Sunday, April 20, 2008

"I Have No Recollection"


I recall once having a police officer on the witness stand, and asking him if he had threatened my client, "I'm going to send you to prison and have your children taken away." The answer? "I don't remember."

No? Would that be because it is a threat you make so often that you can't specifically recall the occasions when you've used it? Or is it because you're afraid that if you deny it, a witness will come forward and contradict you? Because if it weren't something you might have said, you would answer, "No."

In relation to the story that John McCain tried to block a job for a former secretary to Arizona Gov. Evan Meacham,
Around the time of Meacham's ouster, Johnson said, McCain paid a visit to him. Johnson recalled that McCain swiftly used the opportunity to lecture Meacham: "You should never have been elected. You're an embarrassment to the [Republican] Party."

A stupefied Meacham just stared at the senator. An indignant Johnson, as she tells the story, snapped at McCain: "How dare you? You're the embarrassment to the party."

As Johnson and another person working in Freestone's office remember, the surprised supervisor told Johnson about McCain's objections to her. "But I'm hiring you anyway," Freestone told her.

For Johnson, McCain's call raised questions as to whether he bore a lasting animosity against anyone who ever challenged him. "Everyone in [Freestone's] office thought it was all ridiculous . . . and petty," remembers Johnson, a devout Republican conservative who today is an Arizona state senator.

"Senator McCain says he has no recollection of ever making a phone call to block a job for Karen Johnson," [McCain strategist Mark ] Salter said.
But we're still left with this: If it's not something he did, it's close enough to something he might have done that we don't get an outright denial.

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