Well...Mrs. Conyers anyway...
w/ Brad & Desi
w/ Brad & Desi
NATIONWIDE STUDY FINDS ALMOST NO VOTER FRAUD
Just 10 cases of in-person impersonation in all 50 states since 2000...
VIDEO: 'Rise of the Tea Bags'
Brad interviews American patriots...
'Democracy's Gold Standard'
Hand-marked, hand-counted ballots...
GOP Voter Registration Fraud Scandal 2012...
The Secret Koch Brothers Tapes...
|MORE BRAD BLOG 'SPECIAL COVERAGE' PAGES...|
I spent most of the morning (and afternoon) watching the Gonzalez hearing in the U.S. House Judiciary Committee. (The extra $5 per month to add C-SPAN3 to my cable tier has already been well worth it.)
All of those hours are perhaps best summed up by the nugget of today's hearing found in Rep. Robert Wexler's extremely to-the-point questions, along with a follow up by Rep. Stephen Cohen (some guy named Rep. Tom Feeney went between the two of them, but it was not particular interesting or newsworthy).
So to save you the time of having to watch all 9 hours, or however long it was, here are the 9 minutes or so of video from those two sections. First Wexler's must view clip, followed by Cohen:
The crux of Wexler's very heated questions: If it wasn't anyone at DoJ, and it wasn't Bush or Cheney (as Gonzales said today) then who created the firing list?
Chairman Conyers is wondering exactly that, and his office sent us this statement, following today's hearing:
"We learned from the media today that Todd Graves was the ninth fired US Attorney, and Thomas Heffelfenger of Minnesota may have been the 10th. That begs the question that my colleague, Rep. Sánchez asked earlier, are there any others?
"My request for more information was met with an untenable response: 'I'll take that back.' To whom will Mr. Gonzales take that back to if he, in fact, is the Attorney General, the one in charge?"
3,000 pages were just released to the House Judiciary Committee by the Dept. of Justice in re: the U.S. Attorney purge. Judiciary is getting 'em posted as quickly as they can, even as we type. Says Conyers in a statement just released:
Earlier from U.S. News & World Report:
The fear that virtually any piece of communication will have to be turned over has paralyzed department officials' ability to communicate effectively and respond in unison to the crisis...
Accountability sucks, huh? Welcome to it. We believe your nightmare is just beginning.
Sent to The BRAD BLOG by the House Judiciary Democrats concerning this morning's oversight hearings on the U.S. Attorney firings (full statement posted at end of this article):
H.E. "Bud" Cummins III, a former U.S. Attorney from Arkansas, testified that Michael Elston, Chief of Staff to Deputy U.S. Attorney General Paul McNulty, called him with a warning that any of the fired prosecutors who publicly discussed their cases would be targeted by negative information campaigns.
"The Department of Justice, which had no effective oversight during the previous majority, has been acting behind closed doors to empower political cronies and intimidate its own appointees," said Chairwoman Sánchez. "This thuggish behavior is beneath our democracy and underscores the importance of Congressional oversight, a function that Chairman Conyers and I are committed to continue."
In regard to the alleged threats of retaliation against the attorneys for speaking out on this, an email from Cummins, published by Sacramento Bee, gives contemporaneous specifics. According to SacBee...
Of course, Gonzales today said none of it ever happened, these aren't the droids you're looking for.
The complete statement issued by the Judiciary Committee Democrats follows below...
As The BRAD BLOG reported yesterday would happen today, the U.S. House Judiciary Committee's Subcommittee on Administrative Law has today voted to issue subpoenas in the matter of the forced firing of U.S. Attorneys at the Dept. of Justice after pressure from higher-ups.
According to a statement just received by The BRAD BLOG (full statement posted below), the subcommittee voted to issue subpoenas requiring former U.S. Attorneys David C. Iglesias, Carol Lam, H.E. Cummins, III, and John McKay to appear at a hearing next Tuesday.
