It's unsurprising that the usual suspects are making light of this story. After all they've had almost six years of practice covering up for the deceits of this administration but since it's impossible to deny the facts here, they seek to spin this as nothing of importance. The NYT provides the details on Thompson's lobbying for a pro-choice group.
The billing records from Arent Fox show that Mr. Thompson, who charged about $250 an hour, spoke 22 times with Judith DeSarno, who was then president of the family planning group. In addition, he lobbied “administration officials” for a total of 3.3 hours, the records show, although they do not specify which officials he met with or what was said.Capt. Ed says so what?
Thompson never denied nor confirmed that he provided some consultation on their behalf through Arent Fox, saying that he could not recall either way.If memory serves, the phrase "neither confirm nor deny" used to be common poli-speak for, "yeah I'm guilty but I don't think you can prove it." But it's not even true in this case. Perhaps Ed's memory is failing. Maybe he should have checked in with James Joyner who has a clearer recollection.
Thompson's spokesmouth flatly denied it when the story first broke. Thompson himself subsequently refused to even answer the question when it became apparent that evidence existed to prove he did the work. He mumbled something about flies, you know those bothersome little pests that linger around bullshit. But that doesn't deter Ed from defending Thompson's deceit.
However, the Times says that the billing records show that he reported lobbying Bush (41) officials three times on the group's behalf:Ed seems to be saying that it's not really lobbying because Fred wasn't the only one in the firm pitching for the change in policy. That's sort of like saying the pinch hitter's home run shouldn't count because he stepped into the rotation for some other player. But maybe Ed just doesn't understand how the legal profession works.
So it appears that Barnes was the lobbyist, and Fred consulted ... occasionally. I don't think Fred intended to live on $5,000 every 14 months, and Barnes would be the obvious choice for lobbying at any rate.
No lawyer works for only one client at a time. They're actively juggling dozens of cases at any given moment. That the lawyer might not remember what he did 15 years ago is plausible. That's why they keep records, but believe me, the clients remember exactly what the lawyer did for them. Or said he did. The clients are only concerned with one case -- their own.
Ed is trying to spin the billing records as proof that Fred was only peripherally involved. That may be true, but the fact remains that he billed for the work and apparently lied to his client about the extent of effort he put into it. The existence of the invoicing gives the client's recollections of their interactions the credibility that Ed and the others still seek to deny.
I guess that doesn't surprise me either. The Bush loyalists who have now transferred their support to Fred apparently are in their comfort zone when they're defending lies and the liars who tell them.