Thursday, August 30, 2007

Attorney General Orrin Hatch?

I have previously said that Hatch is pining for the Attorney General spot within the lame duck Bush Administration.

Now here is some "confirmation" from a trusted name in wingnut news:
White House officials are considering five names that "have kind of emerged" as possible candidates to take over the beleaguered Justice Department, according to a senior Bush administration official.

The official who spoke on condition of anonymity in order to speak more openly about the process declined to identify the five contenders who were being looked at "pretty seriously."
Interviews with current and former Justice Department officials, congressional aides, attorneys and other legal experts yielded as many as 24 names of possible, if highly speculative candidates for the attorney general's job.

When contacted Tuesday, several contenders asked to remain anonymous and flatly said they did not want the job. Others declined to comment.

"I love the Department of Justice — it's the most wonderful professional experience I've had in my life," said Ted Olson, a former solicitor general for the Bush administration who declined to say whether he has discussed the attorney general's job with the White House or whether he would accept the post if offered.

Similarly, George Terwilliger, a deputy attorney general under former President George H.W. Bush who has emerged as an often-mentioned contender, declined to comment.

Sen. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, who formerly chaired the Senate Judiciary Committee, once said he would take the job if offered.

When asked if he would take the job of running the Justice Department, former Deputy Attorney General Larry Thompson sent word through a spokeswoman that "he's very happy in this role" as general counsel at PepsiCo.

Solicitor General Paul Clement could remain acting attorney general for an indefinite time after Gonzales leaves.
So the top five are 1) Ted Olson, 2) George Terwilliger, 3) Orrin Hatch, 4) Larry Thompson, and 5) Paul Clement. Let's review each [except Hatch, whom we have documented repeatedly as a GOP water-carrier].

Ted Olson argued Bush v. Gore before the U.S. Supreme Court. He was part of the crack investigative team that tried to take down Bill Clinton in the "Arkansas Project." His wife was on the plane that terrorists crashed into the Pentagon on 9/11. Expect that to be the part Fox News focuses on.

Terwilliger also has Bush v. Gore street cred: he was a leader of President George W. Bush's legal team during the Florida election recount. Moreover, he also "oversaw the BCCI settlement, which saved the US some money in bailouts, but probably also increased the comfort level of the Saudis who had bankrolled the giant money-laundering scheme."

Larry Thompson is a corporate whore. Thompson "was the director of the Providian Financial Corporation, during the time when Providian paid over $400 million to settle charges of consumer and securities fraud. Thompson made $4.7 million dollar in the sale of Providian stock prior to the allegations. In 2002, Judicial Watch filed suit against Thompson for artificially inflating the stock price in order to illegally increase his earnings in the sale of stock." He is also the author of "the Thompson Memorandum written to help federal prosecutors decide whether to charge a corporation, rather than or in addition to individuals within the corporation, with criminal offenses. the guidelines were considered tough because they require that to claim cooperation, companies must (1) turn over materials from internal investigations, (2) waive attorney-client privilege, and (3) not provide targeted executive with company-paid lawyers. The guidelines were criticized for, among other things, "seriously eroding" attorney-client privilege. These guidelines were "eased" in December 2006 by Deputy Attorney General Paul J. McNulty who issued a revised version of the memorandum." He is now Corporate Counsel for PrepsiCo. Look for Faux News to point out that he is black.

Paul Clement is the acting AG and was the Solicitor General, the attorney with the honor of representing the Administration before the US Supreme Court. He is very smart and a very good arguer. However, he has argued during the detainee cases (Rasul v. Bush etc.) that the Justices must "trust the executive to make the kind of quintessential military judgments that are involved in things like that." The government's interrogators understand that information obtained through coercion may be unreliable, Clement said, and they know that "the last thing you want to do is torture somebody or try to do something along those lines." When Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg noted that some governments engage in "mild torture" to obtain information, Clement shot back: "Well, our executive doesn't." Clement has similarly outrageous views about unlimited executive power in the area of the US Attorneys.

Personally, I think Clement is the most dangerous man to have in the chair. Hatch will sound like Gonzales under tough questioning, but Clement could argue that the world is flat and make you believe it, if only for a moment. Terwilliger seems like the old school conservative wise man that Washington loves. Thompson and Olson are the ones that someone like Hatch would jump on the 9/11 or black/racist specious arguments to rally for. After all, he first tried calling Democrats racists for attacking Gonzales since Alberto is of Mexican descent.

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