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Goodling's lawyer told Dems to ask about AG

So, just how did Rep. Artur Davis (D-Ala.) know to ask all those probing, dramatic questions about the mid-March meeting between Attorney General Alberto R. Gonzales and Monica Goodling?

Her lawyer told him to ask, that's how. And now Democrats are questioning whether Gonzales misrepresented the facts to them less than two weeks ago.

Goodling today recalled her last conversation with Gonzales and said she felt uncomfortable when Gonzales began recalling for her his understanding of the process that led to the firings of nine U.S. attorneys last year.

After today's House Judiciary Committee hearing into the firings, Davis told reporters there was no formal "proffer" - an official legal offering of what she'd say - but that there were "informal conversations" with staff and John Dowd.

Dowd was the wise-looking man sitting behind Goodling for most of the hearing, at times passing her little yellow Post-It notes to help with her testimony. For the final 30 minutes of the hearing, Dowd, the senior member of her three-member legal team, actually took a seat next to her at the witness table.

"Mr. Dowd certainly had conversations with staff. ... There were certainly some indications where Miss Goodling might go," Davis told reporters afterward.

This is a critical point because, in many respects, the questions about the mid-March conversation between Gonzales and Goodling are the most damning revelations today, certainly the freshest new allegations to emerge. And, in the final minutes of the hearing, Davis read verbatim from the transcript of Gonzales when he appeared before the same panel May 10.

During that hearing, the attorney general cited ongoing investigations internally at Justice and on Capitol Hill as the reason why he uttered so many "I don't recall/I don't know" answers, because he was unable to speak with his top aides about their recollections.

"I have not gone back and spoken directly with Mr. Sampson and others who are involved in this process in order to protect the integrity of this investigation and the investigation of the Office of Professional Responsibility and the Office of Inspector General," Gonzales testified under oath May 10. "I am a fact witness. They are fact witnesses."

Davis and other Democrats believe that the Goodling-Gonzales conversation contradicts the attorney general's sworn testimony.

"It's very clear the attorney general was not fully accurate," Davis contended.

However, Democrats are relying on the testimony of Goodling, who Judiciary Chairman John Conyers (D-Mich.) called a "loquacious witness." The Justice Department, in a series of prepared statements, effectively called her a false witness.

"The attorney general has never attempted to influence or shape the testimony or public statements of any witness in this matter, including Ms. Goodling," spokesman Brian Roehrkasse said. "The statements made by the attorney general during this meeting were intended only to comfort her in a very difficult period of her life."

Outgoing Deputy Attorney General Paul McNulty disputed her earlier allegations he was not "fully candid" in congressional testimony that he knew of no White House involvement in the plan to fire the U.S. attorneys. "I testified truthfully at the Feb. 6, 2007, hearing based on what I knew at that time. Ms. Goodling's characterization of my testimony is wrong and not supported by the extensive record of documents and testimony already provided to Congress," he said in a statement.

Conyers said the committee's next task was to call McNulty before the panel for public testimony.

By Paul Kane  |  May 23, 2007; 8:05 PM ET
 
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Comments

When asked about her supervisory experience prior to joining the Department of Justice, Monica Goodling mentioned a college project! She said that despite her title of White House liaison, she had little contact with the White House, so what does "liaison" mean? Her "little girl" voice alone should have disqualified her from the position she held. I had very low expectations for her testimony, but she exceeded my expectations.

Posted by: Gardenia | May 23, 2007 10:31 PM | Report abuse

If I'm not targeted for my comments. I got a degree from the back of a Cracker Jack. Can I get a high level government job too.

Posted by: DARRELL | May 24, 2007 12:14 AM | Report abuse

I think Gonzales has been a damn good attorney general. The Democrats have simply failed to show the evidence. He has held his ground, and, I think, shown sufficient mettle to be considered as a V.P. candidate in 2008. But the greatest presidential candidate has not yet entered the race, Dick Cheney. http://www.ilovedickcheney.blogspot.com

Posted by: cheney08 | May 24, 2007 12:43 AM | Report abuse

Gonzales is either an idiot or a liar. Just what Cheney is used to.

Posted by: Crempole Stalwart | May 24, 2007 2:21 AM | Report abuse

Ms. Goodling seems to be affected by the "memory loss syndrome: that is pervasive at the DOJ. She did the job as well as possible in Bush' attempt to hold back the flood. She "crossed the line" as opposed to breaking the law. Her job was to be the gatekeeper. She performed it well, legally or illegally, it didn't matter. As a religious zealot from high school until now, she finessed this committee, took the Fifth even before they approached her and then BS'd her way through four hours of softball questions.

Posted by: S.F. Wilson | May 24, 2007 8:36 AM | Report abuse

Republicans think she did a great job at doj... this after she admitted to breaking the law! Never thought I would live to see the day a lawbreaker at the doj would be praised by an elected official. Shame doesn't do justice to these officials.
Youtube their comments and send them into retirement the next election.

Posted by: domga | May 24, 2007 9:41 AM | Report abuse

The real judgement should be a Management Call - and its sorely lacking. Bush still supports Gonzo regardless of how much damage DOJ and the country sustains over this. It gets worse and worse and more embarassing every day. Bush is too dense to fire Gonzo - I would advise him to resign before it get worse or something is revealed that may stick to him beyond administrative limits. This is firm legal advice...Bush bailed on Brown, Rumsfield, and Wolfowitz just in time. My thoughts are that Gonzo has the dirt on these guys.

Posted by: Don | May 24, 2007 9:54 AM | Report abuse

Cheney08, Satan has the VP slot locked up if Cheney decdies to run. I've alreedy seen the bumper stickers.

I wonder how this will pan out. Goodling can't be indicted based on her testimony. That doesn't mean she can't be indicted on other evidence gathered independently of her testimony. Seeing as she just hung Gonzo, McNulty and indirectly the WH out to dry it seems to me that she may wind up doing time.

Posted by: markg8 | May 24, 2007 10:01 AM | Report abuse

Goodling had no apologies for the civil servants she used her research to destroy.
Her soul is black as coal.

Posted by: hhkeller | May 24, 2007 10:20 AM | Report abuse

Cheny 08, I don't know what to say. A visit to the link you provide is a step into an alternate ("Bizarro") universe, in which up is down and wrong is right. How do you people live in the world? I am genuinely curious. Do you believe that 2+2=4?

