This reeks of classic Rove.

The AP — and therefore official mainstream media — wording for Bush/Cheney’s warrantless wiring taping program is suddenly the new and improved “warrant-free program” or alternatively, “warrant-free eavesdropping.”

“Warrantless” wiring taping sounds as if what you did was without a warrant, which would make it illegal. “Warrant-free” just means you were unfettered by warrants. That sounds so much nicer.

Think about it. Warrantless wiring taping sounds as if what you did was without a warrant, which would make it illegal. Warrant-free just means you were unfettered by warrants. That sounds so much nicer, doesn’t it? Like sugar-free is superior to sugarless, or law-free is better than illegal.

And eavesdropping is what Lucy did to Ethel when she was trying to find out what Ricky was getting for her birthday. Wiring tapping…well, that makes makes you think of Watergate.

Here was yesterday’s debut usage, picked up by CNN:

The Senate subpoenaed the White House and Vice President Dick Cheney’s office Wednesday, demanding documents and elevating the confrontation with President Bush over the administration’s warrant-free eavesdropping on Americans.

And here’s today’s, picked up by newspapers everywhere:

Just Wednesday, the Senate Judiciary Committee subpoenaed the White House and Vice President Dick Cheney’s office, demanding documents pertaining to terrorism-era warrant-free eavesdropping. “It’s an outrageous request,” White House press secretary Tony Snow said.

I like that “terrorism-era” tacked in front. That tells you these are dangerous times we’re living in, and they call for desperate measures. Which it’s really not AP’s job to tell you.

Meanwhile at trustworthy Reuters, it’s still warrantless, plus it’s domestic spying:

The assertion of executive privilege to the congressional subpoenas for material related to the probe on the firings of the prosecutors comes one day after Leahy’s committee subpoenaed the White House for documents related to the administration’s warrantless domestic spying program.

Right on, Reuters.


Video: Tim Griffin Cryin’ and Denyin’ He ‘Caged’ Votes for Bush-Cheney ’04

Cryin’ Denyin’

And lyin’: Former White House communications deputy Tim Griffin was caught on tape earlier this month crying about the sudden collapse of his career and then, with all faux outrage he could muster, denying he suppressed votes in the 2004 presidential election of African-American troops serving overseas — despite hard-copy evidence to the contrary.

Corporate media is ignoring the scandal despite the fact that the BBC has emails from Griffin that contain caging lists in attachments.

Griffin’s remarks were made at the Clinton School of Public Service at the University of Arkansas soon after he’d stepped down as U.S. Attorney (USA) in Little Rock. The tears came as he thanked everyone who’d ever been nice to him along his career route from RNC operative to White House Communications deputy to Republican operative posing as a federal prosecutor.

The denial came in an answer to a question from the audience about reports of his involvement in caging activities in 2004. Griffin rambled a bit as he responded to charges made by BBC investigator Greg Palast dating back to October 2004, just days before the presidential elections, that Griffin and others had used “caging” to suppress Democratic votes in Florida.

Despite the fact that Palast has possession of emails sent by Griffin for which the subject was “Re. caging,” and that have caging lists — names of voters targeted for suppression — attached to them, Griffin said:

First of all, the allegations that are on the Internet and have spread through the tabloids are completely and absolutely false, number one. And ridiculous. Caging, as you may know, I had it looked up, is a direct-mail term for basically organizing returned mail. … And I’ll just say that it’s so untrue. … This is all made up and faux pas. I didn’t cage votes, I didn’t cage mail, I didn’t cage animals, I’m not a zookeeper.

From the outset in 2004, corporate media has ignored Palast’s findings on the GOP’s voter suppression activities. In May, however, their studied ambivalence was challenged — but not broached, apparently — when another White House operative, Monica Goodling, mentioned Griffin’s involvement in the caging enterprise during sworn testimony before the House Justice committee:

Despite my and others’ best efforts, [Deputy Attorney General, Paul McNulty]’s public testimony was incomplete or inaccurate in a number of respects. … I believe that the Deputy was not fully candid about his knowledge of White House involvement in the replacement decision … and failed to disclose that he had some knowledge of allegations that Tim Griffin had been involved in vote “caging” during his work on the President’s 2004 campaign.

(During the 2000 election, Goodling and Griffin worked together as opposition researchers at the Republican National Committee.)

After Goodling’s testimony, big media’s efforts to avoid this story were challenged again when Palast granted House Judiciary Chairman John Conyers’ request to see Griffin’s emails about the caging lists. The meeting between Palast and Conyers on May 31 did not go unnoticed by Griffin, however — nor perhaps did Conyer’s statement, “We’re not through with Griffin by any means.” Within hours of the meeting, Griffin resigned as the Arkansas USA.

