Saturday, October 31, 2009

Witches of San Juan

A true Halloween nightmare story...

Former Puerto Rico Governor Anibal Acevedo Vila, a Democrat, was targeted and indicted on nine charges by the Rove Republican Racket before the November elections of 2008. Because of the publicity, he lost the election.

As we reported in April, Acevedo was unanimously acquitted on all charges. This was a case of prosecutorial misconduct and poorly played politics.

Now on Halloween, comes word that the witch in charge of the political persecution acting U.S. Attorney Rosa Emilia Rodriguez-Velez (pictured) was running a "girls club" and alledgedly discriminated against a male Assistant U.S. Attorney.

Main Justice writes:

Ex-Assistant U.S. Attorney Juan E. Milanes alleges that acting U.S. Attorney Rosa Emilia Rodriguez-Velez, a Bush holdover, retaliated against him when he complained about a “hostile work environment,” according to a court filing. Rodriguez-Velez allegedly treated Milanes differently than members of the “Girls Club,” an informal group of the U.S. Attorney’s office friends, the court document said.

D.C. U.S. District Judge Gladys Kessler summarized the allegations in an opinion below on her decision to transfer the case from the D.C. U.S. District Court to the Puerto Rico U.S. District Court. Milanes filed the lawsuit in D.C.

Plaintiff was assigned to the Narcotics Unit while in Puerto Rico, where his superior was the Unit’s Deputy Chief, Jeanette Mercado. Plaintiff alleges that Mercado created a hostile work environment. When Plaintiff complained about his work environment, Rosa Emilia Rodriguez-Velez, Acting U.S. Attorney for the District of Puerto Rico, allegedly retaliated by denying Plaintiff’s children the benefit of having the Department pay for them to attend an English-language school in Puerto Rico, while still giving that benefit to her friends in a ‘Girls Club’ at the office. Plaintiff allegedly was further retaliated against when Mercado assigned him the oldest and weakest narcotics cases, threatened him with disciplinary action, and attempted to sabotage his trial work.

Nominated in 2007, Rodriguez-Velez was never voted on by the full U.S. Senate because of the Acevedo prosecution and thus has been serving only as an acting U.S. Attorney.

Trick or treat!

Friday, October 30, 2009

Massachusetts Shenanigans

A prominent politician (pictured) in Massachusetts was indicted for corruption by the Rove Republican Racket. In turn, he resigned in January.

Now the retirement board has cut off his retirement income, even though he has not been convicted of a crime yet.

The Boston Globe writes today:

The State Retirement Board suspended pension payments yesterday to former House Speaker Salvatore F. DiMasi while he awaits trial on federal corruption charges. DiMasi’s lawyer, Thomas Kiley, called the board’s action unlawful and vowed to go to court as soon as possible to get the decision reversed.

The board voted in executive session to withhold DiMasi’s $5,000-a-month pension, though the criminal case against DiMasi has yet to be heard by a federal jury. The suspension will take effect Sunday.

But Kiley contended that the board has no right to take away DiMasi’s pension without a full hearing where he could question witnesses. DiMasi requested such a hearing, and [State Treasurer Timoothy P.] Cahill agreed.
So why wasn't there a hearing? The Rove Republican Racket's henchmen in the Department of Justice didn't want it!

The Boston Globe writes:
But in late June federal prosecutors asked [Cahill] to hold off, saying the pension proceedings could harm the federal prosecution.

“With this principle in mind,’’ acting US Attorney Michael Loucks wrote in a June 24 letter, “I am requesting that you defer board proceedings until the conclusion of the criminal case.’’“My position is clear,’’ Kiley said yesterday. “They don’t have any authority whatsoever to suspend without giving us a full evidentiary hearing. We will pursue whatever remedies are available to us.’’
So why did Cahill intentionally cut DiMasi off even though there was no evidentiary hearing? Maybe because he's running for Governor next year.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Curtailing Crticism of a "Squishy" Law

The dishonest "honest services" law is receiving a lot of bad press.

Now in New York, a federal judge was angered when a defense lawyer attacked the law, verbally insulting it.

The judge ordered comments to be immediately curtailed.

From today's Albany Times-Union:

An attorney for [former New York Senate Majority Leader] Joseph L. Bruno was warned by a federal judge Wednesday that his comments outside the courtroom need to be curtailed.

