But we can’t let an opportunity to poke fun at Scotty go by: First, we have a segment I like to call “John Roberts: In or Out (of the Federalist Society, That Is)”
Q It was reported, as you know, that he was in the Federalist Society, which is an important legal group in the conservative — on the conservative side. Then the White House said, no, it was not the case. And now it appears that he was part of the leadership group. What is the real story here?
MR. McCLELLAN: He has no memory of ever joining or paying dues to the Federalist Society. He has no recollection of that. He has participated in events and panel discussions. He’s given speeches at Federalist Society forums. But he doesn’t have any recollection of ever paying dues or joining the organization.
Q Isn’t that kind of a simple thing to nail down, prior to now?
MR. McCLELLAN: Well, David, he’s answered this over the last few years the issue has come up, and he certainly has participated in some of the events that they’ve sponsored or that they’ve hosted. But he just doesn’t have any memory of ever paying any dues to the organization.
Then Scottie decides just what is and is not appropriate for those pesky Senators to see:
Q Scott, are memos and documents written by Judge Roberts when he was working for the Reagan and the first Bush administration, are they fair game for the Senate to examine during the confirmation hearings?
MR. McCLELLAN: Well, first of all, I think, in terms of documents it’s all speculative at this point, because the Senate Judiciary Committee has not made a request of any specific documents from the administration at this point. As you heard from the Attorney General and Senator Thompson yesterday, we intend to work closely with the Senate Judiciary Committee to make sure that they have the appropriate information that they need to do their job, and that’s what we have done in the past and that’s what we will do as we move forward.
Q So the question is, though, then you’re open to talking with them about giving them documents that Judge Roberts wrote during the previous two Republican administrations?
MR. McCLELLAN: Well, we want to work with the members of the Senate to make sure they have the appropriate information so that they can do their job. They have an important role to play. Now, Senator Leahy, the ranking Democrat on the committee, yesterday indicated that he has not made any requests at this point. So let’s see what the requests are, and then we’ll work with them as we move forward. I think you heard from Senator Thompson yesterday and he talked about information that could be related to attorney-client privilege, and I think that raises certain privacy concerns, and that’s the point that Senator Thompson was making yesterday. And so we hope that people aren’t going to be asking for things that they know, as he said, would be considered out of bounds.
Then we move on to Karl Rove, and Scottie continues to evade the question of whether or not accused traitors in the West Wing have access to classified information:
Q Do Karl Rove and Scooter Libby still have top secret clearance here, access to classified documents?
MR. McCLELLAN: You asked this question last week, and —
Q I did. And I’m asking again.
MR. McCLELLAN: — the President has said what our answer is to these questions. We’ll be glad to talk about all these issues once the investigation is complete.
Q Do they have a clearance?
MR. McCLELLAN: We’ll be glad to talk about all the issues relating to the investigation once it’s complete.
Q Why can’t you talk about it now?
MR. McCLELLAN: Well, that question I addressed a couple weeks ago.
We also have Scott answering the question that Think Progress asked yesterday:
Q I know that none of you are speaking about this because it’s an ongoing investigation. Can you explain why Alberto Gonzales would go on TV yesterday and do that, and talk about it?
MR. McCLELLAN: Well, what he said was already said from this podium back in October of 2003, and I don’t think he got into commenting in any substantive way on the discussion. But the President has said that we will be glad to talk about this once the investigation has come to a conclusion, but not until then. And there have certainly been preferences expressed to the White House that we not get into discussing it while it is ongoing.
Well, that clears that right up.