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 photo michele-leonhart-dea-photo_zps38a537e8.jpgMichele Leonhart/dea photo

The frustrating melodrama of DEA Director Micelle Leonhart takes another turn.

Steve Neavling of Ticklethewire writes Republican Congressman Accuses Obama Administration of ‘Nixonian’ Attempt to Control DEA Chief.

Now Rep. Frank Wolf, a Virginia Republican, is coming to Leonhart’s defense, saying the Obama administration should butt out following news that Attorney General Eric Holder spoke with the DEA chief about her critical comments about the president’s sentencing reforms, the Huffington Post reports. ...

“Having served in the Nixon Administration, I am well aware of how the political leadership of an administration can try to politicize the civil service, including law enforcement,” Wolf wrote. “This article suggests a similar ‘Nixonian’ effort to pressure a career law enforcement leader into changing her congressional testimony and public comments to fit the narrative of the administration. I am deeply concerned and hope you will correct the record if the information reported was inaccurate.”

Sam Liberty of Personal Liberty rises in indignation as he rallies his right wing readers in Lawmaker Decries Obama Administration’s ‘Nixonian’ Intimidation Of Public Employees

Representative Frank Wolf (R-Va.) is concerned that the Obama Administration is involved in “Nixonian” efforts to pressure government employees following reports that the top official at the Drug Enforcement Agency enacted policy changes after a meeting with Attorney General Eric Holder.

According to a report from The Huffington Post last week, Holder met with DEA Administrator Michele Leonhart on the heels of Congressional testimony she gave suggesting that the Obama Administration’s stance on marijuana isn’t consistent with the Nation’s laws.
From the report:

She publicly distanced herself from Obama’s remarks about marijuana’s relative harmlessness. She griped about the Justice Department’s failure to try to block marijuana legalization in Colorado and Washington state. She clings to a comically outdated view of drugs, refusing to acknowledge a difference between pot and crack cocaine. And this week, her agency picked a fight with Kentucky over the state’s purchase of industrial hemp seeds to begin a newly legalized agricultural test.
DEA Director Micelle Leonhart continued in her House testimony to undermine President Obama's snd  A.G. Eric Holder's proposal for sentencing reform by supporting the
Republican's efforts to defeat it by saying,
“Our agents are fighting back against those messages,” Leonhart said. “Actually, it makes us fight harder.”
Sam Liberty goes on to quote Representative Wolf's same comparisons of President Obama to President Obama which I traced beac to Wolf's  Congressional website where I found both a newspaper a fully written newspaper article for editor's convenience as well as the complete letter Wolf wrote to Eric Holder complaining about his conversation with Leonhart getting reported in the Huffington Post which I replicate below as it is a public record.

This does have a certain irony to it, does it not. Wolf post the entire letter to Holder complaining about Holder allowing the Huffington Post to know he was unhappy with Leonhard torpedoing Holder's and Obama's sentencing reform bill. Wolf does not believe the DEA should be used as a political football, which is why Leonhard was invited the his House Committee to testify against her bosses' sentencing reform bill and why he posted his letter to Holder on his website and had his staff writers write up an article newspapers could conveniently cut, paste, and publish without any rewriting.

Please notice also that as the author of the first article notes Wolf does not mention Leonhart is a political appointment who works in the executive branch.

My battery on my Ipad is running out again, my PC is whacked, I do not know how to cut and paste on this IPad with DKos, so i am declaring this post over and every below the dotted line is a foot note from Rep Wolff's website. Micelle Leonhart must go. As soon as I can find a working computer or some else can put one in comment I will post a petition for her resignation.

Also, we need to develop a campaign to counter this opportunistic exploitation by Wolf. A complicated situation. Sorry I'm having computer trouble.

        ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Footnote 1: Article for quotation from Representative Frank Wolf's Website
Wolf Defends DEA Administrator From Political Pressure

This is the pre-written article Wolf has written for the convenience of newspapers who wish to just copy it and publish it whole hog.

Washington, D.C. – Rep. Frank Wolf, chairman of the House Appropriations subcommittee that funds the Justice Department, today came to the defense of the DEA Administrator after a press report that she has been told to get in line with the administration’s positions on the legalization of marijuana and sentencing reform.

Wolf, in a letter to U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder, said he was “deeply concerned” that DEA Administrator Michele Leonhart, a career law enforcement officer, was being pressured to defend political positions being pushed by the Obama Administration that conflict with current law.

The Huffington Post reported on Friday that Holder and Leonhart recently had a conversation following testimony she gave on the Hill last month about mandatory minimum sentences and other public comments about drugs, particularly marijuana, that differ from the administration’s thinking.

“Having served in the Nixon Administration, I am well aware of how the political leadership of an administration can try to politicize the civil service, including law enforcement,” Wolf wrote.  “This article suggests a similar ‘Nixonian’ effort to pressure a career law enforcement leader into changing her congressional testimony and public comments to fit the narrative of the administration.”

Wolf also was troubled by the fact the story was leaked to the media in an attempt to embarrass the administrator.  He urged Holder to find out who leaked the story and ensure that it doesn’t happen again.

“It is important that you send a clear signal to Justice Department staff, both political appointees and career civil servants, that public intimidation like this leak will not be tolerated,” Wolf wrote.

Below is the complete text of Wolf’s letter:

The Honorable Eric H. Holder, Jr.
Attorney General
U.S. Department of Justice
950 Pennsylvania Ave NW Rm 5111
Washington DC 20530

Dear Attorney General Holder:

I was concerned to learn of an article published last Friday by the Huffington Post alleging that you and your senior staff have pressured the administrator of the Drug Enforcement Administration to defend the administration's positions on the legalization of marijuana and sentencing reform, despite current law that federal law enforcement officers have sworn to uphold.

If the article is true – and I hope it is not – it would be troubling both from the perspective of the Justice Department putting political pressure on a career civil servant leading a law enforcement agency as well as someone on your staff leaking the story to a partisan news outlet to pressure the administrator.  

Having served in the Nixon Administration, I am well aware of how the political leadership of an administration can try to politicize the civil service, including law enforcement.  This article suggests a similar ‘Nixonian’ effort to pressure a career law enforcement leader into changing her congressional testimony and public comments to fit the narrative of the administration.  I am deeply concerned and hope you will correct the record if the information reported was inaccurate.

Additionally, while I am sure you were not personally involved in leaking this story, I urge you to find out who on your staff was responsible for pushing this out and ensure that this does not happen again.  It is important that you send a clear signal to Justice Department staff, both political appointees and career civil servants, that public intimidation like this leak will not be tolerated.

I have been very impressed with Administrator Leonhart's leadership of the DEA and have full confidence in her.  She has done an outstanding job leading this agency during a challenging time.  I know many others in Congress agree.  She has dedicated her career to law enforcement, serving as a Baltimore city police officer before becoming a DEA agent.  Her record is one of service and integrity, and I know Congress appreciates her honest and forthright testimony.

Again, I don't believe you are responsible for leaking this story, but you can understand my concern when I learn of an article that was clearly pushed out by someone in the Justice Department with the intent of publicly pressuring or embarrassing a career law enforcement official.  I hope you will take every appropriate action to prevent the politicization of federal law enforcement.

Best wishes.

Sincerely,                                                                  

Frank R. Wolf
Member of Congress

Issues: Commerce-Justice-Science Appropriations Subcommittee

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