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Latest Featured Reports | Tuesday, December 1, 2015
Leftover Turkey Toons
'PDiddie' warms up the oven to roast a few of the folks who deserve it in his latest collection of Thanksgiving week's best political toons...
The 'F' Word:
'BradCast' 11/27/15
Guest Host Nicole Sandler is joined by Howie Klein of Down with Tyranny and Blue America PAC on the rise of Trump, Grayson's endorsement of Clinton, and how marijuana helped him fight cancer...
Serve & Protect?:
'BradCast' 11/25/15
The Guardian's Steven W. Thrasher joins guest host Nicole Sandler to discuss two different and disturbing attacks on African Americans...
Alan Grayson Explains His Hillary Endorsement: 'BradCast' 11/24/15
Guest host Nicole Sandler's tough interview with the FL Congressman seeking the Democratic nomination for the U.S. Senate...
'Green News Report' 11/24/15
  w/ Brad & Desi
Carbon tax coming to Alberta tar sands; Obama: Paris conf must proceed; Senate Repubs to monkeywrench int'l agreement; PLUS: FDA okays GMO salmon for humans...
Previous GNRs: 11/19/15 - 11/17/15 - Archives...
Sunday 'This Means War' Toons
PDiddie's must-see collection of the past shameful week's best -- and most dead-on and occassionally horrifying -- toons...
ISIS Wins in US House; Plus: TPP, NAFTA and the Return of KXL?: 'BradCast' 11/19/15
With guest David Dayen of Salon, Fiscal Times, The Intercept, et al...
'Green News Report' 11/19/15
  w/ Brad & Desi
House GOP's war against climate scientists; October 2015 was hottest on record; Fossil fuel subsidies at $500B/year; UK phases out coal; PLUS: Canada kills another tar sands pipeline...
Previous GNRs: 11/17/15 - 11/12/15 - Archives...
Home of the Brave:
'BradCast' 11/18/15
GOP Governors and Presidential candidates help ISIS dreams come true by turning against refugees from war-torn Syria, as some Americans follow their lead by turning against fellow citizens after the Paris attacks...
How NOT to Respond to the Paris Terror Attacks: 'BradCast' 11/17/15
Anti-war author David Swanson on how we got here, how the media and politicians continue to make it worse, and what we must do instead...
'Green News Report' 11/17/15
  w/ Brad & Desi
Climate gets short shrift in 2nd Dem Debate; Yes, climate change is a NatSec threat; Intn'l climate talks in Paris after attacks; PLUS: NY's Cuomo vetoes major NatGas project...
Previous GNRs: 11/12/15 - 11/10/15 - Archives...
A Word About Paris; Coverage of CBS' Dem Debate in Iowa: 'BradCast' 11/16/15
Salon's Heather Digby Parton and longtime GOPer Fred Karger on the debate the DNC didn't want you to watch...
Sunday Somewhat Horrible Toons
PDiddie's round-up of a number of smart toons in the wake of the horrific terror attacks in Paris...
'Very Similar, If Not Identical': DoJ's Big Tobacco Prosecutor on Case Against ExxonMobil: 'BradCast' 11/12/15
Attorney Sharon Eubanks on RICO, conspiracy and the big lies of Big Tobacco and Big Oil...
'Green News Report' 11/12/15
2016 Republican and Democratic Presidential candidates talk climate, energy, and the path forward in GOP Debate and Dem Forum...
Decoding and Debunking Fox Biz Channel's GOP Debate: 'BradCast' 11/11/15
Smartest post-debate analysis anywhere! With journalists Heather Digby Parton and David Dayen...
Impossible Results for OH Pot Measure?: 'BradCast' 11/10/15
Screenshots suggest disappearing 'Yes' votes; OH SoS offers us explanation. PLUS: Calls for KY hand-count...
'Green News Report' 11/10/15
Obama rejects KXL; Big Coal caught lying about climate change; ExxonMobil facing probe; PLUS: 2nd cyclone for Yemen & Sea World responds to critics...
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...
Brad's Upcoming Appearances
(All times listed as PACIFIC TIME unless noted)
Media Appearance Archives...
'Special Coverage' Archives
GOP Voter Registration Fraud Scandal 2012...
Felony charges dropped against VA Republican caught trashing voter registrations before last year's election. Did GOP AG, Prosecutor conflicts of interest play role?...

