Federal Prosecutors Don't Want Intelligence Reports Used In Libby Trial
"Federal prosecutors went into a private hearing Wednesday to urge a judge not to release sensitive intelligence reports at the upcoming trial of a former White House aide.
"Vice President Dick Cheney's former chief of staff, I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby, wants to use President Bush's daily terrorism briefings as evidence at his obstruction and perjury trial in January." (AP)
Harris' Favorite Piece of Legislation Raises Questions
"In calling Democrat Bill Nelson a ''do-nothing senator,'' U.S. Senate challenger Katherine Harris talks up her signature legislation in Congress, the American Dream Downpayment Act, which she tells voters she passed in ''record time'' to help the poor, little guy buy his first home.
"But the congresswoman never mentions one person who also benefited from the act: B. Dan Berger, who left his post as chief of staff of her congressional office to lobby for one of the act's prime backers, America's Community Bankers.
"Berger began lobbying on the issue so quickly that his name appears on the bankers' group lobbying report that covers the first half of 2003, though he was with Harris until the end of May 2003. It's illegal for a congressional staffer to lobby a former boss within one year, and Berger says he did nothing wrong because he followed the law." (Miami Herald)
AG Candidate Pirro Under Investigation for Wiretapping Husband
"The Republican Party candidate for Attorney General for the State of New York, Jeanine Pirro, is under investigation for allegedly attempting to hire disgraced nominee for head of Homeland Security, Bernard Kerik, to allegedly record her husband having sex aboard his boat with a woman she is allegedly recorded as calling a good friend of hers, according to sources in three separate offices involved in the probe, Pirro confirmed....
"Pirro and her attorney were recently notified that she was the subject of a federal probe and possibly a state probe. While Pirro has said that no crime was committed and the case has no merits, the transcripts of the conversations have been reportedly obtained by at least one news organization. Those transcripts allegedly contain foul and abusive language by Pirro as well as extremely unflattering characterizations of her husband. Kerik's answers, under considerable pressure from Pirro at times, appear measured and cautious. However, ABC News has learned, Kerik's alleged involvement extends beyond conversations with Pirro into follow-up discussions with others on how to conduct such a probe. Those conversations are also recorded." (The Blotter)
CIA Leak Probe Relatively Inexpensive
"Special Counsel Patrick J. Fitzgerald, who investigated whether senior Bush administration officials illegally leaked the name of a CIA operative for political payback, has spent $1.4 million in his probe over the past three years, his office reported yesterday -- a figure that establishes him as remarkably frugal in the ranks of recent special investigators.
"Independent Counsel Kenneth W. Starr's investigations of President Bill Clinton's affair with Monica S. Lewinsky and his ties to the failed Whitewater land investment cost $71.5 million and took eight years. Independent Counsel David M. Barrett's examination of Clinton housing secretary Henry G. Cisneros over an extramarital affair and potential illegal payments cost $21 million and lasted 10 years." (WaPo)
Ford Pulls Even With Corker In Tennessee Senate Contest
"[Rep. Harold Ford Jr.] [D-TN] is vying to become the first African-American senator popularly elected in the South, in a state that has trended Republican. And voters in the Aug. 3 GOP primary nominated an establishment figure, former Chattanooga Mayor Bob Corker, who Republican officials were confident would have broad appeal while satisfying the partyâs conservative base.
"But candidatesâ campaigns matter. And the consensus among state and national politics watchers is that Ford, since the primary, has run a much more effective campaign than Corker, who has faced some dissent among staunch GOP conservatives and repeated allegations launched by Ford and other Democrats about his actions as mayor and his personal financial dealings." (CQ Politics)
Romney Forges Ties to K Street
"Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney (R), a potentially strong contender for his partyâs presidential nomination in 2008, has begun reaching out quietly to GOP lobbyists in Washington, D.C....
"While Romneyâs Commonwealth federal political action committee so far has reported almost no contributions from lobbyists in Washington, D.C., Romney advisers say invitations are going out this week for an Oct. 16 event at the Capitol Hill Club â the first to target lobbyists and PAC directors.
"During the same week as that luncheon gathering, Romney has scheduled private meetings with GOP lobbyists who said in interviews that they are considering Romney as their choice for 2008. " (Roll Call)
Media Group Will "Build Support" In Iraq for Two More Years
"A public relations company that participated in a controversial U.S. military program that paid Iraqi newspapers for stories favorable to coalition forces has been awarded another multimillion-dollar media contract with American forces in Iraq.
