THE UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE
OFFICE OF THE U.S. TRUSTEE
David C. Farmer, Successor Trustee
Bobby N. Harmon
(Formerly Mary Lou Woo vs. Harmon and James Nicholson vs. Harmon)
United States District Court, District of Hawaii
Judges: David A. Ezra; Kevin S. Chang
~ ~ ~
Alberto Gonzales is the former Attorney General of the United States of America; appointed by George W. Bush.
From the United States Department of Justice Website www.usdoj.gov:
To enforce the law and defend the interests of the United States according to the law; to ensure public safety against threats foreign and domestic; to provide federal leadership in preventing and controlling crime; to seek just punishment for those guilty of unlawful behavior; and to ensure fair and impartial administration of justice for all Americans.
~ ~ ~
U.S. Department of Justice
Executive Office for United States Trustees
Office of Research and Planning
For Immediate Release
October 30, 2001
U.S. TRUSTEE PROGRAM LAUNCHES
BANKRUPTCY CIVIL ENFORCEMENT INITIATIVE
WASHINGTON, D.C.--The United States Trustee Program has launched an initiative to more aggressively use existing civil enforcement methods to curb abuse of the bankruptcy system, Martha Davis, Acting Director of the Executive Office for United States Trustees, announced today.
"Effective case administration is vital to ensure the American public that the bankruptcy system provides relief for honest but unfortunate debtors overcome by serious financial difficulties," Davis stated. "The Civil Enforcement Initiative emanates from the U.S. Trustee Program's long-standing commitment to enforce the Nation's bankruptcy laws and explore other meaningful strategies to bolster public confidence in the integrity and effectiveness of the bankruptcy system."
"The priorities of the initiative will require a concerted effort nationwide to use existing tools in a way that best accomplishes tangible results and improvements for case administration," Davis continued. "Many of our offices use such strategies today and we hope to build upon their experience. By focusing our resources on these priorities, we also seek to address some of the concerns that have been at the forefront of debate in recent years both before Congress and in other public venues. In the end, this is very much a community effort that will require communication and cooperation with private bankruptcy trustees and with the bankruptcy bench and bar."
These are the priorities of the Civil Enforcement Initiative:
Ensuring that Chapter 7 is not abused and that Chapter 7 debtors are held accountable.
Chapter 7 debtors who do not comply with the law will have their cases converted or dismissed, or their bankruptcy discharges denied or revoked. Enforcement measures include motions to dismiss Chapter 7 cases under 11 U.S.C. §§ 707(a) and 707(b), and complaints to bar or defer discharge under 11 U.S.C. § 727.
Protecting consumer debtors, creditors, and others who are victimized by those who mislead or misinform debtors, make false representations in connection with a bankruptcy case, or otherwise abuse the bankruptcy process.
Attorneys and bankruptcy petition preparers (non-attorneys who prepare bankruptcy documents for a fee) must engage in full disclosure, be free of conflicts of interest, and engage in ethical practices. Enforcement measures include motions for sanctions, contempt of court, and disgorgement under 11 U.S.C. § 329 for misconduct by attorneys, and complaints and motions under 11 U.S.C. § 110 for misconduct by bankruptcy petition preparers....
Fighting fraud and abuse by making criminal referrals and assisting United States Attorneys in criminal prosecutions.
The U.S. Trustee Program is a component of the Justice Department that oversees the administration of bankruptcy cases and intervenes in court to enforce the bankruptcy laws. There are 21 regions in the Program, each headed by a U.S. Trustee appointed by the Attorney General.
The Civil Enforcement Initiative took effect Oct. 1, 2001, with the start of the federal government's 2002 fiscal year. Previous U.S. Trustee Program initiatives have focused on issues such as enhancing the supervision of private trustees who administer Chapter 7 bankruptcy cases, increasing the efficiency and speed of Chapter 7 case administration....
Jane Limprecht, Public Information Officer
Executive Office for U.S. Trustees
* * * * *
KARL ROVE & THORNS IN THE ROSE GARDEN
* * * * *
April 10, 2009
Breaking news: Indictment of Bush
Officials May Come in Days
Newsweek Breaks Shocking New Revelations
About Disappeared Persons
From Pinochet to Bush, the Path to Prosecution
* The imminent indictment in Spanish courts of former officials of the Bush Administration is being applauded by civil and human rights organizations and legal scholars. The popular wave of support for indictment of Bush officials will inevitably lead to Bush himself.
* Newsweek Magazine blew open more shocking news about Bush' system of kidnapping, secret prisons and torture. A secret Red Cross report indicates that many kidnapped and tortured people were turned into "disappeared persons" by the CIA under instructions from Bush and Cheney. A former Bush administration official told Newsweek's Michael Isikoff that the information had been hidden from the Red Cross. "The majority of the people in the CIA program are unaccounted for. We don't know what happened to them," a human rights investigator told Isikoff.
* Like Bush, former Chilean dictator Augusto Pinochet, thought his power would shield him from criminal prosecution when his regime kidnapped and tortured and assassinated individuals who became known as the "disappeared." It was when Spanish courts brought indictments against Pinochet that everything changed. As Michael Ratner, president of the Center for Constitutional Rights said, "the importance of this investigation [in Spain] can not be understated. Contrary to statements by some, the Spanish investigations are not 'symbolic.' Just ask Augusto Pinochet, who was stranded under house arrest in England and who ultimately faced criminal charges in Chile because of the pressure of the Spanish courts. If and when arrest warrants are issued, 24 countries in Europe are obligated to enforce them. The world is getting smaller for the torture conspirators.”
Ramsey Clark, former U.S. Attorney General has called for the prosecution of Bush and other high officials in the United States, stating, "The greatest danger arising from impunity for President Bush and his cohorts would be that all subsequent officials will feel secure in committing the same crimes and the people, having failed to compel impeachment for such open, notorious and egregious crimes, will feel even more helpless to prevent them. Ultimately the power and the responsibility to prevent criminal acts by government is with the people."
Now is the time for massive outreach and publicity. This requires newspaper ads, organizing national call-in days to pressure Congressional representatives, intensive media work, teach-ins and educational forums, and providing literature for people of conscience to distribute in cities and towns across the country....
--All of us at http://www.IndictBushNow.org
“Blinded by the lies,” by Carl Klang
"Can't you see? Are you blinded by the lies?"
- Jesus Christ of Nazareth
April 7, 2009
Ex-Bush Officials May Be Indicted in Spain This Week For Torture
By William Fisher
Human rights organizations and legal scholars are applauding the efforts of Spanish lawyers in seeking the indictment of six former officials of the administration of President George W. Bush in connection with the torture of detainees at the U.S. military's Guantanamo Bay prison.
Spanish prosecutors may decide this week whether to proceed with an investigation. The prosecutors were asked to review the case by Baltasar Garzon, the crusading investigative judge who ordered the arrest of the former Chilean dictator Augusto Pinochet in 1998.
The official said that it was “highly probable” that the case would go forward and that it could lead to arrest warrants.
Garzon asked for the review following a complaint filed by Spanish human rights lawyers, who could pursue the case in court even if prosecutors decide not to take it further. This occurred in the Pinochet case.
The U.S. officials involved in the investigation include former U.S. Attorney General Alberto Gonzales; John Yoo, the former Justice Department lawyer who wrote secret legal opinions saying President George W. Bush had the authority to circumvent the Geneva Conventions, Douglas Feith, the former undersecretary of defense for policy; William Haynes II, former general counsel for the Department of Defense; Jay Bybee, Yoo's former boss at the Justice Department's Office of Legal Counsel and now a Federal judge; and David Addington, chief of staff and legal adviser to former Vice President Dick Cheney.
The investigation would likely focus on whether these officials violated international law by providing a legal justification for the torture. It was triggered by a complaint filed by the Association for the Dignity of Inmates, a Spanish legal rights organization.
The six are said to have “participated actively and decisively in the creation, approval and execution of a judicial framework that allowed for the deprivation of fundamental rights of a large number of prisoners, the implementation of new interrogation techniques including torture, the legal cover for the treatment of those prisoners, the protection of the people who participated in illegal tortures and, above all, the establishment of impunity for all the government workers, military personnel, doctors and others who participated in the detention center at Guantánamo.”
A spokesman for the association, attorney Gonzalo Boye, said the six Americans had well-documented roles in approving illegal interrogation techniques, redefining torture and abandoning the definition set by the 1984 Torture Convention.
The views of Michael Ratner, president of the Center for Constitutional Rights – which has played a major role in mobilizing lawyers to defend Guantanamo detainees, probably represent the consensus among U.S. human rights advocates. He said, “The importance of this investigation can not be understated. Contrary to statements by some, the Spanish investigations are not ‘symbolic.’ Just ask Augusto Pinochet, who was stranded under house arrest in England and who ultimately faced criminal charges in Chile because of the pressure of the Spanish courts.”
He added, “If and when arrest warrants are issued, 24 countries in Europe are obligated to enforce them. The world is getting smaller for the torture conspirators.”
Brian J. Foley, Visiting Associate Professor of Law at Boston University, told us, “I hope Spain goes ahead with a full and fair investigation. These are serious allegations, and there needs to be a forum to air them. U.S. officials seem unwilling to look into the alleged war crimes, which is unfortunate and further diminishes any remaining U.S. moral authority. I hope the Spanish investigation is open and transparent, revealing the truth for the whole world to see -- including, perhaps especially, American citizens. We need to face what has been done in our name.”
And Marjorie Cohn, President of the National Lawyers Guild, told us, “The only reason Spain is considering the prosecution of Americans for torture is because the United States is refusing to do so. Eric Holder must follow U.S. law and initiate criminal investigations of Bush officials who committed torture and other war crimes. Political considerations should not control our obligation under the Torture Convention to prosecute or extradite war criminals."
A similar view was expressed by Ben Wizner, attorney in the National Security Project of the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU). He told us, “The idea of Spain investigating America’s treatment of detainees is an embarrassment to us. Once we were the world’s leading champions, not only of human rights, but of accountability. We shouldn’t be depending on other countries to clean up our mess.”
“If the Obama Administration did what the law required – appoint a special prosecutor
– we would see fewer of our allies feeling they have to do our work,” he added.
Spain's law allows it to claim jurisdiction in the case because five Spanish citizens or residents who were prisoners at Guantanamo Bay say they were tortured there.
The U.S. detention camp in Cuba was set up to hold foreigners captured after U.S.-led forces invaded Afghanistan to root out al Qaeda and its Taliban protectors in response to the attacks of September 11, 2001 against the United States. U.S. officials held that Guantanamo was beyond the reach of U.S. law, thus giving detainees no rights. But three landmark rebukes by the U.S. Supreme Court have destroyed that defense by ruling that prisoners have a right to challenge their detentions in U.S. civilian courts.
In one of his first acts in office, U.S. President Barack Obama set a one-year deadline for shutting the prison where about 245 people are still detained and which has been widely viewed by the international community as a stain on the U.S. human rights record.
Under Spanish law, prosecutors recommend whether to proceed with cases and determine whether any trial would come under the jurisdiction of the High Court.
While there is no set deadline for a decision, a recommendation could come this week, according to court officials.
See also: Uncle Sam’s Torture Chambers
~ ~ ~
NEW DISCOVERY (03/30/09): Undisclosed conflicts of interest between Attorney General Alberto Gonzales, the United States Department of Justice, Office of the U.S. Trustee, Curtis Ching, Carol Muranaka, Guido Giacometti, Susan Tius, Sukamto Sia, Bank of Honolulu, Diane Plotts, Bob Awana, Linda Lingle, Citigroup, Robert Rubin, Bill Clinton, John Waihee, Ben Cayetano, Goldman Sachs, Colbert Matsumoto, Henry Peters, Matsuo Takabuki, Richard Wong, Jeff Stone, Oswald Stender, Gerard Jervis, Lokelani Lindsey, Nathan Aipa, Colleen Wong, Louanne Kam, John Candon, Clifford Laughton, Timothy Johns, Bishop Museum, Nainoa Thompson, Mark Polivka, Judge Eden Elizabeth Hifo (fka Bambi Weil), Judge Lloyd King, Judge Robert Faris, Judge David A. Ezra, Judge Barry Kurren, Mary Lou Woo, James B. Nicholson, David C. Farmer, Steven Guttman, etc.:
August 24, 2000
for $4 mil
Ownership of the properties
could change during
another round of bids
By Peter Wagner, Star-Bulletin
A Nevada investor has outbid Citibank on 32 residential and two commercial units at Executive Centre, the downtown high rise that once belonged to Indonesian investor Sukamto Sia.
But with court confirmation and another round of bids possibly ahead, ownership of the property is yet to be determined.
Clifford Laughton, president of the Reno-based Nevada Holdings Ltd. and chief executive at Honolulu-based satellite company Columbia Communications Corp., yesterday made the winning bid of $4,000,100.
Laughton's bid topped a $4 million offer by Citibank N.A., the only other bidder at a foreclosure auction at the state courthouse yesterday.
The leasehold properties include 31 residential units, a penthouse, two commercial spaces occupied by Sprint Hawaii and Fujikami Florist and 65 parking stalls.
The heavily mortgaged 41-story building, at 1088 Bishop Street also includes a 120-room Aston hotel, retail outlets including Long's Drugs and Ross Dress For Less and nearly 300 residential units.
The entire property was appraised last year at $39.5 million.
Citibank, the major creditor in a foreclosure action against one of Sia's company's, MKS Executive Partners, took possession last month of most of the 41-story building in a complex bankruptcy deal in which Sia's estate will receive about $500,000.
Citibank affiliate EXCT L.P. took ownership of about 400 units on July 28.
Sia, currently in Chapter 7 bankruptcy liquidation, originally filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy reorganization in November 1998.
While Citibank yesterday allowed itself to be outbid by $100, the sale is far from over. Under rules of the foreclosure, new bids may be entertained at confirmation but must be at least 5 percent above the auction price.
Foreclosure commissioner John Candon said at least three parties who were silent during yesterday's auction have asked when the confirmation hearing would be. No date has been set.
Laughton yesterday said he would likely honor existing leases at Executive Centre if he remains the high bidder. He said the units are a good investment because of depressed property values and a strong rental market in the downtown area.
While Executive Centre was once a key holding of Sia in Honolulu, the bankruptcy trustee was unable to liquidate the property for creditors because Sia held no equity in it.
His ownership in the building was through MKS Executive Partners, one of his numerous companies.