Criminal GOP Voter Registration Fraud Probe Expanding in VA
State investigators widening criminal probe of man arrested destroying registration forms, said now looking at violations of law by Nathan Sproul's RNC-hired firm...

Arrest of RNC/Sproul man caught destroying registration forms brings official calls for wider criminal probe from compromised VA AG Cuccinelli and U.S. AG Holder...

Arrest in VA: GOP Voter Reg Scandal Widens
'RNC official' charged on 13 counts, for allegely trashing voter registration forms in a dumpster, worked for Romney consultant, 'fired' GOP operative Nathan Sproul...

His Super-PAC, his voter registration (fraud) firm & their 'Americans for Prosperity' are all based out of same top RNC legal office in Virginia...

LATimes: RNC's 'Fired' Sproul Working for Repubs in 'as Many as 30 States'
So much for the RNC's 'zero tolerance' policy, as discredited Republican registration fraud operative still hiring for dozens of GOP 'Get Out The Vote' campaigns...

'Fired' Sproul Group 'Cloned', Still Working for Republicans in At Least 10 States
The other companies of Romney's GOP operative Nathan Sproul, at center of Voter Registration Fraud Scandal, still at it; Congressional Dems seek answers...

The belated and begrudging coverage by Fox' Eric Shawn includes two different video reports featuring an interview with The BRAD BLOG's Brad Friedman...

Repub Sec. of State Gessler ignores expanding GOP Voter Registration Fraud Scandal, rants about evidence-free 'Dem Voter Fraud' at Tea Party event...

FL Dept. of Law Enforcement confirms 'enough evidence to warrant full-blown investigation'; Election officials told fraudulent forms 'may become evidence in court'...

Brad Breaks PA Photo ID & GOP Registration Fraud Scandal News on Hartmann TV
Another visit on Thom Hartmann's Big Picture with new news on several developing Election Integrity stories...

The GOP Voter Registration Fraud Scandal reveals insidious nationwide registration scheme to keep Obama supporters from even registering to vote...

Scandal spreads to 11 FL counties, other states; RNC, Romney try to contain damage, split from GOP operative...

Rep. Ted Deutch (D-FL) sends blistering letter to Gov. Rick Scott (R) demanding bi-partisan reg fraud probe in FL; Slams 'shocking and hypocritical' silence, lack of action...

VIDEO: Brad Breaks GOP Reg Fraud Scandal on Hartmann TV
Breaking coverage as the RNC fires their Romney-tied voter registration firm, Strategic Allied Consulting...

After FL & NC GOP fire Romney-tied group, RNC does same; Dead people found reg'd as new voters; RNC paid firm over $3m over 2 months in 5 battleground states...

EXCLUSIVE: Intvw w/ FL Official Who First Discovered GOP Reg Fraud
After fraudulent registration forms from Romney-tied GOP firm found in Palm Beach, Election Supe says state's 'fraud'-obsessed top election official failed to return call...

State GOP fires Romney-tied registration firm after fraudulent forms found in Palm Beach; Firm hired 'at request of RNC' in FL, NC, VA, NV & CO...
The Secret Koch Brothers Tapes...

4th Country to Legalize Gay Unions...
By Brad Friedman on 7/20/2005 9:05pm PT  

Oh, Canada! Way to go!

Thank you for setting the standards for how elections should be counted (by hand), wars should be fought (only when necessary) and how human beings who wish to wed should be treated by the state.

As reported by AP, the bill which became law today "gives homosexual couples the same rights as those in traditional unions between a man and a woman."

Imagine that.

