Monday, January 21, 2008

Remember the U.S. Attorney Scandal?

Marty Lederman

Well, it's far from over:
The federal investigation into the firing of nine U.S. attorneys could jolt the political landscape ahead of the November elections, according to several people close to the inquiry.

* * * *

As potent as the congressional probes might be, they appear to be far narrower than a sprawling inquiry launched by the Justice Department’s Office of Inspector General (OIG) and the Office of Professional Responsibility (OPR). Investigators from these offices have been questioning whether senior officials lied to Congress, violated the criminal provisions in the Hatch Act, tampered with witnesses preparing to testify to Congress, obstructed justice, took improper political considerations into account during the hiring and firing of U.S. attorneys and created widespread problems in the department’s Civil Rights Division, according to several people familiar with the investigation.

The internal Justice Department probe cannot bring charges but can refer findings to a U.S. attorney for the District of Columbia or a special prosecutor, who could then pursue a criminal investigation. One source close to the investigation expects the offices to issue a scathing report within the next three months, but they have not announced a timeline for their joint inquiry.
I should add that I had the privilege of working with the DOJ Inspector General, Glenn Fine, both in the private sector and at Justice. He is one of the fairest, and most careful and thorough, lawyers I know. I'm confident that when his report is released, it will be very trustworthy.

Older Posts
Newer Posts