THE PERFECT CRIME:
WHY THE FIRINGS MATTER
By Eric Malone
What if you could rob a bank and just walk away scot-free? Here’s a good story for ya:
In October of 2004, a guy named James Tobin resigned as New England chair for Bush’s re-election. Why?
He was jamming the phones at Democratic headquarters on Election Day 2002, when the Democrats were urgently trying to get out the vote in New Hampshire. Republican John E. Sununu won that Senate seat by only 20-thousand votes.
Tobin was convicted on December 15, 2005, despite $722-thousand for his legal defense from the GOP, and sentenced to 10 months in prison.
Well, guess what? The U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals reversed Tobin’s conviction last week. He gets to walk away, scot-free.
And do you think the U.S. Attorney in the case will appeal? “At this point, we’re simply reviewing the opinion and evaluating our options,” said Bryan Sierra, a Department of Justice (DOJ) spokesman.
I think the remaining 85 U.S. Attorneys who weren’t fired by Karl Rove have gotten the message loud and clear: Play ball or hit the road, Jack. No need to bribe a judge if you can convince the prosecuting attorneys to look the other way. Obstruction of justice? Nah, just greasin’ the gears a bit.
Is Justice Blind or Just Myopic?
The pressure from the White House is palpable. And there’s an interesting pattern emerging as well:
U.S. Attorney David Iglesias in New Mexico was pressured by Senator Pete Domenici and Representative Heather Wilson to file charges against Democrats…for Voter Fraud, if you can believe that! (Iglesias looked into 100 complaints, but couldn’t find evidence of crime. So he got fired.)
U.S. Attorney Daniel Bogden of Nevada was let go after opening a probe into Nevada Governor Jim Gibbons (Republican, of course).
U.S. Attorney Carol Lam in California convicted Rep. Duke Cunningham (R-CA) of taking bribes from defense contractors; she was also investigating Rep. Jerry Lewis (guess which party). So Attorney General Gonzales aide Kyle Sampson proposed getting rid of Lam. Oh, and get this: