Your daily drivetime update on the US Attorney Purge...
Impeach Gonzales. A commenter pointed out that this petition was a little buried, and as more time goes by and more lawlessness occurs on Gonzales' watch, the more important it is to start building a movement to impeach him. Please sign the petition.
(As far as I can tell, no news).
1. Fired Southern California USA Carol Lam: , we have a little more detail on Lam's firing (h/t kurious). It turns out that Lam did not want to resign right away, citing the need to tend to some high profile cases (e.g. Duke Cunningham). Main Justice, and specifically Michael Elston and Kyle Sampson, didn't want to hear it, and Elston even said that her concern for her cases was "not being received positively" in DC. Sampson threatened to fire her (by Presidential order) if she did not resign by close of business January 16. She relented. Step back for a moment and realize that this is an enormous amount of pressure being put on a USA, especially considering that Main Justice did have a replacement ready, and did have a prior documented reason for her firing. But they sure wanted her out of there in a hurry, didn't they? I still believe Lam is the crown jewel of this investigation.
2. Fired New Mexico USA David Iglesias: , the American Center for Voting Rights makes an appearance in Iglesias' ouster.
3. Former Central California USA Debra Wong Yang: , Yang's replacement might be Thomas O'Brien, as opposed to the indefinite "interim" appointment of George Cardona.
4. Fired Western Washington USA John McKay: , Gonzales admits in testimony that he's not sure why McKay was fired, based on the admission that the time when McKay was added to the list preceded the time when McKay started having "problems" with Main Justice. Also, note towards the end of the video (about 40 sec left) that Gonzales slips a little- he starts to say "when I made the decis...when I accepted the recommendations." It's a little thing, and it's by no means evidence, but this little slipup tells us that Gonzales, in his own mind, did have some role in deciding on the firings. But we already knew that, didn't we?
5. Fired Arizona USA Paul Charlton: , apparently the death penalty is cherished so much among loyal Bushies that they get irritated when a certain US Attorney from Arizona (ahem) tries to make them think about it for longer than a nanosecond. Classy.
6. Fired Nevada USA Daniel Bogden: , Lady Monica describes the 11/27/06 meeting that decided Bogden's fate. Paul McNulty raised an objection to his firing, Sampson said 'we can do better,' and Alberto Gonzales said 'ok.' And that, apparently, was that.
7. Fired Eastern Arkansas USA Bud Cummins: , emphasis mine:
"Bud runs a campaign and McNulty refuses to say Bud is lazy- which is why we got rid of him in the first place."
That was former Rove top aide Sara Taylor, in reaction to Tim Griffin's decision not to face Senate confirmation to replace Cummins. As I emphasized, Ms. Taylor worked in the White House, and she certainly believed she had a role in Cummins' firing and Griffin's hiring. Muckraker has more here.
8. Reassigned Guam USA Frederick Black: , James Risser looks into this in an extensive diary. Set aside some time if you want to read this.
9. Fired Western Missouri USA Todd Graves: , from testimony yesterday, Graves was pretty pissed about Lady Monica's casual smear of him during her testimony. He gets a chance to explain and rebut what she talked about. Keep in mind the demeanor, aura, and words from The Schloz' testimony, and note the contrast with Mr. Graves's testimony there.
10. Former Interim Western Missouri USA Bradley Schlozman: , The Schloz doesn't even trust Republicans who voted for freakin' McCain. Good lord. At the risk of sounding shrill and hyper, I swear The Schloz would feel really, really comfortable wearing jackboots and an armband.
11. Former Minnesota USA Thomas Heffelfinger: , according to Joseph Rich (DoJ's former head of Voting Rights division), The Schloz' treatment of a voter discrimination issue raised by Heff was unusual (h/t eartha). Money quote:
"I was given instructions that I read to be, 'Don't push it,"' Rich said.
Also, Eric Black at the Minneapolis Star Tribune goes more indepth about The Schloz, Rich, and why Heff was vulnerable (h/t eartha again). Hint: he's not satisfied and wants to dig some more.
12. Minnesota USA Rachel Paulose: , from Lady Monica's testimony, Princess' conservative credentials helped her get the job (h/t eartha). Also, let's not forget that Princess and The Lady were friends while Princess worked at Main Justice (no link, just vague recollection)- did that affect Princess' chances? Probably. All of this really chaps my ass, and is probably one of the main reasons why the AUSAs under her demoted themselves.
13. Fired Western Michigan USA Margaret Chiara: , this NYT article has Chiara as a source for and a witness of Lady Monica's hyperpartisanship.
