Wednesday, April 25
Whitehouse Nails White House on 2002 Memo Instituting Patisan Justice
Slate.com appropriately characterized Attorney General Alberto Gonzales' testimony last Thursday (19 April) before the Senate Judiciary Committee on the White House's partisan dismissal of eight U.S. Attorneys as "bloodied."
Democrat Senator Sheldon Whitehouse of Rhode Island was a major reason for the reddening water engulfing the hapless AG. In setting his trap for Gonzales on the DoJ's independence of White House political meddling before questioning him, Whitehouse aides gave Gonzales this telling graphic identified by the senator in the vid clip below.
Now here's Whitehouse explanation of the graphic's two components--the respective Bush (top) and Clinton (bottom) White House-DoJ "protocol" for approved discussion about Justice Department policies and prosecutions--and Gonzales' response to the startling revelation.
To recap those box scores on the number of White House officials allowed to exchange DoJ information:
White House: 4
Justice Department: 3
White House: 417
Justice Department: 30
So, it appears the Bush White House not only politicalized DoJ personnel decisions, but investigations--and prosecutions--as well.
And what was Gonazles's response to the numbers Whitehouse cited to him? “I do recall being concerned about that as White House counsel.”
But he wasn't concerned enough to do anything about "that" after he replaced John Ashcroft in 2005. (Do you see and hear a desperate man grasping at straws--any straw?)
Folks, in the clip Sheldon further itemizes Bush White House officials allowed access to DoJ policy discussions; it's rather rather remarkable staffers in Dick Cheney's office were included.
Hmmm....Do you think the VP et al. could have meddled in DoJ investigations?
According to the TPMMuckraker Report, Arizona congressman Rick Renzi's corruption probe--initially filed by dismissed U.S. Attorney Paul Charlton--also was slowed-walked , according to investigators.
As midterm elections approached last November, federal investigators in Arizona faced unexpected obstacles in getting needed Justice Department approvals to advance a corruption investigation of Republican Rep. Rick Renzi, people close to the case said.
The delays, which postponed key approvals in the case until after the election, raise new questions about whether Attorney General Alberto Gonzales or other officials may have weighed political issues in some investigations....
Investigators pursuing the Renzi case had been seeking clearance from senior Justice Department officials on search warrants, subpoenas and other legal tools for a year before the election, people close to the case said....
...the investigation clearly moved slowly: Federal agents opened the case no later than June 2005, yet key witnesses didn't get subpoenas until early this year , those close to the case said. The first publicly known search -- a raid of a Renzi family business by the Federal Bureau of Investigation -- was carried out just last week....Well, now...
Could other investigations also have been slowed by the widened White House access active DoJ cases? Could Special Counsel Patrick Fitzgerald's probe into the role of Rove, Libby and Cheney in leaking the identify of CIA covert operative Valerie Plame be one such case?
Could there have been "input" by Cheney's office for the DoJ to opt out of any probe into the Niger forgeries on Iraqi nuclear weapons?
Will Dems look into the matter or, as the case with New Orleans' massive post-Katrina reconstruction contract fraud, let it drop by the wayside on the way to a cross-aisle whitewashing of more White House criminality?
Inquiring minds want an answer--or, in exchange for congress's fostering of fascism, a one-way plane--train or bus--ticket to Canada.
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