Monday, April 3, 2017

New Alabama AG Steve Marshall hires Kathleen Green Robertson as chief counsel, despite her ties to Jeff Sessions and the evolving KrelimGate scandal

Kathleen Green Robertson
Alabama just got rid of a wretched attorney general, and now it appears he's been replaced with another dunderhead. Wait until you wrap your mind around the new guy's latest appointment.

But first, let's recall one of the many "endearing" traits Luther Strange exhibited before Gov. Robert Bentley chose him to replace Trump AG Jeff Sessions in the U.S. Senate. Strange always seemed to think the public, the ones who for unknown reasons voted him into office, was stupid. We were too stupid to see that he reached a quid pro quo deal with Bentley, that Strange would not prosecute the governor in exchange for Sessions' Senate seat. Or he thought we were too stupid to see that he prosecuted Mike Hubbard because the House Speaker, while wildly corrupt, also stood in the path between Strange and higher office, such as governor or U.S. senator.

Now, it appears Steve Marshall, the guy Bentley chose to replace Strange, is just as tin-eared as his oversized predecessor. Last week, Marshall announced that Kathleen Green Robertson would be chief counsel in the AG's office. Now, consider Robertson's qualifications, as reported by Alabama Political Reporter (APR):

Robertson holds a B.S. in political science from Auburn University and a law degree from the University of Alabama School of Law. She began her career at the US Department of Justice in the Office of Intergovernmental and Public Liaison where she assisted in fostering relationships between the Department and State and local Law Enforcement. She later worked for US Senator Jeff Sessions (R-Alabama) as legislative counsel on the Senate Judiciary Committee, handling matters related to crime, drugs and national security. Robertson said that that experience that instilled her passion for constitutional and criminal law. Robertson recently returned to Washington to serve Sessions throughout the process of his confirmation to become Attorney General of the United States.

Most of Robertson's experience consists of working for Jeff Sessions. That would be the same Sessions who now is the target of a criminal complaint, alleging that he violated federal statutes on perjury, making false statements, and obstruction of justice -- all related to lies he made during his confirmation hearings about meetings with a Russian ambassador.

Steve Marshall
Those would be the same confirmation hearings for which Robertson helped Sessions prepare. And they were before the same Senate Judiciary Committee for which Robertson worked as legislative counsel.

Sessions stands at the heart of "KremlinGate," which might soon bring down the Donald Trump White House and become known as the most grotesque political scandal in American history. But Steve Marshall thinks it was a good idea to promote one of Sessions' former aides to chief counsel? Is it far-fetched to think Sessions might have put in a call to Marshall on Robertson's behalf, and Marshall was clueless enough to go along with the perjurious AG's request/demand?

None of us knows how KremlinGate will unfold, but for now, we have daily drips of news that suggest a foreign adversary (Russia) colluded with Trump surrogates (and maybe Trump himself) to interfere in the 2016 presidential election. Is Steve Marshall so naive that he does not comprehend the potential gravity of this? Does he not see the possibility of impeachment and/or prison time for those in Trump's inner circle, which definitely includes Jeff Sessions.

For Robertson's part, she's was not just any old aide to the senator. She helped him prepare for the very confirmation hearings where he lied. She used to work with the same committee before which he lied. At a bare minimum, one might think such an aide could keep her boss from committing crimes during and after his testimony. But Robertson apparently could not do that.

John Ehrlichman
Marshall might think the public will be so transfixed by Robertson's pert, blonde 'do that they won't care what she's done in the recent past. But consider this question: What did Robertson learn, if anything, about KremlinGate while preparing Sessions for his confirmation hearings? As a lawyer, does she have a duty to disclose professional misconduct to the proper tribunal? (Yes, she does.) If she is aware of misconduct, has she disclosed it to proper authorities. (It's not likely.) Could that put her at risk for future obstruction-of-justice and misprision-of-a felony charges. (Yes, it could.)

It's not far-fetched to think that Robertson could wind up painted with the KremlinGate brush, but Steve Marshall said, "By golly, we've just got to have her as chief counsel in the AG's office."

That thought takes us back to around 1975. Imagine a state attorney general -- let's say in California -- making the following announcement:

Today, I welcome John Ehrlichman as my new chief counsel. Mr. Ehrlichman comes to us after serving in the administration of President Richard Nixon. Mr. Ehrlichman has enjoyed a distinguished career, especially if you don't count the fact he created "The Plumbers" and played a key role in the Watergate cover up. Mr. Ehrlichman won't be able to join our office immediately. First, he will have to serve one to four years in federal prison. But once he's out of the slammer, I'm sure he will do a splendid job as chief counsel. After all, he's associated with Richard Nixon, who has been one of our finest presidents -- if you don't count his various pathologies, plus the paranoia and dishonesty that were central to the Watergate scandal. Richard Nixon . . . what a swell guy! And I can say the same thing about John Ehrlichman!  

