Henry Waxman

Friday Evening Bad News: Holiday Weekend Edition

Last night was no exception to one of the biggest rules in the era of electronic news media. If you have bad news to report, save it for Friday evening. We have two minor stories and one enormous 'holy shit' story to remember from last night.

1. New York governor David Patterson pardoned Slick Rick. Slick Rick had been sentenced and served five years for the 1991 shooting of two men. But this pardon wipes the conviction off his record, preventing him from being deported back to his native Wimbledon. It seems David Patterson is a friend to Old School hip hop artists. As we say in the Old School, he knows what time it is! Good for him. But I wonder what the two survivors of the shooting think, assuming they are still alive.

2. The Liberal Avenger: John McCain finally had his medical records of the past few years released, under tightly-controlled circumstances (what a shock, and on the Friday before a 3-day weekend, too). Cable TV news networks all declared McCain to be in great health. His BMI is a healthy 24. He had a pre-cancerous patch of skin removed early this year. Oh, and he takes a lot of mind-altering drugs. But never mind that last bit.

3. And in a much, much more important development, an internal audit found that the Pentagon cannot account for a new, combined grand total of $15 Billion spent on Iraq reconstruction and security training projects. We had heard a $9 Billion figure discussed for years. However, this revised total takes into account new data, and compiles the results of previous audits, without overlap. Needless to say, this is something that Henry Waxman's committee is going to have to escalate. His committee was already shown one example - a $320 Million cash payment for Iraqi salaries that was released with just one signature and no due diligence that the cash actually went to Iraqi personnel.

Paging Congressman Waxman, Part 2

On Monday I reported that government employees spent thousands outside of the offical procurement process. Well, Hope Yen of the AP has written a follow-up story, revealing that the improper purchases go beyond the VA and Homeland Security. Unauthorized purchases occurred at the GSA as well. Remember, the GSA is the government's procurement agency, manging government real estate, buying government cars, and responsible for buying all technology hardware and office supplies. It's not thousands anymore, it's millions of dollars wasted.

Didn't Congressman Waxman call for GSA chief administrator Lauita A. Doan to resign a year ago?

Paging Congressman Waxman, Part 1

Oh, dear:

Investigators review VA credit charges

Seems a few bad apples at the VA partied in Baltimore and Vegas while vets are waiting for care. Surprised? But this bit was interesting as well:

After Hurricane Katrina in 2005, the GAO estimated that 45 percent of Homeland Security purchase card spending during a six-month period was improper and included iPods, designer rain jackets and beer-making equipment. The credit-card bills are directly payable by Uncle Sam.

Heads need to roll over this. Oh sure, it's just thousands and not billions. Whatever. And surely this sort of thing will happen under the future Democratic president as well. But this simply does not look good in the context of supporting anyone's troops.

Human Trafficking By First Kuwaiti Contracting

That's not a typo. This is fucking incredible. These two whislteblowers, despite their hokey appearance and grammatical errors, speak for themselves.

The US State Department has a lot to explaining to do. And this is yet another scandal to unfold in Bushworld.

Just watch this, especially the second video.

Holy Motherfucker.

Henry Waxman should go on the fucking warpath. And he will.

Rory Mayberry is not a new face to appear before Congress. He blew the whistle on Halliburton's scandalous management of food services for foreign contract laborers in 2005.

And now, he reports that he met Filipino and Indian workers who were being paid as little as $200 per month by First Kuwaiti, and if he blew the whistle then, he would have been thrown out of the Green Zone to face greater physical risks. Sounds like something out of Pol Pot's Cambodia or Argentina 30 years ago. It's scary and real.

Quick, Who Was The Last Surgeon General?

His name is Doctor Richard Carmona, a seemingly competent CUNY graduate of Puerto Rican descent. He resigned in 2006 and I don't recall him ever giving a reason. His replacement is pending confirmation.

Today, testifying before Henry Waxman's House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, Dr. Carmona explained that he was often silenced by the Bush administration.

