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Archive for the ‘US Attorney scandal’ Category

Dear Mr. Holder:

Posted by Charles II on May 18, 2009

Attorney General Eric H. Holder, Jr.
U.S. Department of Justice
950 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20530-0001

I am writing to express deep concern about the unequal standard of justice applied to Governor Don Siegelman, to demonstrate that it seems to be part of a broad pattern of selective prosecution under your leadership, and to explain why if it continues it will lead to a breakdown in the Department of Justice.

The Siegelman case was one of a number of cases prosecuted by the Bush Department of Justice which appeared to be politically motivated and in which it was unclear that there was any underlying crime. Two of the charges against Mr. Siegelman have been dismissed, there is evidence of misbehavior by both the prosecution and the jury, and yet the prosecutors just recommended that his sentence be increased! One cannot help but contrast this with the trial of Senator Ted Stevens, in which the Senator seemed to have corruptly accepted favors but was let off with an apology because of prosecutorial misconduct. There are other cases of suspect prosecutions, such as that of Paul Minor, where prosecutorial vindictiveness rather than a commitment to doing justice seems to be in the ascendant, and no steps taken to redress the wrongs. How can this be called justice?

[The letter goes on to point out that torture, the 100 homicides of detainees, and the US attorney scandal are all things that probably need a bit of prosecuting].

You too, can write to ask Eric Holder why the Department of Justice is behaving as oddly as it is.

Posted in Department of Injustice, Don Siegelman, torture, US attorney firings, US Attorney scandal | 10 Comments »

I Can Haz Rule Of Law?

Posted by Phoenix Woman on January 22, 2009

Just Us

Per LHP at FDL, signs point to “yes”:

David Iglesias, one of the US Attorneys who were fired for actually trying to do their jobs in a fair, non partisan manner, has just been tapped by the Obama administration to prosecute Gitmo detainees. This is an inspired choice. Not just for the “up yours” message it sends to the loyal Bushies — though that adds some fun to the mix — but because his unique skill set positions him to handle all the permutations of prosecutions to come in these cases.

Go read the rest of Looseheadprop’s story. Rule of Law: It’s the new black! (And black is the new president.)

Posted in Barack Obama, Constitution, doing the right thing, DoJ, dope slaps for Dubya, Good Things, habeas corpus, Justice Department, Obama Administration, political prisoners, political purges, President Obama, rights, Rule of Law, US attorney firings, US Attorney scandal | Comments Off on I Can Haz Rule Of Law?

Hoo Boy

Posted by Phoenix Woman on May 6, 2008

Not sure if this is Karl Rove’s and Rachel Paulose’s revenge, or a legitimate bust of guy abusing his Hatch Act oversight authority — or Rove taking advantage of a legitimate investigation to take out a threat to Rove. The FBI raid on OSC chief Scott Bloch’s DC offices is still big news:

The Inspector General for the Office of Personnel Management has been investigating Bloch for more than two years. He allegedly retaliated against career employees and obstructed an investigation.

He also admitted hiring the company “Geeks on Call” to purge his computer and two of his deputies’ computers. Bloch claimed the computers contained a virus; however, investigators are believed to suspect that he meant to destroy evidence.

The warrant to seize the computers apparently was part of an investigation of whether Bloch violated a Congressional mandate known as the Hatch Act. The act prohibits employees from using their offices for partisan political purposes.

The Office of Special Counsel was created by Congress after the Watergate scandal to protect federal whistleblowers.

Bloch has been a controversial figure since he was appointed by President Bush in 2004. One of his first official actions was to refuse to investigate claims of discrimination based on sexual orientation.

Career employees in his office say Bloch blamed them for leaking the story and retaliated by creating a new field office in Detroit and forcing them to accept assignments there or relinquish their jobs.

Much blood in the water, obscuring the vision. Turf war, or something more?

Posted in abuse of power, Bush, BushCo malfeasance, FBI, Justice Department, Karl Rove, Rachel Paulose, Republicans, Republicans acting badly, rightwing moral cripples, US attorney firings, US Attorney scandal | 3 Comments »

The Perils Of Princess Rachel

Posted by Phoenix Woman on September 18, 2007

Poor widdle bay-bee:

The federal Office of Special Counsel is investigating allegations that Rachel Paulose, U.S. attorney for Minnesota, mishandled classified information, decided to fire the subordinate who called it to her attention, retaliated against others in the office who crossed her, and made racist remarks about one employee.

Paulose did not return phone calls seeking her comment. Black Ink will publish any response that she makes.

The investigation has been under way since June. The Office of Special Counsel, which handles complaints about retaliation against whistleblowers and prohibited personnel practices by political appointees such as Paulose (that’s her at right), appears to be taking the allegations seriously. Investigators from two of its regional offices have been to Minnesota to interview witnesses and may be back for more. I could not find out when the OSC, an independent executive branch agency that is not part of the Justice Department, might complete the investigation.