The 40-year-old businessman owes nearly $300 million to casinos, banks and creditors around the world.
~ ~ ~
NEW DISCOVERY (02-04-09): More undisclosed conflicts of interest between David Farmer, James Nicholson, Steven Guttman, Paul Alston, Judith Neustadter Fuqua, Bill Clinton, Hillary Clinton, Janet Reno, Alberto Gonzales, Eric Holder, and other witnesses in this case:
June 26, 2008
Pardongate Is The Least of
Eric Holder’s Sins
© Jack Cashill, www.WorldNetDaily.com
“I was wondering when you were going to call me,” so said the irrepressible Nolanda Butler Hill when I phoned last week.
She knew precisely what item of news had prompted me to call: the revelation that Barack Obama had selected Clinton Deputy Attorney General and Ron Brown protege, Eric Holder, to help vet his vice presidential candidates.
As the confidante and business partner of the late Clinton Commerce Secretary Ron Brown, Hill knows from personal experience that Holder’s sins go well beyond his seamy role in the Marc Rich pardon scandal.
In the way of background, in May 1995, Clinton’s unpredictable Attorney General Janet Reno called for an independent counsel to assess whether Ron Brown had “accepted things of value” from Hill in exchange for his influence.
Reno’s pursuit of Brown did not shock either of them. He had been the subject of an inquiry for months. Targeting Hill, however, had no precedent, and it unnerved them both.
By statute, the independent counsel law applied only to political and government figures. “It was unlawful,” says Hill of her own targeting, “I was the only such person in history.”
In time, the independent counsel also targeted Brown’s son, Michael, for laundering money to his father through a scam minority set aside deal with a sleazy pair of Asian-American fundraisers. In Hill’s words, Michael “was as guilty as a goose.”
Hill and Brown both understood that she was being targeted in the hopes that she would roll over on Brown. Her condition for not doing so was that Brown share with her his every point of vulnerability.
Nowhere was Brown more vulnerable than in his unwelcome role as chief bagman for the Clintons’ relentless and often illicit fundraising in the run-up to the 1996 election.
Hill learned virtually every unseemly detail--from Brown’s go-between work with the Chicoms and their American vendors to his wholesale distribution of walking around money to Democratic race hustlers. As Brown understood, Hill knew way too much.
Even before his own mysterious death, Brown worried openly about her life and safety. He went so far as to call Hill’s sister, with whom she stayed from time to time, and insist Hill not be allowed to go out jogging alone.
As soon as Brown died, the independent counsel ceased the investigation into his illicit activities. As to Michael, he pled guilty to a single misdemeanor, accepted a small fine, and was out playing golf with the president a month later.
Not surprisingly, however, the Justice Department kept the pressure on the outspoken Hill, still deeply troubled by the circumstances surrounding Brown’s death.
Hill took heart when, in July 1997, President Clinton appointed Holder to replace Jamie Gorelick as Deputy Attorney General. Although ostensibly second in command, the Deputy AG was the real power in Justice, the Clinton equivalent of a Soviet “political officer.”
Hill knew Holder through Brown, who had been instrumental in getting him his previous job as U.S. Attorney for the District of Columbia.
She and her attorney wasted no time in contacting Holder at the American Bar Association Annual Meeting, which was held that year in San Francisco in early August.
Holder, however, did not get to be Deputy AG by being naïve. “The train is already going down the tracks,” he explained to Hill. “It will take your cooperation to stop it.”
The “train” in question was a D.C. grand jury, which was being led to indict Hill. The “cooperation” meant Hill keeping her mouth shut.
Hill clarifies, “He [Holder] told me and my attorney that if I told what I knew about election fundraising I would be indicted.”
Holder was as good as his word. On March 13, 1998, ten days before Hill was to testify in a suit brought by Judicial Watch on the subject of Brown’s fundraising, the Clinton Justice Department indicted Hill on trumped up charges of fraud and tax evasion.
The willfully blind lead of the New York Times called the indictment “a vivid example of how an investigation can outlive its target.”
Larry Klayman of Judicial Watch knew better. In a motion to the court, he would write, “The timing of these events is neither accidental nor coincidental. Ms. Hill’s indictment was likely an effort to retaliate against her and deter her from giving any further damaging testimony at the March 23, 1998 hearing.”
At White House bidding, Holder had Hill indicted to shut her up, and he succeeded. Anxious, alone, and broke, facing as many as seventy years in prison if convicted, Hill chose to negotiate a deal.
On June 15, 1999, a day before her fifty-fifth birthday, she reported to a halfway house in Seagoville, Texas, her silence at least temporarily assured.
As James Sanders, my partner on the TWA 800 investigation, can attest, silencing whistleblowers through bogus prosecution was the modus operandi in the Holder era. Sanders and his wife Elizabeth were indicted and convicted on federal conspiracy charges on Holder’s watch.
Although generally appalled by the Clintons, Hill understands how betrayed they must feel when their very proteges desert them for Obama.
Holder did so early on. “Given Holder’s credentials,” the Chicago Tribune reported breathlessly in August 2007, “it isn’t outside the realm of possibility to suggest he could wind up the nation’s first African-American attorney general should Obama win the White House.”
Hill thinks she knows why Holder jumped ship. He was a key player in a racially exclusive cabal of DC insiders. “He’s so racist it’s not even funny,” she says of Holder, “not only racist but elitist.”
Still, no matter how compromised Holder might be, Obama can ill afford to dismiss him from his vice-presidential selection committee.
Obama has already had to dismiss one of the three selectors. If he dismisses a second, it will become absurdly obvious that the real problem is not Holder or Jim Johnson of Countrywide fame, but Mr. Obama himself
~ ~ ~
NEW DISCOVERY (12-05-08):
Judson ON THE RECORD - VERY IMPORTANT!! New Member, Sheldon, is Pres. of YAL @ Idaho State, seeking Utah YAL...& member Judson Witham has filed the Utah lawsuit against Obama!
Friday, December 5, 2008 5:48 PM
From: "Jud Witham" <email@example.com>
To: firstname.lastname@example.org, "Vaughn & Lynda Robison" <email@example.com>
Cc: firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, Specialops@huffingtonpost.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, Ken_Conklin@yahoo.com, email@example.com, Hapa1234@aol.com, "MadMax@RoadWarriorRadio.com, Curt Crosby" <firstname.lastname@example.org>, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org
BYU LAW LIBRARY after sending and receiving FAXES for me for YEARS, suspended my use of the FAX services et al AS Channel 5 Salt Lake called them asking about me ?? YUP BYU retaliated because ?????
My position is to UPHOLD the LAW to see to it that QUALIFIED CITIZENS are our representatives and IF NOT, well, you do the math. My filing speaks for itself.
I am NOT the least RACIST and ACTUALLY I understand Freedom and Liberty is NOT the sole property of ANY party, group or....LIBERAL after all should always be HOW Liberty Is Observed !!! Liberally HELLO !!!!
Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary, © 1996, 1998 MICRA, Inc.
Cite This Source...
I did provide Barrack Obama's Counsel with the following:
§4. Citizenship. That all persons who were citizens of the Republic of Hawaii on August twelfth, eighteen hundred and ninety-eight, are hereby declared to be citizens of the United States and citizens of the Territory of Hawaii.
And all citizens of the United States resident in the Hawaiian Islands who were resident there on or since August twelfth, eighteen hundred and ninety-eight and all the citizens of the United States who shall hereafter reside in the Territory of Hawaii for one year shall be citizens of the Territory of Hawaii.
This section was supplemented by the Act of July 2, 1932, 47 Stat 571, amended by the Act of July 1, 1940, 54 Stat 707, providing that for purposes of Act of Sept. 22, 1922, 46 Stat 1511, women born in Hawaii prior to June 14, 1900 deemed U.S. citizens at birth. But Act of Sept. 22, 1922 was repealed by Act of Oct. 14, 1940, 54 Stat 1137, which in turn was repealed by Act of June 27, 1952, 66 Stat 166 (McCarran-Walter Act), and the present provisions are contained in 8 U.S.C.A. 1435(a).
Under Art. 17, §1, of the Const. of 1894 (adapted from the 14th Am. of the U.S. Const.) all persons born or naturalized in the Hawaiian Islands and subject to the jurisdiction of the Republic of Hawaii were citizens thereof. Between 1842 and 1892, 731 Chinese and three Japanese were naturalized in Hawaii; since 1892, none. Birth certificates by the Territory of Hawaii are not controlling, and persons applying for admission to the United States with such certificates may be detained by immigration officers for the purpose of determining citizenship, 35 Ops. 69. The secretary of Hawaii may issue to persons born in Hawaii certificates of Hawaiian birth, which are prima facie evidence: HRS §§338-41 to 44, see also former law: L. 1905, c. 64; am. L. 1907, c. 79; rep. L. 1909, c. 15; R.L. 1915, p. 1487; R.L. 1925, c. 21; R.L. 1935, c. 247. A person born in the Kingdom of Hawaii of British parents domiciled there was held to be a citizen of the Republic of Hawaii although he was registered at birth at the British consulate and had never renounced allegiance to the British crown nor sworn allegiance to the Hawaiian government: 11 H. 166. On citizenship of persons born in the United States of alien parents, see 169 U.S. 649. Mere residence in foreign state after majority does not expatriate, 31 F.2d 738. But son of naturalized Hawaiian citizen became expatriated through residence in foreign country of birth. 89 F.2d 489, cert. den. 301 U.S. 682, reh'g den. 301 U.S. 713. Naturalization as Hawaiian citizen did not occur under Const. of 1894 by issuance of certificate of Minister of Interior where allegiance to native land not renounced and court order not obtained. 117 F.2d 588, reh'g den. 120 F.2d 760, aff'd by divided court, 315 U.S. 783.
Chinese who were Hawaiian citizens on Aug. 12, 1898, by either birth or naturalization, whether under the monarchy or the republic, became American citizens under this §: 23 Ops. 509; 1 U.S.D.C. Haw. 118; and their wives and children were thereafter entitled to enter the Territory; 23 Ops. 345; and such a citizen could take oath that he was such, and obtain an American register for a vessel which had a Hawaiian register on that date and was then owned and continued to be owned by a Hawaiian citizen until purchased by such Chinese; 23 Ops. 352. Son of Chinese, naturalized Hawaiian citizen, born in China in 1894 and remaining there through minority, did not become citizen and not entitled to enter U.S. 69 F.2d 681. Chinese held for deportation may set up American citizenship in habeas corpus or deportation proceedings, but the burden is on them to prove such citizenship: 1 U.S.D.C. Haw. 6; 1 U.S.D.C. Haw. 44; 1 U.S.D.C. Haw. 104; 1 U.S.D.C. Haw. 113; 1 U.S.D.C. Haw. 234; 270 Fed. 57.
Habeas corpus lies to protect immigrant's right to have question of citizenship determined; 160 Fed. 842, affirming 3 U.S.D.C. Haw. 168. See also §§100 and 101, and notes thereto; also note to Joint Resolution of Annexation, RLH 1955, page 13.
Woman of Chinese ancestry, born in Hawaii in 1894 but married to Chinese alien in 1910, could not be naturalized under the Acts cited in first paragraph of this note as they stood prior to 1940 amendment, because of her nonresidence on July 2, 1932, 88 F.2d 88.
For decisions generally on immigration and citizens see notes to §§100 and 101, and note to RLH 1955, §57-43; also, presumptions: arising from findings of Board of inquiry or certificate of identity, 29 F.2d 500; 30 F.2d 516; 49 F.2d 19 and 24; may be rebutted, 30 F.2d 65; lack of, prima facie supports right to deport, 36 F.2d 563; fraud must be alleged in complaint, 63 F.2d 375 and 377. Delay for depositions may be a matter of right, 33 F.2d 236. Proof of Chinese descent shifts burden of proof: 104 F.2d 21, 111 F.2d 707. Finding of citizenship on previous entry not binding: 124 F.2d 21; but see 188 F.2d 975.
Under the treaty with Spain and Acts of Congress, a Puerto Rican, residing in Puerto Rico on April 11, 1899, and a year thereafter, who did not declare his decision to preserve his allegiance to Spain, did not lose his political status by removing to Hawaii in 1901, but became a citizen of the United States under a subsequent Act of Congress and hence entitled to vote in Hawaii: 24 H. 21.
Although §8(a)(1) of the Act of March 24, 1934, c 84, 48 Stat 456, 462, provides that Filipinos shall be placed on the quota basis as aliens, it is specifically made inapplicable to Hawaii and immigration is determined by the Interior Dept. on basis of industrial needs.
Referred to in 13 H. 21, 556; 162 Fed. 470.
Filipino national in Hawaii became alien by proclamation of Philippine Independence, 183 F.2d 795.
* * * * * * *
--- On Fri, 12/5/08, Vaughn & Lynda Robison <email@example.com> wrote:
From: Vaughn & Lynda Robison <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Subject: [ronpaul-16] VERY IMPORTANT!! New Member, Sheldon, is Pres. of YAL @ Idaho State, seeking Utah YAL...& member Judson Witham has filed the Utah lawsuit against Obama!!
Date: Friday, December 5, 2008, 3:54 PM
1. Sheldon Kreger is Pres. of the Idaho State Univ. Young Americans for Liberty (YAL). He says Univ of Utah/BYU have not got a YAL organized and wants to help Utah get them started and coordinate between Utah and Idaho YAL groups. Dave used to be President of the Univ of Utah Students for Ron Paul, and organized a rally downtown for all of us on Oct. 13, 2007 (still on our calendar of past events). And David Garber & Ken were with the BYU Students for Ron Paul. We passed these names on to Sheldon. Click on his name and send him an email if you have any new details to add for helping him contact people interested in organizing YAL groups in Utah.
2. Judson Witham -- over 30 lawsuits against Obama nationwide regarding his lack of citizenship to be running for President -- the Internet listed that Utah had a lawsuit, also, and after more digging, we found that the person filing the lawsuit against Obama in Utah was our very own member Jud Witham!! How COOL is that!!!! Jud, do you need any help and/or support on this lawsuit? Thank YOU for taking a stand against those attempting to steal the US Constitution!!