His full testimony can be read here.

Dr. Carmona was not allowed to publicly express his opinion on stem cell research, contraception, or his critical opinion of the federal program to promote abstinence to both teenagers and some adults in their 20's.

This is just one more example of what the young and distinguished journalist, Chris Mooney, describes as the Republican War on Science. I'm about 2/3 through his comprehensive book, and while it is not the easiest read, it clearly outlines how Republicans have been attacking scientists for political reasons over the last 20 years.

Here is the video courtesy of NancyPelosi:

The White House Has Serious E-mail Compliance Issues

And of course, there isn't much that can be done about it now. But Henry Waxman sheds light on a very important abuse of technology that highlights how secretive the Bush White Hose has been.

Well maybe something can be done. If Waxman can connect the dots, they might lead to two important figures - RNC chairman Ken Mehlman, and White House political strategist, Karl Rove.

Most of these e-mails were sent from the Bush-Cheney 2004 campaign domain, GWB43.com. And since the campaign still exists in an active office thanks to federal laws concerning finance and compliance, the 2004 Bush campaign might be investigated by Mr. Waxman.

Here is the text of Waxman's report this morning:

Monday, June 18, 2007
Administration Oversight, White House Use of Private E-mail Accounts
The Use of RNC E-Mail Accounts by White House Officials

The Oversight Committee has been investigating whether White House officials violated the Presidential Records Act by using e-mail accounts maintained by the Republican National Committee and the Bush Cheney ‘04 campaign for official White House communications. This interim staff report provides a summary of the evidence the Committee has received to date, along with recommendations for next steps in the investigation.

The information the Committee has received in the investigation reveals:

* The number of White House officials given RNC e-mail accounts is higher than previously disclosed. In March 2007, White House spokesperson Dana Perino said that only a “handful of officials” had RNC e-mail accounts. In later statements, her estimate rose to “50 over the course of the administration.” In fact, the Committee has learned from the RNC that at least 88 White House officials had RNC e-mail accounts. The officials with RNC e-mail accounts include Karl Rove, the President’s senior advisor; Andrew Card, the former White House Chief of Staff; Ken Mehlman, the former White House Director of Political Affairs; and many other officials in the Office of Political Affairs, the Office of Communications, and the Office of the Vice President.

* White House officials made extensive use of their RNC e-mail accounts. The RNC has preserved 140,216 e-mails sent or received by Karl Rove. Over half of these e-mails (75,374) were sent to or received from individuals using official “.gov” e-mail accounts. Other heavy users of RNC e-mail accounts include former White House Director of Political Affairs Sara Taylor (66,018 e-mails) and Deputy Director of Political Affairs Scott Jennings (35,198 e-mails). These e-mail accounts were used by White House officials for official purposes, such as communicating with federal agencies about federal appointments and policies.

* There has been extensive destruction of the e-mails of White House officials by the RNC. Of the 88 White House officials who received RNC e-mail accounts, the RNC has preserved no e-mails for 51 officials. In a deposition, Susan Ralston, Mr. Rove’s former executive assistant, testified that many of the White House officials for whom the RNC has no e-mail records were regular users of their RNC e-mail accounts. Although the RNC has preserved no e-mail records for Ken Mehlman, the former Director of Political Affairs, Ms. Ralston testified that Mr. Mehlman used his account “frequently, daily.” In addition, there are major gaps in the e-mail records of the 37 White House officials for whom the RNC did preserve e-mails. The RNC has preserved only 130 e-mails sent to Mr. Rove during President Bush’s first term and no e-mails sent by Mr. Rove prior to November 2003. For many other White House officials, the RNC has no e-mails from before the fall of 2006.

