Tuesday, March 06, 2007

DoJ and US Attorneys clash on reasons for firings

The Senate hearings today by the Senate Judiciary Committee rather clearly establish that at least most of the United States Attorneys recently fired have been fired because they were insufficiently responsive to members of the Republican Party and especially to Republican political appointees in the Department of Justice in bringing charges against Democrats prior to the 2006 election or even earlier. The fact that Carol Lam (USA, San diego, CA) was deeply involved in further major corruption investigations against California Republican Congressmen is a dead giveaway.

Paul Kiel of TPM has been doing excellent work reporting on the testimonies. Here is an especially powerful report on questioning by Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA). It includes uploaded sections of the recorded testimony. Here is a key statement from the US Attorneys:
Maybe the biggest bombshell during the hearing was admissions from Cummins, McKay and Iglesias that they would have opened an obstruction investigation based on the phone call to Cummins from Michael Elston, the chief of staff to Deputy Attorney General Paul McNulty, if they were still in office.
Then, if you accept the story the Department of Justice witnesses presented, Paul K. Charlton, the US Attorney for Colorado was fired because he was too aggressive in prosecuting child molesters. David Kurtz at TPM writes that story.

The prior US Attorney for Maryland has given an interview to the New York Times about his firing for investigating close associates of the Republican Governor of Maryland for corruption.

This is a story that will only get bigger.

[I wonder how an impeachement of Attorneu General Alberto Gonzales would play out in the House? Or the Senate if he refused a subpoena to testify, or took the fifth?]

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