(Anybody who wants to help Jud with this lawsuit, feel free to contact him. Likewise, anybody who is able to help Mike Ridgeway finish paying off his lawyer for a very successful lawsuit against the Utah GOP leaders who did their malicious scam on him---the judge declared Mike innocent last July---please feel free to contact him, also ---- Ron Paul has asked all of us to clean house with the local party first, and Mike, et.al, has been doing that for 10 years on their own--we encourage all meetup members to join with Mike Ridgeway and the others who are ashamed and disgusted at the party's corruptness in our state that must be replaced with "good, honest, and wise" leaders before we can ever get liberty-minded candidates with integrity elected here in Utah!)
Back to Jud >>>
HAVING UTAH INCLUDED IN THE OBAMA LAWSUITS AGAINST HIS FRAUDULENT CLAIM OF BEING A LEGAL CITIZEN IS AWESOME!!
Watch reports on this from Devvy Kidd at WND (World Net Daily). She's contacted the FBI to do a check on campaign funds fraud by Obama, she's talking and reporting about all 30 lawsuits (which include 2 more at the US Supreme Court level by a Democrat named Berg and another lawsuit by the presidential candidate Alan Keyes!!--the rest all seem to be lawsuits that are against their state's Secretary of State, demanding answers for Obama's proof of citizenship), and she's contacting the Electoral College about not voting until this is settled.
Allegedly, the Hawaii governor swore under oath 2 months ago that Hawaii does NOT have any birth certificate, and that the governor has allegedly sworn under oath that Obama was born in Kenya. This is a direct attack on the US Constitution, nothing to do with race.
It is to take down the last of the US Constitution, which is to take down the Electoral College (having the US public manipulated into demanding the "people's vote" is more important than the Electoral College vote, and to throw away the US Constitution or have it "re-written"---not realizing the "people's vote" is a rigged election), and to also take down the "natural born citizen" requirement.
Obama has hired THREE LAW FIRMS, not 3 lawyers, but 3 law firms, to handle this first lawsuit by Leo-Somebody at the US Supreme Court. There's been monkey-business with clerks stalling all of the 30 lawsuits, with the excuse that it was "not filed correctly." Leo's lawsuit was stalled by the clerk having an anthrax search on the papers/envelope he'd had filed with them.
They're stalling big time. Stalling until after the Dec. 15 Electoral College vote. Stalling until after he gets into office on January 20th.
And mainstream media had a complete blackout on this story until today (Friday, 12-5-08) when the Chicago Tribune ran the story, with the L.A. times picking up on it, and now many major papers nationwide, including "Drudge" on the Internet, are finally running this story (that started last June or before). But none of the Salt Lake papers are running any of it yet. Why is that, when we're a "red state" and allegedly all voted for McCain?
The question has already been posed as to what to do if Obama is declared unable to take the presidential office because "the US Constitution doesn't tell us what to do." Well, yes it did. It said a "natural born citizen." When you break a rule, you go back to the beginning. You don't use the broken rule as an excuse to change the rules.
Yeah, that probably means another election. We say have lawsuits filed against McCain, again (they got dismissed earlier), to undo Congress' "resolution" that stated that his illegal immigrant status was ok with them, and then have all the rest of the candidates put back on the ballot who got left off even though they were only suspending their campaign, including Ron Paul.
Don't know if that means Pelosi would be the temporary prez after January 20 until a new election is handled or not. Don't know what options are out there that are legal for this. But the "Establishment" having 2 illegals running for president at all, is beyond a reasonable doubt that this was an "accident."
--This message was sent by Vaughn & Lynda Robison (email@example.com) from Utah Campaign for Liberty.
To learn more about Vaughn & Lynda Robison, visit his/her member profile
~ ~ ~
NEW DISCOVERY (09-19-08): “Prior Restraint” of publication by Judges is unconstitutional and, particularly in this case, is outside Judge David Ezra’s jurisdiction since the website at www.the-catbird-seat.net which he ordered closed down was licensed in Australia and the information published thereon was distributed worldwide through the world-wide web:
RE: CV05-00030 - David Farmer vs. Harmon - Exhibit: "The Freedom To Sing"
and Witnesses: Michael Mukasey and Alberto Gonzales
Saturday, September 20, 2008 2:00 AM
From: "Bobby Harmon"
To: "David Farmer" <firstname.lastname@example.org>, "Steven Guttman" <email@example.com>, "Carol K. Muranaka" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Cc: "Michael Mukasey <AskDOJ@usdoj.gov> ACLU Hawaii" <email@example.com>, "All Representatives" <reps@Capitol.hawaii.gov>, "All Senators" <sens@Capitol.hawaii.gov>, "Andrew Walden" <firstname.lastname@example.org>, "Andrew Winer" <email@example.com>, "Aon Insurance Managers" <firstname.lastname@example.org>, "Arnold T. Phillips" <email@example.com>, "Arthur Rath" <firstname.lastname@example.org>, "Barry M. Kurren" <email@example.com>, "Benjamin Kudo" <firstname.lastname@example.org>, "Blossom Tong" <email@example.com>, "Bradley Tamm" <firstname.lastname@example.org>, "Carl Morton" <email@example.com>, "Charles Goodwin" <HONOLULU@FBI.GOV>, "Charles Hurd" <firstname.lastname@example.org>, "Colbert Matsumoto" <email@example.com>, "Craig Watanabe" <firstname.lastname@example.org>, "Dane Field" <email@example.com>, "Dave Shapiro" <firstname.lastname@example.org>, "David A. Ezra" <email@example.com>, "Dee Jay Mailer" <firstname.lastname@example.org>, "Dorothy Sellers" <email@example.com>, "Exececutive Office for U.S. Trustees" <firstname.lastname@example.org>, "Hugh Jones" <email@example.com>, "Insurance Division Fraud Branch" <firstname.lastname@example.org>, "J C Shannon" <Hapa1234@aol.com>, "James B Nicholson" <email@example.com>, "James B. Farris" <Farrisj@adr.org>, "James Cribley" <firstname.lastname@example.org>, "James Duca" <email@example.com>, "James Paul" <firstname.lastname@example.org>, "James Wriston" <email@example.com>, "Jeffrey Sia" <Jeff.Sia@excite.com>, "Jeffrey Watanabe" <firstname.lastname@example.org>, "Jim Dooley" <email@example.com>, "Jo Ann Uchida" <firstname.lastname@example.org>, "Joe Moore" <email@example.com>, "John D. Finnegan" <firstname.lastname@example.org>, "John Goemans" <email@example.com>, "Judge Lloyd King" <firstname.lastname@example.org>, "Judith Neustadter" <Judy@tiki.net>, "Judson Witham" <email@example.com>, "Ken Conklin" <firstname.lastname@example.org>, "Kenneth Hipp" <email@example.com>, "Kevin S.C. Chang" <firstname.lastname@example.org>, "Lawrence Reifurth" <email@example.com>, "Linda Lingle" <firstname.lastname@example.org>, "Lyn Flanigan Anzai" <email@example.com>, "Margery Bronster" <firstname.lastname@example.org>, "Marsh Affinity Group" <email@example.com>, "Michael N. Tanoue" <firstname.lastname@example.org>, "Michelle Tucker" <email@example.com>, "Nathan Aipa" <firstname.lastname@example.org>, "Office of Inspector General Civil Rights Complaints" <email@example.com>, "Office of the U.S. Trustee District of Hawaii" <firstname.lastname@example.orgV>, "Paul Alston" <email@example.com>, "Peter Carlisle" <firstname.lastname@example.org>, "Randall Roth" <email@example.com>, "Rick Daysog" <firstname.lastname@example.org>, "Robert Bruce Graham" <email@example.com>, "Robert F. Miller" <firstname.lastname@example.org>, "Robin Campaniano" <email@example.com>, "Roy F. Hughes" <firstname.lastname@example.org>, "Samuel P. King" <email@example.com>, "Susan Tius" <STius@rmhawaii.com>, "V K Durham" <firstname.lastname@example.org>, "Valerie U. Katz" <email@example.com>, "William K Slate" <Websitemail@adr.org>, "Jim Terrack" <firstname.lastname@example.org>, "Don Michak" <email@example.com>, "Rocco Sansone" <firstname.lastname@example.org>, "Ted Pettit" <email@example.com>, "Mark Burch" <firstname.lastname@example.org>, "Laura Thielen" <email@example.com>, "Michael Moore" <MMFlint@aol.com>, "John D Zalewski" <firstname.lastname@example.org>, "Robert M. Kohn" <email@example.com>, "Haunani Apoliona" <firstname.lastname@example.org>, "Malia Zimmerman" <Malia@hawaiireporter.com>, "CPCU Society Hawaii Chapter" <email@example.com>, "Hawaii Independent Insurance Agents Assoc." <firstname.lastname@example.org>, "Hawaii Insurance Bureau Inc" <email@example.com>, "Hawaii Insurers Council" <firstname.lastname@example.org>, "Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press" <email@example.com>, "CND 48 Hours" <48Hours@CBSnews.com>, "American Bar Association" <firstname.lastname@example.org>, "Electronic Frontier Foundation" <email@example.com>, "First Amendment Center" <firstname.lastname@example.org>, "Council for the National Interest Foundation" <email@example.com>, "Free to Know-Hawaii" <firstname.lastname@example.org>, "ImpeachBush.org" <email@example.com>, "Wayne Madsen" <firstname.lastname@example.org>, "National Whistleblower Center" <email@example.com>, "Editor New York Times" <firstname.lastname@example.org>, "Greg Palast" <email@example.com>, "Pension Benefit Guaranty Association" <firstname.lastname@example.org>, "Public Citizen" <email@example.com>... more
Dear Mr. Farmer, Mr. Guttman, Ms. Muranaka & All Concerned:
Due to the discovery of NEW FACTS, I am updating the subject Exhibit and the witness information for U.S. Attorneys General Michael Mukasey and Alberto Gonzales, which you will find attached and on-line at:
As Judge David Ezra's Order constitutes a PRIOR RESTRAINT of my freedom of speech -- and that of all others who published their opinions in The Catbird Seat website – I regret that I must continue to submit each of these new and updated exhibits and witness descriptions for your review and approval in the event they may contain any prohibited "Protected Subject Matter". If you would like to avoid this approval process, then I would again suggest that we attempt a good-faith settlement of this case through confidential negotiation or mediation.
Your prompt reply will be appreciated.
Very truly yours,
Bobby N. Harmon, CPCU, ARM
Related internet references:
~ ~ ~
The First Amendment Handbook
A prior restraint is an official restriction of speech prior to publication. Prior restraints are viewed by the U.S. Supreme Court as "the most serious and the least tolerable infringement on First Amendment rights." Since 1931, the Court repeatedly has found that such attempts to censor the media are presumed unconstitutional.
In the 1976 landmark case Nebraska Press Association v. Stuart, the Court addressed the constitutionality of an order prohibiting the media from publishing or broadcasting certain information about Erwin Charles Simants, who was accused of murdering the Henry Kellie family in a small town in Nebraska. This case pitted the First Amendment rights of a free press against the defendant's Sixth Amendment right to a fair trial.
To ensure that Simants received a fair trial, the Nebraska Supreme Court modified the district court's order to prohibit reporting of confessions or admissions made by Simants or facts "strongly implicative" of Simants.
On appeal, the U.S. Supreme Court struck down the prior restraint order. The Court emphasized that the use of prior restraint is an "immediate and irreversible sanction" that greatly restricts the First Amendment rights of the press. "If it can be said that a threat of criminal or civil sanctions after publication `chills' speech, prior restraint `freezes' it at least for the time," Chief Justice Warren Burger wrote for the Court.
To determine whether the prior restraint order was justified, the Court applied a form of the "clear and present danger" test, examining whether "the gravity of the `evil,' discounted by its improbability, justifies such invasion of free speech as is necessary to avoid the danger."
In applying this test, the Court articulated a three-part analytical framework, which imposed a heavy burden on the party seeking to restrain the press. First, the Court examined "the nature and extent of the pretrial news coverage." Second, the Court considered whether other less restrictive measures would have alleviated the effects of pretrial publicity. Finally, the Court considered the effectiveness of a restraining order in preventing the threatened danger.
The Court found that the trial judge reasonably concluded that the "intense and pervasive pretrial publicity" in the Simants case "might reasonably impair the defendant's right to a fair trial." However, the trial judge did not consider whether other measures short of a prior restraint order would protect the defendant's rights. The trial judge should have considered changing the location of the trial, postponing the trial, intensifying screening of prospective jurors, providing emphatic and clear instructions to jurors about judging the case only on the evidence presented in the courtroom or sequestering the jury.
The Court also found that the effectiveness of the trial judge's prior restraint order to protect Simants' right to a fair trial was questionable. Because the prior restraint order is limited to the court's territorial jurisdiction, it could not effectively restrain national publications as opposed to publications within the court's jurisdiction.
Moreover, it is difficult for trial judges to draft effective prior restraint orders when it is hard "to predict what information will in fact undermine the impartiality of jurors." Finally, because this trial took place in a town of 850 people, rumors traveling by word of mouth may be more damaging to the defendant's fair-trial rights than printed or broadcasted news accounts. In short, the probability that the defendant's fair-trial rights would be impaired by pretrial publicity was not shown with "the degree of certainty" needed to justify a prior restraint order.
Because the "barriers to prior restraint remain high and the presumption against its use continues intact," prior restraint orders are rarely upheld. As a result, editorial decisions about publication of information the government deems sensitive are generally left solely to the discretion of news organizations. Nevertheless, government officials and private individuals occasionally attempt to stop publication....
The Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press
© 2003 RCFP. 1815 N. Fort Myer Dr., Suite 900, Arlington VA 22209 (703) 807-2100
~ ~ ~
NEW DISCOVERY (05-22-08):
May 22, 2008
House subpoenas Karl Rove
By LARA JAKES JORDAN, Associated Press
WASHINGTON - The House Judiciary Committee on Thursday subpoenaed former White House top political adviser Karl Rove to testify about whether the White House improperly meddled with the Justice Department.
Accusations of politics influencing decisions at the department led to last year's resignation of former Attorney General Alberto Gonzales.
The subpoena issued Thursday orders Rove to testify before the House panel on July 10. He is expected to face questions about the White House's role in firing nine U.S. attorneys in 2006 and the prosecution of former Gov. Don Siegelman of Alabama, a Democrat.
House Judiciary Chairman John Conyers had negotiated with Rove's attorneys for more than a year over whether the former top aide to President Bush would testify voluntarily.
