Criminal Coverup: DoJ Report Implicates White House Involvement In Prosecutor Purge

A recent report from the Department of Justice's own "ethics police"1 has begun to generate a lot of buzz about the involvement of the White House in the spate of U.S. Attorney firings that happened two years ago:

  • Washington Post: Report Implicates White House: E-Mails Hint at Involvement in Prosecutor Firings, Officials Say by Carrie Johnson, Washington Post Staff Writer, Wednesday, October 1, 2008; Page A15

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    In 18 months of searching, Justice Department Inspector General Glenn A. Fine and Office of Professional Responsibility chief H. Marshall Jarrett have uncovered new e-mail messages hinting at heightened involvement of White House lawyers and political aides in the firings of nine federal prosecutors two years ago.

    But they could not probe much deeper because key officials declined to be interviewed and a critical timeline drafted by the White House was so heavily redacted that it was "virtually worthless as an investigative tool," the authorities said.
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  • Bloomberg.com: Bush, Rove Flirted With Law Breaking in Firings: Ann Woolner, commentary by Ann Woolner, October 1

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    After an 18-month-long probe, internal investigators found some of the firings driven by politics and others by the Justice Department's intolerance for differing opinions.

    They found White House meddling in at least three cases, and a willingness to kowtow to senators wanting to can prosecutors for inappropriate reasons.

    That sort of thing ``severely undermines the independence and non-partisan tradition of the Department of Justice,'' the report says.

    In New Mexico, U.S. Attorney David Iglesias wasn't moving fast enough to bring charges against Democrats before a tight, 2004 election.

    In Arkansas, U.S. Attorney Bud Cummins occupied the office that a Karl Rove protégé wanted.

    In Missouri, Todd Graves's brother got into a spat with Senator Kit Bond's office, and the U.S. attorney refused to intervene.
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  • The Philadelphia Inquirer: Editorial: Investigating the Department: Blind Justice [no author provided], posted on 1 October 2008

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    A Justice Department report this week on an in-house investigation into the 2006 political purge of federal prosecutors during President Bush's second term all but confirmed an ugly truth: The cover-up continues.

    The department's inspector general and its Office of Professional Responsibility conclude that four of nine fired United States attorneys were targeted on political grounds.

    [...snip...]

    In other words, Bush administration operatives were prepared, at times, to shape the course of justice to suit a political agenda.
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  • The three articles cited all reference the Bud Cummins dismissal as one particularly relevant example, and it's a key element worthy of more exposure because it serves as an excellent indicator of one of the primary weapons in the GOP's arsenal of voter manipulation.

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    In the most troubling case, a prosecutor in New Mexico was removed because GOP officials thought he was moving too slowly against Democrats caught up in allegations over voter fraud and political corruption.
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    The U.S. Attorney Purge was widely covered and exposed -- inasmuch as possible in the face of considerable apathy by the traditional media -- primarily through the efforts of online citizen journalists and bloggers.

    ePluribus Media made some significant contributions to that effort:

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    US Attorney Purge

    Alberto Gonzales: Gaming the System Again in Arizona?: by Cho, Roxy & Standingup

    The Alberto Gonzales Appointments: How the Process Has Changed and Why this is so Important: by Adam Lambert (clammyc)

    The Gonzales Seven: by Cho, AvaHome & Roxy

    The Case of the Absentee Attorney - William Mercer, Montana: by TheFatLadySings, AvaHome, Cho & Roxy

    Meet the new boss? Same as the old boss ...: by Adam Lambert (clammyc)

    Who IS Alberto Gonzales?: by Adam Lambert (clammyc)

    The Gonzales Seven: Who They are and Who is Replacing Them: by ePuribus Media
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    And now it appears that there has finally been some light shed and facts uncovered by the official guardians of our democracy and infrastructure.

    But is it too little, too late?

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    Footnotes
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    1. ethicspolics [sic] -- from the Bloomberg article Bush, Rove Flirted With Law Breaking in Firings: Ann Woolner, a commentary by Ann Woolner dated 1 October 2008.
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