"The former U.S. Attorneys are alleging very serious charges against the Administration and we need to hear from them," Judiciary Chairman John Conyers (D-MI) says in his statement. "We want to hear their stories and we want the Administration to address the charges head on so that we can get to the bottom of this."
The subpoenas, issued as a "last resort" according to subcommittee Chairwoman, Linda Sánchez (D-CA), are the first to be issued by the Democrats since taking control of Congress.
We must run, so we'll refer you to the full statement below for more details for the moment...
Two media statements released from members of the U.S. House Judiciary Committee indicate that subpoenas will soon be issued in the matter of the allegedly coerced firings of U.S. Attorneys in the Department of Justice. A vote will take place tomorrow in the Subcommittee on Commercial and Administrative Law on whether to issue the subpoenas to Justice Dept. officials Carol Lam, David Iglesias, H.E. Cummins, III, and John McKay to compel them to appear before a subcommittee hearing next week.
As well, The BRAD BLOG has learned the Judiciary Committee will also hold hearings next week on matters related to "Election Reform and Irregularities."
According to a Committee staffer, "subpoenas will be issued" tomorrow in the U.S. Attorney matter. If so, it would be the first time the Democrats have exercised their newly-gained subpoena power since wresting control of Congress from Republicans...
At the turn of the new year, we dubbed 2007 "The Year of Accountability." So, let it begin.
Two announcements were released today concerning upcoming oversight and investigative hearings in Congress on Bush Administration policy. If you can imagine such a thing.
In the House, Rep. John Conyers (D-MI), chairman of the House Judiciary Committee --- the one which would lead the way concerning any Articles of Impeachment for a sitting U.S. President or Vice-President --- announced today that hearings would be held next Wednesday in the committee on "Presidential Signing Statements under the Bush Administration: A Threat to Checks and Balances and the Rule of Law?" (Complete media release, with details, scheduled witnesses, etc. at end of this article.)
In the Senate, Russ Feingold (D-WI) will chair Judiciary Committee hearings on "Congress's Power to End a War." In a media advisory just released, (posted in full below) Feingold refers to Congress's "power of the purse to redeploy our troops safely from Iraq so that we can refocus on the global terrorist networks that threaten our national security."
"This hearing will help inform my colleagues and the public about Congress’s power to end a war and how that power has been used in the past," Feingold is quoted in the release. As well, he promises to to introduce new legislation to do exactly that in the Senate. "I will soon be introducing legislation to use the power of the purse to end what is clearly one of the greatest mistakes in the history of our nation’s foreign policy," the senator said.
Neither of the Constitutionally mandated oversight hearings will be held in a basement broom closet, but rather in proper Congressional Hearing Rooms.
UPDATE 8:22pm PT White House says they "will cooperate." Of course they will.
The complete media releases from Conyers and Feingold, with dates, times, locations, and expected witnesses, follow below...
Guest Blogged by Joy & Todd Williams
Representative John Conyers (bio) has served in the U.S. House of Representatives for over 20 terms, having represented the 14th Congressional District in Detroit since 1964. For all those years he has fought for our democracy. From his website: “In his role on the Judiciary Committee, Representative Conyers has introduced and endorsed legislation to advance civil liberties, ensure equal protection and access to the voting booth and combat violence against women.”
In July of last year he led a citizens' movement to deliver 500,000 signed petitions to the White House which questioned George Bush about his attempt to “fix the facts around the policy” as revealed in the infamous “Downing Street Memo”. This “fixing of the facts” eventually led to the U.S. invasion and occupation of Iraq.
Additionally, he held hearings about the Ohio voting irregularities during 2004, and published What Went Wrong in Ohio which enumerates most of the irregularities and abuse of the election process in that state. He has now published a new book, Constitution in Crisis, which documents the Bush administration’s violations of the Constitution in over 26 different categories, and in many cases multiple violations within each category.
