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Tag Archive: Pete Domenici

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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