14. Eastern Wisconsin USA Steven Biskupic: , and now the DoJ may have to foot the bill for Ms. Georgia Thompson's wrongful imprisonment (see this for more detail). Ms. Thompson is suing for back pay, legal fees and other expenses. Some in the state of Wisconsin want Biskupic's office to be held financially responsible for this fiasco:
I certainly will take a good look at it, but the person who ought to pay the bill is (U.S. Attorney Steven M.) Biskupic," [State Senator Russ] Decker said. "He's the guy who screwed it up by going after a political agenda."
15. District of Columbia USA Jeffrey Taylor: , this article here mostly focuses on Jay Apperson's history, but keep in mind that it was Taylor who ultimately hired him. In a vacuum, this odd hire (and its odd process) might mean nothing. But we're not in a vacuum. Taylor was a close aide to Gonzales before getting this USA job, he interacted with Main Justice frequently WRT hiring Apperson, and any hire he makes that is outside the normal screening process (as was the case with Apperson) deserves close scrutiny.
16. Western Pennsylvania USA Mary Beth Buchanan: , seesdifferent has an update on his diary on Buchanan, adding a little more fuel to the "voter fraud" fire.
17. Alaska USA Nelson Cohen: , the DoJ picked this guy to be the Alaska USA over the recommendations of both Republican home state Senators Stevens and Murkowski (h/t TPM). What was so special about Cohen that the home state Republicans had to be overruled? The article hints that Cohen had a desire to return to Alaska, but that's not how these things are supposed to work. Home state Senators are supposed to have significant, if not complete, influence on who gets nominated to be a US Attorney. It looks like the DoJ in DC rode roughshod over the Senators' recommendations- why?
18. Central Pennsylvania USA Thomas Marino: , umm, okay...good luck? Marino is considering a run for Congress against Dem freshman Chris Carney. Personal opinion: if Marino ends up being more antiwar than Chris Carney, then let the Repubs have this one.
19. Northern Texas USA Richard Roper: , hat tip to James Risser for tipping me off to this story in his diary. Quite simply, what the hell's been going on in this office? They open an investigation into Novation LLC, and two of the Assistant US Attorney's (AUSAs) working the case suddenly die. Two months later, three other AUSA's in the Dallas office resigned, two to go into private practice, and one to retire. You'll note in James Risser's diary that he discusses the Western Missouri US Attorney's office, because there is a lawsuit against Novation by a company in that area (I think?), Medical Supply Chain. But I separate that out, because that's a whole other ball of wax. If strange things happen after a US Attorney's office opens an investigation into Republican targets, however, then I get interested. And with the Dallas USA office opening a (according to the NYT link) "broad investigation" into Novation/Tenet and other health care and pharma giants, I'm interested to see where that investigation headed, and if/why it was suppressed.
20. New Jersey USA Chris Christie: , seesdifferent again looks at one of the potential Purge victims, and again finds "voter fraud" at the core of the original problem with this Bush Pioneer. So in addition to Silsby (#29), Miller (#27), and Buchanan (#16), we can add Christie to the pile of USAs that were considered for firing because of "voter fraud." seesdifferent, if you're out there, I'd love it if you could find a pattern with Wagoner (#21).
21. Middle North Carolina USA Anna Mills Wagoner: , although we know that Wagoner was on The Purge List and stayed on The List until Lady Monica deemed her gun prosecutions to be good enough to stay, I'd like to look into this a little further. Was she involved in that "voter fraud" thing that fizzled out last week? Just wondering.
22. Connecticut USA Kevin O'Connor: , does this mean Mr. O'Connor is a "loyal Bushie?" And why must we insist on absentee US Attorneys?
23. New Hampshire USA Tom Colantuono:
24. Former Western North Carolina USA Robert J. Conrad, Jr.:
25. Western Kentucky USA David Huber: , Huber was on The Purge List back in February 2005. Huber doesn't know why.
26. Southern Mississippi USA Dunn Lampton: , Lampton was on The Purge List at some point in time. Note how McClatchy implies the same thing I've implied: that his high-profile prosecution of a Democratic donor may have saved his job. To be fair, Lampton "doesn't have a clue" as to why he was considered for the ax. In that same article, also note how home state Senators Lott and Cochran leave Lampton twisting in the wind, expressing no real support for him. Huh.
27. Northern Florida USA Gregory Miller: , big time props to seesdifferent for connecting the dots in this diary. It turns out that right before the 2004 election (that included a vote to raise the state's minimum wage), several parties brought a "voter fraud" lawsuit against ACORN in Florida (which turned out to be bullshit, but we knew that already). Conspicuously absent from this group investigating and prosecuting this voter fraud was Miller's USA office. Soon thereafter he went on The List. Then in January 2006, Miller pursues a "voter fraud" case. And magically, he ends up not getting fired. Wow, another one, thank you seesdifferent for your work here.
28. Former Interim Colorado USA William J. Leone: , Leone was on The Purge List at some point in time. Also, let's note that Leone was not given the permanent job, and was passed over for a Federalist Society member and former employee of Abramoff's former law firm, Greenberg Traurig. Huh.