Posted by: Professor Plum | May 24, 2007 10:34 AM | Report abuse

In our country especially, preferences have supplanted objective truth. Truth has become more a matter of feeling than thinking. We can feel very right about thinking very wrong.

Posted by: tnlun | May 24, 2007 10:37 AM | Report abuse

Justice is going to get a motherload of employment lawsuits out of this thing. She will be answering questions at depositions long after 2009 gets here.

Posted by: Buck | May 24, 2007 10:39 AM | Report abuse

Looks like they are turning against each other. Now we'll start to see the truth begin to ooze out from the cracks in their allegiances.
I did enjoy the flurry of parliamentary procedure when Repubs tried to head off this line of questioning. Honestly, I was reaching deep to remember Robert's rules from my high school mock-Congress days in order to figure out who was trying to do what. It all happened so fast I couldn't really tell what the table vote was called to table, and I guess the chair tried to allow a reccess improperly while the table vote was still pending. In the end, none of these manouvers seemed to have any substantial effect on the hearings, but it was an action packed couple of minutes in an otherwise droll day of testimony.

Posted by: Patrick Huss | May 24, 2007 10:48 AM | Report abuse

I'm trying to figure out what is next for our little Monica...a professorship in Con Law at Pepperdine or GWU? Campaign consultant to Fred Thompson? Lobbyist for the oil industry? What a rich future she has in front of her!

Posted by: Susan E. | May 24, 2007 10:51 AM | Report abuse

This is a witch hunt. All these people are political appointees anyhow so I fail to see why this is such a big deal.

Janet Reno's incompetence lead to the deaths of 80+ people at Waco and she never had to undergo the level of scrutiny Gonzalez has been subject to.

Dems love to go after minorities in any event Clarence Thomas anyone?

Posted by: Armando | May 24, 2007 10:54 AM | Report abuse

You people are amazing. These positions are nothing more than political appointees. The opposing-party attorneys are almost always dismissed, especially when a new administration takes over, and it is at will, no cause needed. The problem, as usual, is that the Bushies, instead of manning up to what they did, weasel out and lie, in this case saying it was performance related. Goodling destroyed nobody. And Cheyney 08, we can only hope you're kidding, because it is your America that Armenijad and Chavez and Putin and all like them so fervently hope will come into power. They they can say to the rest of the world, look at these idiots the Americans elect to run the country, and the rest of the world will have no choice but to agree with them and side against America (as will 1/2 of America at that point, if not more). It is people like Cheyney, and you Cheyney 08, who contribute so much more than you realize to the downfall of American values and the constantly decreasing respect that the world at large has for the US of A.

Posted by: Disillusioned (former?) Republican | May 24, 2007 10:54 AM | Report abuse

cheney08 - hilarious! I'm bookmarking your blog.

Posted by: BigTuna | May 24, 2007 10:58 AM | Report abuse

What's the big deal ? Everyone knows politics is corrupt.Too bad we can't get rid of all the lawyers. But then , who would be the corrupt politicians ?

Posted by: MarkNH | May 24, 2007 11:03 AM | Report abuse

No longer can the white house say, nothing improper was done. We know now thru the testimony of Goodling, that something indeed improper and illegal was done at DOJ. And this is just the beginning.

Posted by: Michael C | May 24, 2007 11:03 AM | Report abuse

you little cheney fanboys just got OWNED by disillusioned, and i was like, OMG LAWL!

Posted by: militant anarchist | May 24, 2007 11:07 AM | Report abuse

The "every president does it" excuse has been discredited so many times, only people with the mentality of a 28-er would have missed it, and continue to pull it out of their bag of talking points.

Posted by: Grep | May 24, 2007 11:09 AM | Report abuse

The tone and substance of this article is a total load of crap. You impugn the Democrats and Dowd but is an informal conversation about questioning illegal or improper? Somehow you leave that crucial bit of information out. Just like you leave out the vast majority of the substance of the issue, the illegality of political influence on the Legal System.

For example, Tim Griffin's experience with VOTER "CAGING" in the 2004 and probably 2000 and 2006 elections. VOTER CAGING is VOTE SUPPRESSION, ya know, the kind that won Bush the election in Ohio in 2004 and Florida in 2000? Ya know, the kind that purposefully suppresses the vote of African-American, Latino and poor voter blocks that vote substantially Democratic? Ya know, the kind that is CRIMINAL BEHAVIOR? Read below for more.

This article is a piece of trash straight from Karl Rove. Savagely improper reporting from the Wapo YET AGAIN, clearly enabling and even cheerleading the Right Wing's Neoconservative's Anti-American criminal enterprise. Get it right or stay home.

Voter Caging:

From the Washington Post: "In 1981, the Republican National Committee sent letters to predominantly black neighborhoods in New Jersey, and when 45,000 letters were returned as undeliverable, the committee compiled a challenge list to remove those voters from the rolls. The RNC sent off-duty law enforcement officials to the polls and hung posters in heavily black neighborhoods warning that violating election laws is a crime.

The Washington Post continues: "In 1986, the RNC tried to have 31,000 voters, most of them black, removed from the rolls in Louisiana when a party mailer was returned. The consent decrees that resulted prohibited the party from engaging in anti-fraud initiatives that target minorities or conduct mail campaigns to 'compile voter challenge lists.'"

In October 2004, the BBC Newsnight program reported on an alleged so-called "caging list" maintained by the George W. Bush campaign that suggested that they may be planning possibly illegal disruption of African American voting in Jacksonville, Florida.

The BBC reports that it has obtained a document from George W. Bush's Florida campaign headquarters, inadvertently e-mailed to the parody website GeorgeWBush.org, containing a list of 1,886 names and addresses of voters in largely African-American and Democratic areas of Jacksonville. Democratic Party officials allege that the document is a "caging list" that the Bush campaign intends to use to issue mass challenges to African-American voters, in violation of federal law.

While Florida statutory law allows the parties to challenge voters at the polls, this practice is not allowed if the challenges appear to be race-based.

