"Richardson Probe 'Was Killed in Washington'"

With an administration that killed already obtained convictions of black panthers who had intimidated overs at the polls, is anyone surprised that the political appointees got involved in killing this investigation into Democratic Governor Bill RIchardson? From Fox News:

SANTA FE, N.M. -- New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson and former high-ranking members of his administration won't be criminally charged in a yearlong federal investigation into pay-to-play allegations involving one of the Democratic governor's large political donors, someone familiar with the case said.

The decision not to pursue indictments was made by top Justice Department officials, according to a person familiar with the investigation, who asked not to be identified because federal officials had not disclosed results of the probe. . . . .

Newt Gingrich calls for Holder to be fired.

Among the president's cabinet appointments, the Attorney General is unique.
Whereas the Secretary of Transportation is responsible for the nation's highways and airways, and the Secretary of Agriculture oversees the nation's farms, the Attorney General's charge is upholding the rule of law - the glue that holds together a self-governing people.
In the latest skirmish in the Democratic Party's war on the CIA, Attorney General Eric Holder has failed to uphold this fundamental public trust. And for that, there should be consequences.
Earlier this week, on the same day that the administration released a six-year-old report on terrorist interrogations, Holder announced he is appointing a special prosecutor to investigate the CIA officials who conducted the interrogations.
We know from long experience, of course, that special prosecutors in Washington quickly become self-justifying. To rationalize their existence, they must find people to prosecute, and find they do.
So Holder is tasking his lawyers to prosecute the men and women who worked - successfully - to keep America safe since September 11, 2001. Fair enough. It's not too politically palatable perhaps, but the law is the law.
Or is it?
Americans could be forgiven for believing, on the basis of shamefully twisted mainstream media coverage, that the recently revealed 2004 CIA Inspector-General report at the center of this controversy is merely a cataloging of CIA abuse. . . .

UPDATE: The NRO corner has this:

Given the apparent political motivations behind so many of the recent decisions at the Department of Justice (DOJ) — from the dismissal of the voter-intimidation case against the New Black Panther Party to the re-investigation of CIA interrogators after DOJ prosecutors had already reviewed the matter and decided there was no reason for further criminal prosecution — the latest news about the dropping of the investigation against New Mexico governor Bill Richardson, Obama’s former nominee to be commerce secretary, raises a lot of questions. The Associated Press report cites a DOJ source saying that the investigation of pay-to-play allegations involving one of the governor’s largest political donors “was killed in Washington” by top DOJ officials.

For anyone familiar with internal Justice Department procedures, this is particularly suspicious. The DOJ has a manual called “Federal Prosecution of Election Offenses” (I helped edit the latest edition when I was at Justice) that sets out the rules and procedures for U.S. attorneys when they are investigating these types of public-corruption cases. It is the U.S. attorney in New Mexico who would normally make the final call on a local public-corruption case, not “top Justice Department officials” in Washington. The DOJ manual sets out the consultation rules for U.S. attorneys, who are required to “consult” with the Public Integrity Section of the Criminal Division in Washington. But only consultation is required; the Public Integrity Section does not make the final decision on whether an investigation should go forward. (Attorney General Eric Holder should not have forgotten this, since Public Integrity was the first place he worked at Justice.) So if the AP is correct in reporting that “top” officials in Washington killed the investigation, then political appointees within the department did not follow normal DOJ procedures.

Now, I will be the first to tell you that I think the attorney general should have the final authority on all actions taken by the Justice Department. But that is not the rule set out for public-corruption cases being investigated by U.S. attorneys. So did top political officials in Washington make the final decision to dismiss this case against a Democratic officeholder? Have they changed the rules in the prosecution manual that only require consultation? I seriously doubt that Eric Holder will provide any answers to these questions, or that the lack of a response by the Justice Department (or the validity of the response if it makes one) will be investigated by Congress. By comparison, the Bush administration was castigated for supposedly firing U.S. attorneys for not pursuing such investigations vigorously enough, and its officials were the subject of endless congressional investigations and subpoenas. . . .

Labels: ,


Post a Comment

<< Home