Sounds like a crazy announcement doesn't it? Steve Marshall's announcement of Kathleen Green Robertson's appointment might not be as far from that as he would like to believe.


Anonymous said...

This woman did a helluva job getting Sessions prepared for his confirmation hearings. Sure makes sense to give her a promotion.

Anonymous said...

The Sessions people are in denial. They think he's above all the Trump mess.

Anonymous said...

I doubt Steve Marshall gave one thought to how this appointment might sound to regular people.

Anonymous said...

If Ms. Robertson knowingly helped Sessions prepare to lie regarding visits with Russian ambassador, wouldn't that be a crime?

legalschnauzer said...

@2:32 --

I'm pretty sure that would be a crime, yes.

Anonymous said...

Something tells me Ms. Robertson is heavily tied in with GOP elites, and that's probably why she landed in the AG's spot. Perhaps it was considered a safe place for her to land, away from the KremlinGate spotlight.

legalschnauzer said...

@2:38 --

You might be right, @2:38. Here is her wedding announcement. It provides a lot of background info:

Anonymous said...

What is it with white, conservative women in Alabama -- Jessica Garrison, Rebekah Mason, and now Kathleen Robertson? Do they all have a massive sense of entitlement?

Anonymous said...

Marshall, Robertson, Sessions, and Strange live in a white Republican bubble. They don't know, or care, about the world outside that bubble.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the chuckle on the Ehrlichman comparison. It's funny, and it fits.

Anonymous said...

Robertson has been placed in Marshall's camp by Sessions' to perform political conduit duties insuring keeping a pulse beat on any [type] state investigations; while Strange continues to audition for Sessions re-enforcing public how he knows that Sessions is best thing since "grits and gravy". Swamp not getting drained, its becoming a environmental political cesspool.

legalschnauzer said...

@4:47 --

I hear you. The swamp definitely isn't being drained. Chunks of sewage might be moved around, but that's about it.

e.a.f. said...

well given her recent past I'd suggest she is just perfect for Alabama politics. Then there is of course the "cute" factor which seems important to "leading men" in Alabama. So while all your points are very well taken, I'd suggest she is just perfect for Alabama.

Alabama always was a tad on the swampy side and no one is going to be draining that anytime soon, so she'll collect a good salary until it is.

Loved the "history" tour.......

Anonymous said...

Gotta give Robertson credit for one thing: She certainly would look good in orange, which is the new black. In fact, she would look good in most any color I could think of.

Anonymous said...

LS: Just to jog everyone's memory, aren't Keith Baker and Katie "Flipper" Langer both currently in the Alabama state AG's office? And I'm assuming Robertson was working for Sessions in 2008 when all the Seigelman nonsense was going on and the Justice Department was called in. Too many contact points for comfort.

legalschnauzer said...

@2:29 --

All good points. Yes, Baker and Flipper are in the AG's office, and I've heard Baker pushed for Flipper to join the staff there. Haven't figured out what might be up with that. I'm not sure how far back Robertson's ties to Sessions might go, and whether she might have ties to Siegelman case. Here is her wedding announcement from 2010; looks like her roots are in Selma area, and her maiden name was Katherine Kincey Green. Don't know much about her husband, Ryan Christopher Robertson. Not sure if they are still married, but I assume they are.

Are you thinking that Marshall is turning the AG's office into a "haven" for Siegelman-case scoundrels?

Before going to AG, Flipper worked for Ellen Brooks in Montgomery Co. DA's office, and Marshall has appointed Brooks to "investigate" Bentley. I wonder if that is a sham.

Anonymous said...

Comments about this woman's appearance are sexist and bear ZERO relevance to the real story you are presenting.

It's very disappointing to see such cliche sexism from an investigative journalist, who should really know better.

legalschnauzer said...

@10:38 --

You think a woman's appearance doesn't matter in postmodern conservative circles? Just look at the Luther Strange/Jessica Garrison story or the Robert Bentley/Rebekah Mason story. The Alabama Ethics Commission, just today, found probable cause that Bentley violated ethics laws -- and it's all because he couldn't keep his hands off Mrs. Mason. A woman's appearance certainly is relevant, and if you don't think so, you must be sleeping in some enchanted meadow.

Anonymous said...

Does it not appear very unusual and having extending political conflicts within the legal arenas, especially in Alabama, when just recently published a photo of Alabama Attorney General Marshall alongside of President Trump's oval office desk in the forefront of about three or four others names unknown. Curious, when he is in an appointed position subject to be involved in the impeachment and criminal trial of Alabama governor when former AG refused to pursue, allowing for him to be appointed by same governor for Alabama's U.S. Senator replacing Sessions' who had been nominated by Trump as U.S. attorney for the United States? Question, how did Marshall get to the White House to stand along the president for these photos ops, for what purposes intended they be served, and when?

legalschnauzer said...

@7:52 --

Don't think I've seen that photo, but I know Marshall has been quick to praise a number of orders Trump has issued. What do you think is going on?