The list appears to have come to light because of what appear to be e-mails accidentally addressed by Republican campaigners to the georgewbush.org anti-Bush site instead of the georgewbush.com Bush campaign site. The e-mails had the subject line "Re: Caging" and contained Microsoft Excel spreadsheet file attachments called "Caging.xls" and "Caging-1.xls".

see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Caging_list for sources.

I HATE having to do homework of top journalists for them. Have a great day everyone in Truthland, and for the neocons, may you burn in Hell for all you've perpetrated on our once-great nation.

Posted by: F&B | May 24, 2007 11:10 AM | Report abuse

The hatch Act is still very much the law of the land...although few people probably know what it says and the Bush Administration doesn't much care, from the evidence."Crossing the line..."was not limited to one person.

Posted by: James | May 24, 2007 11:11 AM | Report abuse

The hatch Act is still very much the law of the land...although few people probably know what it says and the Bush Administration doesn't much care, from the evidence."Crossing the line..."was not limited to one person.

Posted by: James | May 24, 2007 11:11 AM | Report abuse

Dick Cheney has about as much of a chance getting elected to the oval office as Bush had of winning the popular vote in 2000. Attorney General Gonzalez should be fired...the problem is with approval ratings in the 30s President Bush loves this controversey because it takes the pressure off of him because his leadership sucks. Bush and cheney are the two best reasons to the Republicans in Washington.

Posted by: Observer | May 24, 2007 11:11 AM | Report abuse

The GOP keeps getting caught trying to deceive the American public. Bush still thinks the White House is a frat house and defends his brothers till the end. He defended Rummy until he lost his House and Senate majority and he will defend Gonzo until he loses the White House to Dems in 08. If they would have started with the truth when firing the Judges which was it is their right...none of this would have happened. Instead Gonzo came out with lies and "memory loss" and continues to destroy everything this country stands for. You have to love the honesty of the religeous right.

Posted by: Fred | May 24, 2007 11:12 AM | Report abuse

Gonzalez - team player extrordinaire. It is obvious why he is still in place. If he were to go (which he should) Bush has to appoint someone else with all the necessary hearings and other analysis he wants to avoid at all costs. So Alberto continues to impersonate a sandbag taking bullets for his boss.

People who say "they are all political appointees" are missing the subtleties of what is going on here. Alberto should go now for all the lies and cover up. A bit like Clinton and the dress. What occurred with Monica ? Who cares? Perjury after the event...much as I loved Clinton he should have gone for that.

Shame on them all. They disgrace the idea of neutrality in the process of justice, the reputation of this nation and are just one more very sorry example of how Bush and Co treat governing the most powerful nation in the world as just a vehicle to push personal agendas. Shame on them all.

Posted by: Brit from LA | May 24, 2007 11:12 AM | Report abuse

"...a travesty of a mockery of a sham of a mockery of a travesty of two mockeries of a sham."

The federal government is obviously broken, and We the People are obviously unwilling to do anything about it. We deserve everything we're getting, from illegal wiretaps to a variety of unidentifiable military actions in the Middle East. This administration hasn't yet been called on any of its B.S.; they believe they have carte blanche, and we continue to act like they do.

Let's see, $4/gallon for gas isn't doing it. What will it take for us to rise up and flush the sewage that passes for leadership? Where is the limit? Will we even see it, or just plunge over the edge and figure it out when we hit bottom?

Or have we already hit bottom?

Disgusting. Deplorable. Despicable. Embarrassing all the way around.

Posted by: Brad Eleven | May 24, 2007 11:13 AM | Report abuse

Bush weenies will toe the line because after prision there will be a six figure job waiting at Halliburton or Blackwater.

Posted by: All these | May 24, 2007 11:15 AM | Report abuse

Disillusioned says:
The opposing-party attorneys are almost always dismissed, especially when a new administration takes over, and it is at will, no cause needed.

These attorneys were not opposing-party attorneys, they were Bush's own appointees, and this was not a time when a new party was taking over, it was in the middle of Bush's second term.

He can hire them and fire them at will, that's true. But if he does so as part of an attempt to politicize and corrupt the Judicial system, that's a scandal.

Posted by: Zenji | May 24, 2007 11:16 AM | Report abuse

LOL! That Armando guy must be a spoof. :-)

Posted by: The Other Steve | May 24, 2007 11:16 AM | Report abuse

How can Goodling, with a whopping 5 years at DoJ, be questioning that Carol Lam was spending too much time arguing her own cases, when in fact Goodling herself had virtually no prosecutorial experience? I thought good lawyers were experienced in the courtroom? How did she get promoted so quickly? Goodling was hand picked because her name is short for Good Underling...Listening to her and Al Gonzales speak is revealing as to how little they actually know about their own jobs, I would rather represent myself then have either of these two as my attorneys.

Posted by: heck g | May 24, 2007 11:16 AM | Report abuse

I guess Regent University's focus on morals over ethics doesn't quite prepare their Law School Grads for dealing with positions of public trust.

Just another incompetent and unethical Bushie.

I hope Monica never works in law again.


As a side note, I heard she's starting a legal defense fund. Who on earth cares enough about a corrupt bureaucrat to donate to her defense? Additionally, does anyone know where she's working now? If she's not working, how is she supporting herself?

Posted by: Mr. GOH! | May 24, 2007 11:18 AM | Report abuse

"Her 'little girl' voice alone should have disqualified her from the position she held." How sexist is THAT? "You see, Your Honor, we had to deny her the job b/c she has a little-girl voice." I wouldn't want to have to defend THAT discimination suit.

"I got a degree from the back of a Cracker Jack." Time to put away the Cracker Jacks and take the LSAT. Let's see if you score high enough to get into Regent.

"Goodling had no apologies for the civil servants she used her research to destroy." After all, no one on (say) the Senate Judiciary Committee staff would EVER use Westlaw, Lexis, or Google to get background information on (say) judicial nominees. No-sir-ee, only "black-souled" people would do that. And as for pawing through raw FBI files on the opposite party's former political appointees -- oh never mind, it was the Clintons who did that....


Posted by: David | May 24, 2007 11:19 AM | Report abuse

Yep, it was the questions that did not get asked in open session that are hanging now over the Constitution. Hopefully, they will be asked in open session...before Congress becomes even more irrelevant that it seems to be now.