You can support Representative Conyers' Campaign here as he will become the chair of the powerful U.S. House Judiciary Committee if the Democrats, by some fluke of nature, take the majority this November.
I had the pleasure of interviewing him a couple of weeks ago while he was en route to the airport to return to his constituents during the Congressional break. He’s a very gracious, experienced and thoughtful representative of the 14th district and for all Democrats everywhere.
Our exclusive interview with the good congressman follows...
John Conyers op/eds in tomorrow's WaPo on Impeachment. Or a lack thereof. Or otherwise responds to the strawman nonsense from the Republicans of late running on the notion that a vote for Dems this fall is a vote for impeachment of Bush by the incoming Judiciary Committee Chair, John Conyers.
While it may ultimately turn out to be a vote for impeachment, George W. Bush and Dick Cheney will have only themselves to blame. Not John Conyers.
And, as one might expect, his response in WaPo to those sad charges and transparently desperate attempts to scare America, displays his usual grace, dignity and old-style statesmanship...in stark contrast to the nattering nabobs of fear-mongering that are today's disgraceful Congressional Republicans.
Not to give anything away, since we hope you'll read the whole thing, but the last line underscores why John Conyers is a hero for all times...
Bravo. And thank you, sir.
David Edwards picked up on these over the weekend, but didn't have the chance to get them all posted here.
A full frontal coordinated attack on John Conyers was launched over the weekend by the GOP as their newest last-ditch attempt to save their asses this November. The tactic has now come down to the rather sad: "Vote for us or we might lose!"
Apparently the GOP's pliant cohorts in the media, including Russert, Stephanopolis, Matthews, the front page of the New York Times and, of course Fox, were all too happy to lend a hand to their efforts. Here's a round-up of a few of the most obvious efforts...
UPDATE: David Swanson has a few choice words on the organized Conyers attacks.
We posted this video from ABC's This Week at Crooks and Liars yesterday. If you are a fan of DNC Chairman Howard Dean then you'll enjoy this video. For those that get physically sick at the sight of DeLay, you might want to skip the first 5 minutes.
Outgoing, indicted and disgraced Republican Rep. Tom DeLay spews the same hate-filled attacks on Democrats that we've heard for several years now. DeLay still manages to brandish the freshest Republican talking points.
Most notable was DeLay's attack on John Conyers' concerns that President Bush may have committed impeachable offenses. The Republicans believe that they can motivate their party to get out to the polls in November to save their favorite President from certain doom if the Democrats take control.
Howard Dean largely ignores DeLay's bluster. Chairman Dean has really improved the focus and delivery of his message. Dean doesn't dodge the tough questions. He delivers clear answers, straight talk and real hope the the American people. Having DeLay and Dean on the same segment really exposes the great disparity in the quality of their character.
Congressman John Conyers (D-MI) is continuing his negotation, on behalf of more than 50 members of the U.S. House of Representatives, for the release of documents related to the Bush Administration's plans for War in Iraq long prior to the beginning of hostilities, according to new letters written by the ranking member of the U.S. House Judiciary Committee and obtained exclusively by The BRAD BLOG.
After the revelations in Spring of 2005 from the so-called Downing Street Memo and other related documents --- a series of secret memos created by British officials documenting Bush Administration efforts to "fix" the "intelligence and facts...around the policy" of going to war with Iraq no matter what --- Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests were filed by 52 House Members [PDF], including Conyers, for the release of documentation of Administration Iraq policies going as far back as the day after the 2000 Election.
The original FOIA requests were filed [PDF] with both the Departments of Defense and State, in June of 2005 after the disclosure in May, by Sunday Times of London, of the initial memo. Both federal agencies have largely stonewalled in response to the request. Correspondence from the agencies have claimed that the House Members must first agree to pay large fees for the requested material on the grounds that they do not meet FOIA standards which allow such fees to be waved.
