Political Opinion: WILL MUKASEY APPOINT A SPECIAL PROSECUTOR OR IS HE ANOTHER GONZALES?
The Bush Justice Department targeted Democratic Politicians For Investigation or Prosecution Seven To One Over Republicans.
A recent study by two academics from the University of Minnesota, Donald Sheilds Ph.D and John F. Craigan, determined that of 375 investigations/ prosecutions by U.S. Attorneys since 2001 of candidates or elected officials 298 involved Democrats, 67 involved Republicans and 10 involved Independents.
One case was that of the Don Siegelman ex-Governor of Alabama who was indicted and convicted of bribery, mail fraud and conspiracy for accepting a campaign contribution of $500,000 to pay off a remaining debt on a campaign to establish a state lottery to fund public schools. He later appointed Richard Scrushy, the donor, to the state hospital licensing board.
Siegelman after serving nine months in Federal Prison has been released on bond by the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals pending resolution of his appeal. This conviction and others is under investigation by the House Judiciary Committee for the practice of targeting Democrats by the Bush Justice Department. Jill Simpson a Republican attorney who had worked for Mr. Siegelman’s opponent in the 2002 election, which Siegelman lost by 2300 votes, has given a sworn affidavit stating that an associate of Karl Rove had assured her that Mr. Rove and two U.S. Attorney were “going to take care of Mr. Siegelman.” Forty four states attorneys general signed a petition urging the Judiciary Committee to investigate the prosecution, conviction and detention of Mr. Siegelman in that there were allegations of jury tampering and other irregularities connected with his trial and conviction.
Concurrent with this investigation is the investigation into the firing of
7 U.S Attorneys in 2007 under suspicious circumstances. The exact circumstances were never admitted by the Administration but it appeared that they were fired for failing to indict Democratic politicians in sensitive elections.
The White House says it can’t find 140,000 emails sent or received on the official White House email system by Karl Rove before he resigned. The Republic National Committee says it will not recover the emails that Karl Rove and other White House personnel sent or received under a separate illegal non- governmental email system operated by the RNC in the White House. The emails would likely reveal the facts about the pressuring of the 93 U.S Attorneys for political purposes in elections. If they would exonerate the Administration they would have been produced in response to the Judiciary Committee’s subpoenas long ago.
Normally, Presidents appoint U.S. Attorneys at the beginning of their term and the attorneys remain at their post for at least four years or are reappointed at the conclusion of the next election cycle. Amendments in the 2005 Patriot Act sponsored by the Administration allowed the Attorney General to replace dismissed U.S. Attorneys without approval by the Senate for unlimited periods. This provision of the Act has since been deleted when Congress found out what the Administration was up to.
Before The amendment vacancies filled by an interim attorney could last just 120 days before a nominee had to be approved by the Senate or a replacement was appointed by the Federal Court in the District were the attorney was going to serve on an emergency basis until a candidate was confirmed by the Senate.
Obviously this clause in the Patriot Act was an attempt to appoint U.S. Attorneys with out approval by The Senate by Gonzales, Rove and Bush. One wonders that if the seven dismissals in 2007 were for failure to prosecute political rivals of the Administration or Republican candidates for office what the 86 other U. S. Attorneys had done or were doing to please Gonzales, Rove, Miers and Bush so as to avoid dismissal.
Harriet Miers the former counsel to the president is refusing to appear and testify before the committee on the subject of political pressures and interference with the selection and duties of U.S. Attorneys although she has been subpoenaed to do so. Fred Fielding the new Counsel to the President is claiming executive privilege on her behalf.
Normally subpoenaed witnesses appear and claim the privilege in person. The matter is now on its way to the courts for a decision.
It is obvious that crimes of obstruction of justice and malfeasance are likely to have been committed by Alberto Gonzales, Karl Rove, Harriet Miers and probably others. Therefore a special prosecutor should be appointed by Attorney General Mukasey and a grand jury impaneled to determine what crimes have been committed and to charge the responsible parties.