The facts seem to be that the Attorney General of the United States refuses to acknowledge that he was at the Nov 27, 2006 meeting, where a conspiracy to mislead Congress and the American People was mentioned...and then, it would seem, carried out...by the Attorney General and the senior management at DOJ.

Is it any wonder that Comey couldn't stomach these folks? And why does the Republican Party continue to stomach these folks? One supposition is that the Republican Party itself is a criminal enterprise itself. Perhaps they'll do us all a favor by drawing an Arthur Anderson card.

Posted by: parrot | May 24, 2007 11:20 AM | Report abuse

Gonzales just was "trying to comfort her" just as he did John Ashcroft.

Posted by: Douglas | May 24, 2007 11:22 AM | Report abuse

Damn it, people! Forget prosecution--there is something that these jerks are afraid of much more. Disbar the entire bunch! Gonzo cannot hold his job without a law license. Goodling admitted to breaking the law--and lied about not knowing about it to boot--that should get her drummed out of the profession in a New York minute. Sampson repeatedly perjured himself. Elston was unprofessional in his communications with prosecutors. Mercer is not performing his primary job--as USA--and is spending most of his hours commuting to DC so that he doesn't have to do ANY job.

This lot is a bunch of poster children for disbarment. WHY HASN'T ANYONE FILED A COMPLAINT YET??!!

Forget investigations and prosecution--there is enough already for the ABA and state bars to find a breach of ethics. No need to part the Red Sea--just go after their professional standing.

Posted by: Buck Turgidson | May 24, 2007 11:30 AM | Report abuse

Thank you F&B for including that information which I have yet to see covered completely in the MSM.

The idea that the Republicans are today praising this woman, after she ADMITTED SHE BROKE THE LAW shows yet again that today's GOP values winning and power over following our constitution and laws.

Throw the bums out in 08!

Posted by: kimoco | May 24, 2007 11:31 AM | Report abuse

>>>Let's see if you score high enough to get into Regent.

What RATIONAL INDIVIDUAL would EVER want to get into an institution with the following mission statement:

"The mission of Regent Law School is to bring to bear the will of our Creator, Almighty God, upon legal education and the legal profession."

As one Dem asked MG:

"What IS the will of our Creator Almighty God?"

David? Anyone? Anyone from the Christian Right wanna help out with that one? Just one? A guess? Cmon, you can do it.

What a hideous, colossal, criminal joke that has been perpetrated on the United States of America. Everyone from Bush on down in this Administration should be given a fair military tribunal (we ARE at war) then sent straight to Guantanimo Bay for some good old fashioned "intelligence gathering".

Posted by: F&B | May 24, 2007 11:31 AM | Report abuse

Is anyone else disturbed by the resemblance between Roberto Gonzolas and Grima Wormtongue? Just asking.

Posted by: gobytrain | May 24, 2007 11:32 AM | Report abuse

You're most welcome kimoco. The vast majority of the substance of this criminal conspiracy is ignored by the MSM, enabling the R's and idiots like Kane to gush GOP talking points over and over again for the weak-minded and ill-informed.

The USA purge is about three things and these three things only:

1- Successful corruption cases against Republicans (and lack of evidence of wrongdoing found in investigations of Dems)

2- Voter fraud investigations brought by the Republicans who allege Dem voter fraud in Blue counties (the purpose of these cases would be the SUPPRESSION of the largely minority Democratic vote).

3- Voter caging, robocalls, intimidation and other Democratic/minority voter suppression.

This b.s. 'he-said-she-said' re: McNulty and Goodling is a TOTAL smokescreen.

Culpability for ALL of this lies DIRECTLY with the President of the United States and Rove, the VP Cheney and David Addington.

For the record, I thought the Dems (with a couple exceptions) did a PISS POOR job with their lines of questioning. Perhaps they have more tricks up their sleeve, but the American people NEED and DEMAND justice NOW, not later.

The total disregard for Rule of Law caused by Bush and Co will be a black stain on American History for perpetuity. That much has been assured already.

The least the American people can do is hold these criminals accountable.

Posted by: F&B | May 24, 2007 11:44 AM | Report abuse

Wow, disbarment, how about prison? Contempt of court? Something!

Posted by: treet | May 24, 2007 11:45 AM | Report abuse

Markg8, Goodling CAN be brought up on perjury, if found to have perjured herself during her congressional testimony. The immunity grant doesn't cover that.

Otherwise, it's amazing that Davis would follow Dowd's talking points word for word, or nearly so. Where's the committee majority staff on all of this?

Posted by: SocraticGadfly | May 24, 2007 11:47 AM | Report abuse

Three more people I forgot to include on the DISBAR! list:

Schlozman, who broke down the Civil Rights Division, Elston, who used to be abusive to USAs and other DoJ employees, and, of course, Tim Griffin, interim USA for AR, who is guilty of illegally using caging lists. It's a mix of admitted law-breaking, obvious and repeated ethical violations, unprofessional behavior, etc. In all, plenty of goods to get the lot disbarred at all levels.

Congress is proving to be decidedly inept in their oversight function--perhaps private professional organizations will do better.

Disbar! Disbar! Disbar!

Posted by: Buck Turgidson | May 24, 2007 11:50 AM | Report abuse

Does it occur to anyone that we have a totally disfunctional government? I'm a Republican, and I wanted Bush to be right, but now I'm afraid that he was wrong, so now the Democrats have the majority in Congress, and all they can do is hold hearings and puff up their chests at press conferences. It just seems to me that we're in a complete mess, and the mess is our government.

Posted by: Missourimule | May 24, 2007 11:50 AM | Report abuse

Zenji,

They may have been his appointees, but they were still Dems. Oh, and I do realize that this was not a new regime, just making the point that that is when the housecleaning usually occurs. As to teh guy that said that argument has been discredited, yeah, by Cheyney, VO5 (my new name for Alberto) and Rush Limbaugh, most likely.

Posted by: Disillusioned (former?) Republican | May 24, 2007 11:53 AM | Report abuse

It's ironic to see Gonzales and Wolfowitz twisting in the wind for offenses that pale in comparison to deceiving our country into a disastrous war, violating international law, and advocating torture.

Goodling is a willing participant in this egregious administration. I wonder what family or political connections got her that position, or was it really just her degree from Pat Robertson's law school?

