Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Possible Crimes in the Purge

Adam Cohe, writing in the New York Times, breaks down the possible crimes that may have been committed in the Purge Scandal here.


  • Cohe's piece is simply silly. If it were the law school exam which he had suggested (given with a short time limit and no access to authorities to check things) it would have received a C- at best.

    Fact is "obstruction of justice" as a term of art does not mean "trying to get a result which the prosecutor (or columnist) thinks is wrong." It means using *corrupt* means to that end. Eg. bribery, threats of unlawful violence. Nothing suggests that the Bush administration did anything like this.

    Before you start hyperventilating, consider that: (1) the President had the right to fire the USAs, so a firings, even if politically motivated, could not have been "corrupt;" (2) there is nothing to suggest that the administration communicated a *threat* to fire any of them, so the idea that the evil President tried to cow them into politically motivated action is obviously fantasy; and (3) firing the head prosecutor of an office doesn't shut down the prosecution process, since there are rafts of assistants.

    I'm also a little puzzled that if there *is* a crime here, the most obvious criminals are 2 members of Congress, and one of the victim spokespersons personally witnessed the crime, but failed to even report it until it became politically expedient to do so.

    BTW, I think it would be perfectly proper for the DOJ to extablish a policy that USAs should refuse to even discuss specific cases with Members of Congress or their staffs, outside of public on-the-record hearings. Not that anybody has ever suggested such a policy. I also think it is a valid *political* argument that a prosecutor should give "equal time" to voting crimes of either party, but of course this depends on the facts on the ground. If all you can find/prove is Democrats faking registration forms, should you lay off in the name of "fairness" because some wingnut *thinks* the evil Repubs are tampering with the computers, but nobody can produce any evidence? In any event, the remedy for selective prosecution is political, not judicial.


    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 2:39 PM  

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