Wednesday 21 March 2007 - Filed under Politics
David C. Iglesias wrote an article for the New York Times explaining his view of his firing.
Now we all know that the President can fire US attorneys for no reason. They serve “at the pleasure” of the President and none of us would be asking questions if they fired people for poor performance or just fired everybody in a house cleaning. I heard that Clinton did the latter at one point.
The question is: are we comfortable with the President firing people because they did not serve his political interests? Do we want US attorneys to apply their work with a bias towards the party in the White House?
From the article:
…I received a call from Senator Domenici at my home. The senator wanted to know whether I was going to file corruption charges — the cases Ms. Wilson had been asking about — before November. When I told him that I didn’t think so, he said, “I am very sorry to hear that,” and the line went dead.
A few weeks after those phone calls, my name was added to a list of United States attorneys who would be asked to resign — even though I had excellent office evaluations, the biggest political corruption prosecutions in New Mexico history, a record number of overall prosecutions and a 95 percent conviction rate. (In one of the documents released this week, I was deemed a “diverse up and comer” in 2004. Two years later I was asked to resign with no reasons given.)
When some of my fired colleagues…and I testified before Congress on March 6, a disturbing pattern began to emerge. Not only had we not been insulated from politics, we had apparently been singled out for political reasons. (Among the Justice Department’s released documents is one describing the office of Senator Domenici as being “happy as a clam” that I was fired.)
Domenici is, apparently, a scumbag who was pissed off that the US attorney did not help them win elections.
Does that piss you off? It pisses me off. It also pisses off my lawyer friend, Mark, who had this to say:
The most disturbing
reason given for termination was a refusal to investigate and/or indict the administration’s political rivals prior to the last congressional election. The investigations and/or indictments at issue were not pursued because the US attorneys who were assigned to the cases did not believe there were grounds to proceed based on their review of the law and evidence. There were attempts made to pressure at least one of these US Attorneys into bringing what amounted to a groundless indictment, purely for political gain. Such action amounts to an abuse of police power and an attempt to mount a malicious prosecution. This action is unethical and dangerous to our representative form of government. US Attorneys, as prosecutors, are
supposed to operate independently of political influence. Their job is to determine whether a particular case warrants prosecution based on the laws of the United States and the evidence available. When the results of the “prosecutorial decision making process” are influenced or dictated by the political party in power, it results in a “police state”.
The Republicans, of course, are trying to claim this is all political theater even though the President himself admits “mistakes were made”. If you think concern for the justice system is “political theater”, you are a fucktard.
2007-03-21 » lolife