Sunday, April 15, 2007

Red Flags

The Albuquerque Journal has a must-read article on Republican Senator Pete Domenici appealing to the Justice Department and White House to fire U.S. Attorney David Iglesias.

Domenici first tried to get Iglesias transferred to the White House. Domenici called Attorney General Alberto Gonzales late last year to have Iglesias fired. Gonzales told the Senator he would do so only at the request of the President. The question is did Domenici's converstation with the AG happen after the Senator had this conversation with Iglesias.

Fired U.S. Attorney David Iglesias testified today that he "felt sick" after an October phone call from his onetime mentor, U.S. Sen. Pete Domenici, asking whether indictments in an Albuquerque corruption case would be issued before the November elections.

"He asked, `Are those going to be filed before November?' " Iglesias told the Senate Judiciary Committee. "I said I didn't think so. He said, `I'm very sorry to hear that.' And then the line went dead.

"I felt sick afterwards," Iglesias said. "I felt leaned on to get this moving."

Domenici wanted to pressure the U.S. Atorney's office to announce Democratic corruption cases before the election. What makes the story more chilling is that the Senator called Iglesias at his home. That is unheard of. The target was Congressional candidate Democrat Patricia Madrid. She was running against Heather Wilson. She also played phone tag.

Iglesias said Wilson called him about Oct. 16 and said "she had been hearing about sealed indictments. What can you tell me about sealed indictments?"

"Red flags went up," Iglesias said. "We cannot talk about sealed indictments."

Domenici took his complaints to Karl Rove.

At some point after the election last Nov. 6, Domenici called Bush's senior political adviser, Karl Rove, and told him he wanted Iglesias out and asked Rove to take his request directly to the president.

Domenici and Bush subsequently had a telephone conversation about the issue.

The conversation between Bush and Domenici occurred sometime after the election but before the firings of Iglesias and six other U.S. attorneys were announced on Dec. 7.

The timing of all this reeks of political payback. The White House is in damage control mode. Everyone's favorite email buddy Scott Jennings sent out the missive.

I just received a phone call from Steve Bell, Sen. Domenici's CoC, who is urgently reporting the following:

He is allegedly going to say that he was contacted by two Members of Congress last fall regarding the investigation into the courthouse construction corruption case. Information on this is in the following article.

This people are introuble and they know it.

Update: Here is Iglesias's Senate testimony of the phone call.

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