Tag: U.S. Attorney Firings

No Charges in U.S. Attorney Firings: Not All Dirty Politics Is Criminal

It's over. After 22 months, the Justice Department has sent a letter to the House Judiciary Committee stating no criminal charges will be brought as a result of the firing of 9 U.S. Attorneys during the Bush Administration.

Special counsel Nora Dannehy, who conducted the DOJ investigation (not to be confused with the earlier Inspector General and OPR investigation) recommended no charges, and Attorney General Eric Holder has accepted it. In the letter (available here, it takes a few minutes to load):

Associate Attorney General Ronald Weich said Gonzales made "inaccurate and misleading" statements about the firings. The report also said Gonzales' chief of staff, Kyle Sampson, also made misleading statements. But the report by Dannehy concluded there was "insufficient evidence to establish that persons knowingly made material false statements" or tried to obstruct justice.
As Committee Chair Rep. John Conyers points out, this is not an exoneration. The investigation found both Gonzales and Kyle Sampson made misleading and inaccurate statements. [More...]

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Mukasey Appoints Special Prosecutor in U.S. Attorney Firing Probe

The Inspector General's blistering 392 page report on the Bush Administration's firing of 9 U.S. Attorneys has been released. You can read it here (pdf.)

Attorney General Michael Mukasey announced he will appoint a special prosecutor to investigate and decide if criminal charges should be brought against former AG Alberto Gonzales.

“The report makes plain that, at a minimum, the process by which nine U.S. attorneys were removed in 2006 was haphazard, arbitrary and unprofessional, and the way in which the Justice Department handled those removals and the resulting public controversy was profoundly lacking,” Mr. Mukasey said in a statement. The report called for further investigation to determine whether prosecutable offenses were committed either in the firings or in subsequent testimony about them.


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Grand Jury Investigating Testimony Over Hiring Policies in Civil Rights Division

The investigation into the firing of U.S. Attorneys by the Bush Administration has branched out and reached a new level. A federal grand jury is investigating whether there was a "political litmus test" for hiring U.S. attorneys in the civil rights division.

“The issue was lying, whether the people caught up in this told the truth or not,” said the lawyer, who insisted on anonymity because grand jury proceedings are secret.

The Wall Street Journal reported on Monday that Justice Department lawyers had brought what is known as a grand jury referral focusing on possible perjury by Bradley J. Schlozman, who was acting head of the civil rights division in 2003.

Mr. Schlozman admitted to Congress last year that he had bragged about his success in bringing conservative Republican lawyers into the civil rights division.

Scholzman testified before a Senate subcommittee and it is that testimony that is believed to be the focus of the grand jury. [More...]

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