"It is unfortunate that Mr. Rove has failed to cooperate with our requests," Conyers, D-Mich., said in a statement. "Although he does not seem the least bit hesitant to discuss these very issues weekly on cable television and in the print news media, Mr. Rove and his attorney have apparently concluded that a public hearing room would not be appropriate."
"Unfortunately, I have no choice today but to compel his testimony on these very important matters," Conyers said.
Neither Rove nor his attorney, Robert Luskin, could be immediately reached for comment.
~ ~ ~
NEW DISCOVERY (04-11-08): Trustee James B. Nicholson failed to disclose that he was the court-appointed bankruptcy trustee for Defendant’s witness, Peter Savio, even though he was asked specifically if he had any business, professional, personal or political relationships with Mr. Savio:
Hawaii’s Top 250 Companies:
New To The List: Whoa, Savio!
Hawaiian Island Homes' debut is marked by acrimony
By Kelli Abe Trifonovitch, Hawaii Business Magazine
Any interview that focuses on Peter Savio's new company, Hawaiian Island Homes Ltd., will soon focus on another Top 250 company, Central Pacific Bank. Says Savio: "They're malicious. They're vicious. I am going to become a stockholder in Central Pacific Bank. I am going to reform that institution. Their mistake was they stomped me. They didn't kill me. I'm coming back. I'm going to have fun with them."
Go back to the year 2001. Savio Inc., a holding company for eight real estate sales and development companies, was No. 56 on the Top 250, with $134.6 million in 2000 gross sales. But in 2001, Savio Inc. filed for Chapter 7 liquidation, and Peter Savio and his wife filed for personal bankruptcy protection. Savio says he was forced into the bankruptcies because CPB gave him just five days to move from his second-floor offices at 931 University Ave. Savio says he had been in a workout plan with a number of lenders after he started experiencing cash-flow problems in the mid-1990s. But CPB forced his hand.
"The only way to stop them was, I had to file for personal bankruptcy. So to save my employees and everything else, I filed for personal bankruptcy - one of the most difficult decisions I've ever had to make. But I was really pissed at Central Pacific Bank for doing that," he says.
"It was tough," he adds. "Basically I lost everything. Lost my house. Lost everything. Had to basically come back from nothing."
Today, Savio is more than back. His real estate company, Hawaiian Island Homes Ltd., lists 2002 gross sales of $177 million. Its office is downstairs in the same building that Savio Inc.'s once was. And the company is No. 27, ahead of CPB Inc. (No. 49), something Savio will rejoice to read. Savio says, "I've decided that my goal is to beat them in the Top 250. … just so we can say, 'Nannynannybooboo!'"
That's not all. "My short-term and my long-term goal is to reform Central Pacific Bank," Savio says. "I think I'm going to buy the bank."
Ann Takiguchi, Central Pacific Financial's communications officer, says, "We made every effort to work with Mr. Savio, and it is unfortunate that he is blaming us for his situation. Out of respect for our customers' privacy, we have no further comment. As a matter of bank policy, we don't comment on the affairs of our customers."
Bankruptcy court filings show that Central Pacific Bank claimed that Savio Inc. owed it about $1.5 million when Savio filed for bankruptcy in 2001. The Internal Revenue Service and Pitney Bowes Credit Corp. also listed claims of about $2,000 each.
The court-appointed trustee for Savio Inc.'s bankruptcy case, attorney Jim Nicholson, says the only unencumbered asset of the estate, a unit in the Diamond Head Beach apartment building, was sold for $375,000 in June 2003.
Gross sales for Savio's other new company, Hawaiian Island Development, were not reported for this year's Top 250, so one thing is for sure: Next year, he'll be back. Says Savio: "We're going to set up a new holding company called, 'I Hate CPB.' No, my attorney said I couldn't do that. I have a warped sense of humor, OK? But anyway, the new holding company is going to be Ohia Holdings."
Knowing Savio, there is marked symbolism in that choice. After all, the Ohia tree can be found growing in the middle of old lava flows.
Hawaii Business, August, 2003
~ ~ ~
December 13, 2007
Lawmakers vote to hold
Bush aides in contempt
By Thomas Ferraro, Rueters
The Senate Judiciary Committee voted on Thursday to hold two men who have been top aides to President George W. Bush in contempt for refusing to comply with subpoenas in its probe of the firing of federal prosecutors.
On a largely party-line vote, the Democratic-led panel sent contempt of Congress citations against White House Chief of Staff Josh Bolten and former Deputy Chief of Staff Karl Rove to the full Senate for consideration.
"This is not a step I have wanted to take," said Chairman Patrick Leahy, a Vermont Democrat. He accused the White House of "stonewalling" and refusing to reach an acceptable compromise on providing documents and testimony.
In a battle dating back to shortly after Democrats took control of Congress in January, Bush has claimed executive privilege to protect aides from complying with subpoenas demanding documents and testimony in a congressional probe into the firing last year of nine federal prosecutors.
Setting the stage for a possible lengthy court fight, the committee rejected the privilege claim as unfounded.
At the White House, press secretary Dana Perino said, "The Democrats should know the futility of trying to press ahead with a criminal case."
In July, the House of Representatives Judiciary Committee also approved along party lines contempt citations against Bolten and former White House counsel Harriet Miers.
It was unclear when the full House or Senate would vote on the citations. If approved, they would be sent to the U.S. Justice Department for prosecution.
Attorney General Michael Mukasey said during his confirmation hearing he did not believe the department could prosecute since it had deemed Bush's privilege claim as valid.
If the case does end up in the courts, it could takes years to conclude, long after Bush's term ends in January 2009.
Bush nominated Mukasey as attorney general after Alberto Gonzales, Bush's former White House counsel, resigned under pressure from lawmakers who questioned his competency and honesty.
Critics charged Gonzales had politicized the Justice Department and fired prosecutors because they were not seen as sufficiently loyal to the administration.
The White House has contended the dismissals were improperly handled, but did not involve any wrongdoing.
August 27, 2007
Top Law Enforcement Official
Attorney General Alberto Gonzales stepped down from his post, amid a political firestorm after Congressional Democrats accused him of perjury.
The embattled attorney general had withstood months of criticism from both sides of the aisle in Congress. Lawmakers blasted Gonzales after his department's bungled firing of at least eight U.S. attorneys last year, accused him of misusing terrorist surveillance programs and most recently, Democrats charged that Gonzales had repeatedly lied to Congress under oath.
Fired U.S. Attorneys
Tension between Gonzales and Congress ratcheted up this spring, after details began emerging about last year's federal prosecutor firings. Gonzales' chief of staff and the department's White House liaison, who later admitted to having little prosecutorial experience themselves, were heavily involved in constructing the list of prosecutors to dismiss. Members of Congress questioned the motives behind the firings, alleging that they were politically motivated. Both of the officials later stepped down.
The attorney firings, which seemed to kick off a campaign seeking the attorney general's resignation, took a backseat to criticism over the Terrorist Surveillance Program and challenges to his sworn statements before Congress.
Terrorist Surveillance Program
In testimony before the Senate Judiciary Committee on July 24, the attorney general dismissed then-Acting Attorney General James Comey's statement that a March 10, 2004 White House briefing with congressional leaders specifically addressed the Terrorist Surveillance Program, which allowed the government to use wiretaps without court authorization. A still-classified program, possibly related to TSP, was set to expire the following day.
It was shortly after that briefing that Gonzales, at the time White House counsel, along with then-White House chief of staff Andy Card, went to the hospital, apparently to ask then-Attorney General John Ashcroft to re-authorize the program, despite having ceded his powers to Comey while he recovered from surgery in the hospital's intensive care unit.
In May of this year, Comey recounted the run-in during dramatic testimony to Congress, saying he raced to the hospital to head off Gonzales and Card. "I was angry," Comey said. "I thought I had just witnessed an effort to take advantage of a very sick man who did not have the powers of the attorney general."
FBI Director Backs Comey
In a hearing before the House Judiciary Committee July 26, FBI Director Robert Mueller backed Comey's account.
In his first public comments about the now-infamous visit, Mueller confirmed to the panel that he and Comey scrambled to post agents outside Ashcroft's hospital room.
Mueller in his usual crisp, blunt style said, "I don't dispute what Mr. Comey said."
But the attorney general downplayed interpretations of the visit to Ashcroft.
Describing why he and Card urgently needed to talk to Ashcroft, Gonzales testified July 24 that the attorney general could have reclaimed his powers, "and he could always reclaim that. There are no rules" against it.
Gonzales indicated that Ashcroft had previously authorized the program, noting, "From the inception, we believed that we had the approval of the attorney general of the United States for these activities."
He also noted that the White House briefing involved "other intelligence activities."
Possible Perjury Probe
Two Senators on the Senate Judiciary panel, Russ Feingold, D-Wisc., and Sheldon Whitehouse, D-R.I., both also members of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, jumped on that assertion, which has also been contradicted by two participants in the March 10, 2004 briefing -- Sen. Jay Rockefeller, D-W.V., and Rep. Jane Harman, D-Calif.
A letter from then-Director of National Intelligence John Negroponte to then-House Speaker Dennis Hastert, R-Ill. also confirms that the March 10 meeting addressed the TSP.
On July 26, four Senate Democrats called for the Justice Department to assign a special prosecutor to investigate the apparent discrepancies.
"I believe it's perjury," Feingold said of Gonzales' July 24 testimony. "Not just misleading - perjury."
Specter Weighs In
The Senate Judiciary Committee's senior Republican, Pennsylvania's Arlen Specter, has publicly called for the attorney general's resignation. He also alluded to the possibility that the panel would examine whether Gonzales has lied to Congress, telling him at the July 24 hearing, "My suggestion to you is that you review your testimony very carefully."
"The chairman's already said that the committee's going to review your testimony very carefully to see if your credibility has been breached to the point of being actionable," Specter continued.
But Specter did not join in on his colleagues' latest move.
'A Little Bit of Don Quixote'
"Do I support Senator Schumer's request for a special prosecutor? No," Specter said. "I think Senator Schumer has made a practice of politicizing this matter."
August 27, 2007
Gonzales, Attorney General Who Promoted Illegal Torture and Domestic Spying for President Bush, Resigns in Disgrace
Associated Press, MSNBC
WASHINGTON - Embattled Attorney General Alberto Gonzales, under fire from congressional Democrats, has resigned, senior Bush administration officials said Monday....
The 51-year-old Bush loyalist was at the center of a political firestorm for President Bush over the sacking of eight federal prosecutors, which critics in Congress complained were politically motivated.
A senior Justice Department official said that a likely temporary replacement for Gonzales is Solicitor General Paul Clement, who would take over until a permanent replacement is found.
Gonzales worked for Bush when he was governor of Texas in the 1990s. He served as White House lawyer in Bush's first term as president before becoming the first Hispanic attorney general in February 2005.
Gonzales drew fire from civil liberties groups for writing in January 2002 that parts of the half-century-old Geneva Convention on the treatment of prisoners of war were "obsolete" and some provisions were "quaint."
He also was criticized for Bush's warrantless domestic spying program adopted after the Sept. 11 attacks. Only in January, in an abrupt reversal, Gonzales said the program finally would be subject to court approval.
August 27, 2007
Embattled Gonzales quits at last
By: Mike Allen
Attorney General Alberto Gonzales resigned this morning, long after he had become a persistent embarrassment to President Bush.
The acting attorney general will be Solicitor General Paul Clement, who can stay in the job for months, administration officials said.
The president praised and defended Gonzales during brief remarks in Waco, Texas. "After months of unfair treatment, that has created a harmful distraction at the Justice Department, Judge Gonzales decided to resign his position and I accept his decision," Bush said. "It's sad that we live in a time when a talented and honorable person like Alberto Gonzales is impeding from doing important work because his good name was dragged through the mud for political reasons."
In a brief statement before cameras at the Justice Department, Gonzales said he had met with Bush on Sunday and informed him of his decision to resign, effective Sept. 17. He made no references to the controversies that hounded him from office....
Possible successors include Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff and Frances Fragos Townsend, the assistant to the president for Homeland Security and Counterterrorism. One oft-discussed scenario would have Townsend succeeding Chertoff. But a Chertoff confirmation rehearing would mean an exploration of the administration’s handling of Hurricane Katrina.
Several Republicans said Towsend might be a promising choice. She was a federal prosecutor in New York City, handling mob and white-collar cases. Towsend worked at the Justice Department under President Clinton's attorney general, Janet Reno. She has become close to Bush and is one of the White House's most compeling personalities for television appearances.
Another possibility would be Sen. Orrin G. Hatch (R-Utah), former Judiciary Committee chairman. But it's not clear that he would want to give up his Senate seat for a job that will last for a little more than a year.
Sen. Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) was prepared to call the chamber to order occasionally during August to prevent Bush from using his recess appointment powers to install officials while Congress is gone. But the White House agreed not to do that.
The administration is now planning for a nominee who will be confirmed by the Senate and serve until the end of the administration. An individual may serve in an acting capacity for 210 days. However, if there is a pending nominee, the 210-day "clock" is reset at Day One when the nominee is announced. The clock is reset again if the nomination is withdrawn or fails.
Clement was an editor of the Harvard Law Review before clerking for Judge Laurence H. Silberman of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit, and for Associate Justice Antonin Scalia of the U.S. Supreme Court. He later served as chief counsel of the Senate subcommittee on the Constitution, Federalism and Property Rights and was a partner in the Washington office of King & Spalding.
Gonzales had become the most visible and frequent administration target for the Democratic majority in Congress, which complained that his testimony about the quiet firing of several U.S. attorneys was misleading at best.
July 26, 2007
FBI Head Contradicts
Lawmakers Want Probe of
Attorney General; Rove Subpoenaed
By LAURIE KELLMAN and LARA JAKES JORDAN, AP
WASHINGTON (July 26) - The head of the FBI contradicted Attorney General Alberto Gonzales' sworn testimony and Senate Democrats requested a perjury investigation Thursday in a fresh barrage against President Bush's embattled longtime friend and aide.
In a third blow to the Bush administration, the Senate Judiciary Committee issued subpoenas to compel the testimony of Karl Rove, Bush's chief political adviser, in connection with its investigation.
"It has become apparent that the attorney general has provided at a minimum half-truths and misleading statements," four Democrats on the Senate Judiciary Committee wrote in a letter to Solicitor General Paul Clement calling for a special counsel to investigate.
"I'm convinced that he's not telling the truth," added Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev.
The developments marked a troubling turn for Gonzales as well as the administration, which has been on the political defensive since congressional Democrats launched an investigation seven months ago into the firings of U.S. attorneys.
