Monday, March 26, 2007

More on the US Attorneys scandal

Just as a follow up to the last post I wanted to give some examples of the fine work being done by Josh Marshall over at .

On why these firings matter Josh writes:

So, all of this is to say that no system is perfect and
partisan affiliation may distort the justice system at the margins.

But none of what we're seeing here is at the margins. What we seem to see are repeated cases in which US Attorneys were fired for not pursuing bogus prosecutions of persons of the opposite party. Or vice versa. There's little doubt that that is why McKay and Iglesias were fired and there's mounting evidence that this was the case in other firings as well. The idea that a senator calls a US Attorney at home just weeks before a federal elections and tries to jawbone him into
indicting someone to help a friend get reelected is shocking. Think about it for
a second. It's genuinely shocking. At a minimum one would imagine such bad acts
take place with more indirection and deniability. And yet the Domenici-Iglesias
call has now been relegated to the status of a footnote in the expanding
scandal, notwithstanding the fact that there's now documentary evidence showing
that Domenici's substantial calls to the White House and Justice Department
played a direct role in getting Iglesias fired.

On the presidents continued support for Alberto Gonzales even though it has been documented that Mr. Gonzales has repeated lied about his involvement in the firing of these US attorneys, Josh writes:

And the president is fine with all of this. Fine with the fact that the
Attorney General has not only repeatedly lied to the public but has also been
exposed as repeatedly lying
to the public. He's fine with at least two US
Attorneys being fired for not giving in to pressure to file bogus charges to
help Republican candidates.

Of course he's fine with it. Because it comes from him. None of this is about Alberto Gonzales. This is about the president and the White House, which is where this entire plan was hatched. Gonzales was just following orders, executing the president's plans. This is about this president and this White House, which ... let's be honest, everyone on both sides of the aisle already knows.

And today he reports that most of Karl Roves emails have been sent using RNC accounts:

According to the National Journal, about 95% of Karl Rove's email traffic has been on these RNC email accounts.

Now, I don't know all the legal and constitutional ins and outs of this debate. But whatever claim the White House may have to protect everyone at the White House from congressional scrutiny by invoking executive privilege, this use of outside private email accounts may turn out to be too clever by half.

Can executive privilege even conceiveably cover emails from the Republican National Committee? By any definition, those aren't emails written or received by anyone in their capacity as a presidential advisor. They're private and have nothing to do with the president in his executive capacity.

It's good stuff, check it out.

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