Saturday, May 19, 2007

We Don't Need No Steenkin' Evidence

LATimes (05.19.07):
"Weeks before the 2006 midterm election, then-New Mexico U.S. Atty. David C. Iglesias was invited to dine with a well-connected Republican lawyer in Albuquerque who had been after him for years to prosecute allegations of voter fraud.

'I had a bad feeling about that lunch,' said Iglesias, describing his meeting at Pappadeaux Seafood Kitchen with Patrick Rogers, a lawyer who provided occasional counsel to the New Mexico Republican Party."

Iglesias recounts a lunch with politics on the menu

"When the voter fraud issue came up, Iglesias said, he explained to Rogers that in reviewing more than 100 complaints, he hadn't found any solid enough to justify criminal charges."

According to the article, the "well-connected Republican lawyer" Iglesias had lunch with said his concern was that "Iglesias had adopted the Democrats' view of election fraud, dismissing a serious problem as the imaginings of feverish partisans."

Another US Attorney, John McKay in Seattle (who was also canned), "said he felt pressure to bring voter fraud charges in his district after a 129-vote margin put a Democratic governor into office in Washington."

"'Suffice it to say that we thoroughly investigated [the election] at every appropriate turn. My job is to look at the evidence, and frankly, there wasn't any evidence of a crime'".

So what can we gather from this? We're guessing the message is that in charging out a criminal case, a really diligent prosecutor doesn't need solid evidence of actual voter fraud when there's an election at stake.

On a related note, McClatchy (05.18.07):

"A U.S. attorney in Florida whose name appeared on a Justice Department firing list received commendations from the Justice Department and White House even as he was being targeted for removal."

U.S. Attorney Gregory Miller of Tallahassee said Friday that the awards and praise he'd received over the years showed that his job performance couldn't have caused him to be targeted for dismissal."

Targeted U.S. attorneys defend their records

"When controversy over the firings of U.S. attorneys erupted earlier this year, Justice Department officials initially said the dismissals were justified by the attorneys' performances."

Greg performance was so poor during this time, he got an award from the Justice Department, and a "letter from then-White House Chief of Staff Andrew Card for 'contributions you have made to this administration and this country.'"

"A year later, Justice Department officials put him on a list as someone they might fire."

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