Thursday, May 10, 2007

Not bad for her first week on the job

our new reporter-blogger, Laura McGann, started at TPMmuckraker.com on Monday. And in the post linked above, she was, to the best of my knowledge, the first to report on the firing call Graves received back in January 2006. The Times followed a short time later with more details -- jmm.

7 comments:

Anonymous said...

http://www.nytimes.com/2007/05/10/opinion/10thu1.html?ex=1336449600&en=3665eedde3544dd0&ei=5090&partner=rssuserland&emc=rss

May 10, 2007

U.S. Attorneys, Reloaded

As the United States attorney scandal grows, so does the number of prosecutors who seem to have been pushed out for partisan political reasons. Another highly suspicious case has emerged in the appointment of Bradley Schlozman, a controversial elections lawyer, to replace a respected United States attorney in Missouri. From the facts available, it looks like a main reason for installing Mr. Schlozman was to help Republicans win a pivotal Missouri Senate race.

Jim Talent, the Republican incumbent, was facing a strong challenge from Claire McCaskill last year when the United States attorney, Todd Graves, resigned suddenly. Mr. Graves suspects that he may have been pushed out in part because he refused to support a baseless lawsuit against the state of Missouri that could have led to voters' being wrongly removed from the rolls.

Mr. Graves was replaced by Mr. Schlozman, a high-level Justice Department lawyer who had made his name in the Bush administration by helping to turn the department away from its historic commitment to protecting the voting rights of minorities. Mr. Schlozman was one of the political appointees who approved Tom DeLay's Texas redistricting plan and Georgia's voter ID law, over the objection of career lawyers on the staff, who insisted that both violated the Voting Rights Act. McClatchy Newspapers reported that Mr. Schlozman also has been accused of hiring Justice Department lawyers based on their political party.

Mr. Schlozman injected the United States attorney's office directly into the Talent-McCaskill race. Days before the election, he announced indictments of four people who were registering voters for the liberal group Acorn on charges of submitting false registration forms. The Republicans turned the indictments into an issue in the campaign, although Ms. McCaskill won the election anyway. Congress should investigate whether the indictments violated Justice Department guidelines, which say that election crime investigations should not be conducted right before an election, because they can themselves become a campaign issue....

anne

Anonymous said...

http://www.nytimes.com/2007/05/10/washington/10attorney.html?ex=1336449600&en=6f081bdcce6cc7de&ei=5090&partner=rssuserland&emc=rss

May 10, 2007

Missouri Prosecutor Says He Was Pushed to Resign
By ERIC LIPTON

WASHINGTON — The former United States attorney in Kansas City, Mo., said Wednesday that he was pushed to resign last year after disagreements with the Justice Department over politically sensitive cases. That would make him the ninth federal prosecutor forced out by department officials in Washington.

The prosecutor, Todd P. Graves, who held the office in Kansas City from 2001 until March 2006, was the subject of a complaint in 2005 from a staff member for Senator Christopher S. Bond, Republican of Missouri, a spokesman for Mr. Bond confirmed.

Mr. Graves said in an interview Wednesday that in early 2006 he was already planning to move into private practice in Kansas City. But he said he was unaware at the time that his name was on a January 2006 list of United States attorneys that Justice Department officials were considering dismissing.

He said that in early 2006, Michael Battle, then the executive director of the office that supervises federal prosecutors, told him he should look for another job. Mr. Battle, who has since resigned, is the same official who told the other prosecutors they were being dismissed....

anne

Anonymous said...

http://www.nytimes.com/2007/05/04/opinion/04fri4.html?ex=1335931200&en=9697872f8b81f953&ei=5090&partner=rssuserland&emc=rss

May 4, 2007

The U.S. Attorney, the G.O.P. Congressman and the Timely Job Offer
By ADAM COHEN

There is yet another United States attorney whose abrupt departure from office is raising questions: Debra Wong Yang of Los Angeles. Ms. Yang was not fired, as eight other prosecutors were, but she resigned under circumstances that raise serious questions, starting with whether she was pushed out to disrupt her investigation of one of the most powerful Republicans in Congress.

If the United States attorney scandal has made one thing clear, it is that the riskiest job in the Bush administration is being a prosecutor investigating a Republican member of Congress. Carol Lam, the United States attorney in San Diego, was fired after she put Randy Cunningham, known as Duke, in prison. Paul Charlton, in Arizona, was dismissed while he was investigating Rick Renzi. Dan Bogden, in Nevada, was fired while he was reportedly investigating Jim Gibbons, a congressman who was elected governor last year.

Ms. Yang was investigating Jerry Lewis, who was chairman of the powerful House Appropriations Committee....

anne

Anonymous said...

This article makes no sense to me, but much makes no sense:

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/05/04/AR2007050402169_pf.html

May 5, 2007

New Story for Firing Emerges: Ex-U.S. Attorney Clashed With Bosses Over Murder Probe
By Dan Eggen - Washington Post

A U.S. attorney in Seattle was singled out for dismissal in part because he clashed with senior Justice Department officials over the investigation of a federal prosecutor's murder, and he was recommended for removal 18 months earlier than was previously known, according to newly disclosed documents and interviews.

D. Kyle Sampson, former chief of staff to Attorney General Alberto R. Gonzales, told congressional investigators that he believes he may have recommended former U.S. attorney John McKay's removal in March 2005 because of conflicts with senior Justice officials over the investigation of the 2001 murder of federal prosecutor Tom Wales, according to congressional aides and Sampson's attorney....

anne

Anonymous said...

The encompassing theme of the hiring and ridding of U. S. Attorneys seems to be simply "keep Republicans in elected office." But, how was it that Republicans all over the country seemed to understand just this theme? How did they know the theme so readily?

anne

Anonymous said...

http://news.nationaljournal.com/articles/070510nj1.htm

May 10, 2007

Administration Withheld E-Mails About Rove
By Murray Waas - National Journal

The Bush administration has withheld a series of e-mails from Congress showing that senior White House and Justice Department officials worked together to conceal the role of Karl Rove in installing Timothy Griffin, a protégé of Rove's, as U.S. attorney for the Eastern District of Arkansas.

The withheld records show that D. Kyle Sampson, who was then-chief of staff to Attorney General Alberto Gonzales, consulted with White House officials in drafting two letters to Congress that appear to have misrepresented the circumstances of Griffin's appointment as U.S. attorney and of Rove's role in supporting Griffin.

In one of the letters that Sampson drafted, dated February 23, 2007, the Justice Department told four Senate Democrats it was not aware of any role played by senior White House adviser Rove in attempting to name Griffin to the U.S. attorney post. A month later, the Justice Department apologized in writing to the Senate Democrats for the earlier letter, saying it had been inaccurate in denying that Rove had played a role....

anne

Anonymous said...

How could there be such a methodical coordinated corruption of the essence of Democracy? No; I do not understand.

anne