Monday, September 29, 2008


One bit of news that is being lost in the total meltdown of this country's economy is that Attorney General Michael Mukasey appointed a Special Prosecutor to pursue possible criminal charges against Republicans who were involved in the controversial firings of U.S. attorneys. Throughout the U.S. Attorney purge scandal, Republicans insisted this was just a routine personnel matter, of no real consequence. They couldn't have been more wrong. This move has long been demanded by Democrats in Congress, but had been resisted by Mukasey. Yet the appointment of a Special Prosecutor was the leading recommendation of a Justice Department investigation that harshly criticized the Bush administration, Republican members of Congress and their aides. The report by Justice Department Inspector General Glenn Fine stated the firing of the US Attorneys could be seen as politically motivated.

The report states that "serious allegations involving potential criminal conduct have not been fully investigated or resolved." This criminal conduct may include lying to investigators, obstruction of justice and wire fraud.

One really weird finding of the IG report is that Attorney General Gonzales is innocent because he was too stupid to be guilty. The IG report states that Gonzales was largely clueless about the events going on around him, and had no real idea as to his responsiblity. Incredibly it may not have been an act, Attorney General Gonzales may have been that stupid, and had no involvement with decisions regarding U.S. Attorneys. The report also concluded that Gonzales, as the head of the Justice Department at the time, bears "primary responsibility" for what transpired, but he was nevertheless "remarkably unengaged."

Nora Dannehy, a career federal prosecutor is being appointed as the Special Prosecutor.

TPM Muckraker, which has been all over this story from the very beginning, has more on today's report and reactions to it on the Hill.

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