30 Days Pay 'Wrist Slap' for Matt Damschroder who Retains $97k/year Job
Not 'Illegal' in Ohio (Apparently) for Elections Officials to Take Pay-Offs from Voting Machine Companies
By Brad Friedman on 7/20/2005 8:03pm PT  

Just back in town after a day off, and man do I have a lot to catch up with...While I'm doing that, if you haven't noticed already, the Franklin County, Ohio Elections Director, Matt Damschroder, who last week acknowledged accepting a $10,000 check from a lobbyist for Diebold, was given a slap on the wrist yesterday and docked 30 days pay from his yearly $97,240 salary.

He has also claimed that the Diebold lobbyist, Pasquale "Pat" Gallina, told him that he'd made $50,000 in donations to groups that support Ohio's Secretary of State (and, coincidentally, the Co-Chair of the Bush/Cheney Re-Elect Committee) J. Kenneth Blackwell.

All of this has come about amidst a lawsuit filed by voting machine company, ES&S in Ohio against Blackwell for giving the entire state to Diebold. This should be very interesting to watch. Depositions are upcoming.

In the meantime, while Franklin County's head of election, who seems to have accepted a $10,000 bribe gets off virtually scot-free, Sherole Eaton --- the courageous whistleblower from Hocking County, OH, who gave testimony in an affidavit of employees from voting machine company, Triad gaming the Ohio recount --- has been accused of absolutely nothing. Nonetheless, she is still fired from the Hocking County Board of Elections.

Ohio. Retaining its slim edge over Florida for the filthiest fucking state in the union.

So Much Unprecedented Corruption, So Little Accountability...
By Brad Friedman on 7/18/2005 4:12pm PT  

Never one to put all of our democracy lovin' eggs into a single basket, no matter how much treason is in that basket's "gate", the breadth of scandals finally coming home to roost right now on this administration (has there ever been a dirtier one?) is simply remarkable.

While any one of the scandals and investigations listed below would have likely taken down "lesser" administrations long ago --- though those administrations, unlike this one, would likely have had some help in that direction from an actual fourth estate --- it's remarkable to see how many of these scandals are currently rolling.

To date, we don't believe anyone has actually been held accountable yet for any of the following (with the exception of a few poor sap soldier/scapegoats from Abu Ghraib --- of course, when the rubber meets the road, the Bush Administration blames the troops rather than supports them!).

This list is rather extraordinary when taken in total. So... We leave it to you... Tell us which scandal and/or investigation will be the straw that finally breaks this Administration's back and why? (The various options presented here are in no particular order)

1) Plame/Rove "TreasonGate" investigation
2) Jack Abramoff/Tom Delay investigation
3) Thomas Noe/Ohio "Coingate"/RNC investigation
4) "Duke" Cunningham/MZM investigation
5) Sproul & Assoc./RNC investigation
6) Halliburton/Dick Cheney investigation
7) Downing Street Documents/Iraq War investigation
8) Abu Ghraib/Gitmo/Torture accusations/investigation
9) Election Fraud allegations/investigation
10) Jeff Gannon investigation
11) 9/11 investigation
12) Combination of all of the above
13) Scandal/investigation we failed to list above
14) An as of yet unknown/unpublicized scandal/investigation
15) None of the above and none in the future

Place your bets in comments and consider it an open thread as I attempt to get the hell outta Dodge for 24 hours or so to celebrate (my birthday, not Bush's woes). We'll see if I make it out of town or not. Trying to...If I do, hopefully Winter Patriot will feel free to cover the slack here --- as needed --- while I'm gone. Peace.

First Major Print Ad by Such a Group, Critical of Admin's Vet Health Care Budget
Ad Text: 'Mr. President, You're Either With Us or Against Us'
By Brad Friedman on 7/18/2005 3:23pm PT  

As if Dubya didn't have enough (self-inflicted), a coalition of U.S. veterans of the Iraqi and Afghanistan wars whose slogan is "Really Support the Troops - Listen to Them!", is taking out an ad in tomorrow's Washington Post critical of the Bush Administration and calling on Bush to "provide leadership" by meeting the needs of healthcare for returning vets.

In their ad, the group generously attributes the $1 Billion shortfall in Bush's 2005 budget for "Veterans of the War on Terror" to a "miscalculation".

