I love this prosecutor scandal
. There are few things more clear cut than the kind of obstruction of justice going on here. You simply don't call up an AG or a US attorney and make suggestions, and then this firing is beyond belief.
I have trouble understanding what the administration was thinking. Is this some kind of ploy to make us ignore an even bigger scandal? Isn't one senior official being convicted guilty of felonies this year enough? But even better is the pathetic attempt to cover for the administration by Republicans in Congress, as well as all the statements of horror from the corrupt legislators in question - who are shocked, shocked! - that their statements have been misconstrued.
Six ousted United States attorneys told Congressional panels Tuesday new details about lawmakers' intrusions in sensitive investigations and possible efforts by the Justice Department to squelch their public protests over their firings.
H. E. Cummins III, who was removed last summer as a United States attorney in Arkansas, said that in late February, Michael Elston, chief of staff to the deputy attorney general, Paul J. McNulty, told him by telephone that any prosecutor who spoke to reporters could face retaliation.
In an e-mail message to several dismissed prosecutors that was disclosed at the hearing, Mr. Cummins wrote of senior Justice Department officials, "They feel like they are taking unnecessary flak to avoid trashing each of us specifically or further, but if they feel like any of us intend to continue to offer quotes to the press, or to organize behind the scenes Congressional pressure, then they would feel forced to somehow pull their gloves off."
In a letter on Tuesday addressed to Mr. Schumer, Mr. Elston responded that he was "shocked and baffled" by Mr. Cummins’s portrayal of their past discussions.
"I do not understand how anything that I said to him in our last conversation in mid-February could be construed as a threat of any kind," Mr. Elston wrote, "and I certainly had no intention of leaving with that impression."
Under questioning by Senator Arlen Specter, Republican of Pennsylvania, Mr. Cummins said it was possible Mr. Elston had not intended to threaten anyone and had been offering friendly advice.
Yeah, really friendly
advice. The kind of friendly advice Tony Soprano gives you before you step over the line and two goons show up to your store and break things. Friendly indeed.
Labels: corruption, Republicans