From PbulicCitizen.org 3/5/7
Last December, the Justice Department fired eight U.S. Attorneys for no good reason. The purge threw a monkey wrench into several ongoing investigations of political corruption.
One large-scale probe was uncovering a scandal-ridden trail leading from the CIA to the Congress and possibly the White House. Were these prosecutors getting too close for comfort for this Administration?
Bush's Justice Department was using a little-known part of the so-called "Patriot
Act" reauthorization passed by the 109th Congress. The law allows the President to replace the fired prosecutors indefinitely
with stand-in partisan cronies who are less likely to investigate wrongdoers in the Bush Administration.
Thankfully, many of the fired prosecutors have spoken out and Congress is responding. Hearings are being scheduled in the Judiciary Committees in the House and Senate. Also, legislation has been introduced that would put an end to this dangerous partisan
cudgel by restoring previous limitations on the ability of the President to appoint U.S. Attorneys indefinitely.
U.S. Attorneys committed to cleaning up politics should be honored, not summarily
fired. The mass firings send a chilling message to all who are working to expose
government corruption. Let's stop this dangerous misuse of presidential power
and restore our system of checks and balances so we can clean up Washington, instead of making it
Bush's New US Attorney a Criminal?
Bush appoint as U.S. Attorney Griffin, who ought to be prosecuted for violation
of voting right's law. Not likely that he will investigate himself.
BBC Television had exposed 2004 voter attack scheme
by appointee Griffin, a Rove aide.
Black soldiers and the homeless targeted.
March 7, 2007.
There's only one thing worse than sacking an honest prosecutor. That's replacing
an honest prosecutor with a criminal.
There was one big hoohah in Washington yesterday as House Judiciary
Chairman John Conyers pulled down the pants on George Bush's firing of US Attorneys to expose a scheme to punish prosecutors
who wouldn't bend to political pressure.
the Committee missed a big one: Timothy Griffin, Karl Rove's assistant, the President's
pick as US Attorney for the Eastern District of Arkansas. Griffin, according to BBC Television, was the hidden
hand behind a scheme to wipe out the voting rights of 70,000 citizens prior to the 2004 election.
Key voters on Griffin's hit list: Black soldiers and homeless
men and women. Nice guy, eh? Naughty or nice, however, is not the issue. Targeting voters where race is a factor is a felony
crime under the Voting Rights Act of 1965.
In October 2004, our investigations team at BBC Newsnight received a series of
astonishing emails from Mr. Griffin, then Research Director for the Republican National Committee. He didn't mean to send
them to us. They were highly confidential memos meant only for RNC honchos.
However, Griffin made a wee mistake. Instead of sending the
emails -- potential evidence of a crime -- to email addresses ending with the domain name "@GeorgeWBush.com" he sent them
to "@GeorgeWBush.ORG." A website run by prankster John Wooden who owns "GeorgeWBush.org." When Wooden got the treasure trove
of Rove-ian ravings, he sent them to us.
And we dug in, decoding, and mapping the voters on what Griffin called, "Caging" lists,
spreadsheets with 70,000 names of voters marked for challenge. Overwhelmingly, these were Black and Hispanic voters from Democratic
If these voters were not currently at their home voting address, they were tagged
as "suspect" and their registration wiped out or their ballot challenged and not counted. Of course, these 'cages' captured
thousands of students, the homeless and those in the military though they are legitimate voters.
We telephoned those on the hit list, including one Randall Prausa. His wife admitted
he wasn't living at his voting address: Randall was a soldier shipped overseas.
Randall and other soldiers like him who sent in absentee ballots, when challenged,
would lose their vote. And they wouldn't even know it.
And by the way, it's not illegal for soldiers to vote from overseas -- even if
But it is illegal to challenge voters en masse where race is an element in the
targeting. So several lawyers told us, including Ralph Neas, famed civil rights attorney with People for the American Way.
Griffin himself ducked our cameras, but his RNC
team tried to sell us the notion that the caging sheets were, in fact, not illegal voter hit lists, but a roster of donors
to the Bush-Cheney reelection campaign. Republican donors at homeless shelters?
Over the past weeks, Griffin has said he would step down if he had to
face Congressional confirmation. However, the President appointed Griffin to the law enforcement post using an odd
little provision of the USA Patriot Act that could allow Griffin to skip Congressional questioning altogether.
Therefore, I have a suggestion for Judiciary members. Voting law expert Neas will
be testifying today before Conyers' Committee on the topic of illegal voter "disenfranchisement" -- the fancy word for stealing
elections by denying voters' civil rights.
Maybe Conyers should hold a line-up of suspected vote thieves and let Neas identify
the perpetrators. That should be easy in the case of the Caging List Criminal. He'd only have to look for the guy wearing
a new shiny lawman's badge.