Margolis is a 1964 graduate of Harvard Law, and has been a career attorney with the DOJ since 1976. He is also, according to an excellent biographical piece in Legal Times, a powerful force for truth within the DOJ, of unquestionably sound character:
From the Legal Times article:
In theory the prosecutors could have appealed Margolis’ decision to then-Deputy Attorney General Larry Thompson. But that would have meant taking on Margolis, one of the Justice Department’s most respected officials, a lawyer with a sterling reputation earned over 42 years of service at the department. "Taking him on is a losing battle," says the source. "The guy is Yoda. Nobody fucks with the guy."
In many ways, comparing the 66-year-old Margolis to the quirky and ancient Jedi Master is apt. Margolis is widely described as the "institutional knowledge" of the Justice Department. A notorious straight shooter known more for his love of country music and outlaw garb than his politics, he’s managed to navigate the shifting sands of Washington to retain a powerful voice under Attorney Generals Janet Reno, John Ashcroft, and now Alberto Gonzales. Though Margolis is technically outranked by more than a dozen political appointees at DOJ headquarters and all 94 U.S. attorneys scattered throughout the country, his influence on the department extends far beyond his title, say both current and former Justice officials.
Margolis’ bulletproof reputation and lack of partisan stripes also mean that the presidentially appointed attorneys general and deputy attorneys general at the top often turn to Margolis when Justice Department investigations venture into the swirl of national politics. From the investigation after former White House lawyer Vincent Foster’s suicide to the ethics of Kenneth Starr’s Lewinsky probe to the leak of Valerie Plame’s identity, Margolis has played a major role in the DOJ’s attempts to show that its law enforcement actions aren’t motivated by political concerns.
Margolis was a lone voice in the DOJ calling for openness in the investigation of the Vince Foster Suicide, and had his advice been heeded, wingnuts would have to figure out what they would do with 20% of their time. He also played a role in supervising the Valerie Plame case, so he is especially sensitive to politically charged prosecutorial issues.
So Margolis is clearly a "Clean" player, and this fact is critical in examining the timeline of Sampson's revelation. The key timeline fact:
on March 8. 2007, SAMPSON WENT TO MARGOLIS BEFORE MCNULTY
(From the Bloomberg Article)
Margolis told House and Senate investigators that Sampson dropped by to say he had information Margolis needed to know, one congressional aide said.
After Sampson left his office, Margolis testified that he went toward McNulty's office to inform his boss and stopped because Sampson had already gone into the room carrying the binder filled with White House e-mails, the aide said.
I can imagine the conversation at this point in McNulty's office:
MCNULTY: You told Margolis?
SAMPSON: Was that a bad idea?
Three hours later, according to the Bloomberg article, Monica Goodling was crying in Margolis office.
Monica Goodling, at the time an aide to Attorney General Alberto Gonzales, sobbed for 45 minutes in the office of career Justice Department official David Margolis on March 8 as she related her fears that she would have to quit, according to congressional aides briefed on Margolis's private testimony to House and Senate investigators.
Critically, In the DOJ document dump, there are NO EMAILS AFTER 3/8/07. This was a critical day in the scandal.
On March 29, 2007, DOJ gave permission to the HJC to interview Margolis.
On April 27, 2007, 4 days before Margolis HJC testimony on 5/1/07, the existence of Sampson's withheld emails were released by the HJC.
I have previously diaried about Sampson's withheld emails, that are likely to be the emails shown to Margolis on March 8, 2007.
Included in these disclosed but content-witheld emails are a substantial number of emails to or from key White House personnel. To wit, the number of emails on which the following people are senders or recipients is:
William Kelley (10), Harriet Miers (3), Scott jennings (1), Sarah Taylor (6), Chris Oprison (16).
Kyle Sampson made a monumental decision when confiding in David Margolis. Because of Margolis' longstanding history of ethical behavior and committment to truth, this decision made cover-up of White House involvement extremely difficult. On March 8, 2007, Paul McNulty was the DOJ political appointee who Sampson apprised of the situation, and 3 hours later, Monica Goodling realized the walls would come tumbling down. All emails have been withheld from congress and the public after March 8, 2007.
Now we await Congressional efforts to determine the contents of Kyle Sampson's withheld emails and the political fallout that is certain to ensue when Americans realize that at least 7 good prosecutors were fired for PURELY political reasons at the behest of The White House, in a plan that has Karl Rove's deputies deeply involved and Rove Himself certainly lurking behind the curtains.
Thanks to the Daily Kos volunteers who have completed the database compiling and indexing DOJ emails and permits analysis of email traffic. They have put in countless hours and should be commended. They include:
Audrey, MsWings, Ethan's Mom, WTF, Madhaus, davidincleveland, Howard, Fanaa, Brian, Michelle, Michael, Miss Butter, Pandora, Eli, OkieByAccident, Keith, Marco, Gray, Tracie, Thom K in LA, leveymg, and Valerie.
Look for a web-based search engine soon....
The Bloomberg Bombshell was introduced in a prior comment thread Comment, updated in the attached diary JBearLaw's Diary, and diaried again last night James Risser's Diary.
I diaried this issue again beacuse of its importance. I apologize for not acknowledging the other diarist working on this issue in prior versions of this diary.
Comments are closed on this story.