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Monica Goodling Testimony, Part II

spillthebeans.jpg(Shot of spilled beans via Dougalug.)

The House Judiciary Committee will be taking testimony from Monica Goodling this morning, beginning at 10:15 am ET in 2141 Rayburn.  C-Span3 and C-Span radio will be broadcasting the testimony live.  And it looks as though the committee will have some sort of webcast going as well.  I'll be liveblogging below, too.  Hang on kids, we are about to learn what, if any, beans Monica decides to spill.

Please keep all comments brief and please take a moment to consider if you really want to add yours to the comment load on the servers.  Fewer comments equals smoother liveblogging — please don't make me keep having to interrupt because the one-liners pile up too high in the comments.  Thanks!

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REP. CONYERS QUESTIONS: Who placed the USAs to be fired on the list?  Goodling says that she doesn't think that Graves is a similar situation, so she wants to discuss just the 8.  Sampson kept the list, talked with a number of people, and that Sampson spoke to the DAG about it and presented it to the AG.  Discussing Iglesias now — who put his name on the list?  Goodling says she doesn't know.  Who would you recommend to answer that question?  Goodling says that Sampson is the one who should be able to say when he put the name on the list.  During meeting with AG, DAG and Sampson — she asked how Iglesias got on list and someone in room said "that's been addressed."  How did Sampson tell you about origins of the list?  To the best of her recollection, the first time Sampson mentioned the list to her was in January at 2006.  Had heard in mid-2005 that Sampson was engaged in an effort on this — heard from Battle and Buchannon on this issue.  Sampson didn't give her background, just handed her the memo and asked her to look at it.  Sent e-mail in September 2006, no real context, but just what was n the e-mail.  During the meeting, he did give her some context, but he didn't ever lay out all of the origins of the entire thing.  Says Sampson was her boss, didn't necessarily tell her the whys of what he was doing — says she just tried to help out when he asked her to do work. 

REP. SMITH QUESTIONS:  Thanking her for thinking public service is important.  Did you meet with Miers or Rove?  Goodling says not about USAs, but there was a meeting at the WH that Rove after the decision had been implemented — that was the only time when she was in the room when this topic was discussed and Rove was there.  There was in 2005, she had a social call in 2005, with Tim Griffin — Griffin told her that he might have the opportunity to go back to Arkansas, that USAs were going to be replaced, and that if Cummins was one of them, he might get the nod for the USA position and a chance to go home.  Also exchanged e-mails with Scott Jennings about meeting with attorneys from New Mexico, but doesn't recall that Jennings said what those meetings would be about.

She's not comfortable characterizing her role in the USA firings.  She'll let others do that.  Says she was responsible for more of what happened after the plan was implemented, not for the plan itself.  Was responsible for finding replacements, etc., and making certain that paperwork was prepared for the nominations and/or replacements.  Are you aware of any attempt to influence a particular case or investigation?  Goodling says that she is not aware.

REP. SANCHEZ QUESTIONS:  Goes into McNulty's problems according to Goodling.  Goodling says that there were a number of items on which she briefed him, and that he wasn't entirely forthcoming about the particulars when testifying to Congress.  Says that McNulty was downplaying the WH role in the firings — McNulty was aware of the WH role because he participated in numerous meetings.  WH was involved in the sign-off — many offices signed off on the plan before it was implemented.  Says that McNulty's statement didn't fully inform Congress about the extent — this process with WH had been going on for a period of months.  McNulty's knowledge on how Griffin came to be appointed in Arkansas.  Met with McNulty weekly on this issue, where they had vacancies, names from Senators, how things had been going with interviews and otherwise.  Says that she told him about Griffin's appointment in the weekly meetings.  McNulty testified that the CA commission worked very well — one of the things that he had been briefed on, DoJ took steps to interview candidates outside the commission — says that Sampson and the AG thought the commission was rather slow and that they interviewed candidates outside that process.  Talking about "vote caging" issues — direct mail term separating good from bad addresses — knew that this was an issue that might arise with Griffin in terms of oversight, says that Griffin doesn't think that he did anything wrong and has good explanation on why he was doing this.  Says that McNulty was involved in discussions on this.

