... sticking to the story that axing the US Attorneys was "the right thing to do."
Harriet, oh Harriet Miers, the Senate Judiciary Committee wants to talk to you and to your little friend Mr. Sampson...
No wonder she resigned in January.
Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY) had a pretty complete rundown of the false statements made by Justice Department officials to Congress and the press.
From a March 13th press conference:
"Schumer: Here are some of the falsehoods we've been told that are now unraveling.
First, we were told that the seven of the eight U.S. attorneys were fired for performance reasons.
It now turns out this was a falsehood, as the glowing performance evaluations attest.
Second, we were told by the attorney general that he would, quote, "never, ever make a change for political reasons."
It now turns out that this was a falsehood, as all the evidence makes clear that this purge was based purely on politics, to punish prosecutors who were perceived to be too light on Democrats or too tough on Republicans.
Third, we were told by the attorney general that this was just an overblown personnel matter.
It now turns out that far from being a low-level personnel matter, this was a longstanding plan to exact political vendettas or to make political pay-offs.
Fourth, we were told that the White House was not really involved in the plan to fire U.S. attorneys. This, too, turns out to be false.
Harriet Miers was one of the masterminds of this plan, as demonstrated by numerous e-mails made public today. She communicated extensively with Kyle Sampson about the firings of the U.S. attorneys. In fact, she originally wanted to fire and replace the top prosecutors in all 93 districts across the country.
Fifth, we were told that Karl Rove had no involvement in getting his protege appointed U.S. attorney in Arkansas.
In fact, here is a letter from the Department of Justice. Quote: "The department is not aware of Karl Rove playing any role in the decision to appoint Mr. Griffin."
It now turns out that this was a falsehood, as demonstrated by Mr. Sampson's own e-mail. Quote: "Getting him, Griffin, appointed was important to Harriet, Karl, et cetera.
Sixth, we were told to change the Patriot Act was an innocent attempt to fix a legal loophole, not a cynical strategy to bypass the Senate's role in serving as a check and balance.
It was Senator Feinstein who discovered that issue. She'll talk more about it.
So there has been misleading statement after misleading statement -- deliberate misleading statements. And we haven't gotten to the bottom of this yet, but believe me, we will pursue it."
Hang in there Democrats .. pull the thread to unravel all this .. there was zero oversight during the last six years, who knows what you will find.
Now, no one is complaining because Bush fired US attorneys .. this is his right as President. Clinton fired most all of them when he took office, got into a lot of trouble over it.
The questions arise about the Bush firings because these attorneys had received glowing work reports while Congress was told they were replaced because of poor performance.
Congress was also told that politics didn't play a role in the firings .. but now e-mails, phone conversations, and testimony all show that political considerations were at the root of the dismissals.
Quote: "Getting him, Griffin, appointed was important to Harriet, Karl.." et cetera.
You can follow the latest results and view the email trail here:
Yes .. Clinton cleaned house of the previous Admin's appointees .. included everyone, no matter what they were working on, whether it favored R's or D's. Bush Jr. looked to selectively purge prosecutors who were not carrying political water for the GOP.
Of course, the one big difference between then and now is there was no Patriot Act with a clause that essentially allowed the president to appoint these attorneys without the Senate's approval.
And that is really what concerns a lot of those lawmakers .. Republicans are coming forth .. worried that it really tips the balance here, perhaps even an abuse of power, between the legislative and executive branches.
March 24, 1993 - Barely two months into the Clinton administration.
2006 - Almost six years into the Bush administration.
Some people think that this whole firing dust up might be a smoke screen for the removal of one US Attorney -- Carol Lam. Look at the language in a May 11, 2006 email .. where Kyle Sampson, Gonzales's chief of staff, urged Harriet Miers to call him regarding "the real problem we have right now with Carol Lam."
Lam had already sent the corrupt former Republican lawmaker Duke Cunningham to jail for bribery and corruption .. her investigation into Cunningham's co-conspirators was starting to heat up. Getting closer and closer to the CIA .. executive director Dusty Foggo, a good friend of CIA director Porter Goss and Karl Rove. Closer and closer to defense contractor (ADCS Inc) Brent Wilkes .. about the $2.4 million in cash and other benefits he gave Cunningham to steer government business his way.
Porter Goss had resigned as CIA director and Rep. Jerry Lewis had been implicated in the scandal. On May 12, 2006, FBI agents executed search warrants on Foggo's office and home.
Note the phrasing "the real problem we have right now with Carol Lam" .. Carol Lam and not Dusty Foggo's corruption is the problem. Yes .. her firing sure would jeopardize those ongoing investigations.
I want to know more about the 2005 firing of Guam US Attorney Frederick A. Black .. who had just launched a probe into the activities of Jack Abramoff. Black had been Attorney General for more than a decade but was fired the day after he issued subpoenas related to a series of $9,000 checks issued to Abramoff.
You can read about it here:
I remember when Bush said he was going to "restore honor and integrity to the White House".....
...he's running out of time...
Is it 2008 yet?