That probe revealed information that Democrats have sought to weave into a pattern of improper political influence over prosecutions, of stonewalling and of deceit in sworn testimony before Congress.
The White House defiantly stuck by Gonzales and denied that FBI Director Robert S. Mueller had contradicted him.
Democrats insisted that Gonzales had been untruthful and that the White House had encouraged top aides to flout congressional subpoenas in the U.S. attorney probe.
But Gonzales took the toughest hits Thursday, when four Senate Democrats issued a list of examples of what they said was the attorney general lying to Congress under oath - the basis for their request to Clement to appoint a special counsel to investigate.
Among the Democrats' examples of Gonzales' untruthfulness was his emphatic and repeated statement to the Judiciary Committee Tuesday that his dramatic nighttime visit to the bedside of Attorney General John Ashcroft in 2004 was not related to an internal administration dispute about the president's secret warrantless eavesdropping program.
In his own sworn testimony Thursday, Mueller contradicted his boss, saying under questioning that the terrorist surveillance program (TSP) was the topic of the hospital room dispute between top Bush administration officials.
Mueller was not in the hospital room at the time of the dramatic March 10, 2004, confrontation between Ashcroft and presidential advisers Andy Card and Gonzales, who was then serving as White House counsel. Mueller told the House Judiciary Committee he arrived shortly after they left, and then spoke with the ailing Ashcroft.
"Did you have an understanding that the conversation was on TSP?" asked Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee, D-Texas in a round of questioning that may have sounded to listeners like bureaucratic alphabet soup.
"I had an understanding the discussion was on a NSA program, yes," Mueller answered.
Jackson sought to clarify: "We use 'TSP,' we use 'warrantless wiretapping,' so would I be comfortable in saying that those were the items that were part of the discussion?"
"The discussion was on a national NSA program that has been much discussed, yes," Mueller responded.
The NSA, or National Security Agency, runs the program that eavesdropped on terror suspects in the United States, without court approval, until last January, when the program was put under the authority of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court.
~ ~ ~
July 23, 2007
Gonzales vows to stay,
fix Justice's image
'Troubling to hear' allegations about
attorney hirings, he will tell Senate
WASHINGTON - Attorney General Alberto Gonzales says he’s staying at the Justice Department to try to repair its broken image, telling Congress in a statement released Monday he’s troubled that politics may have played a part in hiring career federal prosecutors.
Senators already skeptical of Gonzales’ ability to lead the department were preparing to hammer him about the firings of eight U.S. attorneys and conflicts between his earlier statements and the testimony of a former aide.
The attorney general’s comments came in 26 pages of prepared testimony that was released on the eve of his scheduled appearance before the Senate Judiciary Committee. After months of critics calling for his resignation, Gonzales appears to have weathered the political furor that began with the prosecutors’ purge last year and subsequently revealed a Justice Department hiring process that favored Republican loyalists.
In his written testimony, Gonzales touted the department’s focus on terrorists, violent crime and even aid to the 2005 Hurricane Katrina victims. He made no reference to the fired U.S. attorneys and only briefly mentioned the controversy that has torpedoed morale at the Justice Department and has called the fairness of its attorneys into question....
Sen. Charles E. Schumer, D-N.Y., was unswayed.
“There are probably only two people on Earth who think the attorney general ought to stay: Alberto Gonzales and President Bush,” Schumer, who was the first senator to call for Gonzales’ resignation, said Monday. “As long as he’s in charge, the Justice Department, the rule of law and America will suffer.”
Gonzales also reminded senators that the Justice Department has launched an internal investigation — one that he has no control over — into the accusations. The results are not expected for months.
It’s against federal law to discriminate against career employees by hiring or firing them based on their political loyalties. But two months ago, former top Gonzales aide Monica Goodling admitted she did just that when she served as the Justice Department’s liaison to the White House — including, at times, looking to see whether job applicants had contributed to the GOP or other political parties.
In her May testimony in front of the House Judiciary Committee, Goodling described an “uncomfortable” meeting shortly before she left the Justice Department during which Gonzales asked for her recollection of events in the U.S. attorneys scandal, which Congress is investigating.
Her account led to questions of whether Gonzales was coaching Goodling — illegally tampering with a witness in the ongoing inquiry. Gonzales has said he was merely trying to comfort Goodling at an awkward time.
The issue of the meeting was Topic A among a list of a dozen questions that Senate Judiciary Chairman Patrick Leahy sent Gonzales last week. Leahy also needled Gonzales on his April 17 appearance in front of the same panel, during which the attorney general declined to answer questions at least 60 times, citing a faulty memory or simply saying he didn’t know the answers.
“I would like to avoid a repeat of that performance,” Leahy wrote in the July 17 letter.
A voter fraud case in Missouri, FBI violations in terror and spy investigations and the role that outgoing Deputy Attorney General Paul McNulty played in the prosecutor firings also are topics on senators’ agenda for the hearing.
Gonzales also is expected to be asked about his participation, as White House counsel at the time, in a March 2004 hospital room confrontation with then-Attorney General John Ashcroft over whether the government’s domestic spying program was legal. Gonzales was in front of the House Intelligence Committee in a private hearing last week to discuss that meeting, during which he attempted to get an ailing Ashcroft to approve the program over the Justice Department’s objections. Gonzales was named attorney general less than a year later.
Also Monday, the House Judiciary Committee said that it would vote Wednesday on contempt citations for former White House counsel Harriet Miers and White House chief of staff Joshua Bolten, who have refused to comply with subpoenas seeking their testimony in the U.S. attorney investigation.
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June 28, 2007
Bush asserts executive privilege
By TERENCE HUNT, AP White House Correspondent
WASHINGTON - President Bush, in a constitutional showdown with Congress, claimed executive privilege Thursday and rejected demands for White House documents and testimony about the firing of U.S. attorneys.
His decision was denounced as "Nixonian stonewalling" by the chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee.
Bush rejected subpoenas for documents from former presidential counsel Harriet Miers and former political director Sara Taylor. The White House made clear neither one would testify next month, as directed by the subpoenas.
Presidential counsel Fred Fielding said Bush had made a reasonable attempt at compromise but Congress forced the confrontation by issuing subpoenas. "With respect, it is with much regret that we are forced down this unfortunate path which we sought to avoid by finding grounds for mutual accommodation."
The assertion of executive privilege was the latest turn in increasingly hostile standoffs between the administration and the Democratic-controlled Congress over the Iraq war, executive power, the war on terror and Vice President Dick Cheney's authority. A day earlier, the Senate Judiciary Committee delivered subpoenas to the offices of Bush, Cheney, the national security adviser and the Justice Department about the administration's warrantless wiretapping program.
While weakened by the Iraq war and poor approval ratings in the polls, Bush has been adamant not to cede ground to Congress.
"Increasingly, the president and vice president feel they are above the law," said Sen. Patrick Leahy, D-Vt., chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee.
Rep. John Conyers, D-Mich., chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, said Bush's assertion of executive privilege was "unprecedented in its breadth and scope" and displayed "an appalling disregard for the right of the people to know what is going on in their government."
White House press secretary Tony Snow weighed in with unusually sharp criticism of Congress. He accused Democrats of trying "to make life difficult for the White House. It also may explain why this is the least popular Congress in decades, because you do have what appears to be a strategy of destruction, rather than cooperation."
Over the years, Congress and the White House have avoided a full-blown court test about the constitutional balance of power and whether the president can refuse demands from Congress. Lawmakers could vote to cite witnesses for contempt and refer the matter to the local U.S. attorney to bring before a grand jury. Since 1975, 10 senior administration officials have been cited but the disputes were all resolved before getting to court.
Congressional committees sought the documents and testimony in their investigations of Attorney General Alberto Gonzales' stewardship of the Justice Department and the firing of eight federal attorneys over the winter. Democrats say the firings were an example of improper political influence. The White House contends that U.S. attorneys are political appointees who can be hired and fired for almost any reason.
In a letter to Leahy and Conyers, Fielding said Bush had "attempted to chart a course of cooperation" by releasing more than 8,500 pages of documents and sending Gonzales and other officials to Capitol Hill to testify.
The president also had offered to make Miers, Taylor, political strategist Karl Rove and their aides available to be interviewed by the Judiciary committees in closed-door sessions, without transcripts and not under oath. Leahy and Conyers rejected that proposal.
The Senate Judiciary Committee's senior Republican, Arlen Specter of Pennsylvania, said the House and Senate panels should accept Bush's original offer.
Impatient with the "lagging" pace of the investigation into the U.S. attorney firings, Specter said he asked Fielding during a phone call Wednesday night whether the president would agree to transcripts on the interviews. Fielding's answer: No.
"I think we ought to take what information we can get now and try to wrap this up," Specter told reporters. That wouldn't preclude Congress from reissuing subpoenas if lawmakers do not get enough answers, Specter said.
Fielding explained Bush's position on executive privilege this way: "For the president to perform his constitutional duties, it is imperative that he receive candid and unfettered advice and that free and open discussions and deliberations occur among his advisers and between those advisers and others within and outside the Executive Branch."
This "bedrock presidential prerogative" exists, in part, to protect the president from being compelled to disclose such communications to Congress, Fielding argued.
In a slap at the committees, Fielding said, "There is no demonstration that the documents and information you seek by subpoena are critically important to any legislative initiatives that you may be pursuing or intending to pursue."
It was the second time in his administration that Bush has exerted executive privilege, said White House deputy press secretary Tony Fratto. The first instance was in December 2001, to rebuff Congress' demands for Clinton administration documents.
The most famous claim of executive privilege was in 1974, when President Nixon went to the Supreme Court to avoid surrendering White House tape recordings in the Watergate scandal. That was in a criminal investigation, not a demand from Congress. The court unanimously ordered Nixon to turn over the tapes.
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See also: http://www.kycbs.net/CV05-00030-Witness-Helms-Richard.htm
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May 15, 2007
Gonzales’s Deputy Quits Justice Dept.
By DAVID JOHNSTON, New York Times
WASHINGTON, May 14 — Paul J. McNulty, the deputy attorney general whose Congressional testimony in February provided a spark that turned a smoldering issue over the firings of federal prosecutors into a raging inferno, announced his resignation on Monday.
Mr. McNulty, the fourth and highest-ranking Justice Department official to resign since the uproar began in Congress over the dismissals of the United States attorneys, had told friends for weeks that he was planning to step aside.
In a letter to Attorney General Alberto R. Gonzales, Mr. McNulty said he would remain at the Justice Department until late summer, adding “The financial realities of college-age children and two decades of public service lead me to a long overdue transition in my career.”
The departure of another senior aide at the Justice Department appeared to leave the attorney general in a somewhat more isolated position. But with President Bush’s support, Mr. Gonzales has so far fended off demands by Democrats and some Republicans who have called on him to resign.
Mr. McNulty, 49, will leave after spending more than two decades in a variety of positions at the Justice Department and on Capitol Hill. He was a United States attorney in Virginia before taking the deputy’s job in November 2005.
Mr. Gonzales said in a statement that the Justice Department “will be losing a thoughtful and dynamic leader,” citing Mr. McNulty’s efforts on corporate and procurement fraud issues and in creating a new legal system in Iraq.
In a brief interview, Mr. McNulty said that his years working at the Justice Department and as a Congressional staff member had been “extraordinarily rewarding” and that he would soon begin looking for a legal job outside the government.
But friends said that Mr. McNulty had long chafed in his role as second in command under Mr. Gonzales and had realized that the furor over the prosecutors had probably ended his hope to be named to a seat on a federal appeals court.
Mr. McNulty, whose affable presence was said by friends to conceal an aggressively conservative approach to legal issues, had been shaken by the intensity of the storm over the removals and the sometimes sharp personal criticism directed at him from the White House and former Republican allies.
At times, Mr. McNulty found himself pushed aside by D. Kyle Sampson, the former chief of staff to Mr. Gonzales, who granted Mr. Sampson wide-ranging authority, especially in personnel matters.
Mr. McNulty blamed himself for failing to resist the dismissal plan when Mr. Sampson brought it to him in October 2006, according to associates. He took one prosecutor off the removal list but acquiesced to the removal of seven others, according to Congressional aides’ accounts of his private testimony to Congress on April 27.
Friends of Mr. Sampson and his former deputy, Monica Goodling, were angry at Mr. McNulty’s testimony on Feb. 6 when he told the Senate Judiciary Committee that most of the United States attorneys had been removed for performance reasons.
In testimony that even angered Mr. Gonzales, according to a Justice Department e-mail message, Mr. McNulty said that one prosecutor, H. E. Cummins III of Arkansas, had been dismissed solely to make room for J. Timothy Griffin, who had been named as the temporary successor with the backing of Karl Rove, the senior White House political adviser.
Friends of Mr. McNulty said he had tried to be candid about what he knew of the removals. In his private Congressional testimony, Mr. McNulty said he did not realize until later the extensive White House involvement in Mr. Griffin’s appointment or Mr. Sampson’s nearly year-long effort to compile a list.
White House aides complained privately that Mr. McNulty’s testimony gave Democrats a significant opening to demand more testimony from the Justice Department and presidential aides. Several aides said he should have been combative in defending the dismissals.
His appearance also prompted several United States attorneys, who had until then said little about their dismissals, to question openly the motive for their removal, in part because their offices had received highly favorable performance reviews from the Justice Department.
Senator Charles E. Schumer, Democrat of New York, who has led the Congressional investigation, said, “It seems ironic that Paul McNulty, who at least tried to level with the committee, goes while Gonzales, who stonewalled the committee, is still in charge.”
Other casualties include Mr. Sampson and his deputy, Ms. Goodling, who was the Justice Department liaison aide to the White House. Another official who has left is William A. Battle, the Justice Department official who contacted most of the prosecutors to tell them they were being replaced.
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April 19, 2007
GONZALES REJECTS CALL FOR HIS OUSTER
By LARA JAKES JORDAN, Associated Press Writer
Attorney General Alberto Gonzales confronted a fresh call for his resignation from a fellow Republican Thursday as he struggled to survive a bipartisan Senate challenge to his credibility in the case of eight fired prosecutors.
"The best way to put this behind us is your resignation," Sen. Tom Coburn (news, bio, voting record) bluntly told Gonzales, one GOP conservative to another.
Gonzales disagreed and told the Oklahoma senator he didn't know that his departure would put the controversy to rest.