* There is evidence that the Office of White House Counsel under Alberto Gonzales may have known that White House officials were using RNC e-mail accounts for official business, but took no action to preserve these presidential records. In her deposition, Ms. Ralston testified that she searched Mr. Rove’s RNC e-mail account in response to an Enron-related investigation in 2001 and the investigation of Special Prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald later in the Administration. According to Ms. Ralston, the White House Counsel’s office knew about these e-mails because “all of the documents we collected were then turned over to the White House Counsel’s office.” There is no evidence, however, that White House Counsel Gonzales initiated any action to ensure the preservation of the e-mail records that were destroyed by the RNC.

The Presidential Records Act requires the President to “take all such steps as may be necessary to assure that the activities, deliberations, decisions, and policies that reflect the performance of his constitutional, statutory, or other official or ceremonial duties are adequately documented … and maintained as Presidential records.” To implement this legal requirement, the White House Counsel issued clear written policies in February 2001 instructing White House staff to use only the official White House e-mail system for official communications and to retain any official e-mails they received on a nongovernmental account.

The evidence obtained by the Committee indicates that White House officials used their RNC e-mail accounts in a manner that circumvented these requirements. At this point in the investigation, it is not possible to determine precisely how many presidential records may have been destroyed by the RNC. Given the heavy reliance by White House officials on RNC e-mail accounts, the high rank of the White House officials involved, and the large quantity of missing e-mails, the potential violation of the Presidential Records Act may be extensive.

There are several next steps that should be pursued in the investigation into the use of RNC e-mail accounts by White House officials. First, the records of federal agencies should be examined to assess whether they may contain some of the White House e-mails that have been destroyed by the RNC. The Committee has already written to 25 federal agencies to inquire about the e-mail records they may have retained from White House officials who used RNC and Bush Cheney ’04 e-mail accounts. Preliminary responses from the agencies indicate that they may have preserved official communications that were destroyed by the RNC.

Second, the Committee should investigate what former White House Counsel Alberto Gonzales knew about the use of political e-mail accounts by White House officials. If Susan Ralston’s testimony to the Committee is accurate, there is evidence that Mr. Gonzales or counsels working in his office knew in 2001 that Karl Rove was using his RNC e-mail account to communicate about official business, but took no action to preserve Mr. Rove’s official communications.

Third, the Committee may need to issue compulsory process to obtain the cooperation of the Bush Cheney ’04 campaign. The campaign has informed the Committee that it provided e-mail accounts to 11 White House officials, but the campaign has unjustifiably refused to provide the Committee with basic information about these accounts, such as the identity of the White House officials and the number of e-mails that have been preserved.

Highlights of Lurita A. Doan Testimony from NancyPelosi / C-SPAN 3

Thanks to YouTube political video guru, NancyPelosi, we have videos of Doan's testimony to the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform. The hearing lasted from 10am until about 2pm. Cold beers go out to Massachusetts congressman John F. Tierney and Iowa congressman Bruce Braley. Nice work, gentlemen. You nailed her as much as you could in 15 combined minutes of questioning.

Henry Waxman opens the hearing.

Waxman explains that this is not a partisan witch hunt.

Tierney! Tierney! Tierney! He did a great job. A son of Salem. He gets a cold beer from MLH. Symbolically, anyway.

Waxman's turn. Inconsistencies are illuminated.

Bruce Braley's second and final round of questions. Outstanding work. It was clear that Lurita Doan and the Republicans on the committee were sharing the same talking points. Braley clears the record that Administrator Doan met with the Republican congressmen prior to the hearing. Despite spending some time on preparation, the Republicans on the committee (led by Tom Davis) called the hearing a waste of time. They repeatedly charged the democrats of harassing an African-American Republican woman for no other reason than who she is. And also they made fun of the hearings, mocked Chairman Waxman, and charged him of not taking their investigations of Clinton fundraising seriously 10 years ago (they mentioned John Huang). Administrator Doan seemed to be playing with the Democratic congressmen all day. Doan occasionally took mild shots at the questions she received. Her use of the word 'abusing' here is a case in point. She heard Mr. Braley's question the first time. And the key moment in the entire hearing is here. Braley points out that the bulk of the OSC investigation is complete. He asks Doan to confirm that the GSA hosting of the PowerPoint presentation was a violation of the Hatch Act. Thanks to his very quick thinking, he states on the record that Administrator Doan is handed a document and confers with her counsel while the question is being asked. I have never seen that done so swiftly in a congressional hearing before. Score a lot of points for Bruce Braley. A cold beer for you, sir.

