Saturday, March 3, 2007

US Attorney David Iglesias Fired After Failing To Break The Law For Republican Lawmakers

Over the past six years or so, your frozen correspondent has been gazing in horror at the multi-pronged evisceration campaign being waged by the administration against the country's legal system. It began almost as soon as the so-called president took office, with the abrogation of binding international treaties; it got much worse shortly after 9/11 with the midnight passage of the so-called USA PATRIOT Act; and we've been running downhill ever since.

Difficult as it may be to imagine, the attacks seem to be more frequent and more serious than ever lately. Cornered animal syndrome? Part of a larger plan? A mere targeting of opportunities? All of the above? I don't know, but in any case it's very ugly.

One prong of the campaign -- a relatively recent one, or at least one which has come to light recently -- is the firing of US attorneys, apparently for political reasons.

On Thursday, McClatchy published a fine piece on a suddenly former US attorney, David Iglesias of New Mexico. And it appears that Iglesias lost his job -- despite being a Republican evangelical Hispanic veteran -- for failing to bow to improper pressure from a couple of Republican legislators.

Here's a quick excerpt: Sources: GOP lawmakers tried to influence federal investigation
Sen. Pete Domenici and Rep. Heather Wilson of New Mexico pressured the U.S. attorney in their state to speed up indictments in a federal corruption investigation that involved at least one former Democratic state senator, according to two people familiar with the contacts.

The alleged involvement of the two Republican lawmakers raises questions about possible violations of House of Representatives and Senate ethics rules and could taint the criminal investigation into the award of an $82 million courthouse contract.

The two people with knowledge of the incident said Domenici and Wilson intervened in mid-October, when Wilson was in a competitive re-election campaign that she won by 875 votes out of nearly 211,000 cast.
What timing! Unbelievable? Not!
David Iglesias, who stepped down as U.S. attorney in New Mexico on Wednesday, told McClatchy Newspapers that he believed the Bush administration fired him Dec. 7 because he resisted the pressure to rush an indictment.

According to the two individuals, Domenici and Wilson called to press Iglesias for details of the case.

Wilson was curt after Iglesias was "non-responsive" to her questions about whether an indictment would be unsealed, said the two individuals, who asked not to be identified because they feared possible political repercussions. Rumors had spread throughout the New Mexico legal community that an indictment of at least one Democrat was sealed.

Domenici, who wasn't up for re-election, called about a week and a half later and was more persistent than Wilson, the people said. When Iglesias said an indictment wouldn't be handed down until at least December, the line went dead.
Amazing? There's an awful lot more!

Please click here to read the whole article.

Larisa Alexandrovna, never known for holding her tongue, draws the only logical conclusion: Alberto Gonzales must be removed from office (with my emphasis, here and below):
Seriously, can someone make a citizen's arrest or something? Rep. Heather Wilson and Senator Pete Domenici allegedly (giggle) attempted to force indictments against Democrats in order to have a smear tool for their losing campaigns. When that did not work, their pal Alberto -- should be disbarred -- Gonzales allegedly (giggle) fired the federal prosecutor for not playing political ball with the legal system. Why is this man still in a position of authority. Congress, anyone?

Now my guess is that these two gang members of Congress did not just come up with the idea on their own and separately. So if I am correct, then that would make their activities a conspiracy and Gonzales a co-conspirator for using his position to retaliate against his staff for not violating the law, allegedly (giggle). Again, why is this man in a position of authority when he has broken the law over and over again? Congress, anyone?
I tend to think that tampering with a federal investigation is probably a criminal offense, despite also being an ethical violation. After all, it is not like some random person demanded this. This is a Senator and a member of the House in the US government allegedly (giggle) demanding an indictment for political reasons.

One more time and in concert: Alberto Gonzales must be removed from office and disbarred. Demand it. Call your members of Congress and demand oversight of this criminal element tainting the Department of Justice.
Whoa! Did she ever hit the nail on the head that time! I couldn't have said it nearly as well myself.

And Larisa is much less "conspiratorial" than I am, so if she says it's a conspiracy...

Andrei at The American Street goes even farther. Rightly so, IMVHO: And The Horses They Rode Up On
What Congress also needs to do is to expel the two of its members from New Mexico who backed this illegal dismissal. Sen. Pete Domenici and Rep. Heather Wilson should be returned to civilian life — and then indicted for obstruction of justice. Congress can do this by a two-thirds vote, and has done so before in cases of far less oppression than this.

Yes, I know those wimps will probably only settle for censuring them at most — but think of this as a negotiating tactic. Always ask for more than you expect to get, or you’ll never get anywhere with those spineless poll-watchers. As for me, it’s a moral issue: we cannot have a free small-”r” republican country with scum like these two serving in our legislative bodies. Yes, we should close Guantanamo, but Marion, Illinois is still available for them.
That's beautiful! Thanks to Andrei, Larisa, and McClatchy.

I think you should take Larisa's advice (at the very least). You do know how to contact your "elected" representatives, don't you? If not ... here's the House of Representatives (find your rep using the search box at the top left corner) and here's the Senate (find your senators using the box at the top right).


[see also]

Michael Gisick in the Albuquerque Tribune: U.S. attorney: Politics drove me from office