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Tag Archive: Heather Wilson

White House Fired Attorneys; Domenici Got Iglesias Axed

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With two stories out today, one from the New York Times and the other from the Washington Post, we learn that everything the Justice Department told Congress was factually-impaired. Attorney General Alberto Gonzalez claimed that there was nothing political about the firings, except that the President's Counsel Harriet Miers and the President's chief political operative created the list of Attorney's to axe and Justice was in discussions all along. In the beginning the White House wanted to fire all 93 Attorneys only to scale back this plan when it was deemed by Rove to be politically impossible. (For those paying attention that would have included U.S. Attorney for the District of Illinois (Northern) Patrick Fitzgerald, the guy prosecuting a case against the Vice President's right-hand man.)

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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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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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