Waxman closes the hearing. He points out that Administrator Doan's testimony on March 28th was not complete. She witheld information from Congress that she later testified before the OSC. Waxman asks Doan to resign, which won't happen, of course.

You can tell Lurita A. Doan about how you feel about her lies and her wasteful spending of taxpayer dollars and misuse of federal real estate and resources. She's at lurita.doan@gsa.gov

Office of Special Counsel: Laurita A. Doan Should Be Fired By the President

Image ripped from Crooks and Liars.

Well, I've been saying this since March. According to a report from the Bush-appointed (and independant) Office of Special Counsel (OSC), Lurita Doan broke the law. She arranged for a White House congressional election strategy presentation to be shown in a conference room at GSA headquarters during lunchtime on a business day (Friday, January 26th). That's a mouthful, but it means that she knowingly or unknowingly violated the Hatch Act, which forbids government resources or government employee time to be used on behalf of any political party. The House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform has been all over this, and has investigated Doan's actions since January 1 2007.

There are witnesses who have sworn under oath that following the PowerPoint presentation, Ms. Doan asked the 35 other people in the room, "How can we help our candidates?" "We" would be the GSA, and "our" would be the GOP.

Chairman Henry Waxman has invited Lurita Doan to testify again to explain the results of the OSC investigation. She will appear before the committee at 10:00 EDT. I'm surprised she has agreed to return, given how disastrous and potentially incriminating her first appearance was in March. Maybe that's just how arrogant GOP political appointees act. She was appointed as head of the GSA in May 2006 after she and her husband donated tens of thousands of dollars to the RNC and other Republican party groups and elections. As I wrote in my e-mail to her, she was on the job for less than a year and was intimately involved in two scandals. Well done!

Down with Tyranny has a great summary on the latest developments. The presentation that Administrator Doan arranged to be shown was produced by the White House political office (Karl Rove's office). We can count on Henry Waxman reminding his colleagues of Rove's role this morning.

If she is really going to appear before Waxman's committee and repeat that she didn't realize she was violating the Hatch Act because she was too busy opening and replying to 200 e-mails on her blackberry, then this is going to be fun.

Recall how Doan was burned by Congressman Braley in March:

The hearing is on! See it here if you have Windows Media Player:


It Is Now Official - Valerie Plame Was a Covert Agent at the Time Her Name Was Leaked

No, she did not carry a .380 (not to my knowledge), wear leather pants, or have a wig collection. But it is now an undisputed fact that she was still under 'covert' status when her name was leaked by the White House to the press. Under the legal definition of covert, a CIA agent has to do undercover intelligence work overseas within the last four years. In the case of Ms. Plame, she was an operations officer in the CIA's Counterproliferation Division, and worked overseas, probably posing as a businesswoman. Her activities were cleverly hidden under a front company in Boston under the name Brewster Jennings & Associates.

While she cannot be specific as to where she was or when, Ms. Plame was able to confirm to the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform (Henry Waxman's committee), that she performed spying overseas less than four years prior to her name being leaked to the press in July 2003 (actually, I think she said she was overseas in 2001). Under both the CIA's own definition of an agent under "non-official cover," and the Intelligence Identities Protection Act, there should be no doubt over Valerie Plame's covert status. Nor should there be any doubt that independent prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald's investigation of the Plame affair is warranted (and compared to the Ken Starr investigation of Bill Clinton, rather inexpensive). Keep in mind that the CIA asked Patric Fitzgerald to investigate the leak. If she was not covert, then why would the CIA ask for an investigation? Obviously someone in the White House knew that leaking her name would cause severe damage to her and her husband, Joe Wilson. And that was the whole point of the leak. This is not a scandal manufactured by the Democrats. This was the result of arrogance and law breaking by one or more senior officials in the White House.