In 2006, the ad claims, the budget shortfall will be a full $3 billion short of what our returning veterans need to cover health care costs at Veterans Administration hospitals. OpTruth covers this issue in more detail on their website. founder Paul Reickhoff --- who we've previously covered here and more recently here, quit his Wall Street job after 9/11 to fight in Afghanistan and has been critical of Bush's level of support for troops in both Iraq and Afghanistan.

Reickhoff tells The BRAD BLOG that this ad represents the "first time an Iraq vets group has taken out a major print ad."

The text from the OpTruth ad is as follows...

THE BUSH ADMINISTRATION recently admitted that they miscalculated the health care costs for Veterans of the War on Terror this year by at least $1 billion. In 2006, the shortfall will be $3 billion.

WITHOUT IMMEDIATE CHANGES, four out of five returning Veterans could be turned away from care at VA hospitals. That's a raw deal the American people will not tolerate.

A UNANIMOUS, BIPARTISAN SENATE has moved quickly to cover this year's outrageous budget gap with a $1.5 billion emergency supplemental. Congress should adopt the Senate's plan, and should make up the 2006 budget gap as well.

MOST IMPORTANTLY, President Bush needs to act immediately and provide the leadership that will prevent Veterans from being shortchanged now and in the future.

A graphic version is below (click to see full PDF version):

Or, George W. Bush Unites America...
(For all except the Bush Dead-Enders)
By Brad Friedman on 7/18/2005 2:21pm PT  

(Hat tip Jesse at Stakeholder!)

By Brad Friedman on 7/17/2005 2:57pm PT  

But Keep Your Eyes On What Matters, As the Investigation Moves Up the Food Chain...
What Did the President Know? And When Did He Know it?
By Brad Friedman on 7/17/2005 1:10pm PT  

"I am saying that if anyone was involved in that type of activity which I referred to, they would not be working here."
- Ron Ziegler, press secretary to Richard Nixon, defending the presidential aide Dwight Chapin on Oct. 18, 1972. Chapin was convicted in April 1974 of perjury in connection with his relationship to the political saboteur Donald Segretti.

"Any individual who works here at the White House has the confidence of the president. They wouldn't be working here at the White House if they didn't have the president's confidence."
- Scott McClellan, press secretary to George W. Bush, defending Karl Rove on Tuesday.

Thus begins Frank Rich's NY Times editorial today, "Follow the Uranium" (we might have suggested, "Follow the Yellowcake Road", but they didn't ask us first).

It's been said that the political landscape is littered with the corpses of those who've "misunderestimated" George W. Bush. But it's not Bush who should take the credit for his political mastery. It is, of course, his brain, Karl Rove.

Misunderestimating him and what he's able to pull off, slither out of and otherwise apply his ample slime to is a game that one plays at his own peril. As Rich summarizes points of Rove's illustrious career (but barely scratches the surface):

Trashing is in his nature, and bad things happen, usually through under-the-radar whispers, to decent people (and their wives) who get in his way. In the 2000 South Carolina primary, John McCain's wife, Cindy, was rumored to be a drug addict (and Senator McCain was rumored to be mentally unstable). In the 1994 Texas governor's race, Ann Richards found herself rumored to be a lesbian. The implication that Mr. Wilson was a John Kerry-ish girlie man beholden to his wife for his meal ticket is of a thematic piece with previous mud splattered on Rove political adversaries.

Yet even with those "successful" campaigns under his belt, this time, it seems Rove is quickly finding himself at a dead-end. At least as Rich sees it. And we tend to agree with him.

Aside from his observation that "there's only one certainty ahead: the timing of a Karl Rove resignation," Rich aptly moves the ball forward by pointing out that Rove, Joe Wilson, Matt Cooper, Judith Miller et al. are small potatoes in this matter.

As the Plame Game moves up the food chain, through All The President's Men, the real question is rapidly --- and we mean rapidly --- becoming a matter of What Did the President Know and When Did He Know It?

Says Rich:

It is about the president of the United States. It is about a plot that was hatched at the top of the administration and in which everyone else, Mr. Rove included, are at most secondary players.
This case is about Iraq, not Niger. The real victims are the American people, not the Wilsons. The real culprit - the big enchilada, to borrow a 1973 John Ehrlichman phrase from the Nixon tapes - is not Mr. Rove but the gang that sent American sons and daughters to war on trumped-up grounds and in so doing diverted finite resources, human and otherwise, from fighting the terrorists who attacked us on 9/11. That's why the stakes are so high: this scandal is about the unmasking of an ill-conceived war, not the unmasking of a C.I.A. operative who posed for Vanity Fair.

Rich is precisely correct here, and makes a damning case for it. On the pages of the Pro-War, Pro-Bush New York Times nonetheless. Read it. If only so that you'll know what happened when the house of cards quickly tumbles any moment...or when it doesn't because the evil genius Karl Rove is once again able to amass his dark, hateful, whispering armies to overcome the voices of truth.

When you play clean against those who play dirty --- and who have gained an alarming body of professional experience in doing so as they've slimed their way to the very pinnacle of world power in the process --- one should never "misunderestimate" the ability of these sorts of charlatans to retain that power. No matter how many decent human beings, public servants, innocent civilians and patriots need to be destroyed along the way.

Blog Along With Us if you please
We're Being The Media --- because somebody's got to!
By Winter Patriot on 7/16/2005 3:58pm PT  

Guest blogged by Winter Patriot

This week's Brad Show is almost ready to hit the airwaves.
Once again we have a fine lineup and the prospect of an excellent show.

Tonight's scheduled guests include:

GREG PALAST: Author of The Best Democracy Money Can Buy on "Mr. Rove and the Access of Evil"!

DAVID SWANSON: Co-Founder of on the 7/23 'Downing Street' events and Comcast deleting AfterDowningStreet's Email!

ERIC BREWER: BTCNews' White House Correspondent/Blogger on Scottie McClellan's WH Press Room shenanigans!

MIKE ROGERS: Managing Editor of with another action packed BRAD SHOW Big Gay Hour!

--- Click here for REST OF STORY!... ---

Blog Along With Us if you please
We're Being The Media --- because somebody's got to!
By Winter Patriot on 7/16/2005 3:48pm PT  

a href="" target="_blank">Guest blogged by Winter Patriot

This week's Brad Show is almost ready to hit the airwaves.
Once again we have a fine lineup and the prospect of an excellent show.

Scheduled guests include:

GREG PALAST: Author of The Best Democracy Money Can Buy on "Mr. Rove and the Access of Evil"!

DAVID SWANSON: Co-Founder of on the 7/23 'Downing Street' events and Comcast deleting AfterDowningStreet's Email!

ERIC BREWER: BTCNews' White House Correspondent/Blogger on Scottie McClellan's WH Press Room shenanigans!

MIKE ROGERS: Managing Editor of with another action packed BRAD SHOW Big Gay Hour!

And Lord Knows What Other Suprises!

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Join us Saturday Night 7p-11p ET (4p-8p PT)! Listen up via, call in with your questions and comments for our guests at 323-650-1286, and blog along with us right here at The BRAD BLOG in our LIVE Open Thread during the show!

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We're shocked...shocked!
Board of Elections' Matt Damschroder Continues his impressive 'bi-partisan' record in Ohio.
By Brad Friedman on 7/16/2005 10:50am PT  

From Cleveland Plain Dealer this morning...

A member of the Franklin County election board said Friday that prosecutors are investigating whether a GOP political consultant tried to bribe the board's director to buy voting equipment made by his client, Diebold Inc.

The director, Matthew Damschroder, has told prosecutors that the consultant, Pat Gallina, came to his office in early 2004, offering him $10,000.

"Pat Gallina came into my office at the Board of Elections and said, 'I'm here to give you $10,000. Who should I direct it to?' " Damschroder recalled. "I said, 'Certainly not to me. But I'm sure the Franklin County Republican Party would appreciate a voluntary donation. That was my first mistake."