The allegations also undermine the claim, which was put out for public consumption in April, that four top supervisory officials in the office had voluntarily stepped down to lower positions because of differences with Paulose over management style. The highest ranking of those four, former First Assistant U.S. Attorney John Marti, resigned after learning that Paulose was about to dump him. Marti, who remains in the office as an assistant U.S. attorney, also declined to discuss the matter.

While the allegations are unproven, the ongoing investigation reaffirms that a dysfunctional climate in the top federal law enforcement agency in Minnesota continues.

Somewhere, Tom Heffelfinger is laughing his ass off. Or shaking his head sadly. Or both.

Posted in abuse of power, Department of Injustice, DoJ, eedjits, Rachel Paulose, Republicans, Republicans acting badly, Thomas Heffelfinger, US attorney firings, US Attorney scandal | Comments Off on The Perils Of Princess Rachel

Bush Declares Himself the Supreme Being

Posted by MEC on July 20, 2007

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The Bush Administration has decreed that the Bush Administration is above the law.

“A U.S. attorney would not be permitted to bring contempt charges or convene a grand jury in an executive privilege case,” said a senior official, who said his remarks reflect a consensus within the administration. “And a U.S. attorney wouldn’t be permitted to argue against the reasoned legal opinion that the Justice Department provided. No one should expect that to happen.”

The official, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to discuss the issue publicly, added: “It has long been understood that, in circumstances like these, the constitutional prerogatives of the president would make it a futile and purely political act for Congress to refer contempt citations to U.S. attorneys.”


David B. Rifkin, who worked in the Justice Department and White House counsel’s office under presidents Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush, praised the position and said it is consistent with the idea of a “unitary executive.” In practical terms, he said, “U.S. attorneys are emanations of a president’s will.” And in constitutional terms, he said, “the president has decided, by virtue of invoking executive privilege, that is the correct policy for the entire executive branch.”

Their reasoning (to use the term loosely) seems to be that the DoJ, being under the authority of the President, cannot act against that authority.

If that’s true, then let’s just wipe out Ken Starr’s investigation of President Clinton and the resulting impeachment, because it was improper in the first place for the Attorney General — the president’s subordinate — appointing the independent counsel to investigation her superior, and therefore all subsequent proceedings were invalid.

Isn’t it interesting how applying this Administration’s pronouncements about executive power to a Democratic Administration always shows how unprecedented and untenable the Busheviks’ claims are.

(H/T Molly I. in Eschaton)

Posted in abuse of power, Department of Injustice, DoJ, Justice Department, madness of King George, US attorney firings, US Attorney scandal | 6 Comments »

Another Rat Flees the Sinking Ship

Posted by MEC on June 16, 2007

Mike Elston, Deputy Attorney General Paul McNulty’s chief of staff, is the the latest rat to abandon Bush’s ship of state. Elston was accused of threatening at least four of the eight purged attorneys to keep them from talking about the purge.

Elston joined the Justice Department in 1999; he’s worked for McNulty since 2002, when McNulty was a U.S. attorney in Virginia.

Has he been subpoenaed yet?

Posted in US attorney firings, US Attorney scandal | 1 Comment »

The Good Soldier Versus The Crazy Cat Lady

Posted by Phoenix Woman on May 31, 2007




Actually, that’s a slander on crazy cat ladies. Most of them have far more sense than Mary Kiffmeyer, who up until she was voted out last November was Minnesota’s Secretary of State.

Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in abuse of power, bogus "voter fraud" claims, BushCo malfeasance, Republicans, Republicans acting badly, rightwing moral cripples, theocrats, US attorney firings, US Attorney scandal | 6 Comments »

The Good Soldier

Posted by Phoenix Woman on May 27, 2007


Have you been following Tom Heffelfinger’s reaction to Goodling’s testimony?

For over a year, despite various provocations, he’s been a good soldier and refused to go after Main Justice, much less Rachel Paulose. The closest he came to criticizing his former bosses came when it was revealed that his name had been put on the chopping-block list before he resigned — which he still maintains was done without his being pressured by Gonzales and Company to do so.

But then Monica Goodling, in response to questioning by Representative Keith Ellison before Congress last week, said that he’d been zapped for spending too much time on Indian issues. In fact, as Ellison’s questions helped reveal, Heffelfinger was at odds with Mary Kiffmeyer, who was the Minnesota Secretary of State at the time, for refusing to pursue bogus voter-fraud claims against Native Americans.

That burst the dam.

As Heffelfinger tartly points out here, this was in the aftermath of the Red Lake school shootings, which were one of the worst school shootings in US history. He would have been derelict in his duty not to be handling them.

