The Gonzales 8 scandal has two sides: the improper firings and the improper hirings. So far, most of the heat and light has been on the firings. That may change in light of what we are learning about the people parachuted in to US Attorney jobs without Senate confirmation — and about the people retained.
There have been reports that Little Rock’s interim U.S. Attorney J. Timothy Griffin may have seriously exaggerated his prosecutorial experience,
The 38-year-old Griffin claims on his official Web site that he prosecuted 40 criminal cases while at Ft. Campbell, where he was stationed from September 2005 to May 2006. But Army authorities say Ft. Campbell’s records show Griffin only serving as assistant trial counsel on three cases, none of which went to trial.
Griffin didn’t agree to be interviewed about his claim of 40 criminal prosecutions versus the Army’s confirmation of three cases, all of which were settled as plea bargains. But Cherith Beck, a Griffin spokeswoman, suggested that Griffin’s higher number might refer to all cases he worked on in any capacity.
“Just wanted to clarify, make sure you had an understanding that prosecuted means it’s a case he handled while he was there; it doesn’t mean that it went to trial necessarily,” Beck said. “Prosecuted means he handled those cases in one form or another.”
Sorry, but few if any lawyers would equate touching the case file with the claim that someone “prosecuted” a case.
[updated] And now we learn this about the
interim recently-confirmed, leading to a controversial swearing-in US Attorney in Minneapolis, via Firedoglake (collecting sources from around the net),
four top assistants to U.S. Attorney Rachel Paulose have stepped down from their [administrative] positions.
…. First Assistant Attorney John Marti, Criminal Division Chief Jim Lakner, Civil Division Chief Erika Monzangue, and Administrative Officer Tim Anderson all left their posts Thursday.
Political insiders have criticized Paulose's rise to the U.S. Attorney's position as a political favor to the Bush Administration. She is just 34-years old and has worked directly for the same justice department officials who are currently under fire as part of the national U.S. Attorney's office scandal.
Paulose was a special assistant to Alberto Gonzales and apparently big buds with none other than 5th amendment invoker Monica Goodling.
Meanwhile, Gonzales is stonewalling on the release of the less sanitized documents.
This week also saw the very rare, even stunning, action by the 7th circuit ruling from the bench to free a defendant from what many claim was fallout from a political prosecution against a prominent Democrat based on very scant evidence. Rather than try to quote you all the details, read about it at Figure in Travelgate ordered released by end of business today: Fed Appeals Court Unimpressed by Biskupic's Politically Motivated Prosecution. Note that the US Attorney in this case, Steven M. Biskupic, was not. as far as we know, on the DOJ/Rove short list for removal — a “loyal Bushie” perhaps?
Don’t forget the growing scandal in Texas over sexual abuse of juvenile inmates. As the Washington Post reported yesterday,
And who is “the U.S. attorney with jurisdiction over Pyote, west of Odessa, where the West Texas State School is located”? That would be Johnny Sutton (W.D. Tex.), who just happens to have served in the past as a Policy Coordinator for the Bush-Cheney Transition Team and as as the Criminal Justice Policy Director for then-Governor George W. Bush from 1995-2000.
Some Army lawyers do a lot of drug trials, but Army CID should get a lot of the credit for case preparation. I’ve always maintained that Army drug trials aren’t real trials, because the case ends at the introduction of the drugs, the drug analysis, and the chain of custody documents. When I was in the Navy JAG corps, a lot of army lawyers counted guilty plea proceedings as trials. I don’t know what they do now, but I suspect that they continue to inflate their trial numbers.