The law prohibits Damschroder from accepting political contributions on county property. He said he took the check home and mailed it to the party, where he had just completed a stint as executive director.
Damschroder told prosecutor O'Brien of Gallina's visit after his testimony was sought in a civil suit filed by one of Diebold's competitors, Election Systems and Software.

ES&S charges in that suit that Secretary of State Ken Blackwell improperly favored Diebold in selecting electronic voting machines for use statewide.
Gallina told him that he and Cummings agreed on the cut-rate price Diebold would charge the state for its machines, and that Gallina promised in return to give $50,000 to "Blackwell interests."

Carlo LoParo, a spokesman for Blackwell, called the claim "absolutely ridiculous," and that Cummings has not negotiated any part of the state's voting machine contracts.
Diebold executives had ceased contributing directly to political campaigns in October 2003, after the company president sparked an uproar by saying he was "committed to helping Ohio deliver its electoral votes" to secure President Bush's re-election.

Spokesman Mike Jacobsen said the firm pays Gallina - through Celebrezze & Associates - to work as a liaison on state and county government contracts.

"It's a separate company," he said. "Just because we contract with a lobbyist and they make a contribution doesn't mean, in any way, that we use them as some sort of political back door to curry political favor."

(Hat-tip BRAD BLOG commenter, KestrelBrighteyes for the catch via RAW STORY)

Saturday Night LIVE! 7p-11p ET (4p-8p PT)
By Brad Friedman on 7/15/2005 4:54pm PT  

If the Democracy and Radio (and IBC Network) Gods are with us...we're back Saturday Night with an all-new LIVE BRAD SHOW via RAW RADIO!

Guests to include...

  • GREG PALAST: The author of "The Best Democracy Money Can Buy" on "Mr. Rove and the Access of Evil"!
  • DAVID SWANSON: The Co-Founder on the 7/23 'Downing Street' events and Internet giant Comcast deleting AfterDowningStreet's Email!
  • ERIC BREWER: The White House Correspondent/Blogger on Scottie McClellan's Press Room shenanigans!
  • MIKE ROGERS: Managing Editor of PageOneQ with another BRAD SHOW Big Gay Hour!
  • Saturday Night 7p-11p ET (4p-8p PT)! Join us at BRAD BLOG for the LIVE Open Thread and listen up via BRAD SHOW.

    Your DONATIONS are greatly appreciated, defray the costs of studio time and help us stay on the air! And be sure to buy some kewl stuff in The BRAD STORE!

    Advocacy Group, Internet Host Charge 'Political Motivation' Behind Filtering of Email by Country's Largest Net Services Provider!
    By Brad Friedman on 7/15/2005 3:10pm PT  

    [Ed Note: Good news! Not long after this item was originally published, the issue was finally attended to and corrected by both Comcast and Symantec! See the bottom of this article for details on what happened! Thank you for making noise!]

    The BRAD BLOG has learned that cable company and Internet service provider, Comcast Corporation has been automatically deleting email sent to Comcast customers with the text "" in the body of the email. ("ADS") is the citizen's coalition advocacy group organized to raise awareness of the leaked British memos and minutes referred to as the "Downing Street Documents". Those documents, first reported by Michael Smith of the Sunday Times suggest that the Bush Administration had determined to topple Saddam Hussein by military means and planned to "fix" the facts and intelligence around the policy" at least eight months prior to receiving authorization of the U.S. Congress to wage war in Iraq. At the same time, George W. Bush and administration officials were routinely telling both Congress and the American people that no tactical decisions had yet been made regarding regime change in Iraq.

    (DISCLOSURE: The BRAD BLOG and an advocacy group co-founded by us, are members of the ADS coalition.)

    The discovery that email was being secretly filtered was made after an investigation conducted by ADS co-founder, David Swanson who reported that many coalition members did not seem to be receiving email alerts and others messages being sent by the group.

    "Over the past week we have been having problems reaching our members," Swanson said. "Yesterday we had a conference call scheduled that we'd announced by email and two thirds of the people didn't even know about it."