(Sorry, had to pause the Tivo for a few minutes while a weather alert was broadcast so that I could hear.  Am catching up now.)

REP. CANNON QUESTIONS:  Starts by reading things into the record.  Statement of Moschella — vouching character of Goodling as being a hard worker.  Cannon now blathering on about why politicization hasn't happened here and what problems that Congress isn't dealing with — jeebus, he's bringing up the Murtha issue from this week.  Hello, political theater, and confusion and stalling tactics. 

REP. SANCHEZ QUESTIONS:  You said you had concerns about McNulty's testimony to Congress.  To whom did you voice those concerns at DoJ?  Says she spoke about this with Moschella, Sampson — afraid that the DoJ was going down the road of saying bad things about former employees, did tell Sampson that there were a couple of things that weren't fully discussed.  Also spoke with Ellston and Scolinos.  Did you have any experience in making personnel decisions prior to the work directive for DoJ?  Says that she had done some of that on Student Council in college and at the RNC for a few weeks  (CHS says:  "And this one time at band camp…").  Hired by Mary Beth Buchanon.  If you were doing that as an interim position for hiring and firing, and then the position was filled, how did you retain that power if it was simply for interim?  Goodlng says that they kept just referring stuff to her, and she enjoyed doing this.  Recent news articles suggest that you tried to block AUSAs and career attorneys because of your perception that people might be Democrats.  Is it true?  Yes.  How many decisions were made based on political basis?  Doesn't remember how many, were times that she looked at a resume and held things up until the USA came in and could look that person over more closely.

REP. SENSENBRENNER QUESTIONS:  Says that Goodling's testimony confirms documentation provided to committee.  Going through the "serves at the pleasure fo the President" line of chatter now.  Sensenbrenner doesn't think replacing a competent USA who had not been questioned for misconduct or severe problems in the office is unusual.  (CHS says:  Someone send him LHP's post.  Someone had his GOP talking points wheaties this morning.)  Sensenbrenner now bragging that he never signed a subpoena because he didn't have to — not sure I'd be bragging about not doing my damned job for 6 years, but that's just me.

REP. NADLER QUESTIONS:  Walking through the meaning of 5th amendmend assertion.  What crimes might you be worried about revealing in your testimony that causedyou to claim the 5th?  Says that these were very ambiguous circumstances — says that McNulty's allegations of withholding might have been construed as a crime, that was the basis. Going through whether Goodling is saying that McNulty lied in his testimony — Goodling says that will be for others to decide.  Talking about specifics on Ashton and whether politics played a part for her not receiving a promotion (the "she has a Monica problem" woman).  Goodling says she doesn't remember discussions as that time whether they involved questions of politics, but that it may have been two type A women having a personality conflict.  Nadler asking whether her supervisors knew that she was asking political questions on hiring issues:  immigration judges, Goodling says.  Civil division came to different conclusion after some litigation — says that they froze hiring in relation to immigration judges.  Says that at times she was asked to facilitate the appointment of a Republican in a career position, and those were done at the request of someone above her.

Starting a new thread.

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Christy Hardin Smith

Christy Hardin Smith

Christy is a "recovering" attorney, who earned her undergraduate degree at Smith College, in American Studies and Government, concentrating in American Foreign Policy. She then went on to graduate studies at the University of Pennsylvania in the field of political science and international relations/security studies, before attending law school at the College of Law at West Virginia University, where she was Associate Editor of the Law Review. Christy was a partner in her own firm for several years, where she practiced in a number of areas including criminal defense, child abuse and neglect representation, domestic law, civil litigation, and she was an attorney for a small municipality, before switching hats to become a state prosecutor. Christy has extensive trial experience, and has worked for years both in and out of the court system to improve the lives of at risk children.

Email: reddhedd AT firedoglake DOT com

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