If you want to be an expert on the Valerie Plame scandal, I highly recommend Anatomy of Deceit by journalist and blogger, Nancy Wheeler. It is thoroughly researched and was written very quickly so it would stay fresh for a long time. It is still a fresh read six months after it was published, and it can be considered a definitive overview of the Plame affair. Even if Andrew Card, Dick Cheney, and Karl Rove never reveal their specific role in the leak, it is worth a read.

But you can always count on a powerful Beltway character to get in the way and try to disrupt the investigation. And it is here that we re-visit Victoria Toensing. She and her husband are very wealthy and powerful Beltway lawyers, and are the partners who run diGenova and Toensing, LLP. They are currently representing Paul Wolfowitz' girlfriend, Shaha Riza. More notably, Ms. Toensing and Mr. diGenova made regular appearances on cable TV news networks during the Clinton-Lewinsky scandal in 1998 and 1999, claiming they were the subject of a Clinton investigation that aimed to obstruct justice.

While in the Reagan Justice Department, Ms. Toensing specialized in intelligence and counter-terrorism. She was one of the lawyers who drafted the language of Intelligence Identities Protection Act in 1982. She does not believe that Valerie Plame's status was truly covert under that Federal law. And so she was invited to explain her opinion to Waxman's committee. I don't think she ever explained how Plame was not covert under the law she helped write. Clearly Toensing was engaged in a desperate attempt to prevent Plame's covert status from being verified. She was called on her bullshit, and the dark cloud hanging over Karl Rove remains. The Plame affair and the firing of 8 USAs are the two biggest open scandals hanging over Rove. Unfortunately, he will never be prosecuted and we will have to wait years before we know what role he played in each scandal.

Here is Toensing being called on her bullshit by Henry Waxman. It made me wonder why she agreed to appear before the committee in the first place. She could have simply written an op-ed. She gets paid for her opinions, and she had the arrogance to appear before a House committee and dispute the facts.

Every word spoken by Plame is confirmed true. Maybe Toensing would like to apolgize? I won't hold my breath.

And here Larry Johnson, a former colleague of Ms. Plame, points out how the defenders of the leak cannot get their arguments straight.

The Rove PowerPoint Presentation Scandal: More Blood in the Water

News from last week. Chairman Waxman has been asking the right questions. It seems that the White House has acknowledged that the GOP Strategy PowerPoint presentation shown at the GSA headquarters in January has been shown in other Federal agencies. Again, the presentation itself is not illegal. But showing it inside Federal buildings, during business hours, in an attempt to solicit assistance in electing Republicans to Congress is.

Secretary Rice Subpoenaed to Testify Before the Oversight and Government Reform Committee

She can squirm and claim that she is too busy globetrotting or catching Broadway shows, but Congressman Waxman has made a compelling case for Dr. Rice to appear before his committee and explain the Niger yellowcake intelligence. We have not had closure on the story of how the yellowcake report got added to the President's 2003 State of the Union Address. It is not a mystery, but there are gaps that need to be filled. Waxman believes (correctly) that Dr. Rice can provide the necessary details. She played a key role in promoting the invasion of Iraq, and we think that she approved the report being referenced in the President's speech. So it has become necessary to subpoena her to appear before the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform.

White House: e-mails Sent Through RNC Servers (gwb43.com) Might Have Been Lost. Senator Leahy: Hell No!

This White House disclosure relates to both the firings of the US Attorneys and the alleged Hatch Act violation at the GSA:

The RNC Servers purge e-mails more than 30 days old? Even if that's true, these messages cannot be permanently lost.

Chairman Waxman, you know what to do. Nail down the RNCs IT guys (or their outsourced IT service providers) and get to the bottom of this, pronto. Those e-mails cannot be "lost."