However, saying that she's unqualified simply because of her "little girl voice" is appallingly sexist and unexcusable.

Posted by: Karen | May 24, 2007 11:54 AM | Report abuse

treet,
The poor house scares these people a lot more than the Big House. Besides, they'll be sapped of all their power.

SocraticGadfly,
Exactly right--she has immunity only for the possible crimes she might implicate herself in truthfully. Anything that she does not admit but is later uncovered, she won't have immunity for. And if she lies under oath, perjury is not covered.

It seems she's had quite a few lies already--the reasons she cited for firing a number of prosecutors (Lam, Graves) do not mesh with information that is already available, but they track closely DoJ's initial attempts to deflect criticism. She claimed that problems with Lam surfaced in 2004, possibly 2003, yet no one told Lam about the "problems" and, in response to the Feinstein inquiry in 2006, DoJ actually defended Lam and praised her work on immigration.

Graves asked for an investigation to review any potential conflict of interest that he might have had. Another investigation looked into a complaint by an ex-employee. In both cases, Graves was cleared of any wrongdoing well before he was pushed out.

Goodling's lying even when she admits guilt. I hope they find her a nice cozy cell, where she can practice her little-girl voice.

Posted by: Buck Turgidson | May 24, 2007 12:02 PM | Report abuse

I am confused by this entire process. What is it that the AG is accused of that the congress is trying to prove, Or are they just looking for something to accuse him of?

Posted by: JAM | May 24, 2007 12:03 PM | Report abuse

>>>now the Democrats have the majority in Congress, and all they can do is hold hearings and puff up their chests at press conferences

This brings up one last crucial point Id like to make (last one i promise).

The reason this investigation has gone nowhere as of yet is singular:

We have seen ZERO emails, evidence, from Rove and the White House.

So when the R's get up there and say LOOK, theres NO EVIDENCE of political motivation for these dealings, they are purposefully ignoring the fact that we have not seen a lick of cooperation, testimony or even subpoenaed documents from the WH and Rove.

It's like saying the Red Sox beat the Yankees because they were winning 1-0 in the 6th inning (when everyone knows that Jeter Matsui Arod are up next inning).

Posted by: F&B | May 24, 2007 12:06 PM | Report abuse

Ha ha! Douglas, you made my day with:

Gonzales just was "trying to comfort her" just as he did John Ashcroft.

Posted by: Kaja | May 24, 2007 12:06 PM | Report abuse

Conservatism destroys, Liberalism is Laberty.

Posted by: iam | May 24, 2007 12:14 PM | Report abuse

Conservatism destroys, Liberalism is Liberty.

Posted by: iam | May 24, 2007 12:14 PM | Report abuse

"I am confused by this entire process. What is it that the AG is accused of that the congress is trying to prove, Or are they just looking for something to accuse him of?"

Gonzales is accused of purging US Attorneys who did not do the RNC/White House's bidding, e.g. stop investigations into Republicans, start investigations of Democrats, investigate possible voter fraud in heavily-Democratic districts, etc. And in case you were thinking it, no it's not the same as an incoming President replacing the lot of them, as was done by every President going back at least to Reagan. This is instead about carefully pruning the Justice Department to make it an arm of a political party. Gonzales' lying and stonewalling have only increased the scrutiny. While the original accusations are pretty bad, it's the attempted coverup that has really drawn the attention. History repeats itself once again...

Posted by: BigTuna | May 24, 2007 12:19 PM | Report abuse

Bush is in a fix. As long as Gonzalez (Mr. Torture Czar) remains in office, he will be a focal point for investigations and will continue to drag the DOJ's credibility into the sewer. If Gonzo leaves, whoever Bush appoints will have to face a confirmation hearing in the Senate. The only way for Bush to get out is to have Gonzo leave and then ask Comey to come back as the new AG.

Posted by: Larry | May 24, 2007 12:23 PM | Report abuse

If we assume for a second that the Rovian talking points from the echo chamber of the right wing punditry is right and the firing of the USA's was not 'illegal' just incredibly stupid what is left?

1. The Gonzales Attorney Generalship considered firing a number of USAs at the exact same time as the political wing of the white house slipped a provision into the patriot act removing the traditional senatorial oversight of their appointments at least as an interim. Once this scandal came to light this provision was promptly revoked. In at least one case of the firing was specifically to insert a political hack and there is circumstantial evidence that there might have been others. It circumstantially looks like an overt attempt to replace slightly independent republican USAs with partisan republican USAs.

2. When the firings were noticed the DAG tried to pass these firings off as 'performance related'. This strikes a number of people as odd because on the final list and some preliminary lists were some USAs that independent legal observers considered among the best in the country. Most also had positive DoJ performance reviews which makes you wonder what other performance reviews were conducted. A number of them had either a)prosecuted high profile republican corruption cases, b)decided that potential voter fraud cases brought forth by Republicans did not meet a suitable threshhold for prosecution or c)stuck with official DoJ policy of refraining from bringing forth corruption cases close to elections despite pressure from Republican officials. The circumstances give suspicion that the decision was based on having people who would be partisan in their prosecution of political cases and not judicious and fair.

3) The DoJ is stonewalling and won't say who or where the list came from. What does become clear is that among the people making these decisions were two people (at least lets leave Gonzo out of it) who are woefully underqualified for their jobs but have very strong connections to Republican machines in Goodling and Sampson. It also becomes clear that partisanship is a key factor as the USAs are judged on a scale of being 'loyal bushies'. Rove is cced on the emails regarding the issues suggesting input from the politicos.

4. In related cases to the firings of the USAs, which we're giving the benefit of the doubt as legal, unquestionable illegality occurred. This includes the actions of Domenici and Wilson in putting pressure on Iglesias. This also includes Goodling extending her political background litmus tests from USAs, which is legal but unseemly we presume, to career appointments which are clearly against the law according to the Hatch Act.

5. The testimony and documents are not forthcoming regarding the information that would make it possible to differentiate from the perfectly legal but nasty scenario and the illegal and nasty scenario. Testimonies contradict and the top DoJ officials have surprisingly bad memories. As more info comes out it is looking probable that to protect themselves from looking bad doing something that we are supposed to believe is legal they perjured themselves. And the bad memories make them look even more incompetant.

