Senate Ethics Committee Intensifies Probe of Domenici
By Jason Leopold and Matt RennerI STILL think the most pertinent question is "What did the USAttys who kept their jobs have to do to preserve their sinecures? How many innocent citizens did they fuck over? How many legitimate political gatherings were spied upon? How many pot-smokers did they have to railroad?
t r u t h o u t | Report
Wednesday 19 September 2007
The US Senate Select Committee on Ethics has stepped up its probe of Pete Domenici, the Republican senator from New Mexico, who allegedly pressured David Iglesias, the former US attorney in that state, to return an indictment against a local Democratic official who was the target of a corruption investigation prior to the 2006 midterm elections.
Over the past couple of weeks, the Ethics Committee has been interviewing witnesses - including staffers from the US attorney's office in New Mexico - who were privy to a phone call Domenici made to Iglesias last November in which he asked the former federal prosecutor about the timing of an indictment against Manny Aragon, a prominent former New Mexico state senator and the subject of a federal corruption probe, according to the senior staffers. Congressional ethics rules prohibit lawmakers from contacting federal agency officials during ongoing probes.
Iglesias is one of at least eight US attorneys who were fired last December. He believes his termination was due in part to his staunch refusal to allow investigations he had undertaken to be politicized in order to swing the November 2006 midterm elections toward Republicans.
According to some senior staffers working for lawmakers who sit on the Ethics Committee, the six-month preliminary investigation into Domenici has turned up enough evidence to open a formal, public investigation into the New Mexico senator, having determined that Domenici acted inappropriately and that he may have violated Senate Ethics rules when he called Iglesias to ask whether Aragon would be indicted before the state's voters went to the polls last year.
And then I wonder why none of 'em quit in disgust. Did they think what they were doing was okay?