U.S. District Court Judge Gary L. Sharpe issued an order that Bruno's lead defense attorney, Abbe D. Lowell, explain comments he made to news reporters outside the courthouse on Monday following the final pre-trial conference in the case. The comments came minutes after the judge had cautioned attorneys in the case, for a second time, not to violate court rules regarding public comments.

The judge's order specifically referred to comments by Lowell that the federal honest services law being used to prosecute Bruno is ''squishy.''

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Uncharged Acts and Allegations

In 2008, the Rove Republican Racket went after Bear Stearns hedge fund managers Ralph Cioffi and Matthew Tannin for the collapse of a hedge fund which lost $1.4 billion in July 2007 due to securities tied to the subprime loan market.

The government's case, in its second week of trial, has been extremely difficult for the Rove Racket.

The Federal Criminal Defense Blog writes:

The case does not appear to be going as the government had envisioned, with its own witnesses failing to support the allegations in the government's indictment. Even presiding U.S. District Judge Frederic Block has appeared irritated with the prosecution, at one point commenting on the prosecution's introduction of so many documents. Observers have noted that the government's alleged case against Cioffi and Tannin is built upon e-mails whose meaning often changes when placed in their surrounding context. Furthermore, when [a federal] prosecutor...asked [a witness] whether portfolio managers who intentionally give investors false and misleading information were guilty of a crime, Judge Block sustained an objection by the defense and gave the prosecution a stern warning.
So what has the Racket done to save its case? Try to introduce evidence of uncharged acts and allegations!

The Federal Criminal Defense Blog adds:

Additional evidence that the prosecution may be having a more difficult road than expected comes in the form of a letter request by the prosecution to Judge Block to introduce evidence of alleged uncharged acts by Cioffi and Tannin, filed on Sunday. The letter takes issue with Cioffi's and Tannin's counsels' arguments in opening statements to the jury to the effect that it was implausible that Cioffi and Tannin suddenly "went criminal" after the hedge funds had experienced months of positive growth and one flat month. In response, the prosecution seeks to introduce alleged evidence that Cioffi and Tannin allegedly defrauded Busey Bank several months earlier, in December 2006.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Seeing Green

What do you get when you mix a Rove Republican Racket prosecutor who tossed many leading Democratic boosters in jail and stir him together with a local Mississippi Republican online blogger who rejoiced in the public political lynchings?

A book.

Alan Lange, blogisher of Y'All Politics, and  former Assistant U.S. Attorney Tom Dawson. who worked under disgraced Northern District of Mississippi U.S. Attorney Jim Greenlee, announced today that they're publishing a book about the political prosecutions of Richard Scruggs and Paul Minor.

Lange even says it will make a "GREAT Christmas gift."

As former President George W. Bush is selling himself out as a motivational speaker, his former lieutenants and political prosecutors in the Justice Department are selling themselves out as authors.

To paraphrase U.S. Representative Alan Grayson, what "K Street whores!"

Monday, October 26, 2009

The Sad Truth

In 2003, a horrific fire broke out in Rhode Island during a rock concert of the group Great White (pictured) killing 100 people, many of them young.

Dave Kane, whose 18 year-old son died in the fire, met today with the new U.S. Attorney in Rhode Island seeking justice. According to the Associated Press. "Kane and other families have complained in the past that the investigation into the fire, spearheaded by state authorities, had been tainted by corruption and ineptitude"

The story goes on to say:

However, Andrew Horwitz, a professor at Roger Williams University School of Law in Bristol, who has followed the case closely, said he thought it was unlikely that federal authorities would investigate. The federal government typically only prosecutes criminal activity that crosses state borders, and Horwitz said it would be a stretch to find a federal issue in this case. He said he has seen no convincing evidence of a cover-up, and prosecutors can't go after investigators simply for doing a bad job. "Lots of people do their jobs poorly. Lots of people make mistakes," he said. "We don't tend to criminalize that."
Horowitz hits on a judicial truth: we don't criminalize people who do their jobs poorly.

Unfortunately, during the Rove Republican Racket stay in power the sad truth was Karl Rove's Justice Department went to great lengths to prosecute the innocent or people who may have done their jobs poorly.

