Duffman is back, as Little Scottie continues to duck the press corps.
First, a standard “no comment” on the innumerable cases that Chimpy’s extra-consitutional snooping has jeopardized.
Q The New York Times reports today that there are several legal challenges based on the NSA wiretaps. Are you concerned that these challenges could jeopardize the cases against people you guys have already described as very bad people?
MR. DUFFY: Jessica, I think Attorney General Gonzales and General Hayden did a very thorough briefing about the legal underpinnings that the administration is basing this program on. I don’t have anything to add to that. And we decline to comment on any pending cases, but I don’t think it should serve as any surprise that defense attorneys are looking at ways to represent their clients; that’s what defense attorneys do.
Next, a question that hits closer to home.
Q That same New York Times article says, there’s consideration of filing criminal charges against President Bush, himself. Is he prepared to face any possible charges, and what kind of — the White House must have some sort of reaction to the concern that this could bring this NSA issue into the court and open it up to all sorts of inquiries.
MR. DUFFY: I’d just leave it just where I said, Jessica. The Attorney General, himself, the administration’s top legal eagle, explained the legal underpinnings that the administration is basing this program on. And I don’t have anything to add to that. We always decline to comment on pending cases. You’re asking me to speculate about what may happen in the future, and that’s another area where we shy away from.
Q Are you making preparations in the Legal Counsel’s Office to defend this in court?
MR. DUFFY: I don’t know how to answer that question. So I won’t.
Q Do you think, though, that the lawyers — or more specifically, their clients, have a right to know how their cases came to be, and if —
MR. DUFFY: Dana, you’re asking in the context of pending cases, and we’re just prohibited from commenting on that. So speculating on pending cases is something we can’t do.
Q You all have talked about cases that are up before the courts before. Just in general, can you say how hard the administration is going to fight the defense lawyers?
MR. DUFFY: I would refer you to the Justice Department for any questions like that.
Q The President publicly acknowledged the NSA wiretapping in his Saturday radio address. But in subsequent news revelations about perhaps broader surveillance, he’s chosen not to acknowledge that. Why the difference?
MR. DUFFY: The President discussed what he felt comfortable discussing in the news conference, and this is a highly classified, or was a highly classified program and he felt it necessary to discuss that since it was reported. And that’s the decision that he made and the administration made.
Personally, I think Chimpy’s lound-and-proud acknowledgement of his illegal eavesdropping program was a HUGE mistake on Unka Karl’s part, I suppose he’s a bit distracted these days. The prez could have denied it all, or at least no-commented-on-the-basis-of-national-security. But instead he publicly confirmed that, yes he did indeed violate the Fourth Amendment, the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, and his oath of office. As John Dean observed, the first president in history to admit to an impeachable offense.