April 14, 2007

More Mysteries about the US Attorney Case

Interestingly, the document that both the NY Times and TPMMuckracker cited yesterday is the same document (page 20) dated January 9, 2006, that I'd found from the original document dump and cited in a couple of posts. The big difference? In the original document had used white-out on the replacement candidates for Carol Lam while the newer copy provided had the replacement candidates intact.

Here's the original email sent by the DoJ:

original-doc.JPG

Here's the latest version:

new-document.JPG

Why release it with the replacement names in the next huge document dump?

Also in the original file, page 12 and page 16 had the same information that Sampson put into his email to Harriet Miers as a formal memorandum for the counsel to the President, yet these pages were blackened so the text was obscured. Why release this memorandum with the information blackened out?

Finally, this document was published on January 9, 2006. Exactly one year earlier on January 9, 2005, Kyle Sampson wrote another email on this very same topic.

Judge and I discussed briefly a couple of weeks ago. My thoughts are:

1. As a legal matter, U.S. Attorneys serve a 4-year term and may holdover indefinitely thereafter (all at the pleasure of the President, of course). None of the President's U.S. Attorney appointees have served a full term yet -- the first were confirmed in September 2001, and many were confirmed during the 12 months thereafter. Although they serve at the pleasure of the President, it would be weird to ask them to leave before completing at least a 4-year term.
2. As a historical matter, U.S. Attorneys served at least until the expiration of their 4-year terms. In 2001, President Bush43 fired the Clinton-appointed U.S. Attorneys, some of whom were in the midst of a 4-year term, but many of whom had completed their 4-year terms and were serving in a holdover status.
3. As an operational matter, we would like to replace 15-20 percent of the current U.S. Attorneys -- the underperforming ones. (This is a rough guess; we might want to consider doing performance evaluations after Judge comes on board.) The vast majority of the U.S. Attorneys, 80-85 percent, I would guess, are doing a great job, are loyal Bushies, etc., etc. Due to the history, it would certainly send ripples through the U.S. Attorney community if we told folks they got one term only (as a general matter, the Reagan U.S. Attorneys would not be permitted to continue on through the Bush41 Administration) -- indeed, even performance evaluations likely would create ripples, though this wouldn't necessarily be a bad thing.
4. As a political matter, each of our U.S. Attorneys has been recommended by one or more political leaders in their home State. I suspect that when push comes to shove, home-State Senators likely would resist wholesale (or even piecemeal) replacement of U.S. Attorneys they recommend (see Senator Hatch and the Utah U.S. Attorney). That said, if Karl thinks there would be the political will to do it, then so do I.

Judge is obviously the soon to be approved AG: Abu Gonzales. But why would it take a full year to come out with the first "plan" and formal response on Karl's question. And then almost another full year before that plan was put into action? After all, the meeting where Abu approved the list was held November 11, 2006. Just what else where they up to? Certainly one thing they did during that time was to insert that little escape clause into the Patriot Act.

One more observation: Jeffrey Taylor was given as a potential replacement for Carol Lam. By the time Carol Lam was fired, he'd already named via the Patriot Act exemption the U.S. Attorney for DC, which as Laura Rozen notes is quite useful for the Bushies. What is even more interesting is Carol Lam got the nomination originally over a large pool of potential candidates which included the very same Jeffrey Taylor.

Lam became U.S. attorney after a drawn-out search to fill the top prosecutor's slot in San Diego. A political independent who had spent less than two years as a Democratic appointee to a state court judgeship, Lam won out over a crowded candidate field that included Jeffrey Taylor, a former Republican Senate committee counsel who now is the U.S. attorney for the District of Columbia.

“She was a wonderful political appointee – she was a woman, she was Asian-American, she went to Stanford and Yale, clerked for a judge, she was a terrific lawyer and a mother and a wife,” said Pete Nunez, a former San Diego U.S. attorney who hired Lam as an assistant U.S. attorney in San Diego in 1986. “She was a superwoman – what else would you want?”

Instead of Jeffrey Taylor, the San Diego office is being run by Karen P. Hewitt, a member of the Federalist Society. Looks like they can update that spreadsheet now. What damage is she doing under the guise of justice?

For the more muck-obsessed among us, a careful perusal of the TPM scandal timeline is a good way to delve deeper into the details.

Posted by Mary at April 14, 2007 08:38 PM | Law/Justice | Technorati links |
Comments

Very interstin´ NYTimes article:nuke arms race

NYTIMES ARTICLE: current developments in the mid east


It makes the point that the Iranians build nukes, obviously invited thru the situation in Iraq. They trigger the 100000 American "friends" over there. Now, because this situation is spiraling out of control, oil is expensive. With this money and the threat felt other states in the region build now- NUKES!

Hillarious results, Mr. Bush!

out of the article:

The Middle East has seen hints of a regional nuclear-arms race before. After Israel obtained its first weapon four decades ago, several countries took steps down the nuclear road. But many analysts say it is Iran’s atomic intransigence that has now prodded the Sunni powers into getting serious about hedging their bets and, like Iran, financing them with $65-a-barrel oil.

Posted by: ccoaler at April 15, 2007 03:57 AM

Bush is currently seriously endariging the US position as worlds lone superpower

I mean the main prob is that the US offers a fuck of a protection for more liberal Arab states. Theyre switchin to self defense. White mission total failure, Mr. Bush.
60 people die a day, 3 mio displaced, 600000 dead. Noone wants to be part of this american dream.

(earlier post)


Very interstin´ NYTimes article:nuke arms race

NYTIMES ARTICLE: current developments in the mid east


It makes the point that the Iranians build nukes, obviously invited thru the situation in Iraq. They trigger the 100000 American "friends" over there. Now, because this situation is spiraling out of control, oil is expensive. With this money and the threat felt other states in the region build now- NUKES!

Hillarious results, Mr. Bush!

out of the article:

The Middle East has seen hints of a regional nuclear-arms race before. After Israel obtained its first weapon four decades ago, several countries took steps down the nuclear road. But many analysts say it is Iran’s atomic intransigence that has now prodded the Sunni powers into getting serious about hedging their bets and, like Iran, financing them with $65-a-barrel oil.

Posted by: ccoaler at April 15, 2007 07:11 AM