Saturday, September 8, 2007

bradley schlozman's tardy responses confirm 2006 wrongdoing in missouri

bradley scholzman has finally
"revised" his sworn congressional
testimony, and it is a veritable master-work
of evasive, and non-responsive state-
ments. [to be fair, though, some of leahy's
written questions left him too much "wiggle" room.]

senator leahy has referred these answers
to inspector general fine -- for an ongoing
investigation into politicization of the
department of justice -- at the bottom,
i'll set senator leahy's letter and reaction.

take a look at an excerpt of schlozman's
revised testimony (in dark red; questions
asked in blue) -- and my comments on each
section appear in black:

* * *

7. Recently, the New York Times had two front page stories reporting that there is actually scant evidence of voter fraud despite the current Justice Department's intense focus on prosecutions this crime. Indeed, these articles describe how the Justice Department's inability to demonstrate any organized efforts to skew federal elections led to a politically-motivated effort to alter the draft of an Election Assistance Commission report because it found that little voter fraud existed around the nation. Why has the Justice Department prioritized the prosecution of individual cases of "voter fraud" when there is scant evidence that this crime is being committed or that there is any conspiracy to thwart or alter an election? What evidence is there of an organized effort to change federal elections by fraudulent voting?

I have no role in setting any Departmental priorities or policies on prosecuting election-related crimes.

8. According to the Justice Departments' guidebook on "Federal Prosecution of Election Offenses", "Criminal prosecution is appropriate only when the facts demonstrate that the defendant's objective was to corrupt the process by which voters were registered, or by which ballots were obtained, cast, or counted." With regards to the indictments you filed on November 1,2006 alleging the filing of false voter registration applications, what specific evidence did you have of an objective to compt that demanded that you go against the weight of the evidence and decades old Justice Department policy?

Pursuant to Section 9-85.21 0 of the US. Attorney's Manual, my office consulted with the Elections Crimes Branch of the Public Integrity Section be fore bringing the voter registration fraud indictments. The leadership of that section advised that the indictments were appropriate under Justice Department policy. All four defendants charged in the case have since pleaded guilty. As far as policy shifts, I have no role in establishing Departmental policies in this area.

interesting that he was told the indictments
were "appropriate" by his higher-ups. note
that he does not -- and they did not -- refer
to the written DOJ policies. that is because
he -- and they -- could not. this, as explained
more fully below, is evidence of an "unwritten"
policy to influence outcomes in the 2006 mid-term
elections -- this is the "business end" of
karl rove's much-vaunted "math".

9. The Justice Department's guidebook on "Federal Prosecution of Election Offenses" clearly states that "voters should not be interviewed or other voterrelated investigation done, until the election is over. Such overt investigative steps might chill legitimate voting activities." You testified that the filing of the November 1,2006, indictments was not a violation of the guidebook's policy because no voters were interviewed. Are you saying that you didn't conduct any investigation before you filed the indictments? If so, do you normally indict cases without doing any investigation before you file an indictment?

The local FBI office conducted an investigation and presented the evidence it found to a grand jury. Significant evidence was also obtained from both ACORN and the Kansas City Board of Election Commissioners, each of which were extremely cooperative with the investigation. In this case there were no voters to be interviewed, as the registration forms that underlay the charges were fakes.

10. You brought the November 1, 2006, indictments just days before the election and targeted individuals who submitted registration forms weeks before. Your rush to indict them was so hurried that one of the four people you indicted turned out to be the wrong person. On November 1,2006, your office charged Stephanie Davis with causing a false registration form to be submitted. Later, your office dismissed the charges against Stephanie Davis, and filed charges against Carmen Davis.

A. Was Stephanie Davis erroneously indicted by your office?

Following Ms. Davis' indictment, law enforcement authorities learned that she was the victim of identity theft. As a result, the charges against Ms. Davis were dropped, and the individual actually responsible for committing the crimes was charged with both voter registration fraud and identity theft. That individual has pleaded guilty.

this is incredible -- and perhaps unprecedented.

DOJ's first action here was to indict.

a federal indictment -- not a grand jury subpoena,
not a request to "come in and talk" -- not a
visit to the target's address by a federal agent -- no,
an INDICTMENT was issued -- obviously, without
any direct contact with the target. why!?

now, this was not a mob-chieftain, or
a drug kingpin, or a terror suspect -- this
was [allegedly] only a simple election registrar/
volunteer worker. yet they didn't bother
to check that the name matched the person?!
so she was even the person they thought she was.

they just indicted her.

it was the wrong "her". at each of the
above moments -- a come in and talk, a drive by
to check on the person, a grand jury appearance,
all of these -- are designed both to gather evidence,
and not entirely-coincidentally, ensure that
the government is looking at the right person.

to say this one was "ready" -- is to lie.

this is proof of mad-cap haste -- haste
specifically prohibited by DOJ written policies.

