The Politics of Prosecution

Federal Times is a publication geared to federal executives and managers. It has an interesting article this week on Gonzales' resignation and the politicization of the U.S. Attorney's offices under Republican reign.

A February study by professors at the University of Missouri at St. Louis and Illinois State University found that since President Bush took office, U.S. attorneys have investigated or indicted four times as many elected Democratic officials as Republicans.

Joseph Rich, who was chief of the voting section in Justice’s Civil Rights Division from 1999 to 2005, published a column in the Los Angeles Times in March that said his office had been politicized. He said his superiors told him to alter performance evaluations to favor attorneys who supported the administration and punish those who disagreed with the White House.

Rich said that no voting discrimination cases were brought on behalf of black or Native American voters between 2001 and 2006 and that his office was ordered to focus on voting fraud cases instead. This crushed morale in his section, Rich said, and drove more than half of the voting office’s attorneys to go to other offices or leave the department since 2005.

The list of departing DOJ officials so far:

Gonzales’ resignation was preceded by the resignations of chief of staff Kyle Sampson, deputy attorney general Paul McNulty, McNulty chief of staff Michael Elston, assistant attorney general for the civil rights division Wan Kim, and White House liaison Monica Goodling. Acting associate attorney general William Mercer withdrew his nomination to be Justice’s No. 3 official June 22. Those positions are still not filled permanently.

I think there will be more as the Inspector General's investigation heats up.

< Simple Answers To Ridiculous Questions | Specter: Larry Craig Should Fight and Not Resign >
  • The Online Magazine with Liberal coverage of crime-related political and injustice news

  • Contribute To TalkLeft

  • Display: Sort:
    Please let me state the obvious (none / 0) (#1)
    by Key on Sun Sep 02, 2007 at 12:03:52 PM EST
    4 times as many Democrats as Republicans?  Please let me state the obvious....  We've seen something like 8 times the number of Republican scandals go public as we have Democrats.

    This leads me to three conclusions:  1) The DOJ was looking in the wrong place; 2) By looking in the wrong place, the DOJ kept the Democrats more honest while the Republicans ran wild; and 3) Should the Dems come to power in 08, they should work really hard to make sure the DOJ goes after all corruption, regardless of party.  But if they had to pick one to focus on, maybe they should continue to focus on the Dems, since the Republican corruption seems to make itself public anyway....

    And the not so obvious (none / 0) (#2)
    by NMvoiceofreason on Sun Sep 02, 2007 at 02:35:30 PM EST
    The scheme was a criminal conspiracy under 18 USC 601 et.seq. to use AUSA's for political benefit, to the detriment of democrats, and the benefit of republicans.

    18 USC Section 601: "Deprivation of employment or other benefit for political contribution", http://caselaw.lp.findlaw.com/scripts/ts_search.pl?title=18&sec=601
     18 USC Section 606: "Intimidation to secure political contributions", http://caselaw.lp.findlaw.com/scripts/ts_search.pl?title=18&sec=606
     18 USC Section 1505: "Obstruction of proceedings before departments, agencies, and committees", http://caselaw.lp.findlaw.com/scripts/ts_search.pl?title=18&sec=1505

    There is only one way out of this. Pass a "Competence in Government Act". Require partisan hacks to have at least as good a credentials as the people the appoint, and set up a panel to vet those appointees, before the President gets to pick from the list. Since the Senators can't do their job, we have to do it for them.

    Prosecute all who break the law, or it really isnt the law, its just a coverup for doing what you want against people that you don't.


    Will the Inspector General (none / 0) (#3)
    by koshembos on Sun Sep 02, 2007 at 02:42:24 PM EST
    Are you convinced that the inspector general will not continue the Bush tradition?

    Guess Republicans make GREAT prosecutors (NOT!) (none / 0) (#5)
    by NMvoiceofreason on Sun Sep 09, 2007 at 05:23:44 PM EST
    "Stalled Lewis Probe Rolls Backwards
    By Paul Kiel - September 7, 2007, 10:05 AM

    The U.S. attorney office in Los Angeles just can't seem to muster the manpower needed to investigate senior Republican appropriator Rep. Jerry Lewis (R-CA). In fact, it seems that the Justice Department is handicapping itself.

    The veteran prosecutor who'd been heading up the Lewis case has been forced into retirement, The Los Angeles Daily Journal reported yesterday (not available online). It knocks the investigation, already stalled, further off course. "


    Just like GuamGate. Yeehaw!