"Washington-based Lincoln Group won a two-year contract to monitor a number of English and Arabic media outlets and produce public relations-type products like talking points or speeches for U.S. forces in Iraq, officials said Tuesday." (AP)
Halliburton Driver Says Troops Abandoned Convoy
"A dramatic home video obtained by ABC News shows U.S. troops apparently abandoned a truck convoy after it came under insurgent attack in Iraq last year.
"Three unarmed Halliburton truck drivers were executed at point-blank range once the troops left, according to a surviving driver, Preston Wheeler, of Mena, Ark., who taped the scene.
"'They was murdered. To me, they was murdered,' Wheeler told ABC News in an exclusive interview to be broadcast Wednesday on World News and Nightline." (The Blotter)
Judge Rejects Ashcroft's Immunity Claims
"Former U.S. Attorney General John Ashcroft could be called to testify in a lawsuit that claims a student was wrongly imprisoned in a computer terrorism case, a federal judge ruled Wednesday....
"Abdullah al-Kidd, who played football for the University of Idaho, claimed government wrongfully arrested him in the case against a fellow student, Sami Omar Al-Hussayen, in 2003....
"His lawsuit claimed Ashcroft was personally liable for violating his rights because after the terrorist attacks Ashcroft "created a national policy to improperly seek material witness warrants, oversaw the execution of such warrants, and failed to correct the constitutional violations of conducting such actions," according court documents. Al-Kidd said the investigation and detainment not only caused him to lose a scholarship to study in Saudi Arabia, but that it cost him employment opportunities." (AP)
Senators Vow To Block Defense Bills If Immigration Provisions Are Added
"The homeland security appropriation bill and the defense authorization bill are among the handful of pieces of legislation that lawmakers had hoped to complete this week before heading home for the elections. Now both are stalled because GOP House leaders want to include a series of measures passed in their chamber designed to strengthen border security and toughen immigration enforcement....
"The provisions include language that would empower state and local police forces to investigate, arrest, detain, or transfer to federal custody anyone found in the country illegally or in violation of their immigration status; a bill that would make it a crime to tunnel under the border; and other legislation intended to make it easier to deport or deny entry to illegal immigrant gang members....
"Republican Senators -- Arlen Specter, R-Penn., on the homeland security bill and John Warner, R-Va., on the defense bill -- are blocking the effort to them, saying it runs counter to procedural traditions and jeopardizes bipartisanship." (UPI)
GOP Deploys Cheney, Cash to DeLay's Old District, Now a Battleground
"The national Republican Party has joined the fight to replace former U.S. Rep. Tom DeLay, donating more than $100,000 to the Republican candidate's write-in candidacy and sending Vice President Dick Cheney to a Houston fundraiser for her next week." (Houston Chronicle)
Abramoff-Linked CA Lawmaker Fights Challenger Over Knowledge of Sex Trade
"Rep. John Doolittle of Roseville and his Democratic challenger, former Air Force officer Charles Brown, are fighting an open battle over what the eight-term Republican lawmaker knew about the sex trade in distant lands -- and when he knew it.
"Two weeks ago, the Brown campaign went on the attack with radio ads accusing Doolittle of tolerating forced abortion and sex slavery by supporting disgraced lobbyist Jack Abramoff in his defense of the garment industry in the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands.
"The Doolittle campaign responded with its own radio ads this week, drawing in former Rep. Doug Ose, R-Sacramento, and Assemblyman Tim Leslie, R-Tahoe City, to brand Brown as desperate and shameful." (Sacramento (Calif.) Bee)
In Ohio, First Lady Campaigns for Ney's Replacement
"State Sen. Joy Padgett campaigned with first lady Laura Bush yesterday in an effort to stoke the finances of her quick-hit bid for Congress. Padgett aligned herself closely with Bush administration policies on the Iraq war and taxes.
"Padgett aides said Mrs. Bush's 10-minute speech at the Granville Inn raised as much as $150,000 to help Padgett replace U.S. Rep. Bob Ney, the Republican from Heath who ended his re-election bid amid scandal. Padgett entered the race Aug. 7." (Columbus (Ohio) Dispatch)