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.
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