Cross Posted at Legal Schnauzer
A charitable grader might have given the Obama Department of Justice a "D" roughly 20 months into the administration. But that grade surely would fall to an "F" after yesterday's arrests of 11 individuals connected to an investigation of gambling-related activities in the Alabama Legislature.
How bad does the Obama DOJ look in all of this? Let us count the ways. The investigation was initiated by two of the most corrupt U.S. attorneys from the George W. Bush era. The prosecution team includes at lead four prosecutors who have been involved in dubious cases. The indictments clearly were timed to have an impact on the November elections. To top it off, U.S. Rep. Artur Davis (D-AL), an Obama buddy, piped up and revealed himself to be even more of a weasel than we already thought he was.
Most importantly, however, the investigation covered only one side of a two-pronged controversy, and DOJ officials flatly lied to the public about the scope of their handiwork.
In short, yesterday's charade in Alabama almost makes you yearn for the good old days of the Bush administration. At least you expected them to act like crooks--and were rarely disappointed. But what is Team Obama thinking? The federal anti-gambling probe in Alabama has been positively Rovian in its execution. And that's about as shameful as it can get.
Yesterday's arrests were the culmination of a two-year campaign, led by Governor Bob Riley, to make sure that Alabama does not have taxed and regulated gambling. The evidence is overwhelming that Riley is trying to protect the market share of Mississippi Choctaw gaming interests who funneled some $13 million into Alabama to help Riley beat Don Siegelman in 2002.
That money reportedly was funneled through GOP felons Jack Abramoff and Michael Scanlon. But did the Obama DOJ look into that side of the equation? Evidently not. And one can only conclude that side of the story was ignored for political reasons. In fact, it appears political considerations are the whole reason the Obama DOJ has inexplicably left Bush holdover Leura Canary as U.S. attorney in the Middle District of Alabama. (Canary's Bush-appointed buddy, Alice Martin, initiated this probe before leaving office in the Northern District of Alabama.)