    Eventually Swanson was able to determine that it was only those members of the group who receive email via the cable monolith's domain who were not receiving such notices.

    According to a study released in January of this year by TNS Telecoms, Comcast Corporation is the nation's largest single provider of both Cable/Satellite and Internet related services in the country.

    The BRAD BLOG has been able to independently confirm that email sent to two different Comcast customers with the text "" in the body of the mail, is not currently reaching those customers as expected. Though messages with only "" are, in fact, able to get through to those same customers without a problem.

    In a statement released by, the Internet host for the domain, the directors of the "progressive" firm charge that the filtering is politically motivated and both they and Swanson have requested people contact Comcast to complain. (Contact information at the bottom of this article.)...

    --- Click here for REST OF STORY!... ---

    Letter Sent to 'Neutral Legal Authority' at Library of Congress for Clarification of Constitutional Impeachment Clause
    Congressmen Express Belief that Clause 'Clearly Applies to High-Ranking Officials'!
    By Brad Friedman on 7/15/2005 1:57pm PT  

    The BRAD BLOG has learned that Congressmen John Conyers (D-MI) and Barney Frank (D-MA) have inquired with officials at the Library of Congress' Congressional Research Service this afternoon into whether impeachment proceedings would be appropriate for Senior White House Officials.

    The release of a letter by the two congressmen was accompanied by a press release from the office of the ranking minority House Judiciary Committee member, John Conyers. In the letter, the two seek clarification from "a neutral authority" of whether the U.S. Constitution's Article II, regarding impeachment of a sitting President and Vice-President and "all civil officers", would apply to Deputy Chief of Staff, Karl Rove who is currently embroiled in the on-going criminal investigation into who leaked classified information concerning the outting of covert CIA agent, Valerie Plame.

    Article II, Section 4 of the Constitution speaks to impeachment, but is not completely clear about which "civil officers" would fall under its jurisdiction.

    Art II, Sec. 4: "The President, Vice President and all civil officers of the United States, shall be removed from office on impeachment for and conviction of, treason, bribery, or other high crimes and misdemeanors"

    The letter from Frank and Conyers attempts to seek clarification of the term "civil officers of the United States" and whether the clause would be applicable to Rove as a "high-ranking official in the White House and Executive Branch," according to their news release.

    Here is the letter sent today, followed by the Press Release issued by both Conyers and Frank.

    July 14, 2005

    Ms. Elizabeth Bazan
    Mr. Charles Doyle
    American Law Division
    Congressional Research Service
    The Library of Congress
    101 Independence Avenue, SE
    Washington, D.C. 20540

    Dear Ms. Bazan and Mr. Doyle,

    We write to request your opinion as to whether or not very high- ranking members of the President's staff are subject to the Congressional impeachment process. The Constitution in its discussion of impeachment does not spell out with any specificity which federal officials are impeachable. We believe that the rationale for impeachment clearly applies to high-ranking officials who wield presidential authority in many cases with even more impact than some cabinet officers. And we do not see any Constitutional language that would exclude such officials from the impeachment process. But because this appears to be a question of first impression, and because of the grave importance of this matter, we write to ask your opinion as to whether or not it is Constitutionally permissible to initiate impeachment proceedings against the President's Deputy Chief of Staff, or other similarly highly placed officials.

    Rep. Barney Frank
    Rep. John Conyers

    The following news release from Conyres and Frank was released at the same time as the above letter to officials at the Library of Congress.

    Congress of the United States
    Washington, DC

    For Immediate Release

    Friday, July 15, 2005


    Letter to Library of Congress seeks clarification of who in the government can be impeached by Congress

    Washington, DC-House Judiciary Committee Ranking Democrat John Conyers (D-MI) and House Financial Services Ranking Democratic Member Barney Frank (D-MA) today asked the American Law Division of the Congressional Research Service at the Library of Congress whether it is Constitutionally permissible to begin impeachment proceedings against high-ranking federal officials. This would include members of the President's staff such as White House Deputy Chief of Staff Karl Rove.