Just ask Sue Schmitz or Governor Doyle's aide.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Rove's Boots on Man's Neck

What happens if you do not cooperate with The Rove Republican Racket? Serious consequences.

A few years ago, agents of the Rove-Bush Justice Department approached a Muslim leader in the Boston area. When he refused to act as an informant, they put their boots to his neck.

On Wednesday, the feds arrested him.

From the MetroWest Daily News (Framigham, MA):

The brother of a Sudbury man facing terrorism-related charges said in a message yesterday that federal investigators falsely targeted Tarek Mehanna because he refused to act as an informant for them. In a post on a group he set up on the social networking site calling for his brother's release, Tamer Mehanna wrote that the FBI in Boston began approaching his older brother several years ago.

The FBI recognized that Mehanna, 27, is active and respected in the local Islamic community, "an individual who is intelligent, charismatic, influential and trusted by many," his brother wrote. "Their objective was to secure Tariq as a tool to corroborate any FBI claims or accusations against members of the community that might arise, at the discretion of the FBI," Tamer wrote. "Of course, Tariq flat out refused to backstab his fellow Muslim brothers and sisters, a decision that did not sit well at all with the FBI."

Investigators repeatedly approached Mehanna in the months afterward, his brother wrote, pressuring him to cooperate or "they would continue finding new ways to disrupt his life and to deprive him of a sense of security."

They certainly have.

Read the full story here.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Goodbye Billy!

The first major beheading of the Rove Republican Racket at the U.S. Department of Justice occured on Wednesday.

Fox News writes:
The head of the Justice Department unit blamed for botching the prosecution of former Sen. Ted Stevens is stepping down. William Welch, who led the department's public integrity unit, plans to return to Massachusetts. The unit will conduct a national search to find his replacement.

"I think Bill believes it would be best for him on a personal level and best for the criminal division that at this period of time, that he wants to go back to Boston where so much of his career was based," said Lanny Breuer, assistant attorney general in the criminal division. [T]he public integrity unit took a hit in April when Attorney General Eric Holder moved to drop the federal government's case against Stevens, the veteran Republican lawmaker from Alaska. Stevens was convicted on seven felony counts of corruption in the fall of 2008 and subsequently lost his bid for re-election, but Holder decided to abandon the case due to prosecutorial misconduct.
Holder should now target the left-over political henchmen of the Rove Republican Racket still located in many of the 93 U.S. Attorney Offices. More beheadings are needed to remove the injustices of the Rove-Bush-Cheney era.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Protecting Pied Piper Peters

Last month, we told you how the U.S. Department of Justice is trying to play hide and seek on giving out information on the immunity deal of the Pied Piper of Mississippi, the corrupt former DA, Ed Peters (pictured).

Mississippi Litigation Review (MLR) has been hammering at getting information on this "sweet deal' concocted by disgraced U.S. Attorney Jim Greenlee of backwards Mississippi, who racially targeted convenience store owners with Islamic sounding names,

Greenlee and his friends in the Rove Republican Racket gave Peters an immunity deal and in turn threw a couple of high profile Democratic boosters in jail.

MLR made a SECOND request for the records and got a response this week. MLR writes:

Once again the Justice Department refused to turn over Ed Peters' immunity agreement. Here is the DOJ's response. I received what appears to be a form letter like the one that DOJ sent last time, as discussed in this earlier post. But this time DOJ added a note on the last page:

NOTE: We have received your letter dated Sept. 16, 2009. Is the immunity agreement you seek a public record?

Great. A clue. I take this to mean that DOJ is either trying to be helpful, or playing games. I'm a natural cynic, so it's not much of a question to me. But I'll take the bait anyway and request all public records.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Retrial of the Biggest Setback

As the goose-stepping Rove Republican Racket is known to do against political opponents, once a mistrial is declared, they go in for round two against their opponents.

Yesterday, we informed you about the delared mistrial of Kevin Ring (pictured), the lobbyist who was targeted by the Racket for giving away lavish dinners and free tickets to government aides.

Now comes news that the prosecutors want to retry Ring. The Associated Press writes:

A federal judge Monday set June 21 for the retrial of a former lobbyist ....U.S. District Judge Ellen Segal Huvelle set the date after Thursday's mistrial for Kevin Ring. The jury had deadlocked over eight counts. The mistrial was the biggest setback in the government's prosecution of cases related to [the] Abramoff [lobbying scandal]. Justice Department attorneys had wanted a January or February retrial date. The judge, however, took into account the scheduled Dec. 8 Supreme Court arguments on the constitutionality of the federal "honest services" fraud statute, used to charge Ring.

