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  • Where’s the Outrage?

    Given the apparent political motivations behind so many of the recent decisions at the Department of Justice (DOJ) — from the dismissal of the voter-intimidation case against the New Black Panther Party to the re-investigation of CIA interrogators after DOJ prosecutors had already reviewed the matter and decided there was no reason for further criminal prosecution — the latest news about the dropping of the investigation against New Mexico governor Bill Richardson, Obama’s former nominee to be commerce secretary, raises a lot of questions. The Associated Press report cites a DOJ source saying that the investigation of pay-to-play allegations involving one of the governor’s largest political donors “was killed in Washington” by top DOJ officials.

    For anyone familiar with internal Justice Department procedures, this is particularly suspicious. The DOJ has a manual called “Federal Prosecution of Election Offenses” (I helped edit the latest edition when I was at Justice) that sets out the rules and procedures for U.S. attorneys when they are investigating these types of public-corruption cases. It is the U.S. attorney in New Mexico who would normally make the final call on a local public-corruption case, not “top Justice Department officials” in Washington.

    The DOJ manual sets out the consultation rules for U.S. attorneys, who are required to “consult” with the Public Integrity Section of the Criminal Division in Washington. But only consultation is required; the Public Integrity Section does not make the final decision on whether an investigation should go forward. (Attorney General Eric Holder should not have forgotten this, since Public Integrity was the first place he worked at Justice.) So if the AP is correct in reporting that “top” officials in Washington killed the investigation, then political appointees within the department did not follow normal DOJ procedures.

    Now, I will be the first to tell you that I think the attorney general should have the final authority on all actions taken by the Justice Department. But that is not the rule set out for public-corruption cases being investigated by U.S. attorneys. So did top political officials in Washington make the final decision to dismiss this case against a Democratic officeholder? Have they changed the rules in the prosecution manual that only require consultation? I seriously doubt that Eric Holder will provide any answers to these questions, or that the lack of a response by the Justice Department (or the validity of the response if it makes one) will be investigated by Congress. By comparison, the Bush administration was castigated for supposedly firing U.S. attorneys for not pursuing such investigations vigorously enough, and its officials were the subject of endless congressional investigations and subpoenas. Yet the Obama administration has ended such an investigation and received nary a word of criticism. There will certainly be no congressional investigation of its actions. This double standard is depressingly familiar, but its rank hypocrisy still amazes me at times.

    Cross-posted at The Corner.

    Posted in Legal [slideshow_deploy]

    7 Responses to Where’s the Outrage?

    1. Paul Rinderle says:

      "hypocrisy" – lawyers capitulative remark to out and out corruption by Holder. Holder and Richardson both belong in jail.

      Observing Bill Richardson in office I considered him to be the most inept of politicians. He will always be the Mexican who made it through sheer BS and race.

    2. matthew, queens ny says:

      Here in New York we have Charlie Rangel. Chairman of the House Ways and Means. What a tax scandel he is under. Yet nary a word from the MSM. There seems to be two standards in this country. One for liberals and One for the rest of us. So this article does not surprise me just depresses me

    3. DANA, NEW MEXICO says:



    4. Bill San Antonio TX says:

      They never INTEND on losing power – again. They never imagined the outcry of the American people.

      Even so, the sheer arrogance is overwhelming. I doubt if they would humble themselves in front of our Lord.

      The fact this man is the Top Cop shows how screwy this administration is on so many levels. The Mark Rich fiasco, alone, should have immediately disqualified Atty Gen Holder.

      It's quite clear to me what his role will be.

      What do the bloggers think it is?

    5. dan,minnesota,u.s. says:

      Must we rely on government to police and prosecute itself? There needs to be an avenue for the people.Their seems to be a lot of wrongdoing gone unpunished.

    6. Pingback: The Absurd Report » Where’s the Outrage?

    7. Tom, GA says:

      The sad thing is that this has become the norm or worse. With Avowed Marxists, Communists, Revolutionaries, Tax Cheats that intend to punish people for doing what they have done (Geitner, Chmn of the Ways and Means Committee) what are we to expect. It is time to stand up and be heard. Do not fear them.

      1) Balance the budget

      2) Reduce taxes

      3) Stop the foreign oil addiction

      4) Close the borders

      5) Stay FREE and help people

      6) Defend the Constitution and Defend our Liberties and Freedom

      7) Prosecute the violators in the Government

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