DOJ SOURCE TO BRAD BLOG: Schlozman's Senate Judiciary Testimony 'On the Razor's Edge of Perjury,' Says Tanner Promoted at DoJ to 'Take Hit for Schlozzie' on Photo ID/'Voter Fraud' Cases...
CONFIRMED: No Republican Senators Bothered to Show Up For Hearings
By Brad Friedman on 6/5/2007, 12:18pm PT  

Oh, my god. Brad Schlozman is testifying right now before the Senate Judiciary Committee. (Former US Attorney Todd Graves, whom Schlozman replaced after Graves was pushed out, will testify later.)

I don't usually care to cast personal aspersions, but this guy sounds exactly like a chipmunk. Not kidding.

He's being questioned on his partisan 'Voter Fraud'/ACORN prosecutions right now, and Feingold is currently asking a line of questioning that could lead to Thor Hearne and the ACVR scam. We'll see...

Listen/watch for yourself at C-SPAN 3 online...

UPDATES/LIVE OBSERVATIONS...
[NOW UPDATED WITH COMMENTS FROM A DOJ SOURCE]

• Leahy: "Mr. Schlozman, you seem to have broken AG Gonzales's record for saying 'I do not recall' in your testimony so far."

• Schlozman says he spent "25 to 30 hours" preparing for this testimony today.

• ...Says he doesn't think 'Voter Fraud' indictment brought in Missouri just days before '06 election (in violation of DoJ written guidelines) influenced the election, despite MO RNC press release issued in wake of the indictments. A previous case Schlozman/DoJ brought against the Democratic Missouri SoS alleging problems with voter rolls was later dismissed as the judge found "that the United States has not shown that any Missouri resident was denied his or her right to vote as a result of deficiencies alleged by the United States...Nor has the United States shown that any voter fraud has occurred." - Video of the exchange, with an angry Leahy, now here...

12:41pm PT - Committee takes a recess...

1:10pm PT - Committee now back in session. Live observations continue below...

• Leahy threatens Schlozman with subpoenas after he dodges questions concerning his overruling of 4 out of 5 career staffers to approve a Photo ID law in GA, later found to be unconstitutional and part of the Bush DoJ's gutting of the 40-year old Voting Rights act.

• Schumer now questioning, following Leahy and Feinstein. There has been no Republican questioning since I've been tuned in (came in about 30 mins late). Did any R's show up for this hearing???

• Schlozman blames Craig Donsanto, in DoJ Public Integrity section, for instructing him to violate written DoJ rules to bring MO "voter fraud" case just days prior to MO's '06 election featuring a very close, contentious Senate race between Jim Talent (R) and Claire McCaskill (D).

• Sen. Whitehouse takes questioning from Schumer. Still no R's at hearing...

• Schlozman claims he didn't target ACORN for their political leanings, didn't know them in fact (yeah, right), and acknowledges that "they were very helpful" and believes them to be "the victims" in this. Well, that's a new take from DoJ! (One that is actually true!) - Video on this chuckle-worthy exchange now posted by TPM here...

• Schlozman is dismissed, Todd Graves, former Western District MO US Attorney --- who had been replaced by Schlozman --- sits down to give testimony. BACKGROUND: Some, such as the excellent journalist Murray Waas, think he's a good guy who was pushed out by the Bushies. I'm not entirely convinced yet, as it seems that his family members (wife, brother-in-law, and brother) were involved, to the tune of some $3.6 million, in the MO Fee Office scandal being investigated by AR US Attorney Bud Cummins at the time that Cummins himself was pushed out in favor of Rove aide Tim Griffin. And oh, look at what Fired Up! Missouri has found. Graves also brought voter fraud charges just before an election. This time in 2004. We remain dubious about Graves...

• Hearings conclude after questioning of Graves by only Sen. Whitehouse. Guess all of the Republicans were busy torturing terror suspects or something...

As the hearings finish, an insider DoJ source of ours tells The BRAD BLOG: "If you want my overall impression, his testimony was on the razor's edge of perjury."

Our source, intimately familiar with the inner workings of the DoJ's Civil Rights/Voting Rights division, points to Schlozman's fingering of Voting Rights Division John Tanner's lone approval of the GA Photo ID case and signing off on the Missouri indictments, saying that Tanner was promoted to the job specifically to be the fall guy on those decisions and others like it.

"This is why they promoted Tanner," the source says, "because he'd do their bidding and take the hit for Schlozzie today."

• Just got off the phone with BRAD BLOG's DC Correspondent Margie Burns, who was at both the Libby sentencing and Schlozman/Grave hearings today. She confirms that no Republican Senators showed up for the hearings in the Senate Judiciary Committee. Incredible.

Christy Hardin Smith at Firedoglake offers this speculation as to why no Rs showed:

There are NO Republicans in the chamber to ask questions. This means a couple of things. (1) The more partisan members of the committee are trying to stay away to argue that it is the Dems on a fishing expedition and that they are going to stay above the fray — in other words, they are hiding from their duty of oversight to protect their party's political wing. And (2) the less-partisan, more old-time DOJ affiliate GOP members of the committee are so disgusted by Mr. Schlozman's actions that they do not feel the need to help him cover his own behind, nor make excuses for the Bush administration's piss poor conduct.

Margie adds that she'll likely have a report for us tomorrow on both DC shindigs today.