Friday, March 16, 2007

The (sigh) U.S. Attorney-gate...

Snippets relating to the U.S. Attorney firings. This first is a letter by Senator Charles Schumer:

January 22, 2004
The Honorable James Comey
United States Department of Justice
950 Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W.
Washington, D.C. 20530

Dear Deputy Attorney General Comey:

I write to request an update on the investigation into allegations that senior administration officials committed a federal felony by leaking the identity of a covert CIA operative.

The investigation has been underway for four months now and we have received no meaningful reports regarding the progress you are making. I realize there are limitations on information that can be disclosed regarding an ongoing criminal investigation, but, as we have discussed, a prosecutor has the responsibility to assure public confidence in criminal investigations, especially those of such a serious nature.

In the wake of recent calls by former intelligence operatives for a Congressional investigation, I write to ask that you publicly answer several questions regarding the progress you are making:

Has a grand jury been empaneled in this case? Have members of the White House staff signed waivers, permitting journalists to discuss confidential communications? If so, what percent of the White House staff has signed such waivers? Has anyone who has been asked to sign such a waiver refused to do so?

Have journalists been interviewed as part of the investigation? Has any journalist who has been released from confidentiality (assuming any has), refused to answer questions regarding previously confidential communications?

Were White House staffers ordered as a condition of employment to submit to interviews? Has anyone asked for or been offered immunity? If so, how many individuals fit in each category and what types of immunity have been asked for and offered to each?

What other information can you provide us regarding the progress you are making with this investigation?

I look forward to hearing from you soon.


Charles E. Schumer
United States Senator

Then just a few days ago, on March 13th, 2007, Senator Charles Schumer called for Attorney General Alberto Gonzales to resign. Among his accusations:

Political operatives and elected officials in New Mexico complained about one U.S. Attorney’s failure to indict Democrats quickly enough. Those complaints were passed on to Karl Rove and to the President himself.

Indeed, today’s reports make clear that Mr. Iglesias was not on the hit list until October, just when he was staving off inappropriate pressure tactics. So if he wasn’t on the list when the list was made up, and then you get the phone calls from the White House and from legislators and then he’s added to the list? What conclusion other than political interference can one come to?

The Daily Show did have an amusing clip:

In related Comedy Central News:

Rep. Rahm Emanuel (D-Ill.), the Democratic Caucus chairman, has told new Democratic members of Congress to steer clear of Stephen Colbert, or at least his satirical Comedy Central program, “The Colbert Report.”

“He said don’t do it … it’s a risk and it’s probably safer not to do it,” said Rep. Steve Cohen. But the freshman lawmaker from Tennessee taped a segment that last week was featured in the 32nd installment of the “Better Know a District” series. Colbert asked Cohen whether he was a black woman. He isn’t.

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