From the Washington Post

Rep. Henry A. Waxman (D-Calif.), chairman of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, which is investigating the use of outside accounts, issued a statement saying that the White House disclosure is "a remarkable admission that raises serious legal and security issues," adding: "The White House has an obligation to disclose all the information it has."
Update, 12:19 EDT

Patrick Leahy is calling the White House on its bullshit. He is going to do exactly what I suggested in an earlier post:

"You can't erase e-mails, not today. They've gone through too many servers," said Leahy, D-Vt. "Those e-mails are there, they just don't want to produce them. We'll subpoena them if necessary."

"It's like the famous 18-minute gap in the Nixon White House tapes. They're there."

I suddenly had a flashback of Donald Rumsfeld telling the press that, "We know where the weapons of mass destruction are. They're in the area around Tikrit and Baghdad and east, west, south and north somewhat." But I think something will be found this time.

If the NSA can retrieve your e-mails or my e-mails, then you can be damn sure Congress can go back and retrieve all the gwb43.com e-mails that have been sent and received during the last two years. There are at least two scandals with trails through that domain.

And are the White House staffers so fucking stupid that they think using a non-Federal e-mail account is going to hide their digital trail? Next time, use walkie talkies, landlines, or smoke signals, or meet in a parking garage or movie theater for your orders (and whatever else you give each other). Dear Fucking God, these people are so incompetent they can't even get scandal-related communications right. Ollie North should have been a lesson that in running covert operations at home or abroad, you must never use electronic mail of any kind.

OK, I'm being harsh. I'm glad they used e-mail or else we wouldn't be able to push these investigations forward. And the SEC could tell us all about the many Wall Street analysts who openly admitted that their equities research articles were bullshit, in writing, on their company's Exchange servers. So the Private Sector has far more incompetence and wrongdoing. I'm not losing sight of that.
Update, 15:05 EDT

Holy Fuck. Maybe I was right to be harsh. The White House has been deliberately violating the Presidential Records Act since for at least four years. And has 'lost' over 5 million e-mails from the whitehouse.gov domain. Refer to my profanity above. Not only is the White House staff stupid, but they are criminals. Every fucking one of them.

GSA Scandals Update: Doan to be Investigated

Image ripped from Crooks and Liars.

Justin Roos of ABC News Blogs reports that
the Office of Special Counsel (OSC) has opened an investigation of the alleged Hatch Act violation within the GSA. The OSC is an independent investigative agency that is designed to protect whisleblowers and identify what they call Prohibited Personnel Practices (PPP). (Isn't bureaucracy grand?). But what's interesting is that the OSC also looks for violations of the Hatch Act, the very law Ms. Lauita A Doan is suspected to have broken this past January. Doan's office is cooperating. I can only hope this eventually gets escalated to the DOJ.

A lot of dots are being connected by investigative journalists and members of of Waxman's committee, showing that the Hatch Act may have been violated throughout Bush's presidency, and they weren't just honest mistakes. According to Justin Ross, some of the violations are explained in a book from last year, One Party Country, by Tom Hamburger and Peter Wallsten. According to their investigation, the White House political office has presented GOP party strategy within several agencies, not just the GSA. As Henry Waxman suspected, this might be a pattern. Arrogance and hubris are no excuse for not knowing about the Hatch Act.

I am speculating here, but based on what I have read so far, there are fundamental laws which the GSA needs to follow in its processes, such as Federal Contract Compliance (probably their most critical), the Patriot Act, the No FEAR Act (whistleblower protection), the Freedom of Information Act, and the Hatch Act, to name a few.

Waxman Probes Deeper into the GOP Strategy Presentation at the GSA

Following-up on the hearings last week, which revealed details of a GOP 2008 congressional election strategy presentation shown at GSA headquarters in January, the House's most ferocious investigator, Henry Waxman, has two more leads to pursue.

