Republican Senator Says Ashcroft Should Consider Recusal

Seems like a special counsel for the CIA name leak is fast becoming a fait accompli. When half the republicans in the country are for it how long can the administation hold out?

Make that republican senators Olympia Snowe made similar remarks earlier today.

Why would having a “special prosecuter” be better than a dozen FBI agents and CAREER (not political) prosecutors who regularly do this type of work?

I think the poll is biased. I’d have to see the questions but it is possible they phrased it “do you want a special prosecuter” and people inferred that the alternative was to do nothing.

Somewhere I read that in order for it to be a crime the person named had to be

a) undercover
b) undercover within the past 5 years

and the person doing the naming had to do it intentionally, knowing that the person was undercover.

I think it would be pretty tough to prove anything.

One problem, as I understand it, is that certain subpeonas, specifically ones to be issued to journalists, can only by law be made with the special approval of the US Atty General. And that person would be Mr. Ashcroft, a political appointee.

Here you go:


Nice way to word it. The head of the Justice Department is part of the Bush administration, but all the people in it aren’t. They are plain old government employes. And as far as I know they would be the ones investigating it. Not Ashcroft.

Nonsense. The Justice Department, and all the employees of the Justice Department, are in the Executive Branch of the government. The Executive Branch is run by the Executive, i.e. President Bush.

I’m not completely in favor of a special prosecutor, but to claim that there’s no potential conflict of interest in an investigation of the White House by the Justice Department is a ridiculous assertion.

From th eBush Admin’s PoV, why not? Why not appoint a SI? it keeps the specter of conflict of interest from materializing. When they’re cleared, they’ve been cleared by an independent party. So much the better.

From th eBush Admin’s PoV, why not? Why not appoint a SI? it keeps the specter of conflict of interest from materializing. When they’re cleared, they’ve been cleared by an independent party. So much the better.

Hmm, I hadn’t heard this one yet: It’s being claimed by Sen. Charles Shumer that Karl Rove, who is a potential suspect in this matter, once worked for John Ashcroft.

Someone also dug up this quote from Ashcroft, re certain Republicans calling on Janet Reno to appoint a special prosector to investigate Al Gore:

(Evans and Novak. Oh, the irony.)


I’m still not entirely convinced about the need for an SI, but sayings about geese and ganders are certainly coming to mind about now.

Those people all work for the Attorney General. An independent counsel would not.

The whole reason the independent counsel statute was created was to allow a group of lawyers who are, yep, you guessed it, independent of the Administration and any political or other pressure that may be used or appear to be used, to bias the course of an investigation.

Gee… That Ken Star guy sure was a non-partisan independant council type fella, can we get another one of those you reckon???

What Shumer failed to mention is that Wilson has political ties as well.

Not that it cheapens his assertions at all, but it does bring his timing into question. Why did he wait two months to bring this to the press?

My understanding is that he didn’t. Wilson brought this up immediately after it happened, but the press and the White House largely ignored the matter until the machinery and Justice and the CIA had crunch for a couple of months. I don’t see a problem with Wilson’s timing.

Agreed, the story’s been floating around the back pages of the internet since this summer. Tenet’s prodding of justice to get off the dime and do something seems to be what’s pushed it into the national limelight.

Salon makes a pretty convincing case that the leak could be Lewis “Scooter” Libby (VP’s chief of staff).

make of that what you will

Well, yeah. Exactly. Do we really want to go there after the whitewater debacle? I’m not sure I do. I’m a bit willing to wait for the stink of scandal bouqet to ripen more before heading that direction.

I thought Ashcroft’s call (see above) for an SI for Gore was ridiculous postering given the relatively minor quality of the assertions being made at the time. A call for an SI in this case seems quite a bit less premature, but still not yet reasonable. But the scandal is still young and fresh, so who can say ?

Question: Considering the congressional SI act has lapsed, would an SI appointed by the AG have the same sweeping powers and nearly unlimited budget to investigate the White House as Starr had?

Because any prosecutor who is part of the Justice Department gets his paycheck signed by John Ashcroft, who is part of the same Administration implicated in this matter.

I like John Dean’s suggestion floated in Salon today: Wilson and Plame should look to file a civil suit, and then use the subpoena power of the civil court system to investigate the matter. That gives you a means to put the key players under oath in depositions, without invoking the ghost of Ken Starr.

Let us not forget the hazards of having a special prosecutor-cum-grand inquisitor, as tempting as the “sauce for the gander” argument might be.

Perhaps because Novak outed Joseph Wilson’s wife on July 14, 2003, and the CIA referred the leak to the Justice Department within the month, according to Robert Novak himself? You know, like two months ago?

From the very beginning, Novak’s article was interpreted by other journalists as a White-House hatchet-job. And it wasn’t helped by Scott McClellan’s weaseling on July 22:

So the Executive Branch is accused of enlisting Novak as their hitman against Wilson at virtually the same time that the CIA referred the matter to Justice as a potential violation of federal law, and wow golly jeepers gee whiz, the Justice Department didn’t investigate it until the matter made the front page two months later!

Who would have thought that could happen? I’m sure we can depend upon John Ashcroft to thoroughly investigate and report on his Department’s own complicity in not investigating the breach to begin with.