Your daily drivetime update on the US Attorney Purge...Whatever cfaller96 is doing now, I’ll bet he wishes he were doing this instead...
This diary doesn’t meet the standards of the series, but it is already an hour late. I haven’t done anywhere near as much searching as I should have, so please – contribute in comments.
1. Fired San Diego USA Carol Lam: As we know, it is alleged that part of the reason Ms Lam was fired was her impending investigations into Dusty Foggo and other links to Duke Cunningham. Reports from last April linked Porter Goss's protege, Dusty Foggo to cardgames at the Watergate Hotel and the Westin Grand D.C. hotel where prostitutes were often ordered as a 'value-added' feature of the night's entertainment. Therefore, I am going to add the recent scandal with the D.C. madam to this entry. From Think Progress. If Lam was getting close to this group of pimps, miscreants, and lobbyists, it could explain much about her departure...
2. Fired New Mexico USA David Iglesias: , Thanks to folks at Brad Blog, we have an analysis of Mr Iglesias' appearance on the Bill Maher show the other evening, including a link to the interview, should anyone have missed it.
3. Former Los Angeles USA Debra Wong Yang: , former White House Counsel Harriet Miers might have discussed firing Yang. We don't have the evidence yet, but Senator Feinstein is now publicly asserting as much. So we'll see.
4. Fired Seattle USA John McKay: , there was an exchange between Gonzales and Senator Whitehouse (I think), where Senator Whitehouse is asking about the wide-open pipeline of people in the White House and the DoJ that can communicate with each other. He touches on McKay's story of when he went to meet with then-White House counsel Harriet Miers, who claimed that McKay had "mishandled" a "voter fraud" investigation in Washington. Gonzales did not really have an answer, but I thought I should put this up anyway.
5. Fired Arizona USA Paul Charlton: , It appears that yet another corrupt Arizonan Republican is now being investigated as a result of his ties to Jack Abramoff, J.D. Hayworth. Note that this is the result of an investigation into Abramoff, and not as a result of Mr Charlton's former office. As TPM 'connects the dots', this now "[p]ut[s] Hayworth together with Reps. John Doolittle (R-CA) and Tom Feeney (R-FL), ex-Sen. Conrad Burns (R-MT), and ex-Rep. Tom Delay (R-TX), and you have five current and former members of Congress who are reportedly under scrutiny by investigators." TPM also notes that Rep. Renzi continues to deny his soon surer-than-shit resignation.
6. Fired Nevada USA Daniel Bogden: , Bogden was doing "outstanding work", according to Mary Beth Buchanan, then-director of the Executive Office of US Attorneys, and now a US Attorney in Western Pennsylvania District. The title of the linked article says it all- Outstanding Work in 2005, Fired in 2006. Huh.
7. Fired Arkansas USA Bud Cummins: , Cummins warned the Justice Department of the 'blowback' that was surely to come by throwing Karl Rove's buddy into the job. Think Progress discovers that the Cummin's firing was announced by the White House to Rep. Boozman (R-Ark) last summer. And in this MUST READ, Greg Palast queries whether the replacement is a member in good-standing of the Bush Crime Family since the 2004 elections. It is titled: Bush New US Attorney a Criminal?
8. Reassigned Guam USA Frederick Black: , The saga of the politicization of the DoJ unfolds apace with today’s diary from james risser, White House cover-up: Abramoff, Gonzales, Guam, and national security. Readers of this series must wonder why real corrective action is so slow in coming – this diary shows that DoJ problems began long before the latest round of US Atty firings. "Everything but the kitchen sink", but here we see the violation of national security considerations that a seeing eye dog would have seen to be impermissible.
9. New Hampshire USA Tom Colantuono:
10. New Jersey USA Chris Christie: , how politicized is Chris Christie? Huntsu is doing a good job chronicling his behavior. It's a quick read, go take a look.
11. Minnesota USA Rachel Paulose: , In a marvelous diary written today by mswsm titled Another Reason for MONICA GOODLING to Plead the Fifth, the story of the firing in Minneapolis becomes crystalized, thanks to the diarist's careful reading of the emails, and the links to the Bush Crime Family's Jack Abramoff. Bravo! Tom Hefflifinger smells a rat. He is the person that the peculiar Rachel Paulose replaced. In an interview with the Star Tribune, Heffilfinger says, "This whole thing is bugging me," Heffelfinger said of the press reports and speculation about whether he was shoved out the door to make room for a more clubby prosecutor. It's been going on now for a couple of months, so I'd just as soon get it out in the open." Now bring in the potential Arbramoff, please: Heffelfinger said he's been trying to understand why he might have been targeted. "The only thing I can think of is my advocacy on behalf of Native American issues."
12. Fired Western Michigan USA Margaret Chiara: , there was a brief discussion yesterday about whether Chiara had begun an investigation or a lawsuit involving the Saginaw Tribe in Michigan, but no one could seem to find any details. FWIW, I contacted one of the editors of Indianz (great resource for Native American politics and Abramoff activities, BTW), and he was not aware of any investigations or lawsuits involving the Saginaw or the Chippewa Tribes. Just throwing that out there.
13. Former Western North Carolina USA Robert J. Conrad, Jr.:
14. Kentucky USA David Huber:
15. Southern Mississippi USA Dunn Lampton:
16. Middle North Carolina USA Anna Mills Wagoner: , from Sampson's testimony, this USA was on an early list, but was taken off on advice from Monica Goodling. Why was she on an early list?
