by Max Brantley
Q: Why would the Bush Justice Department force out adequately performing U.S. attorneys around the country in favor of political hatchet men, such as Tim Griffin in Little Rock?
A: See this McClatchy newspaper story today:
The U.S. attorney from New Mexico who was recently fired by the Bush administration said Wednesday that he believes he was forced out because he refused to rush an indictment in an ongoing probe of local Democrats a month before November's Congressional elections.
David Iglesias said two members of Congress separately called in mid October to inquire about the timing of an ongoing probe of a kickback scheme and appeared eager for an indictment to be issued on the eve of the elections in order to benefit the Republicans. He refused to name the members of Congress because he said he feared retaliation.
Couldn't happen here. Right?
UPDATE: Action today in the Senate with Dem. Sen. Patrick Leahy offering an amendment to 9/11 legislation to revoke the little-noticed kicker in the Patriot Act that has allowed the Bush administration to install U.S. attorneys for unlimited interim periods without Senate confirmation.