Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Purge The Purgers

The scandal involve the Justice Department's political, quid-pro-quo purge of select U.S. Attorneys is on full boil with front-page coverage in both the New York Times and Washington Post. The conservatives are trying to mmuddy the narrative but Josh Marshall is busting ass 24/7 keeping this issue clear. Here's a simple one paragraph narrative from Josh that should make it easy enough for even the traditional media to follow:

[W]e now know -- or at least the White House is trying to tell us -- that they considered firing all the US Attorneys at the beginning of Bush's second term. That would have been unprecedented but not an abuse of power in itself. The issue here is why these US Attorneys were fired and the fact that the White House intended to replace them with US Attorneys not confirmed by the senate. We now have abundant evidence that they were fired for not sufficiently politicizing their offices, for not indicting enough Democrats on bogus charges or for too aggressively going after Republicans. (Remember, Carol Lam is still the big story here.) We also now know that the top leadership of the Justice Department lied both to the public and to Congress about why the firing took place. As an added bonus we know the whole plan was hatched at the White House with the direct involvement of the president.

Here's the latest from some of the venues involved:

Seattle: The quote of the day is from sacked Seattle USA John McKay who states he was "stunned" to hear that President Bush directly complained to A-Gone about US Attorneys not more aggressively pursuing voter fraud allegations. McKay states:

"Had anyone at the Justice Department or the White House ordered me to pursue any matter criminally in the 2004 governor's election, I would have resigned," McKay said. "There was no evidence, and I am not going to drag innocent people in front of a grand jury."

The Seattle Tribune has the full story here.

Despite the Republicans' embarrassing loss on the Washington Governor's election count in front of their forum shopped court in Chelan County, Washington, rightwing nutters have continued to espouse conspiracy theories of widescale Democrtic voter fraud in Washington's 2004 Governor's election has been a staple of righty wingnuts. We now have further evidence that Bush squarely falls within the evidence-free wingnut camp.

Guam: In the latest fron of the scandal, The Boston Globe has this tidbit:

A US grand jury in Guam opened an investigation of controversial lobbyist Jack Abramoff more than two years ago, but President Bush removed the supervising federal prosecutor, and the probe ended soon after.

New Mexico: Last week, we learned of Senator Pete Domenici's horsehead-in-the-bed phone call to USA David Iglesias at his home and weeks before Heather Wilson's tight election. Today, we get evidence of the "quo" from The Washington Post:

One e-mail from Miers's deputy, William Kelley, on the day of the Dec. 7 firings said Domenici's chief of staff "is happy as a clam" about Iglesias. Sampson wrote in an e-mail a week later: "Domenici is going to send over names tomorrow (not even waiting for Iglesias's body to cool)."

Arkansas: Apparently, getting Bud Cummins out and former Rove aide Tim Griffin in as the USA in without consent or consultation from Arkansas' two Democratic Senators was a big part of the White House's plan that involved sneaking-in the language into the Patriot Act reauthorization that allowed a Congressional bypass on USA appointments (courtesy of White House enabler Arlen Specter). Kevin Drum has a post up with quotes showing that the White House clearly understood that it had subverted democracy and snookered Congress on the passage of this power-grab legislation. Kevin quotes the Wagshinton Post piece as follows:

The documents also provide new details about the case of [Tim] Griffin, a former Rove aide and Republican National Committee researcher who was named interim U.S. attorney in Little Rock in December.

E-mails show that Justice officials discussed bypassing the two Democratic senators in Arkansas, who normally would have had input into the appointment, as early as last August. By mid-December, Sampson was suggesting that Gonzales exercise his newfound appointment authority to put Griffin in place until the end of Bush's term.

"There is some risk that we'll lose the authority, but if we don't ever exercise it then what's the point of having it?" Sampson wrote to a White House aide. "(I'm not 100 percent sure that Tim was the guy on which to test drive this authority, but know that getting him appointed was important to Harriet, Karl, etc.)."

San Diego: BUT ALWAYS REMEMBER --- it all leads back to San Diego, where US Attorney Carol Lam flipped Mitchel Wade and bagged the conviction of big-time Congressman Duke Cunningham. She indicted CIA No. 3 Dusty Foggo and Californiia fat cat Brent Wilkes. Numerous other California Comngressmen were - like the Dukey Stick - up to their eyeballs in earmarks to campaign contributors. Think Jerry Lewis, John Dolittle and Duncan Hunter. The obvious implication was that Lam was sacked to end any further corruption investigations against California Republicans as well as their friends in the CIA, Pentagon, White House, etc.


  • your hero Josh was on oberman last night. guy's a dweeb. hemmed and hawed too much.

    those of us who know the real macswain think you'd do much better explaining the lib's position of tv. why don't you do his in person performances for him?

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 9:15 AM  

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