U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder needs to intervene and stop another embarrassing episode, especially if the U.S. Supreme Court declares the dishonest "honest services" law unconstitutional.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Stretching the Law

Kevin Ring, a lobbyist, (pictured) was targeted by the Rove Republican Racket for "honest services fraud" among other charges. His alleged offense? Offering congressional and justice department staffers baseball tickets and free dinners which was not illegal to do at the time.

Last week, after much publicity inside the beltway and a long trial, a verdict didn't come through; a mistrial was declared. A former prosecutor gives a reason why the Rove Racket lost on a post at TPMMuckracker:
Peter Zeidenberg, who while at DOJ worked on the case against Bush administration official David Safavian, told TPMmuckraker that he wasn't surprised that prosecutors failed to convict Ring, because the meals, event tickets, and other goodies that Ring lavished on government officials did not represent crimes in themselves at the time. Rather, the Feds argued that, taken together, they amounted to a conspiracy to deprive the public of the honest services of public office-holders -- a tough sell for a jury.
It seem prosecutors tried to stretch non-criminal acts into a conspiracy. The Rove Racket stretched the law in an attempt to throw Ring behind bars. This was truly a political prosecution. Ring's real crime? Having worked as an associate to convicted lobbyist Jack Abramoff.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Ending the Raids and Prosecutions

Breaking News: The Obama Administration took a bold step today to reverse the Bush Administration on the issue of medical marijuana.

The Rove Republican Racket and the legion of renegade U.S. Attorneys methodically raided and went after suppliers and users of medical marijuana. Many who were prosecuted were sick or terminally ill, and simply obeying state laws.

The Los Angeles Times reports:
Atty. Gen. Eric H. Holder Jr. said today the Obama administration is officially reversing the federal stance on medical marijuana and ordering authorities not to arrest or charge any users and suppliers who conform to state laws. In guidelines issued today, Justice Department officials are telling prosecutors and federal drug agents that they have more important things to do than to arrest people who obey state laws that allow some use or sale of medical marijuana.

"It will not be a priority to use federal resources to prosecute patients with serious illnesses or their caregivers who are complying with state laws on medical marijuana, but we will not tolerate drug traffickers who hide behind claims of compliance with state law to mask activities that are clearly illegal," Holder said in a statement accompanying the new guidelines. "This balanced policy formalizes a sensible approach that the Department has been following since January: effectively focus our resources on serious drug traffickers while taking into account state and local laws."

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Slap at the Prosecution

The U.S. Supreme Court this term has chosen to hear the case of Jeff Skilling (pictured), the former Enron executive, who was convicted of crimes including "honest services" fraud. Yesterday, we wrote about the the closely-watched cases being reviewed by the nation's highest court involving the dishonest "honest services" crime.
Today, the Houston Chronicle writes about the Skilling case (Enron was based in Houston):
[Jeff] Skilling, the former Enron CEO who was convicted on 19 counts and is serving a 24-year prison term, raised two issues in convincing the [U.S. Supreme] court to review his convictions. He contends that pretrial publicity and the effect of Enron's collapse on the Houston community tainted the jury pool.
He also says that some of his convictions were based on the theory that he failed to provide “honest services” to his employer and that the term isn't clearly defined in the law.
“This is a slap at the prosecution,” Houston lawyer David Berg said. “These cases were over-indicted and showed an absence of a sense of justice.” Barry Pollack, a Washington lawyer who tried two Enron cases, agreed. “The Enron Task Force doesn't have a great record on appeal,” Pollack said.
After the court announced Tuesday it would take up Skilling's case, a Department of Justice spokeswoman said prosecutors would not comment.

The absence of justice is evident from the Rove-Bush Cheney years and the political prosecutions by the Rove Republican Racket.

As a side note, the late Kenneth "Kenny Boy" Lay, former Chairman of Enron, was a friend and financial backer of President George W. Bush.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Scalia vs. Headline-Grabbing Prosecutors

The dishonest "honest services" crime is now under scrutiny by the U.S. Supreme Court. In the last week, the Court agreed to hear three cases involving this "vague law."

