I know I should not have been surprised by reports of political pressure being applied to prosecutors investigating cases of corruption within Republican ranks — after all, just two weeks ago I noted in a post that a number of the fired U.S. Attorneys had open cases against current or foremer (sic) GOP members of Congress ...
Of course, when Janet Reno fired all of the US Attorneys George Bush had appointed (93 as I recall) one of those (a fellow named Stephans who was the US Attorney for Washington DC) was deeply involved in developing a case against Rep. Dan Rostenkowski. Somehow, even with his firing, the wheels of justice still managed to continue to grind and eventually got him (although it is arguable whether justice was really done):
Rep. Dan Rostenkowski (D-Ill.) was indicted in 1994 on 17 felony charges, including the embezzlement of $695,000 in taxpayer and campaign funds. The longtime House Ways and Means chairman plea-bargained his way down to two counts of mail fraud and served 17 months in a Wisconsin minimum-security prison.
Of course embedded in Singer's selective outrage is the so far baseless presumption that won't happen in the case of whatever Republican corruption is being investigated. I'll bet Randy "Duke" Cunningham is a bit peeved to hear that. What has Singer's boxers in a bunch is this:
A former U.S. attorney for Los Angeles, Debra Wong Yang, dismissed questions about the timing of her departure, which occurred about a month before several other U.S. attorneys were fired late last year.
Wong Yang was heading up the investigation into Rep. Jerry Lewis's (R-Calif.) ties to a lobbying firm and the millions of dollars in contracts the firm's clients received from Congress. Wong Yang, the first Asian-American woman to serve as a U.S. attorney, left her post with Justice to become a partner at Gibson, Dunn and Crutcher, the law firm representing Lewis. She will co-chair the firm's crisis-management practice group, along with Washington, D.C., partner Theodore B. Olson, a former Bush administration solicitor general. [emphasis added]
Now you're probably saying to yourself, at least at this point, Singer doesn't seem to be that outraged. Ok, but he sure is excited about it.
For some time I believed that this story would have legs, but it has not been until now that that I have seen this scandal's potential to enter the history books among the ranks of Crédit Mobilier, Teapot Dome and the Saturday Night Massacre. In some ways, the biggest thing holding back this scandal is its lack of a catchy title (a la the other scandals mentioned above, among others). I've created a "Prosecutor Purge" tag here at MyDD, but that doesn't seem to do this scandal justice (ooh, that's a bad pun, I know — my apologies). Perhaps "The Great Prosecutor Purge" would suffice, or "The Prosecutorial Partisanization" (it looks like we'd have to break ground with the term "partisanization", but I'm fine with that). "Prosecutorgate" is certainly too clunky and too trite. Any suggestions? What should this scandal be known as?
Well in a play off of the Teapot Dome scandal, how about "Tempest in a Teapot"?
If Jerry Lewis (or any other Republican under scrutiny or indictment) slips the noose because of this then there is a case to be made and you can upgrade it to a scandal (as it would have been had Rostenkowski done so). You know like, as Thomas Sowell reminds us, what happened during the Clinton administration?
Bill Clinton got rid of the U.S. Attorney in Arkansas who was investigating the Whitewater-Madison Guaranty scandals and replaced him with Paula Casey, a Clinton protege and one of his political campaign workers.
The president's Arkansas appointee had no experience as a prosecutor, but she had political ties to the people being investigated — including the Clintons and Arkansas governor Jim Guy Tucker.
Other federal authorities who sent information to Ms. Casey for criminal investigations of Tucker and the Clintons got nowhere. She officially declined the criminal referrals. She even kept the information from reaching Justice Department headquarters in Washington, until others went over her head to tell the top brass at Justice in D.C.
Until then, I think my name gives it about all the "justice" it deserves (and that's my bad pun for the day).
One of the more amusing things to watch is the perpetual outrage that various partisans express when their ox is being gored, while ignoring similar "gorings" when it happens to their opponents.
You mean like the media and the left (and much of the suppsoed right), wetting their nickers over Ann Coulter, while basically ignoring Bill Maher being annoyed on CNN that the assination attempt on Dick Cheney didn’t work?
Here in New Mexico, the U.S. Attorney was contacted by Senator Pete Domenici, who claims he only asked about the time frame of an investigation of a prominent democrat, but never “pressured” the Attorney. Representative Heather Wilson is not commenting. At least one Attorney was replaced to make room for a friend of Karl Rove. The replacement of U.S. Attorneys have happened many times in the past, often to stop investigations of members of the executive’s party. This purge looks, bad, but it has plenty of president.