17. Milwaukee USA Steven Biskupic: , this little piggy is still not out of the woods. Rep. Sensenbrenner and his cohort from Wisconsin, Rep. Baldwin have him in their sites and aren't going to let him go quietly. "He will appear May 10 before the House Judiciary Committee to face questions from lawmakers, including Republican Jim Sensenbrenner of Menomonee Falls and Democrat Tammy Baldwin of Madison. Baldwin was "disappointed" by Gonzales' answers April 19, her spokeswoman, Jerilyn Goodman, said Friday. "She looks forward to . . . questioning him on his personal involvement in the U.S. attorneys scandal. She also wants to know whether political motivations prompted not only the firing of certain U.S. attorneys but the retention of some who were not fired, including Mr. Biskupic," Goodman said.
Biskupic, meantime, has been asked to speak behind closed doors to House Judiciary Committee investigators examining the dismissals. He has pledged to cooperate. A date has not been set.
18. Connecticut USA Kevin O'Connor: , does this mean Mr. O'Connor is a "loyal Bushie?" And why must we insist on absentee US Attorneys?
19. District of Columbia USA Jeffrey Taylor: , Mr. Taylor had a similar, bizarrely rapid rise to his current post. His appointment without Senate confirmation and in advance of the Democratic midterm success had nothing to do with it. Also, as we note in Josh's perspective piece here (and below), Taylor was in on at least one US Attorney firing discussion. Nothing to see here, folks. Move along.
21. Former Interim Western Missouri USA Bradley J. Schlozman: , our favorite a--hole Schlozman is going back to DC to supervise US Attorneys (in the Executive Office for United States Attorneys). I'm sure he'll do no harm there. Let's note that in that link, another media outlet (Salon) hears that Schlozman would have continued as Kansas City USA had the s--t not hit the fan on the Purge. If he was so highly regarded by Main Justice as to have merited a (planned) indefinite tenure as Kansas City USA, then it's perfectly valid for us to keep examining his record. UPDATE: Today, TPMuckraker examines the timely ACORN "voter fraud" indictments.
22. Western Pennsylvania USA Mary Beth Buchanan: , we have our answer as to why Conyers wants to speak with her. She was consulted on the firing decisions (h/t TPM).
23. Northern Texas USA Richard Roper: , hat tip to James Risser for tipping me off to this story in his diary. Quite simply, what the hell's been going on in this office? They open an investigation into Novation LLC, a subsidiary of health care giant Tenet HealthCare, and two of the Assistant US Attorney's (AUSAs) working the case suddenly die. Two months later, three other AUSA's in the Dallas office resigned, two to go into private practice, and one to retire. You'll note in James Risser's diary that he discusses the Western Missouri US Attorney's office, because there is a lawsuit against Novation by a company in that area (I think?), Medical Supply Chain. But I separate that out, because that's a whole other ball of wax. If strange things happen after a US Attorney's office opens an investigation into Republican targets, however, then I get interested. And with the Dallas USA office opening a (according to the NYT link) "broad investigation" into Novation/Tenet and other health care and pharma giants, I'm interested to see where that investigation headed, and if/why it was suppressed.
24. Alaska USA Nelson Cohen: , the DoJ picked this guy to be the Alaska USA over the recommendations of both Republican home state Senators Stevens and Murkowski (h/t TPM). What was so special about Cohen that the home state Republicans had to be overruled? The article hints that Cohen had a desire to return to Alaska, but that's not how these things are supposed to work. Home state Senators are supposed to have significant, if not complete, influence on who gets nominated to be a US Attorney. It looks like the DoJ in DC rode roughshod over the Senators' recommendations- why?
UPDATE: Via TPMuckraker ,
"The House Judiciary Committee has approved a subpoena for former Deputy Attorney General James Comey. Comey was the number two figure at the Justice Department [before McNulty]; his list ranking then-US Attorneys stands in sharp contrast to the one prepared by Kyle Sampson.
Comey is set to testify in an open hearing this Thursday at 9:30 AM."
Roslynn Renee Mauskopf Is US Atty for New York, Eastern District. Joseph S. Van Bokkelen is US Atty for Indiana, Northern District. They have been nominated to become US District Judges for their districts, here and here. Their nominations will be considered by the Senate Judiciary Committee Thursday, May 3.
- drational continues his statistical analysis of Sampson's emails here.
- drational and crew do an excellent analysis of email traffic involving the firings with this diary Scandal in Color: DOJ as a Political Tool
- Team drationall graphically summarizes email traffic in today’s diary, concluding that the White House called the shots in Purgegate. So who made the US Attorney "Firing List"? The Team: 18 DKos volunteers, including Audrey, MsWings, Ethan's Mom, WTF, Madhaus, David, Howard, Fanaa, Brian, Michele, Miss Butter, Pandora, Eli, OkieByAccident, Keith, Marco, Gray, Tracie, Thom K in LA, leveymg, and Valerie.
- My Take: DoJ and the White House political operation urgently need massive, fundamental reformation. Republicans, are you paying attention? Sooner is better than later.
- UPDATE: Quoting from drational's diary above,
As Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY) puts it: "If the top folks at DOJ weren't the key decision-makers, it's less likely that lower-down people at DOJ were, and much more likely that people in the White House were making the major decisions."
The more I think about it, the more this makes a great deal of sense.
Tags: U.S. Attorneys, Carol Lam, David Iglesias, John McKay, Debra Wong Yang, Paul Charlton, Daniel Bogden, Bud Cummins, Frederick Black, Tom Colantuono, Chris Christie, Rachel Paulose, Thomas Heffelfinger, Margaret Chiara, Robert J. Conrad, David Huber, Dunn Lampton, Anna Mills Wagoner, Steven Biskupic, Kevin O'Connor, Jeffrey Taylor, Todd Graves, Mary Beth Buchanan, Richard Roper, Karl Rove, Monica Goodling, Alberto Gonzales, Kyle Sampson, Paul McNulty, Nelson Cohen, James Comey, Bradley Schlozman, Patrick Meehan, Rick Renzi, Keith Rosen