    "We write to request your opinion as to whether high-ranking members of the President's staff are subject to the Congressional impeachment process. The Constitution in its discussion of impeachment does not spell out with any specificity which federal officials are impeachable. We believe that the rationale for impeachment clearly applies to high-ranking officials who wield presidential authority in many cases with even more impact than some cabinet officers," Frank and Conyers write in their letter.

    "We share the grave concern felt by many Americans about the revelation that the President's Deputy Chief of Staff and Chief Political Advisor, Karl Rove, improperly identified a CIA undercover operative to journalists as part of a campaign to discredit her husband, who is a critic of some aspects of administration policy," said Mr. Frank.

    Mr. Conyers continued: "Mr. Rove continues to occupy this high position, which means that he continues to have access to the full range of the most secret information available to the federal government, with apparently no compunctions about misusing that information for political purposes. We believe that the impeachment power of Congress is in fact intended to cover precisely this sort of situation - that is, a high-ranking official who has not only abused his power, but appears ready to continue such abuse in the future, and subject to no apparent effective check within the executive branch itself."

    Historically, impeachments have been launched against presidents and other officials who have been confirmed by the Senate. However, Conyers and Frank noted the language of the constitution--Art. II, Sec. 4: The President, Vice President and all civil officers of the United States, shall be removed from office on impeachment for and conviction of, treason, bribery, or other high crimes and misdemeanors-does not explicitly impost such a requirement. The question Frank and Conyers are asking is what constitutes "civil officers" and does it include high-ranking officials in the White House and Executive Branch.

    Given the importance of this issue, the grave abuse of power and unethical manner in which Mr. Rove has been engaged, impeachment may well be an appropriate response. This issue could be relevant in cases where there may be some uncertainty about the willingness of the Executive Branch, in which the criminal prosecution power lies, fully to use that power against someone so close to the President.

    "We have asked a neutral legal authority whose function it is to advise Congress to give us the best judgment of its experts on this question, and we will speak with our colleagues about proceeding accordingly after we have received this advice," concluded Frank.

    Another Covert Asset Blown by Administration, Leads to 50 Dead in London!
    By Brad Friedman on 7/15/2005 10:32am PT  

    John Aravosis at AMERICAblog has the skinny based on ABC's report last night of how the inept and irresponsible Bush clan seems to have helped to blow our only mole inside of al-Qaeda. An act, which Aravosis contends, helped lead directly to the London Bombings last week.

    No, he's not suggesting that Bush was behind the bombings. Just that his arrogance, and desperate need to do and say anything to retain power in this country prior to the election last year, seems to have helped lose an asset by British law enforcement officials which might have avoided the deaths of 53 Brits and the injuries of hundreds more in those attacks.

    Given how many deaths Bush's arrogance has led directly to in Iraq, we suspect England should consider themselves lucky. So far.

    Aravosis has done a superb job of connecting the dots.

    As Frist Makes Yet Another Jackass of Himself...
    By Brad Friedman on 7/15/2005 10:20am PT  

    Yesterday, Sen. Harry Reid and the Dems attempted to add a fairly reasonable (one would think) amendment to a Homeland Security appropriations bill. David Corn of The Nation commented in a late-night blog article, that the amendment could well have been called "the Karl Rove Memorial Act". Here's what it said:

    No federal employee who discloses, or has disclosed, classified information, including the identity of a covert agent of the Central Intelligence Agency, to a person not authorized to receive such information shall be permitted to hold a security clearance for access to such information.

    Fair enough. But since Republicans don't care for National Security, nor about outting covert CIA assetts apparently, the amendment failed. Corn explained...

    It failed on a 44-53 vote. Not one Republican voted for it. Apparently, the Repubs believe that a government official who leaks classified information --- such as the identity of an undercover intelligence official --- should not be denied access to classified information. Not even during a war. Protecting Karl Rove (and future Karl Roves) trumps national security for these patriots.

    That's the sad part. The funny part, however, --- wherein Majority Leader Bill Frist made yet another "doofus" of himself --- we'll leave to Corn's piece from last night, "Rove Scandal Drives Frist Bonkers". Enjoy.

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