Tuesday, March 06, 2007



Hillary Clinton once referred to the same people who are behind the Bush Regime-- pre-Bush-- as "a vast right-wing conspiracy." A better and more precise phrase would be to point out that they are also a vast criminal enterprise. While Libby was being found guilty on 4 out of 5 counts of purgery, obstruction of justice, and making false statements to the FBI, the Senate Judiciary Committee began hearings into why the Bush Regime fired 8 Federal Prosecutors without cause-- 8 Republican prosecutors, I might add, all of whom had been doing a great job pursuing criminals.
Former U.S. Attorney David Iglesias told the Senate Judiciary Committee today that Rep. Heather Wilson (R-N.M.) called him on Oct. 16 -- while she was locked in a tight battle for re-election -- to say she had heard that his ongoing criminal investigation into local Albuquerque Democrats may have produced indictments that Iglesias was sitting on.

"What can you tell me about sealed indictments?" Wilson asked, according to Iglesias' sworn testimony before the committee today.

Iglesias said "red flags" immediately went up in his mind about the conversation because it was unethical for him to talk about an ongoing criminal investigation, particularly on matters as sensitive as the timing of indictments.

Iglesias testified that he was "evasive and unresponsive" and Wilson and her mentor, U.S. Senator Pete Domenici-- after he also called and asked pointedly if Iglesias would file charges before Wilson's election-- went crying to Alberto Gonzales, who then fired Iglesias, previous a GOP hero and role model. Domenici slammed the phone down on Igelsias when he didn't get the answers he wanted-- typical bully tactics from a powerful, out-of-control senator towards a public servant-- and Iglesias was freaked out. "I felt sick afterward... I felt leaned on, I felt pressured to get these matters moving," Iglesias testified this morning.

Five other fired prosecutors will be testifying today. This is very brave of them since they have been threatened, Nazi-style, by Gonzales' thugs. "Bud Cummins, who was dismissed from his position as U.S. Attorney for Arkansas, said he had been threatened with retaliation by the Bush administration if he testified before Congress voluntarily. Cummins provided the committees with an e-mail he sent the five other prosecutors appearing with him today which detailed a tense conversation the former Arkansas federal prosecutor had with a senior Justice Department official regarding their public comments about the firings."

Hard to imagine this is the United States of America, isn't it? But under this illegitimate president who stole the presidency twice and has operated our government as though it were a criminal gang, this is just more of the same. If Democrats and any Republicans who are not complicit with this crime empire do not take real action, they will be judged by history as equally guilty. And this is about more than just making political points. This goes to the heart and soul of our threatened democracy.
Democrats, including Sen. Charles Schumer (NY) and Rep. Linda Sanchez (Calif.), who are leading today's hearings, have raised questions about whether the firings were politically motivated ousters designed to quell some of the investigations the prosecutors were running. Four of the eight led probes of important Republicans, while Iglesias was involved in the lengthy probe of Democrats and had drawn fire from local Republicans who expected a quicker indictments... In a carefully worded statement yesterday, the Senate Ethics Committee revealed that a preliminary inquiry was underway with regard to Domenici's role in speaking to Iglesias about an active criminal investigation. The House Committee on Standards of Official Conduct, as the ethics panel is formally known, has not commented on the Wilson allegations.

The Congressional Ethics Committees almost never take any serious action against their comfy little old boys network so I have little expectations that Domenici or Wilson will suffer at their hands. But both will be up for election next year and both should face very stiff opposition. I expect Governor Bill Richardson to consider the New Mexico senate seat just thrown away by Domenici unless Hillary picks him to be her running mate (instead of Mark Warner). The money he's racing now for his "presidential" race can be transfered to a Senate race. Tom Udall (NM-03) might also consider switching from the House to the Senate (along with his Colorado brother) and he's got over $700,000 left over from his recent House re-election. Other possiblities to put the senile, doddering, pissed-off Domenici out of his misery are Lt. Governor Diane Denish and Albuquerque Mayor Martin Chavez.


Doc Hastings (R-WA) was installed by Tom DeLay as chairman of the ethics committee for one reason and one reason only: he is a crook with absolutely no ethics and was willing to whitewash DeLay's criminal activities where other Republicans with more dignity and more respect for America wouldn't. So it should come as no surprise to anyone that he is also connected to the deepening scandal surrounding the firing of 8 Federal Prosecutors. The U.S. Attorney for Washington State testified this morning in front of the Senate Judiciary Committee that Hastings pressured him to interfere in Washington's gubernatorial election results. When McKay told him the call was "improper," Hasting's chef of staff slammed down the phone. Hastings is believed responsible for getting McKay fired by Gonzales. Think Progress has the video clip. [UPDATE: More Hastings criminal behavior.]

Judiciary Chairman Patrick Leahy compared the firings to the Watergate dismissals. "Not since the Saturday Night Massacre, when President Nixon forced the firing of the Watergate prosecutor Archibald Cox, have we witnessed anything like this," he said.

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At 12:26 PM, Blogger Hackwhackers said...

Senate staff don't refer to him as "Sneaky Pete" without a reason. He's a mixture of arrogance, imperiousness, and senility, and all too typical of the Rethuglican politician who thinks that the Government is their private "business."

At 10:20 AM, Blogger CEP said...

Minor factual correction on Hastings:

Washington State has two districts, and two US Attorneys. Hastings is from the Eastern District of Washington, as was the fired US Attorney.


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