The Rove Republican Racket, which has used this bogus "crime" to toss political opponents in jail , created a legal monster.

And one U.S. Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia (pictured)has had enough.

On Monday, The New York Times wrote:

In February, Justice Antonin Scalia wrote that federal prosecutors had developed an unseemly crush on a particularly vague law, one that had “been invoked to impose criminal penalties upon a staggeringly broad swath of behavior.” Justice Scalia was writing to protest the Supreme Court’s decision not to hear an appeal from three city officials in Chicago who had been convicted of violating the law, which makes it a crime “to deprive another of the intangible right of honest services.”

If you can make sense of that phrase, you have achieved something that has so far eluded the nation’s appeals courts. “How can the public be expected to know what the statute means when the judges and prosecutors themselves do not know, or must make it up as they go along?” Judge Dennis Jacobs of the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit, in New York, asked in a 2003 dissent.

The “honest services” law, Justice Scalia explained, says that “officeholders and employees owe a duty to act only in the best interests of their constituents and employers.” Carried to its logical extreme, he said, “it would seemingly cover a salaried employee’s phoning in sick to go to a ballgame.”

The bottom line, Justice Scalia said in February, is that the courts have not been able to define what separates “the criminal breaches, conflicts and misstatements from the obnoxious but lawful ones.” The honest services law, [Scalia] said, “invites abuse by headline-grabbing prosecutors in pursuit of local officials, state legislators and corporate C.E.O.’s who engage in any manner of unappealing or ethically questionable conduct.”
Read the full article here.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Above the Law?

The power of U.S. Attorneys, state prosecutors and law enforcement officials is enormous. Some law enforcement officials are so absorbed by power they abuse it and arrogantly flaunt it.

Today, comes the breaking news story of a North Carolina Sheriff (pictured) who allegedly was involved in fixing a DWI. The abuse of the power in his office led to a criminal indictments.

From the Gaston (NC) Gazette:

Lincoln County Sheriff Tim Daugherty made his first appearance in court Tuesday morning. TV and newspaper reporters sat in the audience along with a few of Daugherty’s employees. Daugherty shook the hand of one of the courtroom bailiffs and patted him on the back before the proceedings began. “He’s a great man, a Christian man. He ain’t guilty of nothing,” Lt. Stanley Crowder said while sitting in the front row of the courtroom. The first appearance was over in just a few minutes, with Daugherty pleading not guilty to the three charges he faces — two felony counts of obstruction of justice and a misdemeanor charge of giving a false report to law enforcement.
We wonder if members of the Rove Republican Racket still sleep at night thinking they "ain't guilty of nothing."

Monday, October 12, 2009

Not All Wrongful Conduct is a Crime

Last week we mentioned that there are so many laws on the books, prosecutors can find something to pin on anyone, including the Pope. We also wrote about the serious problems with the dishonest "honest services fraud" charge that is the favorite prosecutorial weapon of the Rove Republican Racket's legion of U.S. Attorneys and Assistant U.S. Attorneys.

Today, we found a judge in Florida who is taking a stand against labeling all wrongful conduct a crime.

It seem the former Speaker of the House in Florida, Rep. Ray Sansom (pictured) tricked some of his colleagues into funding a $6 million educational project that eventually had a community college building an airport hanger that was then leased to one of Sansom's top political contributors.

According to the Palm Beach Post:
Circuit Judge Terry Lewis ruled that while Rep. Sansom is accused of doing something wrong, "not every wrongful conduct is a crime." Judge Lewis said that although Rep. Sansom might have fooled the public and his colleagues in the Legislature, such deception didn't equate to the crime of official misconduct. If legislators had been sharp enough and inquisitive enough, they could have spotted the $6 million and stripped it from the budget. "The fact that Mr. Sansom may have misled other members of the Legislature by hiding from them his 'true' intent, does not make the appropriations act itself false,'' Judge Lewis wrote. The budget, as written, wasn't a lie or a false document; it was just a bad law. If courts ever decided that writing a bad law was a crime, Judge Lewis said, it would violate the separation of powers between the legislative and judicial branches of state government.
If Rove and friends were ever to stick their nose in this matter, they would have prosecuted Sansom for "Honest Services Fraud." Luckily for Sansom, he's a dyed-in-the-wool Rove-Bush Republican.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Too Many Laws

When the Rove Republican Racket went after political operatives, sometimes they would lose during the first trial with a hung jury. They came back again and again, eventually winning and in some cases losing. Prominent Democrats plead out and went to jail. Others, like Governor Don Siegelman of Alabama, are still appealing.