The exchange punctuated a long day in the witness chair at a Senate hearing for the attorney general, who doggedly advanced a careful, lawyerly defense of the dismissals of the prosecutors. He readily admitted mistakes, yet told lawmakers he had "never sought to deceive them," and added he would make the same firings decision again.
"At the end of the day I know I did not do anything improper," he said.
Gonzales sat alone at the witness table in a crowded room for the widely anticipated hearing. There was no doubt about the stakes involved for a member of President Bush's inner circle, and support from fellow Republicans was critical to his attempt to hold his job.
"The moment I believe I can no longer be effective I will resign as attorney general," Gonzales said after first making it clear he did not believe it had come to that.
The White House offered support. Spokeswoman Dana Perino told reporters, "I think the president has full confidence" in his attorney general.
Struggling to save his credibility and perhaps his job, Gonzales testified at least 45 times — before lunch — that he could not recall events he was asked about.
After a long morning in the witness chair, he returned to face fresh Republican challenges to his credibility. "Why is your story changing?" asked Sen. Charles Grassley (news, bio, voting record) of Iowa, noting that the attorney general was now accepting responsibility for the firings after initially saying he had played only a minor role.
In response, Gonzales replied that his earlier answers had been "overbroad" and the result of inadequate preparation.
The process that led to the firings "should have been more rigorous," he added, although he repeatedly defended the decisions themselves.
Moments later, Coburn delivered his verdict. He said the firing issue was "handled incompetently. The communication was atrocious. It's generous to say there were misstatements."
Democrats, too, bored in.
"Since you apparently knew very little about the performance about the replaced United States attorneys, how can you testify that the judgment ought to stand?" asked Sen. Edward M. Kennedy, D-Mass.
Sen. Dianne Feinstein (news, bio, voting record), D-Calif., asked Gonzales whether he had reviewed the evaluation records of the dismissed prosecutors, who Justice Department officials initially said had been fired for inadequate performance. He said he had not.
Sen. Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., questioned Gonzales sharply over his insistence that one former prosecutor, Carol Lam of California, had been told of Justice Department concerns with her record on immigration violations. The senator said Lam had testified to the contrary.
But given Gonzales' political need for Republican support, the line of questioning from several GOP lawmakers was ominous.
"We have to evaluate whether you are really being forthright," Sen. Arlen Specter bluntly informed the nation's chief law enforcement officer.
The Pennsylvania Republican said Gonzales' description of his role in the firings was "significantly if not totally at variance with the facts."
"Most of this is a stretch," Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., said after listening to Gonzales' explanation of the dismissals. "It's clear to me that some of these people just had personality conflicts with people in your office or the White House and (they) just made up reasons to fire them."
Sen. Jeff Sessions, R-Ala., said he was concerned about Gonzales' inability to recall a meeting he attended last November when the firings were discussed.
The attorney general began his turn as a witness after a tongue-lashing from Sen. Patrick Leahy (news, bio, voting record), the committee's chairman.
"Today the Department of Justice is experiencing a crisis of leadership perhaps unrivaled during its 137-year history," said the Vermont Democrat. "There's a growing scandal swirling around the dismissal" of prosecutors, he added.
The hearing room was filled as Gonzales slid into the witness chair at midmorning. Protesters wearing orange garb and pink police costumes were among the spectators. The words "Arrest Gonzales" were duct-taped to their backs.
Gonzales has provided differing versions of the events surrounding the firings, first saying he had almost no involvement and later acknowledging that his role was larger — but only after e-mails about meetings he attended were released by the Justice Department to House and Senate committees.
Urged in advance by Republicans to clear up any inconsistencies, Gonzales spoke at times in careful, lawyerly terms.
"I now understand there was a conversation with myself and the president," he said at one point.
Democrats have stoked the controversy over the dismissals, suggesting there were political considerations. But the first several hours of the hearing produced few if any fresh details.
Gonzales acknowledged speaking with Bush and White House adviser Karl Rove about complaints over election fraud cases in New Mexico, where David Iglesias was the U.S. attorney.
The conversation with Bush occurred on Oct. 11, Gonzales said. Iglesias' name was added to the list of those to be fired between Oct. 17 and Nov. 15 — a week after the November elections.
On the Net: Senate Judiciary Committee: http://judiciary.senate.gov
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April 17, 2007
Ex-Aide Says Gonzales Discussed Firings
By DAVID JOHNSTON, New York Times
WASHINGTON, April 16 — The former top aide to Attorney General Alberto R. Gonzales has told Congressional investigators that Mr. Gonzales was “inaccurate,” or “at least not complete” in asserting that he had no role in the deliberations about individual United States attorneys who were later dismissed, a Democratic senator said Monday.
The statements by D. Kyle Sampson, the former chief of staff to Mr. Gonzales, during an interview with investigators on Sunday, were made public as the Senate Judiciary Committee postponed a hearing that had been scheduled for Tuesday in which Mr. Gonzales was to appear to defend his actions in the dismissals.
Senator Patrick J. Leahy, the Vermont Democrat who is the committee’s chairman, and Senator Arlen Specter of Pennsylvania, its senior Republican, delayed the hearing until Thursday because of the shooting rampage at Virginia Tech.
In his interview, Mr. Sampson said under oath that Mr. Gonzales took part in discussions last fall about David C. Iglesias, who was removed as the United States attorney in New Mexico, as well as in a June 2006 meeting that addressed concerns about Carol C. Lam, the United States attorney ousted from her job in San Diego, said Senator Charles E. Schumer, Democrat of New York. Mr. Sampson made similar statements in public testimony to the Judiciary Committee on March 29, but appeared to offer more specifics in the interview.
Mr. Schumer, who has led the Senate inquiry into the Justice Department’s ouster of eight federal prosecutors, said that Mr. Sampson’s testimony raised new questions about the accuracy of Mr. Gonzales’s previous statements, most recently in testimony released Sunday in advance of the Senate hearing, that he had not taken part in deliberations about individual prosecutors designated for removal.
Mr. Gonzales said in an interview with NBC News on March 26 that he did not recall a White House meeting held in the fall. White House officials confirmed the meeting and that President Bush raised concerns at it about a lack of aggressive voter-fraud investigations in three states, including New Mexico.
“I don’t remember that conversation,” Mr. Gonzales said in the NBC interview. “During the process there may have been other conversations about specifically about the performance of U.S. attorneys. But I wasn’t involved in the deliberations as to whether or not a particular United States attorney should or should not be asked to resign.”
Mr. Schumer said Monday that Mr. Sampson recalled that in early March, Mr. Gonzales had told him about the White House conversation — the first time, Mr. Sampson said, that he learned of the president’s concern. Mr. Sampson’s lawyer, Bradford A. Berenson, declined to comment on the interview.
According to Mr. Schumer, Mr. Sampson said he believed Mr. Gonzales had attended a June 2006 meeting in which Ms. Lam’s removal was discussed. Another official, William W. Mercer, the acting associate attorney general, recalled with greater certainty that Mr. Gonzales was at the meeting, Mr. Schumer said.
A Justice Department spokesman, Brian Roehrkasse, said there was nothing new in the information Mr. Schumer attributed to Mr. Sampson. He said that Mr. Gonzales’s role in discussions about Mr. Iglesias and Ms. Lam had been previously disclosed; that Mr. Gonzales’ statements about his lack of recollection about the White House meeting were accurate; and that his accounts of it to Mr. Sampson and others were based on what others had told him, not on his own memory.
The House Judiciary Committee also moved Monday to expand its investigation, notifying the Justice Department that it was seeking to interview the current United States attorneys from Minnesota, New Mexico, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin.
One House official said the committee wanted to learn about the February 2006 appointment of Rachel K. Paulose as the United States attorney in Minnesota, particularly the reasons for her move from a post at the department’s headquarters.
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April 13, 2007
E-Mail Listed Possible G.O.P. Replacements for Attorneys
By DAVID JOHNSTON and ERIC LIPTON, New York Times
WASHINGTON — A Justice Department e-mail message released on Friday shows that the former chief of staff to Attorney General Alberto R. Gonzales proposed replacement candidates for United States attorneys nearly a year before they were dismissed in December 2006. The department has repeatedly stated that no successors were selected before the dismissals.
The Jan. 9, 2006, e-mail message, written by D. Kyle Sampson, who resigned last month as the top aide to Mr. Gonzales, identified five Bush administration officials, most of them Justice Department employees, whose names were sent to the White House for consideration as possible replacements for prosecutors slated for dismissal.
The e-mail message and several related documents provide the first evidence that Mr. Sampson, the Justice Department official in charge of the dismissals, had focused on who would succeed the ousted prosecutors. Justice officials have repeatedly said that seven of the eight prosecutors were removed without regard to who might succeed them.
Some of the new documents show the department’s acute awareness of individual United States attorneys’ political and ideological views. An undated spreadsheet attached to a Feb. 12, 2007, e-mail message listed the federal prosecutors who had served under President Bush along with their past work experience.
The chart included a category for Republican Party and campaign work, showing who had been a delegate to a Republican convention or had managed a Republican political campaign. The chart had a separate category indicating who among the prosecutors was a member of the Federalist Society, a Washington-based association that serves as a talent pool for young conservatives seeking appointments in Republican administrations.
Taken together, Democrats asserted, the e-mail supported their contention that the ousted prosecutors were dismissed to make room for favored candidates who were chosen on the basis of their political qualifications as much as prosecutorial experience.
The latest collection of documents, the sixth batch produced by the Justice Department in recent weeks, also cast further light on the frantic scramble by the Bush administration since January to contain the public relations damage caused by the ouster of the eight.
The electronic messages, some written as recently as last month, offer a rare and almost contemporaneous account of the tactics used by a sitting administration trying to manage a political firestorm.
One e-mail message shows the White House urging the Justice Department to call Senator Jeff Sessions, Republican of Alabama, to give him information about the placement of J. Timothy Griffin, a former aide to Karl Rove, as the interim United States attorney in Arkansas.
“WH political reached out to Sen. Sessions and requested that he ask helpful questions to make clear that Tim Griffin is qualified to serve,” said a January 2007 e-mail message from Monica Goodling, a former senior aide to Mr. Gonzales, to other department officials. “Here are the talkers on Griffin, as well as a narrative that can be used by staff, and his résumé. I think it would actually be helpful for all of the Rs to have it.”
It was not clear whether the “talkers," shorthand for talking points, were sent to Mr. Sessions and other “Rs,” or Republicans. But Mr. Sessions, in a later hearing on the matter, ran through all of the highlights, praising Mr. Griffin’s résumé, just as the White House and Justice had apparently requested.
Other documents show that Ms. Goodling, the Justice Department’s liaison to the White House, prepared a list of reasons in February to explain publicly why the prosecutors had been ousted.
Notes in handwriting identified by a Justice official as Ms. Goodling’s run quickly through a list of alleged transgressions by the fired prosecutors, like “incredibly fractured office, morale low, lost confidence of her subordinates and superiors,” in describing Margaret Chiara, the former United States attorney from Western Michigan who disputes the claims.
In the case of David Iglesias, who was dismissed as the top federal prosecutor in New Mexico, Ms. Goodling writes of a complaint from Senator Pete V. Domenici of New Mexico, a Republican: “Domenici says he doesn’t move cases.”
The e-mail was among more than 2,000 pages of documents released by the Justice Department as part of a continuing outpouring of more than 6,000 pages of e-mail and other internal records produced in the last month in response to requests by House and Senate committees as the furor over the dismissals has grown. Mr. Gonzales is scheduled to appear on Tuesday before the Senate Judiciary Committee.
The Justice Department said that Mr. Sampson’s e-mail message did not contradict either his sworn testimony or the department’s past statements. Brian Roehrkasse, a spokesman for the department, said: “We have consistently stated that, with the exception of Griffin, individuals were not pre-selected for any of the eight U.S. attorney positions prior to asking the U. S. attorneys to resign. The list made public today had previously been shared privately with Congress, and it in no way contradicts the department’s prior statement. The list, drafted 10 months before the December resignations, reflects Kyle Sampson’s initial thoughts, not pre-selected candidates by the administration.”
Mr. Sampson’s lawyer, Bradford Berenson, also denied that the message contradicted Mr. Sampson’s testimony. “Kyle’s testimony regarding the consideration of replacements was entirely accurate,” Mr. Berenson said. “In December 2006, when the seven U.S. attorneys were asked to step down, no specific candidate had been selected to replace any of them, and Kyle had none in mind. Some names had been tentatively suggested for discussion much earlier in the process, but by the time the decision to ask for the resignations was made none had been chosen to serve as a replacement.”
The possible replacements selected by Mr. Sampson — with the exception of Mr. Griffin — never materialized, at least in part because the controversy regarding the ousters has pushed aside consideration of who will fill the vacancies. But it is clear from actions taken over the last two years that Justice officials had placed lawyers from department headquarters, who were known to be loyal to Mr. Gonzales and President Bush, into open posts.
The Jan. 9, 2006, e-mail message was sent by Mr. Sampson to Harriet E. Miers, the former White House counsel, and William Kelley, another White House lawyer. In the e-mail, Mr. Sampson proposed the dismissal of a total of seven United States attorneys and named at least one replacement candidate for each prospective vacancy.
Because of deletions in the e-mail copies turned over to Congress, the document discloses only the names of four United States attorneys slated for removal and five of their possible successors. The names of the replacement candidates, in most cases, are followed by a question mark, suggesting that Mr. Sampson might have been uncertain about them.
The United States attorneys identified for removal are four who were ultimately dismissed: Ms. Chiara in Michigan, Kevin Ryan in San Francisco, Carol C. Lam in San Diego and Mr. Cummins in Arkansas. Justice Department officials have acknowledged that Mr. Cummins was an able prosecutor who was removed solely to make room for Mr. Griffin, a former aide to Mr. Rove, the White House senior political adviser who was appointed to the job on a temporary basis.
“Please treat this as confidential,” Mr. Sampson wrote in the message. He concluded, “If a decision is made to remove and replace a limited number of U.S. attorneys, then the following might be considered for removal and possible replacement.”
Mr. Sampson testified under oath on March 29 at a hearing of Senate Judiciary Committee that he had no candidates in mind to replace any of the fired prosecutors. In his prepared statement, he said that “none of the U.S. attorneys was asked to resign in favor of a particular individual who had already been identified to take the vacant spot.”
