Monday, February 09, 2004

Thousands of Documents

It's subscription only, but this Roll Call article (where's the rest of the media?) says thousands of confidential documents were stolen from the Democrats' server. The guy who did it is such a true believer, he believes the real scandal is that Democrats actually consult with outside groups. Weird how their brains work. What planet do they live on?

While some Republicans hoped the ouster of Manuel Miranda, Majority Leader Bill Frist's (R-Tenn.) top adviser on judicial nominations, could return the focus to charges of Democratic obstruction, Miranda's resignation letter provided the clearest glimpse yet into how the process unfolded.
Refusing to go away quietly, Miranda vowed to "speak freely" about the memos and their contents, which involved liberal interest groups pushing Democrats to block President Bush's judicial nominations. "The ones made public are the least indicting of the ones I came to see," Miranda wrote, following up a complaint he filed Friday with the Ethics Committee charging Judiciary Democrats with "public corruption."
Without explaining his source, Miranda wrote that he recently learned that "perhaps thousands of documents" from Judiciary Democrats were taken from a jointly shared computer by a younger GOP staffer working on the committee, exponentially more than the original 14 that were published on conservative Web sites in mid-November.
The unnamed staffer, who gave up his legislative staff assistant position and left the committee at the end of last year, read only about 5 percent of those documents, a fraction of which Miranda read himself, according to his resignation letter, a copy of which was given to Roll Call. The staffer apparently wanted to write a book one day about the nomination process, using the flood of memos as a source.
Some Senate Republican strategists hoped to move beyond the entire memo issue and get back to fighting the issue of obstruction and filibusters, believing that the memos only illustrated something that conservatives had long known: Democrats work closely with liberal allies on nomination fights. But the memo probe is likely to continue to dominate the focus of the Judiciary Committee's work for weeks to come, with Sergeant-at-Arms Bill Pickle not due to finish his investigation until the end of this month.
Pickle is set to update Senators on the committee about the status of his probe Tuesday, but the format is still unclear, and Democrats are pushing for a separate briefing from Republicans.
Even with Miranda pushed out of his job with Frist, Senate Democrats said they still intend to push for a detailed accounting of the memo accessing and whether criminal or internal ethical breaches occurred. One senior Judiciary Democrat, Sen. Dick Durbin (Ill.), said he intends to demand that Pickle examine the flow of where the memos went and whether top White House officials had access to them.
"It will reach beyond the committee," Durbin predicted. "There are many questions that need to be asked."