The particulars of Griffin’s appointment last December came to light during the investigation into the unprecedented firing of USAs by the Bush Dept. of Justice when it was revealed that his predecessor, Bud Cummins, had been fired in order to install Griffin in Little Rock, apparently as a plant to oversee voter suppression in Arkansas.

Compounding the scandal, it was also revealed that Griffin was put in place under a provision the Bushies slipped into the Patriot Act that allowed the president to appoint federal prosecutors with Senate approval. (The provision has since been over-ridden.)


Senate GOP Kills Gonzo ‘No Confidence’ Vote

The move by Democrats to register a “no confidence” vote against Attorney General Alberto Gonzales failed in a procedural vote. The measure received 53 votes out of the 60 required to move forward. From my count via C-SPAN, all the Democrats voted for the measure.

The 38 votes against holding the vote all came from Republicans, except for Sen. Joe Lieberman, the former Democrat from Connecticut.

Republicans voting with the Democrats to proceed to the no-confidence vote included Arlen Specter, the chairman of the Judiciary Committee and others who are up for re-election next year in states that could swing to the Democrats, including Olympia Snowe of Maine, Norm Coleman of Minnesota and others.

News & Comment Politics

Former White House Communications Deputy Tim Griffin Resigns after Evidence Ties Him to Alleged Voter Suppression

The White House installed Griffin as U.S. Attorney without Senate approval using a provision they’d slipped into the Patriot Act.

Big media is ignoring the story that former White House Deputy Communications Director — and former RNC Research Director — Tim Griffin resigned as the U.S. Attorney in Arkansas last week after evidence revealed he was directly involved in alleged voter suppression in the 2004 elections.

This may be the first time you’ve heard of the illegal tactic of “caging” voters, but if BBC investigator Greg Palast is correct, it will not be the last.

Caging is a form of voter suppression involving registered mail. Typically, campaigns send registered letters to voters who are are unlikely to respond — soldiers serving overseas, for example. A list is compiled of the voters whose mail is returned marked undeliverable, or “caged.” On election day, when people on the caging list arrive to vote, campaign operatives are on hand to float challenges to their residency in the precinct. Palast says caging is a felony.

Palast recently obtained hundreds of emails sent by White House officials to Bush-Cheney operatives during the 2004 campaign. Among these were emails containing caging lists sent by Griffin, apparently in his role as communications deputy. Late last week, Palast agreed to show Griffin’s emails to Rep. John Conyers, chairman of the Judiciary Committee. On Thursday, Griffin abruptly announced his resignation in Little Rock, citing an urgent need to work in the private sector. (Some sources say Griffin is in negotiations to join Fred Thompson’s presidential campaign; while one wag suggests Griffin resigned “to spend more time in jail.“)

Griffin’s name first surfaced nationally in the investigation into the Bush administration’s unprecedented firing of eight U.S. attorneys last December. He has been depicted as a protege of Karl Rove with no real prosecutorial experience who was chosen to replace Bud Cummins as federal prosecutor in the Little Rock office. His appointment created a controversy in Arkansas — and in the U.S. Senate — when it was revealed that the White House installed him without Senate approval using a provision on “interim” appointments they’d slipped into the Patriot Act.

Why would the U.S. Dept. of Justice replace a seasoned, successful prosecutor with a political operative whose last job was working for the White House communications department? Here’s how David Iglesias, the New Mexico U.S. attorney who was also fired in December, described why the Bushies wanted him out of the way:

“They wanted a political operative who happened to be a US attorney … and when they got somebody who actually took his oath to the Constitution seriously, they were appalled and they wanted me out of there. The two strikes against me was, I was not political, I didn’t help them out on their bogus voter fraud prosecutions.”

None of this is new, by the way. In 2004, Palast, working then as now for the BBC, accused Griffin and the GOP of caging the votes of African-American service personnel who lived in Florida but were serving in Iraq — but this, too went unnoticed by America’s corporate media.

See Greg Palast’s BBC report on vote fraud, including caging, from Oct. 2004.

Update: The story is even older than I indicated previously. Palast first reported it in 2004, not 2006, as I’d stated earlier. Thanks to Brad Friedman for the correct date.

Update 2: Here is a link to additional posts on voter fraud by Greg Palast at Bradblog.