6. The Republican house members don't care about an independent judiciary only covering the pres's legal ass.

7. Gonzales is a slimy creature who tried to circumvent the justice department to put through a surveilance program of questionable legality by taking advantage of a very sick man.

Am I missing something? Or does presuming the legality of the original firings make all the other ick go away in lala land.

Posted by: bluemeanies | May 24, 2007 12:35 PM | Report abuse

Missourimule, I agree. I am not a Republican or Democrat, but come to the same conclusion. It seems both sides have more interest in looking good for the TV cameras or conjuring up more talking points for their next campaign, while the average citizen suffers from our government leader's self motivated and short sighted incompetence. Why can't our elected leaders simply recognize a problem, get together to discuss the problem and find a solution, and then put the solution forward and then go on to the next problem? This would be sort of like the novel concept of "Governing". The reason is due to being paralized by being too concerned by how they may "look" to voters than finding true and long lasting solutions. Whether it is Bush's corporate war profiteering (self motivated greed for him and his cronies) to general political short sighted goals of "How can I put forth my clean image" to further MY agenda of garnering more votes for MY election campaign that both sides of the political isle are guilty of. Is there any potential leader out there that has the spine to do what is best for the people of our Country, and the World for that matter, rather than the shallow self motivated goals of HIS or HER campaign? It is tragic that our Country's leaders are so self absorbed. It is pathetic.

Posted by: John | May 24, 2007 12:42 PM | Report abuse

Let me get this straight. Goodling spent weeks with her lawyer team, going over her future testimony with the AG. Then the team gives the questions to the AG. If Attorney General Alberto R. Gonzales legal team had done that we would be now up in an uproar.

Posted by: R.B. | May 24, 2007 12:48 PM | Report abuse

Let me get this straight. Goodling spent weeks with her lawyer team, going over her future testimony with the AG. Then the team gives the questions to the AG. If Attorney General Alberto R. Gonzales legal team had done that we would now be in an uproar.

Posted by: R.B. | May 24, 2007 12:50 PM | Report abuse

Americans are noted for short memories except where it comes to the most media-driven names. Since all politicians lie to please as many voters as possible, that's acceptable in campaigns. But running a government with constant and consistent lies of all sorts, and WORSE to have rest of the Republicas condone it by their words and actions....like if dying in Iraq is preserving America's freedom? Gimma a break, it ain't the Grand Old Party....it's THE Greedy Old Party.

Posted by: Dale Lovins | May 24, 2007 12:58 PM | Report abuse

Someone in the DoJ had to have talked to Karl Rove. It wasn't Goodling; she was a know-nothing cut-out very likely placed so that it could APPEAR that there was nothing improper going on between the White House and the DoJ.

Anyone who believes that Goodling had anything to do with hiring and firing of USAttys will buy the bridge I want to sell him. There is no there there, and most of the Committee members knew it.

Posted by: SamSnedegar | May 24, 2007 12:59 PM | Report abuse

I agree with John. Politians are too concerned with their reelection then to actually govern. They should have term limits of 1 term and barred from running for any office for at least 2 terms. Any monies left over after they initial campaign goes to a common fund for all candidates. The terms would need to be extended and staggered so we don't elect an entire new government each election. Although, in light of our current government, it wouldn't be a bad idea.

Aside from bickering on the idea's logistics focus on the basic concept. Which is to eliminate the conflict of interest of engineering their next campaign. Also, ban all types of corporate bribes. Otherwise known as campaign donations.

I could go on and on, but this is enough for now. Besides, I need to return to work and in my business we actually have to accomplish something in a timely fashion.

Posted by: Anonymous | May 24, 2007 1:27 PM | Report abuse

This is not a question of whether the Administration has the right to dismiss these people at their whim. This is another demonstration that our current Administration is willing and continues to lie to the American public. This policy has cost over 3400 American lives and countless Iraqis lives, not to mention the $300 billion dollars wasted. When are we going to wake up and dump this bunch?

Posted by: Skip | May 24, 2007 1:32 PM | Report abuse

The Constitution gave the
President the exclusive power faithfully to enforce the laws. If he allows political parties to select and to control prosecutors he is breaking his oath and should be impeached.
The Senate should approve appointments for all prosecutors. All of the White House & DOJ memos and emails dealing with the candidates' prior political activities should be opened to the Judiciary Committee's staffs (Majority and Minory counsel) There are hundreds of prosecutors and it would be burdensome, but there are thousands of DOD general officers all of whom must be approved by the Senate.
The President's power to hire and fire at will is an implied power. The Founders designed the position for Washington, and did not imagine that the Constitution and the State would need protection from his corruption, criminality, or partisanship. Fortunately, they (especially Franklin) had experience with colonial governors and British first Ministers, an expected men Johnson, Nixon, and Clinton to be elected from time to time. The Congress (which cannot otherwise prosecute) only one remedy in impeachment. Time it were used to root out the last Bush.

Posted by: nihil | May 24, 2007 2:17 PM | Report abuse

The Constitution gave the
President the exclusive power faithfully to enforce the laws. If he allows political parties to select and to control prosecutors he is breaking his oath and should be impeached.
The Senate should approve appointments for all prosecutors. All of the White House & DOJ memos and emails dealing with the candidates' prior political activities should be opened to the Judiciary Committee's staffs (Majority and Minory counsel) There are hundreds of prosecutors and it would be burdensome, but there are thousands of DOD general officers all of whom must be approved by the Senate.
The President's power to hire and fire at will is an implied power. The Founders designed the position for Washington, and did not imagine that the Constitution and the State would need protection from his corruption, criminality, or partisanship. Fortunately, they (especially Franklin) had experience with colonial governors and British first Ministers, an expected men Johnson, Nixon, and Clinton to be elected from time to time. The Congress (which cannot otherwise prosecute) only one remedy in impeachment. Time it were used to root out the last Bush.

Posted by: nihil | May 24, 2007 2:20 PM | Report abuse

Bush will not abandon Gonzales. Gonzales exponged Bush's drunk driving records in Texas; W is Al's "boy."

America got what it deserved; voters with HUA shouldn't be allowed to vote - we did it to ourselves. It was clear on its face after the first term - so what did Americans do? Give those scoundrals a 2nd term...

