gavel.jpgTestimony is set to begin at 2:30 pm ET in the Senate Judiciary Committee

Witnesses today will be Bradley J. Schlozman, Associate Counsel to the Director of the Executive Office for United States Attorneys, Former Interim U.S. Attorney for the Western District of Missouri, Former Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General and Acting Assistant Attorney General for the Civil Rights Division, U.S. Department of Justice and Todd Graves, Former U.S. Attorney, Western District of Missouri.  Should be some interesting testimony today.

Emptywheel called me a few minutes ago.  She and Tiredfed are going to be able to attend the hearing.  C-Span3 will be covering the proceedings live, according to their scheduling information.  I'm not going to do detailed liveblogging of the proceedings, but will be watching along for notable moments and will pick those out for everyone and put them up as they come along until I have to go and pick up The Peanut from preschool.

Please feel free to point out what you are hearing in the comments as well.

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Thus far, the things striking me today are as follows:

– For as much time as this man has spent prepping for his testimony, and the number of people who helped him prep, this is appallingly thin and weaselly.  Perhaps it is purposely so but, still, the coughing tells and the "Senator" tells are stunningly obvious as a lead-in to a weasel moment.  And Schlozman may have bested the AG Gonzales number of "I don't recall" answers already today.

– There are NO Republicans in the chamber to ask questions.  This means a couple of things.  (1) The more partisan members of the committee are trying to stay away to argue that it is the Dems on a fishing expedition and that they are going to stay above the fray — in other words, they are hiding from their duty of oversight to protect their party's political wing.  And (2) the less-partisan, more old-time DOJ affiliate GOP members of the committee are so disgusted by Mr. Schlozman's actions that they do not feel the need to help him cover his own behind, nor make excuses for the Bush Administration's piss poor conduct.

– Mr. Schlozman is woefully uninformed about the usual practices of USAttys, DOJ internal rules and regs and he also has very little respect for the oversight obligations of Congress given how whiny and incomplete his testimony has been thus far.  (The Leahy questions early on regarding the Red Book requirements on non-politicizing prosecutions were classic.)

– The members of the Senate Judiciary Committee show up prepared to ask questions.  It's either good staffing, good membership, or both.  But it is quite impressive.  Kudos to them.

– Sen. Leahy quote of the day:  "During the course of your preparation, did you find that you remembered anything?"

3:40 pm ET 

Schlozman getting testy with Sen. Feinstein on the voting suppression issues that Hefflefinger brought up for Native Americans in his district.  Feinstein trying to get at how Goodlng knew about complaints about Hefflefinger — Schlozman says he has "no idea" how Goodling knew about complaints about Hefflefinger.  I'm having Sgt. Schultz deja vu every time this guy opens his mouth.

Hearing is recessed for a few minutes for a vote on the floor of the Senate.