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Ralston’s Deposition

Oh, this is getting good. As part of his interim report on RNC emails, Waxman released Susan Ralston’s testimony before the committee. Reading the deposition, it becomes pretty clear why Tom Davis was trying to warn Rove of the danger of Ralston’s testimony. Because even what she was willing to testify to makes it clear that Rove is in some deep legal trouble. And then when you look at the areas where she carves out immunity for herself, you realize that if she were ever to testify under immunity, Rove would be in deeper trouble.

The carved out areas, as already reported, pertain primarily to the Abramoff scandal and the use of RNC emails–both area where Ralston’s position as Karl’s gatekeeper would implicate her in the larger workings of the WH. For example, here is Brad Berenson, the GOP’s  designated firewall defense attorney,  explaining the limites of Ralston’s testimony on RNC emails.

Berenson. Yes. We have decided this morning to allow her to talk aboutsome of the mechanics of Mr. Rove’s use of e-mail accounts, but when itcomes to the reasons of why he vvas using political e-mail accounts,there ìs a reasonable, well-founded concern that a discussion of thereasoning behind the use of those accounts may sweep more broadly thanMr. Rove himself , and may go part of the way toward explaining apattern of usage among other officials, potentially including Ralston,and so that’s why vve are goìng to decline to answer that question thismornìng.

At one point, Berenson reveals something more specific they’re trying to hide.

Q Do you know if anybody received briefings about how to use the different e-maiI accounts?

Mr . Berenson. I ‘m goìng to interpose our previous objection there for the same reasons stated at the outset.

Anyone want to guess a) that there was a briefing and b) that they made it very clear that they should dump anything illegal into RNC emails? Well, Ralston knows, but she won’t tell until you give her a stay out of jail free card.

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