U.S. Attorneys of the Rove-Bush machine were successful in part because of the enormous number of laws on the books. They can pick and choose what law fits the concocted "crime." (Be sure to see yesterday's post on the Dishonest Honest Services Charges.) In an eye-opening post today, Thomas Lifson of American Thinker writes of a new report:

When there are so many laws that are vague, contradictory, and unfathomable, anyone can become a criminal if the state chooses to prosecute. America is too rapidly approaching this state, as a horrifying report from Brian W. Walsh of the Heritage Foundation in the Washington Times indicates. George Norris, an orchid importer, spent two years in prison for paperwork errors in the course of operating his business of importing and distributing orchids. No illegal substances were involved, and so far as I can see there was no tax evasion going on. It was paperwork.
Two years in prison for paperwork errors!

The plain reality is U.S. Attorneys and their assistants wield too much power with too many laws. And if they subjectively feel you haven't cooperated, they can throw the entire penal code at you.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Dishonest Honest Services Charges

The question has been asked, "What have the majority of the political prosecutions of Democrats by the Rove Republican Racket been based on?"

In a powerful opinion piece for the The National Law Journal, Randal D. Eliason answers the question and gives the reader a lot to think about.

What was a leading charge — and in many cases the only charge — against each defendant? Honest services mail or wire fraud, or conspiracy to commit honest services fraud. Honest services fraud, a sweeping charge with ill-defined boundaries, is rapidly becoming the corruption statute of choice for federal prosecutors. This trend should make everyone — not just corrupt public officials — uneasy.
In an honest services public corruption case, defendants are charged with using the mail or wires to further a scheme to defraud citizens of their intangible right to the fair, honest and impartial services of their public officials.
Lacking guidance from Congress, judges have struggled to limit the scope of a statute that potentially criminalizes any conduct that may be deemed "dishonest." Lower courts have splintered over the proper definition of "honest services," and judicially crafted rules and limitations vary across the country. Now use of the theory appears to be on the rise.
In recent years, the Depart­ment of Justice increasingly has used honest services fraud not only for state and local corruption but also to prosecute corruption involving federal officials, such as in the Abramoff investigation. This move has come as court decisions during the past decade made prosecutions under the federal bribery and gratuities law more difficult. Courts have required the prosecution to link a particular gratuity to a particular "official act" and have narrowly interpreted the term "official act" in the statute. By charging honest services fraud in federal corruption cases, prosecutors are able to avoid these holdings. Even in cases in which bribery or gratuities could be established, it will often be easier simply to charge the same conduct as an honest services violation and not worry about the more finicky bribery statute.
This development is troubling for several reasons. Conduct that may constitute corruption often scrapes uncomfortably close to the edge of legitimate fundraising, patronage and other political activities. There are many things some might consider dishonest or sleazy that are not actually criminal.

Read the full article here.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Hardball Legal Tactics

When the Rove Republican Racket went after political operatives and other alleged "criminals" though the U.S. Department of Justice, it appears they used hardball tactics.

Two popular hardball tactics during the Bush Administration were 1.) the forced waiver of the attorney-client privilege and the other was 2.) the objection to corporate payment of attorney fees.

Can you imagine that innocent people could not talk with their attorneys in confidence? Can you imagine innocent political operatives forced to pay for their legal fees without the help of their political party or business?

Under these hardball rules, Jim Tobin of Maine would have been forced to pay his multi-million-dollar legal fees on his own, leading to his own bankruptcy and leaving his family in ruins.

According to former Chief Assitant U.S. Attorney of the Eastern District of New York, Paul H. Schoeman, "There has been a steady retreat from those practices resulting about a year ago in a revised set of policies that are now part of the U.S. Attorney's Manual and basically reflect that, in all but extraordinary circumstances, the DOJ will not seek waiver of attorney client privilege and will not hold the failure to waive or the payment of individual defendants' legal expenses against corporations that are trying to cooperate."

