an unanticipated consequence of
Jack M. Balkin
Jack Balkin: jackbalkin at yahoo.com
Bruce Ackerman bruce.ackerman at yale.edu
Ian Ayres ian.ayres at yale.edu
Mary Dudziak mary.l.dudziak at emory.edu
Joey Fishkin joey.fishkin at gmail.com
Heather Gerken heather.gerken at yale.edu
Abbe Gluck abbe.gluck at yale.edu
Mark Graber mgraber at law.umaryland.edu
Stephen Griffin sgriffin at tulane.edu
Bernard Harcourt harcourt at uchicago.edu
Scott Horton shorto at law.columbia.edu
Andrew Koppelman akoppelman at law.northwestern.edu
Marty Lederman marty.lederman at comcast.net
Sanford Levinson slevinson at law.utexas.edu
David Luban david.luban at gmail.com
Gerard Magliocca gmaglioc at iupui.edu
Jason Mazzone mazzonej at illinois.edu
Linda McClain lmcclain at bu.edu
John Mikhail mikhail at law.georgetown.edu
Frank Pasquale pasquale.frank at gmail.com
Nate Persily npersily at gmail.com
Michael Stokes Paulsen michaelstokespaulsen at gmail.com
Deborah Pearlstein dpearlst at princeton.edu
Rick Pildes rick.pildes at nyu.edu
Alice Ristroph alice.ristroph at shu.edu
Neil Siegel siegel at law.duke.edu
Brian Tamanaha btamanaha at wulaw.wustl.edu
Mark Tushnet mtushnet at law.harvard.edu
Adam Winkler winkler at ucla.edu
I can describe what I and others discussed as the reasons for [seven U.S. Attorneys'] removal, but I cannot guarantee that these reasons are the same as those contemplated by the final decisionmakers who requested the resignations of these U.S. Attorneys. I am not aware, however, of anyone within the Department ever suggesting the replacement of these attorneys in order to interfere with a particular case, or in retaliation for prosecuting or refusing to prosecute a particular case, for political advantage.
Keep in mind that this statement undoubtedly was written with Goodling's very careful attorney, John Dowd, over the course of several weeks, with meticulous attention to every detail. The addition of that qualifying phrase was not inadvertent -- there's a reason it was included.
Also, the final, additional qualifier is suspicious, too -- "for political advantage." One might conclude that Goodling would only add that phrase if she were aware of people (even in the Department) suggesting the removal of the attorneys in order to interfere with a particular case -- but if she did not presonally know whether the interference was designed "for political advantage."
Finally, there's the oddity of her (plural) reference to "the final decision makers." The final decisionmaker here, of course -- by law and in fact -- was the President of the United States. And he presumably took his cues from his trusted advisers in the White House. Therefore, as I've explained previously, "the current focus on the Attorney General is something of a distraction, at least insofar as Congress's objective is to determine whether anything unlawful or unconstitutional was involved in the U.S. Attorney dismissals. The real action was in the White House, and one cannot determine whether the removals were made for improper reasons unless one knows what Rove and Miers advised the President, and why they did so. But that's precisely the subject matter that Fred Fielding would put off-limits in his offer to allow questioning of those officials." Posted
by Marty Lederman [link]
Bart: to be precise, I believe Goodling said that she never had any "discussions" with them, but she wasn't asked and didn't say if she (1) was present when they were discussing such matters with someone else or (2) exchanged or was copied on emails with them about these issues (maybe the mysteriously missing Rove RNC emails?)
Feels like there are some amusing parallels to the Iglesias-inspired "Few Good Men." Bush/Cheney/Rove order the "code red" to get rid of these attorneys, it percolates down to the underlings through Miers/Gonzo, and so Goodling can say she never got a direct order from the WH, even though she likely knows thats where they were ultimately getting direction from
Also, even if Bart's right, that doesn't mean Goodling's telling the truth. That's why you question other witnesses, to expose inconsistencies. If someone can stop witnesses from testifying, that creates the room to lie.
I watched some of her performance today. Goodling was much less annoying than the ignoramous Repbulicans fawning over her and trying to run the clock. But she was too coy to be credible. She's my wife's age, graduated from law school the same year. Thanks to the competence of Artur Davis, it seems pretty clear that she knows well more than she let on.
"Goodling testified today that she received no direction from Rove or Miers concerning the fired US Attorneys.
"Me thinks you parse too much.
"#posted by Bart DePalma : 8:32 PM:
Methinks you fudge too damned much; so much so that ultimately nothing you have to say is worth reading --
Goolding also testified that there was conscious effort by McNulty to avoid having the issue of the White House role in the matter arise.
I could suggest that you, Bart, are dumb; but it is obvious that you aren't that. So as for the sole alternative thereto, let the record show a long silnce . . .
The question is why others tolerate your constant insults to not only their intelligence, but to the intelligence of the entire human race, including all that part already gone, and all that part not yet having arrived.