Sat 17 Mar 2007
How do our new Democratic Senate and Congress look to the many who have so much to hide?
Scarily revealing is the oh-so-subtle promo for DC white-shoe lawfirm Covington and Burling written by one of the many high-priced DC lawyers who worked for the RNC on the NH phone-jamming, one Robert Kelner.
Phone-jamming fans may recall that Kelner let slip some embarassing info to a TV station in NH–making it clear that the RNC’s defense lawyers were fully informed about DOJ investigations into the phone-jamming’s White House connection, although said investigations were kept a deep secret from Democrats.
Kelner predicts woe to all wrongdoers who do not quickly hire his law firm now that the Democrats of the 110th Congress can do some investigating. He also makes some interesting predictions:
In the House, the large majority – approximately the same number of seats the Republicans possessed after 1994 – and other factors will likely lead to a very active investigative agenda on a wide range of issues. In contrast, the narrow Democratic majority in the Senate will tend to limit investigations to areas of bipartisan support.
The 2008 presidential election also will influence the investigative agenda. Because national press attention will shift to the presidential primaries in early 2008, the most sensational and high profile congressional hearings will likely occur in the first year of the new Congress. In 2008, investigations will garner less public attention, but they will nonetheless continue to be a reality for corporate America.
Kelner also warns that "[The new Democratic] Congressional investigators can be expected to look tirelessly for sweetheart contracts, administrative cost overruns, waste and fraud, and narrow appropriations earmarks." (Unlike the Republican majority before them, which had a clear and patriotic understanding that big campaign donors were entitled to guzzle freely from public tax dollars.)
Well, IANAL, and Kelner is, so I should probably quote no more from his four-page analysis (pdf), which you can easily read online for yourself.
This remarkable document seems open to the interpretation that Covington and Burling would like to hear from anyone who fears investigation for no-bid contracts, various waste and fraud (including Katrina relief funds as well as Iraq), drug company profits under the Medicare prescription program, and even "warrantless wiretapping." (Really, could the FBI and Department of Justice spend my tax dollars to pay for defense lawyers from Covington and Burling?)
It's hard to understand why a document at once so cynical and so revealing--spilling beans that would embarass the heck out of most of us--would be exposed on the open web except in the hope of motivating potential investigatees to call Covington and Burling.
I sincerely hope that the clients of Covington and Burling will receive no magic juju to help them postpone or derail the Congressional oversight voters were hoping for when they overwhelmingly voted Democratic in 2006.