29. Maine USA Paula Silsby: , seesdifferent looked into Silsby, and once again, found a pattern involving "voter fraud." His theory is sound: look to see if a USA was put on the list because of footdragging on "voter fraud" in the runup to the 2004 election, and see if they were taken off the list because of more vigorous and public prosecution of "voter fraud" in the runup to the 2006 election. This logic has yielded results with Miller (#27) and Buchanan (#16) and now Silsby. I hope s/he continues his/her work.
30. Former Southern Alabama USA David York: , York was on The Purge List back in February 2005. Why was he on The List, and how did he get off The List? Remember that York was replaced by Deborah Rhodes, who was one of the DoJ staffers that played a role in The Purge, if memory serves me. Just throwing it out there.
31. Southern West Virginia USA Karl "Kasey" Warner: , Warner was on The Purge List early in 2005, and was then fired in August 2005. So I guess Warner wasn't bulls--tting- he really was part of the Purge.
32. Middle Georgia USA Maxwell Wood: , Wood was on The Purge List at some point in time, and according to the McClatchy piece, his name was added just weeks after reports of "voter fraud" in the district were discussed in Washington, DC. Wood essentially has no comment.
33. Western Virginia USA John L. Brownlee: , Brownlee was on The Purge List sometime in 2006, and according to McClatchy, for the same reason that Wood was added- "voter fraud."
34. Northern Oklahoma USA David O'Meilia: , O'Meilia was on The Purge List back in February 2005. I have no idea why.
35. Delaware USA Colm Connolly: , Connolly was on The Purge List in November 2006. Who called this one? Was it James Risser that told us to look at Connolly? Whoever called this, take a bow.
36. Former Wyoming USA Matthew Mead: , just keeping the news from a late update yesterday that Mead has resigned (h/t dc 20005). He won't really comment as to why, but the article speculates that he might want to take a run at recently-deceased Senator Thomas's open seat. We'll see.
37. Kansas USA Eric Melgren: , Melgren was on The Purge List back in January 2006.
38. Former Middle Tennessee USA James K. Vines: , Vines was on The Purge List back in January 2006.
39. Former Nebraska USA Michael G. Heavican: , Heavican was on The Purge List back in January 2006.
40. Middle Alabama USA Leura Canary: , Siegelman is now in jail.
(As far as I can tell, no news).
(As far as I can tell, no news).
- House Oversight Committee just released its report (executive summary here) on the Presidential Records Act violations by the White House. Muckraker has a quick summary here.
- Perrspectives has a US Attorneys Scandal Document Center. (h/t Avenging Angel)
- Goodling Transcript here.
- Impeach Gonzales. Please sign the petition.
- drational has created a database of all the DoJ emails from the document dumps. A brief introduction and instruction on the database can be found here.
- Washington Post created a very useful graphic of the who, how, and when of The Purge List. Please note that this is not comprehensive- I only counted 23 USAs on that graphic.
- Muckraker has built a little on Washington Post's graphic, and turned it into a document collection.
- Welcome to the party PsiFighter37. Try the bean dip.
- Oh, and be sure to explain to Roland X why Scooter was the last straw, as opposed to, say, torture, Habeas Corpus, fraudulent warmaking, etc.
- clammyc provides the best 'soldier on' diary I've seen in a long time. In the wake of the Capitulation Bill, I saw a lot of Kos frontpagers try and buck up our spirits that ultimately rang hollow to me. But clammyc, to his credit, "reached" me in this diary, and at least let me know that there are others who are also extremely disillusioned and demoralized with the Dems and our political system. Although I'm not quite ready to 'soldier on' as clammyc is, I still strongly, strongly encourage you to read it.
- Kagro X explores what Scooter's skate means for the upcoming subpoena battle.
- From me, an extremely light news day, which I'm somewhat grateful for. I'm looking to escape the migraine headache that is our broken and corrupt political by seeing the ultimate cheesy escape "The Transformers" tonight. Ah, I loved those toys. But I digress.
In the wake of the 'Impeach now' tsunami that his hit the blogosphere because of Scooter's escape, I would like to ask the crowd how to channel all that rage and indignation into beginning impeachment not with the Decider or Darth Cheney, but with Gonzales. I've occasionally invited debate on impeaching Gonzales by asking about the political risk to impeaching Gonzales, to no effect. It seems lately that no one in Left Blogistan is willing to "pragmatically" oppose the impeachment of Gonzales.
But how can we organize this into action? Petitions and phone calls are nice, but I'm hoping someone can suggest a way to organize the blogosphere around getting Gonzales, to start. The blogosphere is much better when they can rally around one theme (e.g. get out of Iraq) and oppose one guy (e.g. Lieberman), and I look forward to the crowd's thoughts on this.
Crossposted at ePluribus Media