B. Did you interview her or conduct any sort of investigation before indicting her?

There was an investigation that preceded the indictment.

well -- i wonder what sort of an
"i n v e s t i g a t i o n"
leads to an indictment before
positive identification

a hasty, and shoddy one, at best.

at worst, one designed to intimidate
voters, grab headlines, and tarnish
reputations on the eve of a closely-
conteted election in missouri.

11. During your June 5 appearance, you testified at least nine times that you filed the criminal charges against four individuals on November 1, 2006 -- on the eve of a national election -- "at the direction of" of Craig Donsanto in the Election Crimes Branch of the Department's Public Integrity Section. In a June 11 letter you reversed this testimony, telling the Committee that you were, in fact, not directed to do so by the Election Crimes Branch. Rather, you directed the Assistant U.S. Attorney working on the case to consult with that branch.

A. Please describe any contacts or communications between your office and the Election Crimes Branch of the Public Integrity Section, including Mr. Donsanto. Please include the date or dates of any contacts, who was involved, and what was communicated to or from you or anyone in your office regarding these matters.

At my direction and consistent with the Justice Department's Election Crimes Manual, almost immediately after receiving allegations of voter registration irregularities in Kansas City during the first week of October 2006, the Assistant US. Attorney assigned to the case contacted Mr. Donsanto in the Public Integrity Section 's Election Crimes Branch. She discussed with him both the substance and timing of the indictments.

B. What advice or guidance did Mr. Donsanto give to you or anyone in your office regarding the timing of filing the indictments and in what form was this advice or guidance communicated?

Mr. Donsanto stated to the Assistant U.S. Attorney assigned to the case that, if the office had an indictable case, his recommendation would be to indict right away. . .

well -- that is as close to an admission as
we'll likel ever see, that, at least in mr.
schlozman's estimation, his superiors did
want him, and did intend to use these
largely specious voting indictments to
influence the outcome of a close contest
in missouri, in november 2006. note especially
that his answer makes no mention of any discussion
of the tension between the DOJ election handbook
policies and the proposed indictments' timing.

according to his REVISED testimony, he was
simply directed to indict "right away".


to my experienced eye, that is an "admission,
by omission
", on his part, that anything that
else he heard in that conversation would be harmful to
the administration's position. moreover, it may fairly be
inferred that such an important conversation -- deciding to
ignore DOJ written policies -- would last far longer than
the few seconds it takes to say "right away".

this, then was the DOJ
unwritten policy:

use dubious voter fraud indictments
to influence close elections. about
that, there can be little doubt, given
all that his answers do not say, in defense.

now, senator ptrick leahy's
reaction to the above:

These belated answers confirm the serious concerns that have been raised about the role Mr. Schlozman and other senior Justice Department officials played in screening career employees for political loyalty. This injection of politics into the hiring of law enforcement officials was inappropriate and destructive, as was Mr. Schlozman’s decision to file an election eve lawsuit in direct conflict with longstanding Justice Department policy.

The resignation of Mr. Schlozman and other senior officials involved in the politicization of our justice system provides an opportunity to begin to repair the damage by reversing their ill-considered policies and practices, restoring the Civil Rights Division to its proper role and regaining the public trust in our Justice Department as our leading law enforcement agency.

and now, his letter:
September 7, 2007

Honorable Glenn A. Fine
Inspector General
The Department of Justice
950 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW
Washington, D.C. 20530-0001

Dear Inspector General Fine:

I am writing to provide to you the attached answers to written questions that the Senate Judiciary Committee received yesterday from Bradley Schlozman, former Acting Assistant Attorney General for the Civil Rights Division of the Department of Justice and former Interim United States Attorney for the Western District of Missouri. These answers may be relevant to investigations you are conducting, including the investigation into improper hiring practices referenced in your letter to me of August 30, 2007. I refer you in particular to Mr. Schlozman’s answer to Question 17 of my written questions. This and other answers may provide information helpful to your investigations. I look forward to your reports on the several investigations you are conducting into allegations of serious misconduct within the Department of Justice.


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