At one point in the hearing, Senator Charles E. Schumer, Democrat of New York, asked Mr. Sampson, “Did you or did you not have in mind specific replacements for the dismissed U.S. attorneys before they were asked to resign on Dec. 7, 2006.”
Mr. Sampson, testifying under oath, replied: “I personally did not.”
Neil A. Lewis and Scott Shane contributed reporting.
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April 10, 2007
House panel subpoenas
By LAURIE KELLMAN, Associated Press Writer
The House Judiciary Committee subpoenaed new documents Tuesday from Attorney General Alberto Gonzales as part of its investigation into the firings of federal prosecutors, with the panel chairman saying he had run out of patience.
"We have been patient in allowing the department to work through its concerns regarding the sensitive nature of some of these materials," Rep. John Conyers, D-Mich., wrote Gonzales in a letter accompanying the subpoena. "Unfortunately, the department has not indicated any meaningful willingness to find a way to meet our legitimate needs."
"At this point further delay in receiving these materials will not serve any constructive purpose," Conyers said. He characterized the subpoena as a last resort after weeks of negotiations with Justice over documents and e-mails the committee wants.
The Justice Department did not have an immediate comment.
But one Justice official, speaking on condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the situation, said the House request included the full text of all documents that had been partially or completely blacked out in the Justice Department's initial release of more than 3,000 pages last month. The Justice official said some U.S. attorney evaluations were included in these documents.
The official said the request also included an unredacted list ranking the performance and standing of each of the 93 U.S. attorneys. Government officials have previously confirmed that Chicago-based prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald, one of the Justice Department's premier U.S. attorneys, was ranked as "not distinguished."
Democrats who control Congress say statements by Gonzales and his lieutenants, three of whom have resigned in the aftermath of the dismissals, have raised questions over whether the ousters were politically motivated.
The Justice Department denies that and President Bush has stood behind Gonzales, but calls for a new attorney general have continued. Gonzales, Bush's longtime friend, is scheduled before the Senate Judiciary Committee next week.
White House spokeswoman Dana Perino had no immediate information about the request.
"I think the Justice Department has been working very hard to be fully responsive to the request, as the president asked them to do," Perino said, describing the administration's release of documents. "So I don't know what's new here. We'll have to check it out."
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April 5, 2007
Gonzales Prepares to Fight for
His Job in Testimony
By Dan Eggen and Paul Kane, Washington Post
Attorney General Alberto R. Gonzales has retreated from public view this week in an intensive effort to save his job, spending hours practicing testimony and phoning lawmakers for support in preparation for pivotal appearances in the Senate this month, according to administration officials.
After struggling for weeks to explain the extent of his involvement in the firings of eight U.S. attorneys, Gonzales and his aides are viewing the Senate testimony on April 12 and April 17 as seriously as if it were a confirmation proceeding for a Supreme Court or a Cabinet appointment, officials said.
Ed Gillespie, a former Republican National Committee chairman, and Timothy E. Flanigan, who worked for Gonzales at the White House, have met with the attorney general to plot strategy. The department has scheduled three days of rigorous mock testimony sessions next week and Gonzales has placed phone calls to more than a dozen GOP lawmakers seeking support, officials said.
Gonzales is seeking to convince skeptical lawmakers that he can be trusted to command the Justice Department after the prosecutor firings, which he initially described as an "overblown personnel matter." Subsequent documents and testimony from his former chief of staff have shown that Gonzales was regularly briefed on the process, revelations that have led to calls for his resignation.
Justice officials and outside experts said the effort is further hampered by legal conflicts among Gonzales and his senior aides. Top Democrats have also accused department officials of misleading Congress in previous testimony, leading Justice lawyers to insist on limiting contact between key players to avoid allegations of obstructing a congressional investigation, officials said.
As a result, Gonzales and senior Justice lawyers have so far received little assistance from the White House and cannot consult with some of his closest aides, including Deputy Attorney General Paul J. McNulty, officials said.
"We are hampered because some senior officials are not able to discuss the facts as they know them in the same room, for fears of additional accusations of misleading Congress," said one Justice official, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the issue.
Sen. Patrick J. Leahy (D-Vt.) and Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.) sent a letter to Gonzales on Tuesday, asking for "appropriate firewalls" between potential witnesses involved in the firings.
"Our question to you is: Who do we talk to at the Department of Justice?" Leahy and Whitehouse wrote. "The office of the Attorney General appears to be hopelessly conflicted."
Several central players in the prosecutor saga are out of the Justice Department building altogether. They include Gonzales's former chief of staff, D. Kyle Sampson, who resigned last month, and senior counselor Monica M. Goodling, who is on indefinite leave and who yesterday reiterated her refusal to answer questions from Congress. Michael J. Elston, McNulty's chief of staff, also began a scheduled personal leave this week after submitting to six hours of congressional interviews last Friday, officials said.
"In a sense, this is even more difficult than a confirmation hearing, because you are defending a record that has been assailed publicly and it involves other members of Justice who are also going to be called," said former senator Daniel R. Coats (R-Ind.), who led confirmation preparations for Supreme Court Justice Samuel A. Alito Jr. and former White House counsel Harriet E. Miers.
"It just compounds the difficulty facing any witness in this situation," Coats said. "You don't have the ability to coordinate with other organizations or individuals that are going to be testifying, and there will be a lot of people looking for inconsistencies. It is no small challenge for the attorney general."
Gonzales is getting little support from Republicans in Congress, according to several GOP aides. Gonzales is scheduled to testify next Thursday before the Senate Appropriations Committee on budget matters, and then on April 17 at a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing focused on the prosecutor firings.
Aides said the tenor has been set on the GOP side by Sen. Arlen Specter (Pa.), the ranking Republican on the judiciary panel. Specter has told Gonzales in private that he should consider beginning his testimony with an apology.
In previous confirmation hearings -- including those for Gonzales in January 2005 and Alito and Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. since then -- the White House, the Justice Department and Judiciary Committee Republicans closely coordinated their efforts.
In the case of Roberts, Specter's chief counsel, Michael O'Neill, attended one of the mock testimony sessions known as "murder boards," according to a former GOP committee staffer, who requested anonymity to speak freely about internal panel activities. Sen. Lindsey O. Graham (R-S.C.) was in attendance to watch a similar session with Alito.
Gillespie, now head of the Virginia GOP, and Flanigan, who pulled out of contention in 2005 as Gonzales's pick for deputy attorney general, did not return telephone calls seeking comment on their recent discussions with him.
After traveling around the country much of last week in an attempt to shore up fractured relations with U.S. attorneys, Gonzales has spent this week sequestered in his fifth-floor office suite, poring over thousands of pages of documents related to his upcoming testimony. He canceled tentative plans for a family vacation this week to focus on the hearings, officials said.
"The attorney general is very focused and is spending extensive time preparing this week to testify before Congress," spokesman Brian Roehrkasse said.
Top Democrats have focused in recent days on escalating their demands for testimony from Goodling, Gonzales's senior counselor and White House liaison. She has told Congress that she will assert her Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination in refusing to answer questions about the firings.
Leahy and Rep. John Conyers Jr. (D-Mich.), chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, have questioned whether Goodling is attempting to hide criminal activity by refusing to answer questions.
Goodling's attorneys, John M. Dowd and Jeffrey King, responded in a letter yesterday that such allegations "are unfortunately reminiscent of Senator Joseph McCarthy, who infamously labeled those who asserted their constitutional right to remain silent before his committee 'Fifth Amendment Communists.' "
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View continuing Washington Post coverage of the 2006 firings of eight U.S. attorneys.
Documents Released by DOJ and Congress
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March 20, 2007
Subject: AGENTS: BUSH OBSTRUCTED JUSTICE OVER FIRINGS
FIRINGS: Foggo sex ring probe linked to forged Iraq dossier, Israeli espionage, convicted lobbyist Abramoff
According to U.S. intelligence sources, President Bush obstructed justice last December when he had senior advisor Karl Rove and White House Counsel Harriet Miers instruct Attorney General Alberto Gonzalez to fire eight U.S. attorneys who were among several others conducting ongoing public corruption and secret national security grand jury investigations connected to an espionage–linked prostitution / pedophile sex ring operating at the Washington Ritz-Carlton and other DC hotels, whose clients included U.S. senators and congressmen, elite Washington news reporters and high government officials—some of whom were named by an intelligence insider.
Central to the scandal is fired U.S. attorney Carole Lam of California who was reportedly conducting testimony before grand juries linking indicted former Bush CIA Executive Director Kyle “Dusty” Foggo and convicted Republican lobbyist Jack Abramoff to the sex ring, Israeli espionage, GOP Under Secretary of Defense for policy Douglas J. Feith, a forged British intelligence dossier used by Mr. Bush to deceive Americans into supporting war against Iraq and an attempt to plant weapons of mass destruction (WMD) in Iraq before the war via an intelligence pipeline through Dubai and Turkey.
During her House testimony before Democrat Chairman Henry Waxman’s House Oversight and Government Reform Committee last Friday, “national security” concerns were given as the reason for prohibiting covert CIA operative Valerie Plame-Wilson from revealing that her CIA energy front company Brewster-Jennings had prevented the planting of WMD in Iraq by the White House-linked intelligence pipeline, resulting in the forged British dossier being used for building an artificial case for war against Iraq.
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March 19, 2007
Bush Hit-Woman Behind Prosecutor Firings Has
Long History of Purges to Protect Bush
Harriet Miers fired investigator in 1997
to cover Bush draft-dodge
by Greg Palast,
from the original reports for BBC Television and the Guardian (UK)
The Mister Big behind the scandal of George Bush’s firing of US Attorneys is not a ‘mister’ at all. The House Judiciary Committee has released White House emails indicating that the political operative who ordered the hit on prosecutors too honest for their own good was Harriet Miers, one-time legal counsel to the President.
But this is not the first time that Miers has fired investigators to protect Mr. Bush.
In 1999, while investigating Governor George Bush of Texas for the Guardian papers of Britain, I obtained an extraordinary, and extraordinarily confidential, memo to the US Attorney’s office in Austin. It disclosed that, in 1997, Governor Bush secretly suggested to the chairwoman of the Texas Lottery Commission that she grant a contract to the client of a Bush ally.
The Governor’s back-door demand to the Lottery chairwoman was not so easy. Bush wanted the Lottery to grant a multi-billion dollar contract to GTech Corporation. But GTech hadn’t even bid on the contract - and a winner was already announced.
There was only way for the Chairwoman to carry out the fix: fire the director of the Lottery who had discouraged GTech from bidding because of its history of corruption.
The Chairwoman, Harriet Miers, did the deed: fired the Lottery director; Miers then ignored the winning bid — and gave Bush’s favored company the contract, no bidding, in perpetuity.
Miers and the Draft
Neither Miers nor President Bush have ever denied the contents of the memo [I’ve posted it here] despite repeated requests from the Guardian and BBC Television.
Bush’s attempt to appoint Hit-woman Harriet to the US Supreme Court in 2005 surprised many. Not me. Miers, personal and governmental lawyer for George Bush, had quite a file on her boss, and he must have been grateful for her discretion.
Most crucially, she knew why Bush so desperately needed to give GTech the lottery contract. The heart of the matter was the then-successful cover-up of the Bush family’s using its influence to get young George Bush into the Texas Air National Guard and out of the Vietnam war draft.
The memo to the US Attorney reads:
“Governor Bush thru [name withheld] made a deal with Ben Barnes not to rebid because Barnes could confirm that Bush had lied during the ‘94 campaign [for governor of Texas]. Bush was asked if his father … had helped him get in the National Guard Bush said no he had not, but the fact is his dad call then-Lt. Gov. [Ben] Barnes ….”
Lt. Governor Barnes, through a cut-out, called the Texas Air Guard commander and got Bush into the ‘top gun’ seat and out of the war.
You may recall that in 2004, years after we reported this story in Britain, Barnes confessed to the draft-dodge fix on 60 Minutes. [That was the report that brought down Dan Rather; but the Barnes confession was never challenged.]
What 60 Minutes missed is the creepy Miers involvement. Barnes, after he left the post of Lt. Governor, became a lobbyist — for GTech, the lottery company. By using his influence to get and keep the lottery contract for GTech, Barnes picked up quite a nice fee: over $23 million. With those millions in his pocket, Barnes kept a happy and lucrative silence about his saving little George Bush from the draft.
According to the memo from the US Attorney’s office, Barnes met with Bush about GTech and the lottery. Then,“The Governor talked to the chair of the lottery [Miers] two days later and she then agreed to support letting GTech keep the contract without a bid.”
Note something else here: this information was sitting in the hands of the US Attorney. Yet, no action was taken in 1997 though we now know that, from Barnes’ confession in 2004, the accusation about his putting in the fix for young George Bush is true.
An insider told BBC TV that the US Attorney’s office and Justice Department, though under Democratic control, never acted because they discovered that Barnes, a Democrat, had not only manipulated the system to get George Bush into the Texas Air Guard, Barnes did the same for the sons of Democratic big wigs including Congressman (later Senator) Lloyd Bentsen and Governor John Connolly.
In other words, control over a US Attorney and what is called their “prosecutorial discretion” is worth its weight in gold to politicians. They can provide protection for cronies and exact punishment on enemies. And no one knows that better than “Justice” Harriet Miers and her boss, fighter pilot George W. Bush.
This report is adapted from Greg Palast’s New York Times bestselling book, ARMED MADHOUSE: From Baghdad to New Orleans — Sordid Secrets and Strange Tales of a White House Gone Wild.
New edition to be released April 24...
For more information on Miers and clips of the BBC Television reports, go to:
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March 12, 2007
Top Democrat Says
Gonzales Should Resign
Fallout Over Dismissal of U.S. Attorneys, FBI Snooping
By HOPE YEN , AP
WASHINGTON (March 12) - The Senate 's No. 3 Democrat said Sunday that Attorney General Alberto Gonzales should resign because he is putting politics above the law. Sen. Charles Schumer cited the FBI's illegal snooping into people's private lives and the Justice Department's firing of federal prosecutors.
Schumer, D-N.Y., said Gonzales repeatedly has shown more allegiance to President Bush than to citizens' legal rights since taking his job in early 2005.
He branded Gonzales, a former White House counsel, as one of the most political attorneys general in recent history.
"Attorney General Gonzales is a nice man, but he either doesn't accept or doesn't understand that he is no longer just the president's lawyer, but has a higher obligation to the rule of law and the Constitution even when the president should not want it to be so," Schumer said.
