Live hearing on CSPAN2 and HJC’s stream.

Linda Sanchez is hammering the ways in which appointing Nora Dannehy will actually ensure that this story gets covered up. 

Jeebus, Chris Cannon is still trying to claim there’s no evidence of White House awareness and involvement–even though the IG complained about non-cooperation with the White House. He’s trying to say that the Dannehy investigation will mean that Rove and Miers should not have to testify. I don’t have the patience for this today.

John Conyers sounds … old.

Glenn Fine up. Most serious allegation: that partisan political considerations did play a part in the removal of several USAs. 

"While USAs can be removed, they cannot be removed for an illegal reason."

Fine: Gaps in the investigation: Miers, Rove, and documents the WH refused to turn over. 

Chris Cannon, hitting on Iglesias for not reporting contact from Congress.

Cannon is on thin ice here–the reason Iglesias was removed was because he was incomptent.

Fine: We didn’t find that that was the reason the Department remove him.

Shorter Fine: No, you’re wrong, Congressman. 

Cannon: Couldn’t it be possible that people within DOJ said he was weak-minded.

Fine: But they didn’t. 

Fine: If it were that you had to remain political support, every prosecutorial decision would be suspect. It was unprecedented in the Department’s history to have this group removed. 

Fine: I don’t think it was the case [that these prosecutors were not being effective]. It’s not the Department’s job simply to accept complaints without investigating them. 

Linda Sanchez: Is it fair to say you couldn’t completely investigate the firing. Those witnesses were Karl Rove, Harriet Miers, and Monica Goodling?

Fine: Among others. 

Sanchez: I’m concerned that Nora Dannehy hasn’t been appointed special prosecutor. How can a prosecutor attack the claims of privilege at the same time that the Department is defending the White House in its privilege claims?

Fine: Not necessarily. You’d have to ask the department.

Sanchez: Under special counsel regulations, should appoint one not in DOJ, when DOJ pursuing the matter would present a conflict of interest.

Fine: A close question. 

Ut oh, Darrel Issa.

Issa notes that Rove would have to answer fully if he were pardoned. Sounds like he’s making a case for giving Rove a pre-emptive pardon.

Issa: If all we’re interested in is seeking the non-partisan truth, then a pardon is not a bad thing.

Issa: You’re saying that Lam was not removed bc of Cunningham and Foggo. And they’ve both been convicted, correct?

Um, kind of.

Issa: Just for the record I think Dusty is right now packing up and preparing to report to prison.

Um, sure, except that he’s bound to get pardoned or something, not least because his plea allows him to continue to contract with the CIA. 

Issa is trying, as Cannon did, to claim that Lam was legitimately fired. 

Issa: Well, since Lam said to me she wasn’t going to follow the Administration’s policy, she should be fired?

Fine: Only if DOJ is going to use a process. 

Again, Cannon and Issa are really panicking, trying to guard the President’s ability to arbitrarily fire people.

Fine: The DOJ has said they should use this management process.

Cannon: I think you’re inappropriate because you’re applying a management process to a political process. 

Issa is self-satisfied that he has proven that it’s not illegal to fire people arbitrarily. Nice guy, Issa. But we knew that.

Bobby Scott walking Fine through the potential crimes involved in firing. False statements, obstruction. 

Scott: With the potential crimes in question, you were not able to determine whether a crime was committed?



Marcy Wheeler aka Emptywheel is an American journalist whose reporting specializes in security and civil liberties.