Thank Goodness!

Monday, October 5, 2009

Footmarks and Assistant U.S. Attorneys

The Rove Republican Racket has left its footmarks on all U.S. Attorney offices by leaving behind an army of Assistant U.S. Attorneys groomed, influenced, and shaped by the political motivations of the Rove-Bush-Cheney Administration's U.S. Department of Justice.

During the Bush years, in 2007, Paul H. Schoeman (pictured) served as the Chief Assistant U.S. Attorney in the Eastern District of New York.

In an insightful interview with Metropolitan Corporate Counsel, Schoeman states, "My responsibilities as Chief Assistant were basically to be the number two person in the office and assist the U.S. Attorney in all aspects of running the office and supervising the work of both the criminal division and the civil division. I got exposed to all the different things that were going on in the office."

Supervising the work of the criminal division! Many of these Assistant U.S. Attorneys appear to call the shots on criminal cases.

As readers know, during the Rove-Bush-Cheney years, the U.S. Department of Justice was used to target political enemies primarily from the Democratic Party. From California to Maine, political operatives were dragged through the mud and in some cases thrown in jail.

Many times they were tried twice by ambitious Assistant U.S. Attorneys who failed the first time.

Friday, October 2, 2009

A Whale of a Deal

The U.S. Attorneys Office in Boston probably spent tens of thousands of dollars investigating, prosecuting, pleaing out, and publicizing this case.

The fine collected: $500.

Although we are saddened this happened to the poor whale, it shows the priorities of the U.S. Department of Justice are out of whack.

From going after innocent Democratic political participants to going after foolish fishermen, the Rove Republican Racket truly dumbed down the DOJ.

From the Los Angeles Times:

A Massachusetts fisherman has been fined for freeing a whale that had become entangled in his fishing gear. In a plea deal, Chatham resident Robert Eldridge was fined $500 after pleading guilty in Federal court to violating the Endangered Species Act and the Marine Mammal Protection Act. He had faced up to $100,000 in fines and a year in prison. According to a press release from the U.S. Attorney's office in Boston, Eldridge was operating a commercial fishing boat last year and had set gill nets in an area where humpback whales were present, and one promptly got entangled.Upon learning of the trapped cetacean, Eldridge attempted to free it himself rather than calling the toll-free Marine Animal Disentanglement Hotline -- the number for which he had posted on his boat -- to bring in licensed marine mammal rescue workers. Unable to disentangle the whale, he eventually cut the gear
from the boat, leaving about 30-feet of line on the marine mammal.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Minor and the Political Fix

Paul Minor (pictured) the top Democratic fundraiser in Mississippi, who is sitting in jail because of the Rove Republican Racket was the focus of a new column in the Huffington Post.
Paul Minor is currently appealing his conviction and is awaiting a decision by the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals which shredded the Rove Racket in a series of questions last April.

Brendan DeMelle writes:

[Obama's] Justice Department must expedite the review of Paul Minor's case in light of explosive new revelations that Dunnica Lampton -- the partisan U.S. Attorney who indicted Minor - had refused to pursue an egregious case of fraud involving several prominent Mississippi Republicans that came to his attention during the same time period as Minor's July 2003 indictment.

Minor's attorney, Hiram Eastland, wrote a
letter to Attorney General Holder last week outlining "new evidence... that unequivocally establishes that prosecutive decisions made by U.S. Attorney Dunn Lampton were based upon political motivations."

According to the
letter, Lampton went after Minor, a Democrat, while explicitly ignoring a massive fraud and money laundering scheme perpetrated by several major Republican supporters in Minor's home state of Mississippi. The letter indicates that "a previous undercover government witness" who worked on another large scale Justice Department investigation "is prepared to testify and provide documents indicating that U.S. Attorney Lampton chose not to prosecute a compelling multi-million dollar fraud, money laundering and obstruction of justice case against several prominent Republican defendants in the exact timeframe as Mr. Minor's July 25, 2003 indictment."

Eastland explains that this undercover government witness "is prepared to testify that he was informed by his assigned FBI investigator that the political 'fix' was in and that U.S. Attorney Lampton had indicated there would be no prosecutions because he did not want his legacy as U.S. Attorney to be the prosecution of some of the biggest Republican supporters in Mississippi."