First, it was revealed that those involved in the logistics of the presentation worked in the White House political office (Karl Rove's world). But instead of using their 'whitehouse.gov' email accounts, they used the gb43.com account, which is owned by the RNC. So assuming the RNC email servers are up to industry standards, they should have these emails available to give to the committee. Hell, even if the weasels used Gmail accounts, I would think Waxman would try to get a warrant to send the FBI to Google. Note to the NSA - that's a warrant. Waxman is an SOB, but he plays by the rules.

Second, the sheer resistance and squirming by Lurita A. Doan has only perked Waxman's interest. If a PowerPoint presentation made its way to a GSA conference room, and the GSA is a relatively unknown agency (unless you're savvy like me, and you have checked their used car sales page in the past), then in what other agencies was this presentation shown, if any?

There will be plenty more to follow. In the meantime, this is what I wrote to Ms. Doan last week:

Subject: Less than a year on the job...

...and you were intimately involved in at least two GSA scandals? What is it with you Republicans that you think you can get away with these infractions? I’m glad Henry Waxman caught onto you, and I hope the Department of Justice investigates you. You would be a worthy addition to a Federal prison.

From this morning's Washington Post:

Waxman Seeks RNC E-Mail on Use of Federal Resources

By R. Jeffrey Smith
Washington Post Staff Writer
Thursday, April 5, 2007; A06

House Oversight and Government Reform Committee Chairman Henry A. Waxman (D-Calif.) told the Republican National Committee yesterday to turn over copies of any electronic messages from White House officials that relate to the use of federal resources or agencies for partisan Republican purposes.

Waxman's broadly worded request came a week after he asked the RNC and the Bush-Cheney '04 campaign to retain copies of e-mails being sent by White House officials via Republican Party e-mail accounts, a practice that surfaced in the course of the Democrats' probe into the administration's decision to fire eight U.S. attorneys.

Several deputies to senior White House adviser Karl Rove used such e-mail accounts to discuss the firings, and Waxman said that made the messages official government documents subject to his committee's jurisdiction.

Waxman's letter said he is particularly seeking documents relevant to his investigation of possible misconduct at the General Services Administration, where one of Rove's deputies briefed several dozen senior political appointees in January about key congressional seats that the party hopes to win or retain in the 2008 elections.

After the presentation, GSA officials told congressional investigators, GSA Administrator Lurita A. Doan asked how the agency's resources could be used to help "our candidates" in the election. Doan has said she does not recall the episode, which is now being investigated by the Office of Special Counsel, an independent agency that enforces prohibitions on improper political conduct by government employees.

Waxman said Doan's statement had provoked his interest in learning more about how the political briefing was organized and whether it was given to other government officials.

He asked that the messages be turned over by April 18.

A spokeswoman for the RNC, Tracey Schmitt, said, "We have received the letter and will be in touch with the committee as appropriate."

How do You Spell P-E-R-J-U-R-Y ?

Following-up on yesterday's hearing from the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, it is clear that a US Attorney would have an easy time convicting Lurita A. Doan for up to three offenses:

1. Violation of the Hatch Act. She permitted a Republican political strategy presentation to be held at GSA headquarters on government time, at the taxpayer's expense. And to make matters worse, those behind the presentation used email servers outside the .gov domain. Apparently, avoidance of email use is the new MO among White House staff. On Wall Street, such covert communication is illegal, and would spark an investigation by the SEC.

2. Willful approval of an IT service contract rife with pricing errors and discounts that were promised but never given. The 2006-2009 contract with Sun Microsystems will cost the American taxpayers over $20 Million that did not have to be spent. I asume that would fall as a general 'corruption' charge.

3. Perjury. Her blanket denials yesterday are borderline perjury. If she had denied a fact and then attributed an action to someone else (if she wrongly pointed a finger), then a perjury charge would be a slam-dunk.

Henry Waxman just keeps kicking ass. His committee hit one out of the park yesterday. Hopefully, the Inspector General and Department of Justice will perform due dilligence in investigating Ms. Doan.

Many thanks to YouTube user, NancyPelosi, for making these videos pubically available.