Telephone Shenannigans

As Waveflux said earlier, this has not been a good Monday for Bush. Boo fucking hoo, right? Well, just when you thought you'd hit the bottom of the barrel, there's a whole new layer of shit to dig through.

Phone Jamming Records Point to White House
WASHINGTON - Key figures in a phone-jamming scheme designed to keep New Hampshire Democrats from voting in 2002 had regular contact with the White House and Republican Party as the plan was unfolding, phone records introduced in criminal court show.

The records show that Bush campaign operative James Tobin, who recently was convicted in the case, made two dozen calls to the White House within a three-day period around Election Day 2002 — as the phone jamming operation was finalized, carried out and then abruptly shut down.

The national Republican Party, which paid millions in legal bills to defend Tobin, says the contacts involved routine election business and that it was "preposterous" to suggest the calls involved phone jamming.

The Justice Department has secured three convictions in the case but hasn't accused any White House or national Republican officials of wrongdoing, nor made any allegations suggesting party officials outside New Hampshire were involved. The phone records of calls to the White House were exhibits in Tobin's trial but prosecutors did not make them part of their case.
Lots more at the link.

So, does this mean Bush was authorizing phone-jamming schemes to block Democrat voters? Who knows? Who cares? We've gotten to the point with this "president" that just about any story sounds plausible. I'm sure this will be sneered away as tinfoil hattery, but christ, if it were true, would it even matter? Would anything happen to this criminal that's drunk-driving our country off a cliff and into the LaBrea tarpits?

And, more importantly, will pooh-poohing of Bush's involvement in this crap erase the fact from the minds of the public that Republicans were scheming and carrying out plans to stop Democrats from voting?

If we don't have free elections in this country, we have nothing.
While national Republican officials have said they deplore such operations, the
Republican National Committee said it paid for Tobin's defense because he is a longtime supporter and told officials he had committed no crime.

By Nov. 4, 2002, the Monday before the election, an Idaho firm was hired to make the hang-up calls. The Republican state chairman at the time, John Dowd, said in an interview he learned of the scheme that day and tried to stop it.
Robert Kelner, a Washington lawyer representing the Republican National Committee in the civil litigation, said there was no connection between the phone jamming operation and the calls to the White House and party officials.

"On Election Day, as anybody involved in politics knows, there's a tremendous volume of calls between political operatives in the field and political operatives in Washington," Kelner said.

"If all you're pointing out is calls between Republican National Committee regional political officials and the White House political office on Election Day, you're pointing out nothing that hasn't been true on every Election Day," he said.
True. But I'm not putting anything past these people anymore.

(I put on some makeup... turn on the crosspost, and pull the wig down from the shelf...)

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