"And so this department has been so political that I think for the sake of the nation, Attorney General Gonzales should step down," he said.
As vice chairman of the Democratic caucus, Schumer is No. 3 in the Senate leadership.
Sen. Joe Biden, D-Del., a member of the Democrat-controlled Judiciary Committee, said Gonzales would be "better off" if he resigned.
"There is very little credibility in the Justice Department right now," Biden said. He cited what he said were abuses of power dating to Gonzales' tenure as White House counsel in which he advocated aggressive interrogations of suspected terrorists that pushed the boundaries of the law.
"I think Gonzales has lost the confidence of the vast majority of the American people," he said. "I think he's lost the confidence of the Congress ."
Pennsylvania Sen. Arlen Specter, the top Republican on the committee, said Gonzales' resignation was a "question for the president and the attorney general."
"I do think there have been lots of problems," said Specter, who last week suggested that a Gonzales tenure may have run its course. "Before we come to conclusions, I think we need to know more facts."
Justice spokesman Brian Roehrkasse said the attorney general had made significant strides to protect national security, increase prosecutions of sex offenders and immigration offenses and fight gang violence.
"The attorney general demonstrated decisive leadership by demanding a new level of accountability to address systematic problems in oversight over some of the FBI's national security tools," Roehrkasse said.
The lawmakers' comments come after a week in which the Justice Department found itself on the defensive over the U.S. attorneys and the FBI's misuse of a type of subpoena known as national security letters.
On Friday, Gonzales and FBI director Robert Mueller acknowledged the FBI had broken the law to secretly pry out personal information about people in the U.S. as part of its pursuit of suspected terrorists and spies.
The admission came after a blistering 126-page report by the Justice Department's inspector general that found agents improperly obtained telephone records and demanded sensitive data. The information was obtained via security letters, which are special warrants issued without judicial approval.
Under criticism by lawmakers, Gonzales also agreed to tighten the law for replacing U.S. attorneys and to let Congress hear from senior department officials with roles in the ousters.
Several U.S. attorneys allege they were unfairly dismissed without explanation after they pursued corruption probes into Republicans or declined to rush specific investigations into Democrats before last November's congressional election. Gonzales and other officials have denied the charges.
Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., said it is the Bush administration's right to fire U.S. attorneys because they serve at the will of the president. Still, he said, the Justice Department was wrong to attack their reputations.
"I don't believe the attorney general will resign, but this whole episode was unnecessarily poorly handled," Graham said.
Over the weekend, Bush pledged an end to the FBI lapses that caused the illegal snooping but expressed confidence in the response by Mueller and Gonzales. Mueller has accepted responsibility, and both have pledged to fix problems.
Bush said that while the inspector general's report "justly made issue of FBI shortfalls, (it) also made clear that these letters were important to the security of the United States."
Lawmakers from both parties called the FBI abuses unacceptable. They noted it was Congress that demanded the inspector general review the program even as Justice Department officials were providing assurances the government's surveillance programs were being run responsibly.
In coming hearings by the Judiciary Committee, senators plan to consider whether to scale back some of the government's law enforcement powers in light of the abuses....
AOL Top News
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January 31, 2006
Media Finally Reports That Gonzales Misled Congress
This morning, prompted by a letter from Sen. Russ Feingold, the Washington Post reports that Alberto Gonzales misled the Senate Judiciary Committee during his January 2005 confirmation hearing:
Sen. Russell Feingold (D-Wis.) charged yesterday that Attorney General Alberto R. Gonzales misled the Senate during his confirmation hearing a year ago when he appeared to try to avoid answering a question about whether the president could authorize warrantless wiretapping of U.S. citizens.
Think Progress reported this story on December 18. Gonzales said “it is not the policy or the agenda of this president to authorize actions that would be in contravention of our criminal statutes.” In fact, he personally approved Bush’s warrantless domestic spying program, in contravention of a criminal statute....
In addition to Gonzales, former NSA director Michael Hayden and President Bush also made false statements relating to warrantless domestic surveillance.
UPDATE: An important aspect to this story is that Gonzales’ testimony was under oath. From the transcript:
SEN. SPECTER: Judge Gonzales, would you now stand for the administration of the oath? Raise your right hand. Do you solemnly swear that the testimony you will give before the Senate Judiciary Committee will be the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth, so help you God?
MR. GONZALES: I do.
UPDATE II: Americablog has the photo.
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TOOTHLESS WATCHDOG BARKS
As we go to press, George W. Bush was scheduled to give a speech on his administration's newfound probity toward business wrongdoing. His spin doctors are trying to present him as the reincarnation of Teddy Roosevelt, but his actions so far are not encouraging.
Bush shows no signs of clearing out an administration filled with people who succeeded in business by ignoring ethical boundaries, from Army Secretary Thomas White, the vice chairman of Enron Energy Services when it allegedly hid $500 million in losses and manipulated the California energy crisis, to Vice President Dick Cheney, who presided over the cooking of books at Halliburton (and also doing business with evildoer Iraq), White House counsel Alberto Gonzales, who was an attorney for Enron at Vinson & Elkins in Houston, and Securities and Exchange Commission Chairman Harvey Pitt, the former attorney for Andersen, KMPG and Merrill Lynch who started his term at the SEC by asking how he could make things easier for the securities industry.
Bush's own misdeeds as a director of Harken Energy are finally getting the attention of the mainstream press. As Paul Krugman wrote in the July 7 New York Times, Bush was a failed businessman in 1986 with a company losing money and heavily burdened with debt when he was rescued by Harken Energy, which bought his company at "an astonishingly high price" in return, one assumes, for Bush's connections to his father, who was then vice president.
Those connections opened doors for Harken, particularly after W's father became president. But Harken still lost money, although it concealed its failure "just long enough for Mr. Bush to sell most of his stake at a large profit -- with an accounting trick identical to one of the main ploys used by Enron a decade later," Krugman wrote.
A group of insiders, using money borrowed from Harken itself, paid an exorbitant price for a Harken subsidiary, Aloha Petroleum. That created a $10 million phantom profit, which hid three-quarters of the company's losses in 1989. (Yes, Arthur Andersen was the accountant.) Bush was on the company's audit committee, as well as on a special restructuring committee, so if he didn't spot the Aloha maneuver, he was at least "a very negligent director."
Krugman added that Harken's fake profits were several dozen times as large as the Whitewater land deal -- though only about one-seventh the cost of the Whitewater investigation. His father's SEC ignored the staff recommendation and decided not to prosecute young George.
The White House assured us that Bush's failure to file disclosures of his stock trades in Harken Energy until eight months after the deadline amounted to nothing more than driving 60 in a 55-mile-per-hour zone. "That will surely bring good cheer to those Harken shareholders who were left holding the stock that Mr. Bush sold, with no insider's knowledge, of course, just before it tanked," the Times' Frank Rich noted July 6. Bush sold his stock in June 1990 for $4 a share. By year-end it was trading for a little over $1.
Bush has dodged responsibility, claiming first that the SEC lost his papers. Then he blamed Harken's lawyers. Now he says the matter has been "fully vetted," although he won't let the SEC release its file on him. The Center for Public Integrity (www.publici.org) reported in October 2000 that an internal SEC memorandum, prepared by the commission's enforcement division in April 1991, disclosed that Bush also had been tardy in reporting three other transactions involving stock in Harken.
Despite the pattern of late disclosures, the SEC did not press charges against Bush. But the Dallas Morning News quoted a 1993 letter from the SEC to Bush's lawyer emphasizing that its decision "must in no way be construed as indicating that (Bush) has been exonerated."
Reforms that are needed, Rich wrote, include fully independent policing of accounting firms, the complete prohibition of conflicts of interest that encourage both accountants and stockbrokers to cut corners. "No off-balance-sheet or offshore entities, no shell corporations, no sham transactions," added Robert Morgenthau, the Manhattan district attorney, who is pursuing Enron more aggressively than the administration is.
Arthur Levitt, Clinton's SEC chairman whose attempts at reform were undermined by opposition from Republicans and business Democrats like Sen. Joe Lieberman, would increase the legal liability for investment bankers, lawyers and accountants who aid, abet and also profit from corporate Ponzi schemes.
And the SEC needs conflict-free commissioners. Pitt has pledged tough actions but he already has been meeting privately with Xerox and KPMG executives while their companies are under investigation.
"It's like the mob's consigliere running the FBI," Marshall Wittmann, a reform-minded conservative Republican, told Rich.
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October 31, 2000
VIA Fax @ (202) 514-7021
Mr. Cliff Rones, Esq.
U. S. Department of Justice
Criminal Division, Fraud Section
P. O. Box 28188, McPherson Station
Washington, DC 20038
RE: Report of Fraud and Racketeering:
— P&C Insurance Company, Inc.
— Federal Insurance Company (Chubb Group)
— Marsh & McLennan, Inc.
— PricewaterhouseCoopers, LLP
— State of Hawaii, Insurance Division
Dear Mr. Rones:
I realize this is a quick follow-up to my letter of October 27, 2000, but an article in today’s Honolulu Star-Bulletin may help explain why the State of Hawaii, and especially the insurance commissioner, took no action on my complaints of fraud and racketeering regarding the subject insurance companies.
Under the front page headline of “Former trustees funneled donations to lawmakers,” reporter Rick Daysog writes:
Former trustees of the Kamehameha Schools operated an underground political network that funneled money to the campaigns of dozens of key Hawaii lawmakers, according to trust documents obtained by the Honolulu Star-Bulletin.
Between 1992 and 1997, the $6-billion estate’s now-defunct government relations department orchestrated contributions to incumbent Democrats friendly to the trust’s interests or to high-ranking politicians with regulatory control over the trust’s massive land and business holdings.
Those on the receiving end of estate contributions included U.S. Rep. Neil Abercrombie, Honolulu Mayor Jeremy Harris and former Mayor Frank Fasi’s Best Party. . . .
The state Campaign Spending Commission is looking into whether the trust illegally laundered contributions through former trustees, employees, relatives and outside contractors....
The list of recipients for that election year reads like a Who’s Who of island politics. They include:
. . . Former state Sen. Rey Graulty: On March 22, 1994, Wong bought $250 worth of tickets for a Graulty fund-raiser ... The check was delivered by a staffer. Graulty, now a state Circuit judge, could not be reached for response.
What the article does not say is that after Senator Graulty was defeated in his bid for re-election, he was appointed by Governor Ben Cayetano (D) as Hawaii’s Insurance Commissioner to replace Wayne Metcalf who was appointed to complete the term of another senator who passed away. Graulty was later appointed as a state judge, and Metcalf was re-appointed as the state insurance commissioner.
My complaint letters to both of these regulators received little or no response. To my knowledge, no disciplinary action was taken against any of these companies, and they have been allowed to continue the fraud and theft activities under the current interim-trustees and several top executives who served under the ex-trustees.
The Star-Bulletin article goes on to state:
. . . The ex-trustees deny that they took part in an organized effort to finance the campaigns of isle politicians. They say their political contributions and those of staffers and outside vendors were personal in nature and have nothing to do with trust business. . . .
However, in sworn testimony, some staffers say they not only helped organize the campaign contributions but also used trust facilities to direct the money to local politicians. . . .
I am one of the former staffers who testified under oath during the Attorney General’s investigation of the estate, about how staff were encouraged to assist certain politicians, including ex-trustee Henry Peters, Milton Holt and Robert Herkes.
The full Star-Bulletin articles can be retrieved from the internet at the following addresses:
More details regarding my RICO lawsuit, and copies of my letters to the Hawaii and California insurance departments can be found at the following address:
My mailing address and telephone number appear above if I can provide further information, or I can be reached by e-mail at:
In our initial conversation, you indicated that you would probably be contacting the Federal Bureau of Investigation for further action. If this is still the case, then I would appreciate your relaying this information to the proper party.
Again, thank you very much for your assistance.
Very truly yours,
Bobby N. Harmon
~ ~ ~
Attorney General Alberto Gonzales is expected to testify regarding his business, professional, and personal relationships with Linda Lingle, Mark Bennett, Earl Anzai, Hugh Jones, Ralph Boyd, Jim Nicholson, James Nicholson, Jack Abramoff, Karl Rove, Henry Paulson, Tom DeLay, Richard Rainwater, James Ahloy, Aloha Petroleum, Harken Energy, Chevron-Texaco, Gale Norton, The Nature Conservancy, Faye Kurren, Judge Barry Kurren, Tesoro Petroleum, Quintana Petroleum, Helen Cullen, Michael McKenzie, Dennis Hastert, Mark Foley, Duke Cunningham, Leonard Millman, Stewart Webb, Norman Brownstein, Larry Mizel, Dan Inouye, Daniel Akaka, Mitch McConnell, Elaine Chao, John Peyton, Dubai Ports World, American International Group (AIG), John O’Neill, Scooter Libby, Bill Frist, Frederick Black, John Ashcroft, Donald Hodel, Carol Muranaka, Curtis Ching, Gayle Lau, Carole Lam, Kyle “Dusty” Foggo Robert Kihune, Harriet Miers, Henry Kissinger, David Farmer, Steven Alm, Ed Kubo, and others to be named upon discovery.
Documents, News Articles and Related Links
Equity 2048 -The Richards Report
Pages 1-26; Pages 26-49; Pages 50-75; Exhibit 2; Exhibit 2b
XL Reinsurance Policy No. XLRKS-01796
Equity 2048 - Related Correspondence and Documents
IRS - PricewaterhouseCoopers, Arm’s Length and Intermediate Sanctions
Hawaii Dept. of Labor - CV 98-2394-05 - Unemployment Insurance Appeal
IRS - Closing Agreement for Kamehameha Schools
Equity 2048 -The Richards Report
Pages 1-26; Pages 26-49; Pages 50-75; Exhibit 2; Exhibit 2b
XL Reinsurance Policy No. XLRKS-01796
Equity 2048 - Related Correspondence and Documents
The Na Kumu Book Advisory Group
Broken Trust - The Book
Lost Generations: A Boy, A School, A Princess
* * * * *
July 1, 2005: Originally posted on www.the-catbird-seat.net
March 13, 2007: Judge David Ezra signs Order to shut down website
August 11, 2009: Latest update on www.kycbs.net
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THE CATBIRD SEAT ARCHIVES
The Catbird Seat Archives: 2000-2002
The Catbird Seat Archives: 2002-2007
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