Breaking: Senate Dems to Seek No Confidence Vote on Gonzo

Just saw on MSNBC that the Associated Press is reporting that Senate Democrats will seek a no confidence vote on Attorney Gen. Alberto Gonzales.

It’s gratifying that they’re doing something, however it’s hard to fathom why they don’t just impeach him instead.


McCain On Gonzales — ‘Nobody Asked Me’

In a post earlier today, I quoted John McCain as telling The Politico that nobody had asked him whether Attorney General Alberto Gonzales should resign. That no one would ask one of the putative GOP front-runners in the prez election what he thought about what is rapidly becoming a non-partisan issue struck an alert Editor Trish as odd. So she sent me back to the Internets to see what I could find.

‘That’s why I think the attorney general would be serving the man he admires and has been friends with for many, many years by stepping down.’
— John McCain

Indeed, either McCain’s memory is as bad as Gonzales’ or he is lying about being asked the question before yesterday when he said Gonzales should resign.

This quote ran in an April 20 story about gun control in the aftermath of the Virginia Tech shootings:

Yesterday, McCain reiterated his strong support for the war in Iraq and was noncommittal on the future of Attorney General Alberto Gonzales. McCain said he believes how Gonzales handled yesterday’s hearings before the Senate Judiciary Committee will be a key factor in whether he should remain in office or resign.

This ran yesterday:

Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., told reporters in New Hampshire as he officially declared his presidential candidacy that he would have more to say on Gonzales on Thursday. Then, he told CNN’s Larry King that he was “very disappointed” in Gonzales’ performance and, asked whether Gonzales should step down, said: “I think that out of loyalty to the president that that would probably be the best thing that he could do.”

But that’s all I could find. Maybe they didn’t ask, or maybe McCain just didn’t tell.

This is the rest of what McCain told The Politico yesterday, before he blabbed to Larry King:

“But the Justice Department is the last institution of government where there should be any politicization of any kind. We’re talking about the administration of Justice.

“That’s why I think that the situation has been very frustrating to a lot of people. But I also think it’s probably harmed the president. That’s why I think the attorney general would be serving the man he admires and has been friends with for many, many years by stepping down.”

Asked why the situation had been allowed to drag on so long, McCain said: “I really don’t know. You see these things happen and it’s pretty easy for you to figure out.” But he added that it can be less clear “inside the bubble.”

McCain also said ruefully that he had no insight into communication among the president’s inner circle. “As you know,” he said with a mischievous smile, “I’m not the most frequent visitor to the White House.”

And the way McCain’s campaign is going, it doesn’t look like his White House visit frequency is going to increase any time soon.


Edwards to Bush: Fire Karl Rove

John Edwards will use the first national presidential debate tonight to call for Karl Rove’s job.

According to a campaign email, Edwards feels Rover has crossed a line.

New evidence shows that Rove has been methodically working to twist even the most impartial branches of the federal government—including the Justice Department—to serve the Republican Party at the expense of the American people.

Enough is enough. Impartial justice must be protected. Integrity in government must be defended. Karl Rove must be fired.

Tomorrow, John Edwards is going on national television to take part in the first presidential debate. And that night, he’s going to call on George Bush to fire Karl Rove.

The Edwards camp is asking that we sign a petition calling for Rover’s ousting, so he can say, “X number of Americans want this.”

Will Bush listen? Not to John alone. Not to you or me alone. But if thousands, tens of thousands, hundreds of thousands of us speak out together to demand accountability for Karl Rove and end their era of cynical, destructive, partisan government—we cannot be ignored.

Wanna bet?

But hey, I certainly agree with what he’s saying so I signed the petition. It’s easy and you don’t even have to give your address, so go for it. It’s better than just wishing.

Update: According to the counter on the site, there are 42,000 signatures so far. I know there are more of you out there who want to see Rove go. Imagine if Bush had to think things up all by himself. The laughs alone are worth signing the petition!


House Authorizes Subpoena, Immunity for Monica Goodling

You remember Monica Goodling — she was the highest ranking among the 150 the Christian Nationalist plants inside the Dept. of Justice who said she would take the Fifth instead of testifying before Congress about the firing of eight U.S. attorneys last year. Why? Because, she said, otherwise she would be forced to lie about her contacts with Karl Rove and perhaps even Pres. Bush.

Goodling would have been the first Dept. of Justice employee in the history of the republic to plead the Fifth before congress. Apparently unsure what else to do with her, the Bushies forced her to resign.

Today the House Judiciary Committee voted to issue a subpoena to Goodling, and made her an offer she could not refuse: an offer of immunity from prosecution.