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Tag Archive: David Iglesias

Filling the Hole in the Justice Department Doc Dump

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Attorney General Alberto Gonzalez claims that mistakes were made, he knew nothing about the actions of his chief of staff, and that he will “assess accountability” at Justice. So far this looks like really poorly orchestrated damage control. That’s the new news. Earlier today the Justice Department released the old news, a document dump of e-mails between Gonzalez’s now ex-chief of staff Kyle Sampson and White House officials including then-White House Counsel Harriet Miers. We know from the Washington Post story, and from McClatchy’s reporting over the weekend, that Sen. Pete Domenici and other New Mexico Republicans were instrumental in getting U.S. Attorney David Iglesias canned. The question is whether this was determined after Iglesias says that Domenici pressured him over indictments.

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Update from last blog post

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Another Update: "Hacked" isn't right. Apparently they screwed up at U.S. News and Bonnie Erbe's post got Barone's name on it. The Internets strike again. 

In my last blog post I quoted from a post from Michael Barone of U.S. News & World Report. Barone's post, which I excerpted, stated his outrage at the attorney firings and at Sen. Pete Domenici's ethics in calling Attorney David Iglesias. The only thing about the post is that Barone didn't write it. You see, his site was hacked and the post, sensibly explaining the outrage over the Attorney firings, was not his work at all. Now back to your regularly scheduled programming. (hat tip: Andrew Sullivan)

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Domenici In Trouble; What About Wilson?

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The Washington Post reports that the Senate ethics committee is investigating Sen. Pete Domenici's (R-NM) role in the alleged pressuring and subsequent firing of Attorney David Iglesias. Domenici announced that he has hired K. Lee Blalack, the former defense attorney for Randy "Duke" Cunningham, to represent him. The revelations in the committee hearings on Tuesday clearly have pushed this story further as it appears that, despite constantly changing excuses, two Members of Congress put unprecedented pressure on a U.S. Attorney to bring down indictments to help the re-election campaign of Rep. Heather Wilson (R-NM).

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Attorneys Testify, Reveal More Contacts From Congress

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After watching the Senate hearings this morning (my Real Player went on the fritz for the House hearing) the real picture is beginning to unfold in the premature firing of seven or eight (or more) prosecutors by the Justice Department. David Iglesias, the star of the hearings, testified that both Sen. Pete Domenici and Rep. Heather Wilson called to ask him about an ongoing corruption investigation and whether indictments would be brought down before the November elections. According to Iglesias, Wilson, in a call placed on or about October 16th, 2006, went so far as to say that she was "hearing about sealed indictments" and wanted to know more. Iglesias told the committee, "We cannot talk about sealed indictment," and explained how he dodged the congresswoman's question by giving her information that was in the public record. Iglesias said that she "was not happy."

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Wilson Admits Calling Iglesias; Hearings Underway

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(WATCH THE HEARINGS HERE.) 

Rep. Heather Wilson (R-NM) issued a statement to the Washington Post last night stating that she called New Mexico U.S. Attorney David Iglesias to ask about the corruption case in question. Wilson also said that constituents were complaining about "the slow pace of federal prosecutions" and that "Iglesias was intentionally delaying corruption investigations". It would have been nice if Wilson had said, like Sen. Pete Domenici (R-NM), that she was calling about something completely different. Wilson instead has essentially admitted to the crime here.

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More News on Attorney Purge

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Tomorrow is the big press day for this story as the House and the Senate will hold hearings into the alleged Attorney purge and look into what role, if any, politics and pressure from congressmen led to the ouster of seven U.S. Attorneys. Two of these Attorneys have already generated a large amount of media attention as their removal is highly controversial. David Iglesias claims that Sen. Pete Domenici and Rep Heather Wilson pressured him to bring an indictment against local New Mexico Democrats prior to the 2006 election and Carol Lam was in the midst of prosecuting two alleged conspirators in the Duke Cunningham corruption case, Brent Wilkes and K. Dusty Foggo, both highly connected to the Bush Administration. What about the other Attorneys?

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Domenici Contacted Iglesias, Recommended Firing to Justice

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Sen. Pete Domenici (R-NM) admitted over the weekend that he contacted Attorney David Iglesias to talk to him about a political corruption case in New Mexico and also recommended his ouster to the Justice Department. In what appears to be a preemptive apology, as Iglesias will testify before the House Judiciary Committee tomorrow, Domenici told the Washington Post, "In retrospect, I regret making that call and I apologize." Domenici also claimed to have never pressured Iglesias over the result of the corruption case. When asked a few days prior to this weekend's apologia Domenici simply stated, " I have no idea what he's talking about." As Joe Monahan, a local New Mexico blogger wrote, "That apology by NM GOP U.S. Senator Pete Domenici was like a fig leaf that covered the most vital parts, but left plenty of skin exposed for Democratic marksmen if they choose to continue the hunt."

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Two N.M. Lawmakers May Have Pressed Attorney Purge

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Back at the beginning of the year the Justice Department announced that it was replacing seven U.S. Attorneys in an unprecedented move. The Attorney ‘purge’ was able to take place due to a provision allowing the Justice Department to unilaterally replace U.S. Attorneys for any reason that was snuck into the PATRIOT Act reauthorization by Senator Arlen Specter (R-PA). McClatchy Newspapers reports today that one of those Attorneys, David Iglesias, U.S. Attorney from New Mexico, was pressured by Rep. Heather Wilson (R-NM) and Sen. Pete Domenici (R-NM) to bring down indictments on local Democratic officials prior to the 2006 midterm election. Iglesias refused and has since been purged by the Justice Department. If Wilson and Domenici did attempt to pressure a sitting U.S. Attorney for the political benefit of the oft-endangered Wilson it would be a serious ethical violation.

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