Saturday, June 30, 2007

JEFFREY A. TAYLOR: U.S. ATTORNEY IN THE PALFREY CASE AT JUSTICE, MAN OF THE HOUR


"Here, you're much closer to the casework."
--Jeffrey Taylor, Oct. 16th, 2006 to the San Diego Union-Tribune [Ed., 09.13.2008--Making me feel better about my own diction.]

Washington D.C.--Jeffrey A. Taylor is an under reported part of the U.S. Attorney scandal, and in the "Hookergate" scandal. His political credentials are well-known, and like Monica Goodling, he's served as counsel for one Alberto Gonzales. Like Tim Griffin, he was appointed by Gonzales under what was then a little-known section of the Patriot Act, surreptitiously added during a renewal of the bill on March 20th of 2006. Here's a partial-list that Common Dreams compiled in January:
Since last March, the administration has named at least nine U.S. attorneys with administration ties. None would agree to an interview. They include:

-Tim Griffin, 37, the U.S. attorney for Arkansas, who was an aide to White House political adviser Karl Rove and a spokesman for the Republican National Committee.

-Rachel Paulose, 33, the U.S. attorney for Minnesota, who served briefly as a counselor to the deputy attorney general and who, according to a former boss, has been a member of the secretive, ideologically conservative Federalist Society.

-Jeff Taylor, 42, the U.S. attorney in Washington, D.C., who was an aide to Utah Sen. Orrin Hatch and worked as a counselor to Gonzales and to former Attorney General John Ashcroft.

-John Wood, U.S. attorney in Kansas City, who's the husband of Assistant Secretary of Homeland Security Julie Myers and an ex-deputy general counsel of the White House Office of Management and Budget.

-Deborah Rhodes, 47, the U.S. attorney in Mobile, Ala., who was a Justice Department counselor.

-Alexander Acosta, 37, the U.S. attorney in Miami, who was an assistant attorney general for the Justice Department's civil rights division and a protege of conservative Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito.

-John Richter, 43, the U.S. attorney in Oklahoma City, who was the chief of staff for the Justice Department's criminal division and acting assistant attorney general.

-Edward McNally, the U.S. attorney in southern Illinois, who was a senior associate counsel to President Bush.

-Matt Dummermuth, the U.S. attorney in Iowa, who was a Justice Department civil rights lawyer.

Some of these appointees have drawn praise from local skeptics and later won Senate confirmation for permanent appointments. (CommonDreams.org, 01.27.2007)
Again, just a partial-list. That's right: Taylor worked under Ashcroft and Gonzales in different capacities. He knows the ropes of policy--and he's right at the heart of the Palfrey case. What's amazing is that he was appointed the day that her case "went into hyper drive" by AG Gonzales. This is a stunning fact, and while it doesn't prove anything conclusive, it's smoke and should be investigated by the Judiciary committees.

There could have been extraordinary reasons--besides 9/11 and terrorism--to create the ability to appoint these interim U.S. Attorneys--damage control on all-fronts, including an already compromised GOP tanking thanks to massive exposure in "Hookergate." Elements of the bureaucracy probably already knew that Palfrey was arranging the purchase of the flat in Germany by August, with some major panic over her wiring-of-funds after September 28th. From Taylor's DOJ.gov profile, in toto:
Jeffrey A. Taylor was appointed interim U.S. Attorney for the District of Columbia by Attorney General Alberto R. Gonzales on September 22, 2006. He was sworn in and took office on September 29, 2006.

From 2002 to 2006, Mr. Taylor served as Counselor to Attorney Generals John Ashcroft and Gonzales, where he handled a broad array of matters, including oversight of the Department’s national security, terrorism, and criminal litigation and policy, as well as the operations of the Department’s law enforcement components.

Mr. Taylor served as an Assistant U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of California from 1995–1999, where he prosecuted a variety of criminal matters, including international drug trafficking organizations. From 1999-2002, Mr. Taylor served as Counsel to the U.S. Senate’s Committee on the Judiciary, working on issues including criminal law, terrorism, and national security.

Mr. Taylor began his legal career as a law clerk to the Honorable John C. Mowbray, Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Nevada, from 1991–1992, and then worked for three years in private practice. He obtained his Juris Doctor degree from Harvard Law School and his Bachelor of Arts degree from Stanford University. Mr. Taylor, and his wife, Marcia Taylor, are residents of the District of Columbia. (usdoj.gov, "Biography of US Attorney")
But what makes Jeffrey A. Taylor a real powder keg, and a truly political appointee? He's the U.S. Attorney for Washington D.C., the man who will have to expedite the subpoenas issued by Senator Patrick Leahy and Rep. John Conyers in the U.S. Attorney firing scandal. This man is going to be at the center of everything after July 9th, you can bet your paycheck on it. He was appointed to put out a lot of fires.

Jeffrey A. Taylor is one of the Bush administration's insurance policies, a brake on the rule of law now that there is no GOP majority in Congress to protect and obstruct for them. They saw the wave coming at the White House. There's a good chance Mr. Taylor will be removed from his job or resign at some point during these hearings and investigations. It's just a matter of when. If he's wise, he'll recuse himself from all of the aforementioned, including Ms. Palfrey's case.

February 14th background on 14 US Attorneys serving without Senate approval: http://scoop.epluribusmedia.org/story/2007/2/14/9546/72609

Jeffrey A. Taylor's DOJ page: http://www.usdoj.gov/usao/dc/US_Attorney/index.html