Posted by: C2inTX | May 24, 2007 2:35 PM | Report abuse

Bush will not abandon Gonzales. Gonzales exponged Bush's drunk driving records in Texas; W is Al's "boy."

America got what it deserved; voters with HUA shouldn't be allowed to vote - we did it to ourselves. It was clear on its face after the first term - so what did Americans do? Give those scoundrals a 2nd term...

Posted by: C2inTX | May 24, 2007 2:35 PM | Report abuse

Bush will not abandon Gonzales. Gonzales exponged Bush's drunk driving records in Texas; W is Al's "boy."

America got what it deserved; voters with HUA shouldn't be allowed to vote - we did it to ourselves. It was clear on its face after the first term - so what did Americans do? Give those scoundrals a 2nd term...

Posted by: C2inTX | May 24, 2007 2:35 PM | Report abuse

Bush will not abandon Gonzales. Gonzales exponged Bush's drunk driving records in Texas; W is Al's "boy."

America got what it deserved; voters with HUA shouldn't be allowed to vote - we did it to ourselves. It was clear on its face after the first term - so what did Americans do? Give those scoundrals a 2nd term...

Posted by: C2inTX | May 24, 2007 2:36 PM | Report abuse

Bush will not abandon Gonzales. Gonzales exponged Bush's drunk driving records in Texas; W is Al's "boy."

America got what it deserved; voters with HUA shouldn't be allowed to vote - we did it to ourselves. It was clear on its face after the first term - so what did Americans do? Give those scoundrals a 2nd term...

Posted by: C2inTX | May 24, 2007 2:36 PM | Report abuse

"They should have term limits of 1 term and barred from running for any office for at least 2 terms."

See the GOP's "Contract with America" championed by Newt (I can commit adultery regularly, but we'll impeach you if you do) Gingrich, which is credited with bring these bunch of crooks to power 12 years ago. Term limits is the one thing I agreed with and the biggest thing the GOP "forgot" to do when they got into power. (Basically they lied to us to get into power, sound familiar?)

Posted by: JohnJ | May 24, 2007 2:37 PM | Report abuse

Gonzales must be impeached for not coming forth with the TRUTH about his own role in the firing of the prosecutors. I suspect he and Rove and Meirs were in it for GWB and more. This is what needs to be made clear and substantiated.
Listening to Monica reminded me of my undergraduate days in student council debates. How serious is this WH about its ideological and neocon criteria for staff working in WH on matters of law and order?

Posted by: hariknaidu | May 24, 2007 2:43 PM | Report abuse

That B-1-T-C-H no good Monica Goodling knowingly violated Civil Service Laws. Monica Goodling, by using politics to evaluate job applicants, now face massive potential law suits from those same rejected job applicants.

And I hope these law suits against Monica Goodling will make her go bankrupt. That is to teach Monica Goodling a lesson: It is in violation of Civil Service laws to use politics to screen job applicants.

The American people have lost all confidence at the Justice Department. Monica Goodling will rot in hell. And I hope she will never qualify to work in government again.

Posted by: Anonymous | May 24, 2007 2:46 PM | Report abuse

The fact that she admitted in at least 50 hirings she broke the law by asking candidates about political affiliations is enough to put this woman in jail. I am flabbergasted that more has not been made of this.

Posted by: Nancie | May 24, 2007 4:17 PM | Report abuse

Good to see so many discussing this topic, including the moronic ones praising Cheney. That clown is still the anti-Christ-in-waiting.
But after hearing that Rep Steve King of Iowa thinks that Regents U is the equivalent to Harvard is tragically ludicrous. The fact that Regents became an accredited law school just in 1996 and has 150 alumni inserted in this administration says that the evangelical agenda to infiltrate the government and impose its ideology on all is in play. These people want a theocracy imposed. They think separation of church and state is to be destroyed. We as a nation became great because our forefather had the correct vision to keep ideology apart. We are still a religious nation and that has guided us personally, but to impose it into government is plain wrong.
And then that the dip-stick of the Midwest, Rep James Sensenbrenner, thinks that all this is a witch hunt is equally tragic. If Sensenbrenner had done his job as Chair of the House Judiciary Committee and he not brown nosed the White House, maybe all this would not have happened. But if you consider these two and others, particularly present Republicans, you can see why US government is in total disarray, dysfunction and out of touch. How the people of Iowa and Wisconsin can elect these two is incomprehensible. Must be something in the corn.
Carol Lam not doing her job well????? She got Duke Cunningham and other SOBs who have insulted us all.

Posted by: oskar | May 24, 2007 4:31 PM | Report abuse

Yes, Monica Goodling and others in the DOJ are "appointees" but the Bush administration has consistently appointed low rate political hacks from 7th rate universities. Under Bush, religious convictions and neo conservative values easily trump real credentials and brains. Is there any wonder why such disasters keep happening like Iraq, Katrina, Deficits, Abramoff, Medicare, etc, etc.

Posted by: Tommy T. | May 24, 2007 4:53 PM | Report abuse

F&B wrote:

"What RATIONAL INDIVIDUAL would EVER want to get into an institution with the following mission statement:

'The mission of Regent Law School is to bring to bear the will of our Creator, Almighty God, upon legal education and the legal profession.'"

Oh you might very well not want to go to Regent. I was just mildly curious as to whether Cracker-Jack-boy COULD.

Posted by: David | May 24, 2007 5:26 PM | Report abuse

You Monica could fill in for Wolfie at the W bank. Maybe a bit young. but think of what she would do for their hiring practices!

Posted by: WOW | May 24, 2007 6:26 PM | Report abuse

The will of the Creator, Almighty God, will be made manifest without the help of Regent University, Pat Robertson, the President or the Attorney General. Let us pray that it will be sooner rather than later. Enough lives have already been wasted and Rome is still burning at the hands of the lunatic Emperor.

Posted by: Douglas W. Reynolds, Jr. | May 24, 2007 6:38 PM | Report abuse

Isn't it a violation of the law to plead the Fifth FOR NO REASON!?!?! According to her own testimony, she claims she has only broken rules (NOT laws). Aside from the fact that the 'rules' were actual laws...it seems that she broke additional LAWS by pleading the Fifth in hopes of protecting other people and not herself. Either that or she lied under oath. Another law...