The Dept. of Defense has estimated [PDF] the fees chargeable for answering the FOIA request would be approximately $110,000. The State Department has not yet given a similar estimate, but has also informed the members that they would have to agree in advance to such payment.
FOIA, however, allows such processing and copy fees to be waived in cases where the information provided will be widely circulated to the public and will "contribute significantly to the public understanding of activities or operations of the government."
Several communications from both DoD and State have suggested that since the requests for information did not come formally from a U.S. House Committee, the members' request does not meet the standard required for waiving fees or expediting the release of the information.
A federal judge has just issued an injunction to keep the new Photo ID requirements at polling places in the state of Georgia from moving forward. As reported many times on The BRAD BLOG, the requirement for photo ID at the polls would disenfranchise anywhere from 10 to 20 million Americans who do not have driver licenses --- mainly the elderly, minorities, the poor and other urban dwellers.
The call for Photo ID at the polling place is the latest attempt by Republicans who hope to further disenfranchise Democratic-leaning voters across the country. The effort has been pushed hard by the self-declared "non-partisan" phony GOP "voting rights" group calling themselves the American Center for Voting Rights and was called for by the shameful Baker/Carter National Election Reform Commission, which was led by disenfranchisement expert and Bush family crony James A. Baker along with high-level GOP operatives from the ACVR.
In the ruling issued today, the U.S. District Court in Rome agreed with critics who claimed the law amounts to an unconstitutional poll tax.
The U.S. Justice Department approved the law in August. The department said that while Attorney General Alberto Gonzales did NOT object to the state's voter I-D requirement, the federal agency's approval did NOT preclude lawsuits against it.
The Republican-backed measure sparked racial tension during the state's legislative session last spring. Most of Georgia's black lawmakers walked out at the state Capitol when it was approved.
In a news release just issued to The BRAD BLOG, Congressman John Conyers (D-MI), ranking minority member of the U.S. House Judiciary Committee, lauded the decision to stop what he referred to as "a modern day poll tax."
Says Conyers in the release: "Truth be told, the issue should have never reached this point - the Georgia Legislature should never have passed this modern day poll tax, the Governor should not have signed it, and the Justice Department should have intervened to stop it. That is why 21 Members and I asked the Department to prevent this law from taking effect."
The full press release from Conyers office follows...
There is almost no other way to put this, but we are simply floored by the report just released by the Department of Justice concerning the Franklin County, OH elections.
If there ever was a report which could be called a whitewash, this would be the very dictionary definition --- with the emphasis on WHITE.
The DoJ four-page report, based on dodgy figures, uninvestigated charges and undocumented information and details, simply concludes that "Franklin County assigned voting machines in a non-discriminatory manner", that "no violation of Section 2 of the Voting Rights Act" was found and they "are thus closing our file."
In truth, a detailed analysis of the flaws in this report, and an unwaivering condemnation of this reprehensible piece of "official documentation" is needed. But as folks are disappearing for the Holiday Weekend, we're afraid any analysis we took the time to compile right now would likely get lost in the holiday news-hole. So, for the moment, we're gonna dump these documents here and leave the detailed analysis and shouts of outrage and condemnation to BRAD BLOG readers. If we can follow up a bit more after the holiday, we will.
Essentially, John Conyers' office requested a criminal investigation by the Department of Justice investigation back in January on a number of very troubling matters related to Ohio's 2004 Presidential Election on behalf of the minority members of the Judiciary Committee. (Letter requesting a Special Prosecutor from the DoJ is here [PDF]. Coverage of it by RAW STORY is here, and BRAD BLOG's own reporting at the time, which led to one of the complaints in the letter to the DoJ, is here.)
Amongst the items for which Conyers' January 14, 2005 had requested an investigation at the time --- according to the response to the report Conyers sent on Wednesday --- were "serious charges concerning Voter Intimidation and Misinformation; Improper Purging and other Misconduct; Caging of New Minority Voters; Misuse of HAVA Funds; Tampering of Voting Machinery and Records; Perjury by a County Board of Election Official; and the Misuse of the Great Seal of the United States on Secretary of State Blackwell's Personal Campaign Materials."