Even more interesting is how Goodling, Sampson and Gonzales paid far more attention to the ideology of current and proposed USAs than to their résumés or job histories. Check this out:

Heffelfinger also talked about Joan Humes, the lawyer who had been in charge of the civil division of the U.S. Attorney’s office in Minnesota, and said he had recommended her as his interim replacement when he stepped down.

“She’s an amazing lawyer, a great leader of people, and was the perfect person to serve as acting U.S. Attorney,” he said.

Humes’s name came up at the hearing in Washington, when Rep. Keith Ellison, the Democrat from Minneapolis, asked if she had been considered to replace Heffelfinger.

“You knew she was a Democrat, right?” he asked Goodling.

“I actually don’t know she was a Democrat,” Goodling said. “I did hear she was a liberal.”

The job went to 33-year-old Rachel Paulose.

Brief digression: One of the charges Paulose’s defenders have hurled at Heffelfinger is that the personnel in his office don’t like her because she’s a woman. This particular charge really ticked off the persons who left the Minneapolis U.S. Attorney’s office because of her mismanagement. (See also this link; the Strib’s 404ed it behind a pay wall, but a picture of the article still shows up in Snap’s cache, and you can use the title — “Workers who left Paulose Office protest remarks” — when looking for the article in Google or Google cache.)  Especially since one of those persons, Erika R. Mozangue, is female. In addition, if Heffelfinger’s office staff was made up of male-chauvinist old boys including himself, how come Heffelfinger’s first choice to replace himself was a woman, Joan Humes?

But anyway:

Heffelfinger has not taken issue with that choice [of Paulose] – what he questions is why the people making the choices, like Monica Goodling and Kyle Sampson, didn’t seem to know the lawyers they wanted to fire.

“Mr. Sampson makes the following statement,” Heffelfinger said at the bar association speech, reading a copy of an email from Gonzales’s former chief of staff.

“Moreover, McKay, Heffelfinger, Iglesias, etc., had no federal prosecution experience when they took the job,” Heffelfinger read.

The crowd laughed. When Tom Heffelfinger “took the job,” he already had served as U.S. attorney once before.

I’m looking forward to the Bush clowns polluting Main Justice to piss off Heffelfinger some more. Then I suspect he’s really going to cut loose. Even good soldiers have their limits.

Posted in Bush, BushCo malfeasance, Busheviks, Monica Goodling, Rachel Paulose, Thomas Heffelfinger, US attorney firings, US Attorney scandal | 8 Comments »

I Think I See the Problem

Posted by MEC on May 23, 2007

According to the Associated Press, Monica Goodling was terribly, terribly upset about all the fuss being made over the purge of the U.S. Attorneys.

“All I ever wanted to do was serve this president and this administration and this department,” Goodling said during a March 8 conversation, according to Associate Deputy Attorney General David Margolis.

It is noteworthy that she did not mention wanting to serve this country, the American people, the Constitution, the cause of law and justice… She wasn’t there to do what a government employee should be doing. She was there to serve George W. Bush.

And the government is infested with idol worshippers like her.

Posted in Busheviks, Monica Goodling, US attorney firings, US Attorney scandal | 2 Comments »

GOP 1, USA -1

Posted by Charles II on May 23, 2007

I score the Goodling testimony (of which I heard the first half; Emptywheel and the Firepups have provided a full summary) as largely favorable to Bushco. I don’t fault the Democrats for this, because Goodling was clearly well-prepped for the hearing. Here is what the GOP accomplished:

  • They remedied the seriously bad optics of having Goodling take the 5th (she confessed to possibly breaking civil service rules).
  • They dispelled the image of Goodling as a dumb, easily-manipulated political hack with a fly-by-night degree. She appeared by dress and demeanor, though not by actions, appropriate to a senior position.
  • Goodling came across as reasonably forthright except in the rare case (she said she had no conversation with Rove and had to be reminded that e-mail is included).
  • They systematically blurred the lines between (a) normal logrolling with political appointees, (b) improper pressure on political appointees, and (c) politicized dealings with civil service appointees.
  • No single deed has been identified as wrongful. Indeed, they have provided an alternative explanation for the firing of Carol Lam (Dianne Feinstein complained about her immigration prosecutions a year before the firing).
  • They provided a scapegoat (McNulty).

But reality is not cooperating. The facts on the ground are that morale in DoJ is bad and will impact the functioning. With the election of a scapegoat, more e-mails are likely to surface. The US Attorneys’s belief that they were fired unjustly will outweigh any claims about what was in Monica Goodling’s heart.

In short, the Goodling testimony looks like a battle the Republicans are winning that will cost them the war. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Alberto Gonzales, Fire Dog Lake, Monica Goodling, US Attorney scandal | 2 Comments »

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