Another D.O.J. Official on the Hotseat

Uh-oh. Another Justice Department official is on the hotseat. This time it's Michael J. Elston, Chief of Staff to Deputy Attorney General Paul McNulty.

Fired U.S. Attorney Bud Cummins of Arkansas testified he felt threatened by a phone call from Elston. Elston says it's all a misunderstanding and he's "horrified" by it.

In testimony and in an e-mail to fellow attorneys, Cummins said there was a "threatening undercurrent" to the call. He said Elston warned that the Justice Department would retaliate if the attorneys talked to the media or volunteered to testify in Congress.

Elston said he never intended such a message and recalls only expressing regret that the attorneys issue is "playing out in public."

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    Horrified, indeed ... (none / 0) (#1)
    by Peter G on Mon Mar 12, 2007 at 01:33:01 AM EST
    ... that anyone could construe this as a threat -- to "take the gloves off" and use what might be found in the fired U.S. Attorneys' personnel files to fight back against their disclosures.  A crime perhaps -- blackmail? obstruction of a congressional investigation? extortion under color of official right [Hobbs Act, 18 USC 1951] -- but surely not a threat. That would be wrong.

    impeaching and imprisoning (none / 0) (#2)
    by zaitztheunconvicted on Mon Mar 12, 2007 at 02:45:02 PM EST
    I somewhat think that Congress ought to impeach and/or imprison on contempt of Congress Gonzales and all the others of his ilk.

    Rove and Libby's memory (none / 0) (#3)
    by zaitztheunconvicted on Mon Mar 12, 2007 at 03:07:24 PM EST
    According the news article linked above, Karl Rove apparently has caught a bad memory from Scooter Libby.  He doesn't recall telling the New Mexico Republican Chairman that Iglesias was "gone," although that Chairman does recall it.
    Lots of people have really bad memories, I guess.