While no "substantive response to the many instances of voting irregularities and civil rights violations in the state of Ohio" about which Conyers' submitted evidence has been forthcoming by the DoJ since that January letter, apparently someone within the DoJ took it upon themselves to conduct --- and as we've said WHITEWASH --- an investigation concerning what happened in just one county in Ohio.
The DoJ's resulting four-page report, conducted by "The Voting Section of the Civil Rights Division" and sent to Franklin County officials on Wednesday, is a masterwork of obfuscation, disinformation, misinformation, smoke and mirrors and out and out lies. And remember, it comes directly from your Department of Justice.
As we've said, a more detailed point-by-point analysis of the outrage is called for. But for now, we feel it's important to get the information out as is so folks can see with their own eyes what has "flabbergasted" Conyers' as according to the response he sent in reply to the DoJ yesterday.
There is, however, at least one paragraph which jumped out at us, but that Conyers' reply does not deal with directly (understandably, frankly, since there is so much to be "flabbergasted" about in this DoJ report!). We feel this one is important to point out as we find it particularly disconcerting for what the future may hold in Ohio [emphasis added]:
Yes, you read that right. Franklin County's "bi-partisan" Board of Election has just now "purged" 114,000 voters from the rolls! Tee-ing things up nicely, it would seem, for many more thousands of voters to find themselves suddenly ineligible to vote when they show up at the polling place in 2006!
Over one hundred thousand voters scrubbed from the voting rolls in just one Ohio County alone by their presumably "bi-partisan" BoE. That, while we have learned over the past several months how these Ohio BoE's are certainly not "bi-partisan" as Blackwell and their other defenders continue to maintain since a) There are "Democrats" on these boards who are specifically plants, in other words, "Democrats" in name only and b) All BoE members serve at the partisan pleasure of the distinctly partisan Secretary of State and Bush/Cheney Co-Chair, J. Kenneth Blackwell, who has routinely threatened BoE members with dismissal if and when they refuse to follow his personal partisan edicts.
But that's just one of the outrages. We'll let Conyers' handle a few more. Here is his response to the DoJ report first, followed by the complete report itself by John Tanner, the Chief of the DoJ's Voting Section. Prepare to be appalled...
It's official. Just in from the folks at Conyer's office...Fighting on every front...God bless him...In the DC area next week? Go help 'em make some noise!
Better yet, write to C-SPAN today and ask them to cover this event!!! We spoke with Conyers' office earlier this morning, and they made it clear they would appreciate any help that "6 or 7" of you might be able to provide in encouraging C-SPAN to be there!
WASHINGTON, D.C. - On Tuesday, May 24, at 1 p.m., Rep. John Conyers, Jr. and other Members will host a forum concerning the state of the freedom of the press in this country.
There are few liberties which are more precious to our citizenry or important to our democracy than a free and independent press. Unfortunately, in the present environment, the fourth estate appears reticent to cover numerous issues of genuine public import, and has frequently retreated in the face of criticism and threats from government officials.
For example, the mainstream media has largely ignored the implications of the "Downing Street Memo," which points to a secret agreement between the Bush and Blair Administration to not only go to war, but create the conditions necessary for the war. Similarly, in the wake of the Newsweek "retraction" of the Koran story, the Administration has sought to mandate that the magazine alter its coverage of our involvement in the Middle East.
Tuesday's Forum will provide a timely opportunity to assess the nature of media bias and the extent that press freedoms are at risk in the post-9/11 world.
WHAT: Forum: "Media Bias and the Future of Freedom of the Press"
WHEN: Tuesday, May 24, at 1 p.m.
WHERE: 2226 Rayburn House Office Building
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