Posted by: Shawn Fassett | May 24, 2007 8:30 PM | Report abuse

It is never illegal to "Plead the Fifth." That is a specific right of the individual NOT to give testimony which "might tend to incriminate himself." No one can have a clear idea of what might be considered criminal, today or tomorrow, particularly now when the entire Administration appears to be engaged endlessly and shamelessly in criminal activity of every kind. Would you expect Goodling to go to Gonzales for legal advice? I rest my case. Only the President was dumb enough to do that.

Posted by: Douglas W. Reynolds, Jr. | May 25, 2007 5:19 AM | Report abuse

David said: """Oh you might very well not want to go to Regent. I was just mildly curious as to whether Cracker-Jack-boy COULD."""

Just like Bush. A bratty petulant child who doesn't dignify a response. But nonetheless... I went to an ivy league school.

Everyone else, fyi, there is a great annotated timeline up at Wikipedia:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dismissal_of_U.S._attorneys_controversy_timeline

Posted by: F&B | May 25, 2007 10:08 AM | Report abuse

David:

Here's a biology class at Regent:

Prof: What kind of adaptation is seen here in the...

Goodling: (Waving hand frantically in the air) Ooh! Ooh! Pick me pick me!

Prof: Yes...you there with the squeaky voice.

Goodling: God did it!

Prof: Very good! Btw, that's the answer to every question on this term's final exam.

Cracker Jack Box for sure...

Posted by: pdxatheist | May 25, 2007 11:36 AM | Report abuse

If that's a transcript of a Regent class, do you remember the approximate date, or the professor, or anything else?

If, otoh, you just made that up as a sort of "This is you -- eughgh eughgh eughgh" move, then I'd say carry on, b/c you're sure not doing atheism any favors by putting it about that atheists argue that way.

F&B: SO glad you're a fellow "Leaguer." But you know, people like us really have no call to look down on young, growing Christian schools -- which, after all, is just what our schools were two- or three-hundred years ago, as Rep. King, I think it was, pointed out at the hearing by reading from the original charters of Yale and of that-place-on-the-Charles....

Posted by: David | May 25, 2007 2:46 PM | Report abuse

George Bush's presidency has taught me two lessons which trump all the issues raised by the kool-aid drinkers.
1. Don't trust the Democrats to keep us safe
2. the rules only apply to the
Republicans


I'm going to sleep like a baby tonight knowing George and his generals are watchng out for me


Regards
Bob C.


Posted by: robert l cerra | May 25, 2007 6:00 PM | Report abuse

George Bush's presidency has taught me two lessons which trump all the issues raised by the kool-aid drinkers.
1. Don't trust the Democrats to keep us safe
2. the rules only apply to the
Republicans


I'm going to sleep like a baby tonight knowing George and his generals are watchng out for me


Regards
Bob C.


Posted by: robert l cerra | May 25, 2007 6:01 PM | Report abuse

George Bush's presidency has taught me two lessons which trump all the issues raised by the kool-aid drinkers.
1. Don't trust the Democrats to keep us safe
2. the rules only apply to the
Republicans


I'm going to sleep like a baby tonight knowing George and his generals are watchng out for me


Regards
Bob C.


Posted by: robert l cerra | May 25, 2007 6:01 PM | Report abuse

George Bush's presidency has taught me two lessons which trump all the issues raised by the kool-aid drinkers.
1. Don't trust the Democrats to keep us safe
2. the rules only apply to the
Republicans


I'm going to sleep like a baby tonight knowing George and his generals are watchng out for me


Regards
Bob C.


Posted by: robert l cerra | May 25, 2007 6:01 PM | Report abuse

Bob C

sleep tight, lemming. The rules apply to everyone, as you will see in a year and 1/2.

Posted by: Anonymous | May 27, 2007 3:15 PM | Report abuse

Monica Goodling is a FOX, in a "nice girl" way. Do you think she likes to be on top? or would that be considered "sinful"?

Posted by: Anonymous | May 27, 2007 3:17 PM | Report abuse

God is dead.

Posted by: Anonymous | May 27, 2007 3:19 PM | Report abuse

The continued highjacking of what should be an intellectual discussion by superstitious belief in a Supreme Being who is beyond science is a sign of the decline and fall of our civilization.

Posted by: Geezer Butler | May 27, 2007 3:21 PM | Report abuse

pdxatheist:

You apparantly haven't been to law school. Not too many biology classes as part of that curriculum. If you want to make that argument, then by all means do so in the appropriate forum.

Regent is considered a 4th tier (lowest) school for several reasons -- it has no reputation to speak of because it was only recently accredited; it has an exceedingly low bar pass rate; its graduates, like Goodling, show that they hold the rule of law in disdain. That is more than enough amunition to make your point without trotting off down an avenue that simply makes you look stupid. There is no biology class in law school.

Posted by: John Q. Public | May 29, 2007 10:50 AM | Report abuse

Since those in the Bush administration are being probed in every orifice of their bodies over the canning of eight prosecutors, I still wonder when the investigations of the Clinton administration are going to begin? After all Clinton fired 16.5 times the number of prosecutors, many of who were in the process of investigating the actions of the President and his cabinet. But then beinf a Democrat, Clintons actions would never be the fodder of news stories the way Bush's actions have become.

Posted by: Jon Weiss | May 29, 2007 12:01 PM | Report abuse

Jon - Time to Weiss Up! That bit about Clinton is just a red herring meant to distract. If you bought into it, you're a sucker .

Neither Bubba, nor any other President in the last half-century, handled U. S. Attorney appointments the way this Administration has.

Republican Congresses had over 12 years to "investigate" the Clinton Administration. Hold them accountable. It's time to get over Bubba, he left over six years ago.

Posted by: Anonymous | May 31, 2007 5:57 PM | Report abuse

"the greatest presidential candidate has not yet entered the race, Dick Cheney" ? LOL, LOl,LOL,LOL,LOL,LOL,LOL,LOL,LOL,LOL,LOL,LOL,LOL,LOL,LOL,LOL,LOL,LOL,LOL,LOL,LOL,LOL

Posted by: jjjmac2003 | June 4, 2007 9:44 AM | Report abuse

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