Tuesday :: Jan 3, 2006

Democrats Should Start Pushing For A Special Prosecutor Now On Abramoff Case

by Steve

Just from what I’ve heard today about how the Abramoff case is rolling out, I think the following:

First, there have been some accounts that Abramoff has been cooperating with the Department of Justice for almost a year now. If so, this means that the White House and Abu Gonzales have had their hooks into this case for a year or so now, which may mean that they have known to a degree what is coming and have the means to manage the fallout from this case. I heard some confirmation of this bad possibility today when it was Alice Fisher of all people who conducted the first DOJ press conference on the plea bargain. Fisher is a political hack, who was put into her top job at DOJ with no prosecutorial experience and with plenty of political connections to steer trouble away from the White House.

Second, this summary from ThinkProgress shows you all the tentacles that Abramoff’s case will have, and you can easily see where the House GOP leadership is totally compromised here and a target for a hit. Yet you will also see that Harry Reid and Byron Dorgan are also implicated to lesser degrees, and this provides this White House the chance to go after Democrats and minimize their own damage here, even if the scope of Democratic involvement pales next to what the GOP leadership did with Abramoff through the K Street Project.

Third, Gale Norton and former Interior second-in-command J. Steven Griles are involved in this up to their eyeballs, and this is where the DOJ and White House will shield themselves from problems by steering heat away from the Executive Branch.

I think the White House is going to try to bury this case at Congress and take down Democrats at the same time. This explains why Reid has been less than energetic about making ethics and corruption a major point against the GOP next year. Perhaps the time is now to think about a change of leadership for Senate Democrats. A team of Dick Durbin and Chuck Schumer is far better to lead this charge in the heat of the 2006 campaigns that Harry Reid might be.

I also think that if it pans out very soon that the DOJ is actively trying to manage this case away from the Executive Branch, Democrats need to demand that this case be transferred immediately to a Special Counsel because of the obvious conflicts of interest. Not only is the DOJ investigating possible malfeasance by a Cabinet department, but there are pre-existing ties between the lobbyists involved here and Karl Rove’s staff, the Tom DeLay operation, and the possible financing of the Texas redistricting at Rove’s direction with some of the Abramoff money.

Yes, some Democrats may get targeted here, but it won’t be because they are equally culpable in whatever DeLay, Blount, Ney, Doolittle, Conrad Burns, Gale Norton, and J. Steven Griles did, but because of pure political manipulation by the White House that shouldn’t be allowed to commit a miscarriage of justice and investigate itself. The same GOP congress was insistent in the 1990's that the Clinton White House not have it’s Justice Department run the various investigations, so the same argument applies here.

Steve :: 3:09 PM :: Comments (51) :: TrackBack (0) :: Digg It!