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Late Nite FDL: Bitches Brew

And you thought we’d forgotten Barbara Comstock. Fat chance. She may be busy doing opposition research into Patrick Fitzgerald and his witness list on behalf of Scooter and the bear, but people like Valley Girl and Alison K. have been doing opposition research into her.

Turns out she’s bosom buddies with none other than fellow wingnut ogress Alice Fisher. From Roll Call, January 9, 2006 (Lexis/Nexis):

It’s Washington. Eyebrows were raised last month at just how cozy things were at the Justice Department’s Christmas party. Most notably, between Alice Fisher, the newly installed head of the Criminal Division, and her old buddy Barbara Comstock, a strategic public relations and lobbying consultant who represents two of the biggest Republican fish caught up in the corruption scandals engulfing Washington.

Comstock, a lobbyist at the Blank Rome Government Relations firm, represents indicted ex-veep Chief of Staff Scooter Libby, as well as DeLay, who’s already been indicted in Texas and is treading choppy waters in the Congressional bribery scandal. Her longtime close friend Fisher, well, she has the ultimate say over which public officials are gonna get fried.

According to partygoers, the DOJ Christmas party was like a fish fry, with Comstock almost (though, come on, not really) like a PETA activist fighting to spare the lives of the Libbyfish and DeLayfish. One attendee described the party as "Lobbyist City" and said Comstock was "very conspicuous, buzzing around Alice." The term "nauseating" was also used to describe Comstock’s palling around with the Criminal Division chief.

Comstock declined to comment. But her former colleague at Justice Mark Corallo did a heckuva job speaking for her.

Corallo is to Karl Rove what Comstock is to Libby; he’s the flack for Rove’s legal team. Maybe all that breath holding and praying that the man President Bush dubbed "Turd Blossom" doesn’t get indicted has turned Corallo into some kind of neo-feminist, because Corallo thinks Comstock might be the latest victim of the Old Boys’ Network’s double standard. (Shocking. In Washington?)

He said he certainly didn’t hear the boys complaining about him attending the solicitor general’s Christmas party.

"I feel slighted," Corallo said, laughing. "No one raised eyebrows about me." He said "almost every lawyer" invited to the DOJ or the solicitor general’s parties "inevitably have business before the Justice Department."

How is it that the people who regularly take a sledge hammer to the word "feminism" are so quick to invoke it whenever their tits are in a ringer? Must be convenient to have a mouth you can talk out of on both sides at the same time.

As Redd said, Comstock’s history at the DoJ is a complete conflict of interest with her current job on Team Libby:

Whether or not it is "just fundraising," it is still wrong. Comstock would have been privy to high level meetings about the information gathered by the FBI, how the DoJ could best publicly respond to questions about Rove, Libby and other members of the Administration and their conduct — and to do so, she would also have likely had contacts with the FBI investigators heading up the search for information. Think that kind of information wouldn’t be valuable to Team Libby?

A way to look at it is this: if you were a corporate defense counsel, working for Corporation X, and you left the firm to work as plaintiff’s counsel, you ought to be barred from participating in any way in any cases involving Corporation X. You would have intimate, behind-the-scenes knowledge not only of how your former firm operates, but also what kind of advice they have given on settling claims, what sort of risk averse or risk positive strategy your former client has, what they do in terms of investigation, etc., etc.

In Comstock’s case, she would have intimate insights into how investigators approached the Traitorgate case from the outset. And how the DoJ managed crisis issues internally. And how the communications went between DoJ and the WH in those early days. And…well, you get the picture. This just screams "appearance of impropriety," doesn’t it?

One would think the Virgina Bar Association might have something to say about this.

On the Ciro Rodriguez front, Kos tells us the campaign is going to be doing some remote phone banking. If you can afford the time you can sign up here. If you don’t have the time but can afford the cash you can give here (we’ve now raised $18,478 for Ciro on this site alone). It’s a great cause and if Barbarella knew you were doing it I’m sure she’d be outraged.

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Jane Hamsher

Jane Hamsher

Jane is the founder of Firedoglake.com. Her work has also appeared on the Huffington Post, Alternet and The American Prospect. She’s the author of the best selling book Killer Instinct and has produced such films Natural Born Killers and Permanent Midnight. She lives in Washington DC.
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