Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Shades of Watergate

From TPM:

Shades of Rose Mary Woods? An 18 day gap?

I think a commenter in our document dump research thread may have been the first to notice that the emails released by the Justice Department seem to have a gap between November 15th and December 4th of last year.

(Our commenter saw it late on the evening of the dump itself -- see the comment date-stamped March 20, 2007 02:19 AM in the research thread)

The firing calls went out on December 7th. But the original plan was to start placing the calls on November 15th. So those eighteen days are pretty key ones.

Paul Kiel adds:
As Josh noted and The Politico reported last night, there appeared to be an 18-day gap in the emails released by the Justice Department Monday night, a gap right after Alberto Gonzales' chief of staff Kyle Sampson said that they should run the purge plan by the White House and Karl Rove in particular.
More Paul:

Just reported on CNN. More soon.

Update: The subpoenas are for testimony from Karl Rove, his deputy Scott Jennings, former White House counsel Harriet Miers, deputy White House counsel William Kelley, and Alberto Gonzales' chief of staff Kyle Sampson. They also seek more documents from the White House.

From House Judiciary Chairman John Conyers (D-MI):

"The White House's offer provides nothing more than conversations. It does not allow this Committee to get the information we need without transcripts or oaths... This motion allows the Committee to pursue good faith negotiations. We are continuing our talks with the White House, along with the Senate, but we must protect the interest of the Congress and the American people by maintaining the option to move forward with our investigation with or without continued cooperation from the Administration."
U.S. Attorney David Iglesias on "Why I was Fired":
With this week’s release of more than 3,000 Justice Department e-mail messages about the dismissal of eight federal prosecutors, it seems clear that politics played a role in the ousters.

Of course, as one of the eight, I’ve felt this way for some time. But now that the record is out there in black and white for the rest of the country to see, the argument that we were fired for “performance related” reasons (in the words of Deputy Attorney General Paul McNulty) is starting to look more than a little wobbly.

United States attorneys have a long history of being insulated from politics. Although we receive our appointments through the political process (I am a Republican who was recommended by Senator Pete Domenici), we are expected to be apolitical once we are in office. I will never forget John Ashcroft, then the attorney general, telling me during the summer of 2001 that politics should play no role during my tenure. I took that message to heart. Little did I know that I could be fired for not being political.

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