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Thursday, March 22, 2007

Other Shoe Drops

The more alert commentators on the Pearl Harbor Day Massacre (that is to say TPM and TPM Muckraker) predicted that the real scandal wouldn't be the firing of the few prosecutors who didn't play ball (and could be fired) but the cases in which political meddling was successful.

Sharon Y. Eubanks said Bush loyalists in Attorney General Alberto R. Gonzales's office ... instructed her to tell key witnesses to change their testimony.

oh my. I wasn't born yesterday and I know that expert witnesses don't express their totally frank personal opinions, but rather are guided by lawyers. However, the intervention by political appointees makes it hard to believe that the changes in sworn testimony were based on a sincere re-evaluation of the facts. It seems clear to me that political appointees should over rule career prosecutors it they think that their request for damages are eccessive and should write the closing arguments. That is policy being decided via elections. However, once testimony is in the court record, asking witnesses to change it seems different, almost like suborning perjury.

Only one of the three appointees replied to the post. He figured that he would play the MSM game and quote an anonymous source

McCallum, who is now the U.S. ambassador to Australia, said in an interview yesterday that congressional claims of political interference were rejected by the OPR investigation, for which Eubanks was questioned. He said that there was a legitimate disagreement between Eubanks and some career lawyers in the racketeering division about key strategy
Odd that he didn't say who those career lawyers might be. Certainly not the only other career lawyer named in the article Eubanks' deputy Stephen Brody who

Two weeks before closing arguments in June, McCallum called for a meeting with Eubanks and her deputy, Stephen Brody, to discuss what McCallum described as "getting the number down" for the $130 billion penalty to create smoking-cessation programs. ...

Brody refused to lower the amount.

I trust this is just the beginning. Given the amount of trouble the Bush DOJ has gotten from Bush appointees who serve at the Presidents pleasure and only began talking when they were gratuitously insulted, imagine what career civil servants are going to say. I'm trying and I am engjoying it very very much.

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