Attorney probe narrows, deepens
love this... especially the fact that Bush Leaguers who "step down to spend more time with family" can't just make the dark cloud go away... accountability will pursue them all the way back to their rat hole...
Attorneys probe deepens
By Manu Raju
Posted: 01/22/08 12:01 AM [ET]
Washington’s attention has been diverted from the scandal since the August resignation of Alberto Gonzales as attorney general, and has focused instead on Democrats’ efforts to hold White House officials in contempt for ignoring congressional subpoenas to testify on Capitol Hill about the firings.
As potent as the congressional probes might be, they appear to be far narrower than a sprawling inquiry launched by the Justice Department’s Office of Inspector General (OIG) and the Office of Professional Responsibility (OPR).
Investigators from these offices have been questioning whether senior officials lied to Congress, violated the criminal provisions in the Hatch Act, tampered with witnesses preparing to testify to Congress, obstructed justice, took improper political considerations into account during the hiring and firing of U.S. attorneys and created widespread problems in the department’s Civil Rights Division, according to several people familiar with the investigation.
In a sign that the investigation has widened beyond the nine fired attorneys, Justice last summer interviewed Thomas Heffelfinger, U.S. attorney in Minnesota, who resigned before it was revealed that he was targeted for dismissal. Congressional aides expect the status of the inquiries to arise Jan. 30, when Michael Mukasey testifies for the first time as attorney general before the Senate Judiciary Committee.
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