Live Blogging *Not* a transcript.
A Specter haunting the Republican party in disarray
Arlen Specter just delayed the hearing because he was deciding how to vote on the out of Iraq by March resolution. He went on to describe the evidence that the firings of Lam and Iglesias was improper and that the DOJ was planning to use the text slipped into the patriot act renewal by his council without his knowledge. Then he went on to say Rove and Miers should testify with transcript but without swearing an oath which doesn't matter.
Senate Judiciary in Session
Sessions in Senate Judiciary
He had to remind Chairman Leahy that he was going to speak. Clearly the Republicans are unwilling to be represented by Specter who is on the other side on this one. Sessions mainly argued that Presidents have the authority to fire US attorneys. He noted Sampson's suggestion to use the patriot act clause.
Interrogation of Sampson
Sampson in quotes. Senators with no quotes.
Sampson swears he has not documents in his custody and control which have not been given to the committee.
Sampson swears he did not talk to the president after the 2004 election and was not present in any meeting where the President was also present and in which firing USAs was discussed after the 2004 election.
Interrogation on an Nov 15 e-mail listing USAs to fire "not informed anyone in Karl's shop" which you considered a pre firing necessity. Is Karl, Karl Rove ? "Yes". Was the proposal circulated to Karl's shop. "I believe it was"
Leahy asks.E-mail Miers to Sampson. Sampson asked who will decide if the President must review ? He now says he doesn't know if the President signed off.
What about the pause while Bush was travelling ? Did you hear from White House during that period ? "I don't remember" bingo hit contact the first HR Block* of the hearing.
"I didn't remember this until looking at this document right now" he missed a question reading a document. Agrees that Ryan called in some political chits. Friends called Karl who all agree is Karl Rove.
long pause then "I don't remember Mr Chairman" = HR Block number 2.
I would hope you would search your memory
Outline will be on
Was any US attorney asked to resign because either pursuing hot leads on corruption that someone wanted to stop or because refused to prosecute cases which should not be prosecuted.
Was Gonzales candid.
refers to "real problem right now" e-mail.
"There was never connnection in my mind between ..."
Was it just a coincidence ? What was the real problem ?
Iglesias added to list on election day after calls from Wilson and Domenici. Was there any consideration of asking him to resign because he refused to carry out a prosecution
"not to my knowledge. I looked at list of people whose 4 year terms were expiring. Added 4 in mid October. In consultation with Elston."
Are you prepared to swear under oath that (what they were doing)
"To my knowledge that was the case"
AS:Gonzales said he was not involved but e-mail says he attended a meeting 21/11/07 with USAs on the agenda. Was he at the meeting.
KS: "I don't think the AGs assertion that he was not involved was accurate"
AS: so he lies like a dog
KS: "yes sir"
AS: were you planning to use the patriot act clause ? The answer is yes clearly by e-mails. You have no time to answer this question.
KS: That was a bad idea by staff not adopted by principals. I advocated that but AG AG and WHC HM didn't adopt my recomendation.
AS: Was it rejected by the AG
AS: do you have an e-mail to that effect ?
CS:Back to AG AG lied like a dog when he said he wasn't involved.
KS: I don't think AG AGs claim is precisely true. Discussed with AG AG. He has clarified
CS: at least 5 times.
CS: at least 5 times ?
CS: keeps saying yes or no to KS
Cornyn (I think) asks the Chairman Leahy to tell Shumer to let KS answer the questions.
Leahy says KS has said he doesn't remember a dozen times (I counted 2 but they coming fast) and we are trying to find out if he remembers anything. You will get your chance box turtle let schumer continue.
Schumer notes he is asking yes or no questions and KS is dodging them
I have indeed lost count of the HR Block's they are indeed coming fast and furious.
Cornyn reads Sampson's prepared statement asks you still think that ?
Cornyn reads Sampson's claim that firings not for improper reasons. Any improper requests to fire.
KS: I don't recall
Cornyn says Mueller said no FBI agent claimed firings interfered with an investigation. This is clearly a lie. Special agent in charge in San Diego definitely said something to that effect for attribtion to a journalist.
Cornyn blah blah this is pointless won't blog box turtle.
Cornyn says he has heard no (new) evidence of impropriety and if there is none he is sorry that nice guys like KS caught up in a partisan witch hunt. See how goes from contitional to indicative.
Leahy objects they argue some.
Kohl gives a speech quoting "loyal Bushies" and denouncing Bush so he is giving a speech not extracting information.
KS loyal Bushies mean loyalty to Bush priorities.
Kohl: KR involved so obviously it was political.
Kohl was as worthless as Cornyn. He wants to give a speech he can give a speech. Here he has Sampson under oath and he should have extracted information.
Senator ? asks how the Bush administration defines "performance".
Carol Lam what was the problem and when
KS: did not embrace anti gun violence initiative ?!?!
later immigration prosecution.
Feinstein. Back to AS on May 10 search warrent and May 11 and "real problem" with Lam. She enters the letter sent to Carol Lam (letter of commendation from boarder patrol or something). Your office remains a 100% rate of accepting Border patrol referrals and do not reduce felonies to misdemenors. 416 in 06 = 33?% increase over '05 with 100% conviction. USA today lists her in top 3 anti illegal immigrants. A real surprise ...
Who is Dusty Foggo ?
KS don't remember seeing notice from Lam about search warrent (nother HR Block)
DF: "right now" , "right now"
Were you aware of Cummins investigating Rep Gov, Bodgen investigating Rep Govs, McKay and Gov election in Wash, Charlton and 2 rep reps, Iglesias investigating dems, aware of calls to Iglesias, aware of concerns, No no yes yes no no no.
USAs are great people and none would have done something they think not right so all unfired ones are OK. This is pointless.
I am not cut out for liveblogging. besides no one is reading and my sound just cut off.
They seem to have switched me to a Bush speech. Ugggghhhh. I was at www.washingtonpost.com
OK off to CSPAN-3
You know I kinda liked Missing Linc Chaffee, but I sure am glad Sheldon Whitehouse is in the Senate (how about Whitehouse in the Whitehouse). He did a bit of speachifying like Kohl and Cornyn and such, but he knows his stuff. It was argued that taking the 5th can't be held against anyone. He notes that is anyone who is a defendent on trial and that the DOJ has a rule that if the officer of a corporation takes the 5th the corporation must fire them (they can order that ?
That's not just disrespectful of the bill of rights that's socialism). Tough informed and original.
Break for lunch.
*H.R. "Bob" Haldeman (Nixon's chief of staff for you kids) advises someone like Erlichman "if they ask you a question you don't want to answer say that you don't remember no one can prove you remember something" in his testimony at Judiciary back in the day, he had a very very poor memory. It is purely a coincidence that H.R. Clinton has the same first 2 initials. Her memory lapses about Whitewater and Castle Grand were undoubtably honest.