Cross Posted at Legal Schnauzer
The U.S. Senate should thoroughly grill and then reject the Obama administration's nominee for a controversial U.S. attorney position, according to a report out this morning from the Justice Integrity Project (JIP).
Andrew Kreig, executive director of JIP, writes that George Beck should be rejected as U.S. attorney for the Middle District of Alabama because of conflicts of interests related to the Don Siegelman case--and any possible spinoff public-corruption investigations. This morning's piece is the first of a three-part series Kreig has written about the Beck nomination. The remaining parts are due for release this afternoon and tomorrow at justice-integrity.org.
Beck is "tainted," Kreig writes, and then provides plenty of evidence to back up that assertion. If confirmed, Beck would replace George W. Bush appointee Leura Canary, who oversaw the Siegelman prosecution and inexplicably has been allowed to serve for more than two years of the Obama administration. But Kreig states that Beck should not be confirmed--and the Senate Judiciary Committee should call witnesses to bring out relevant facts about the Siegelman case, in which Beck played a prominent role.
Despite an impressive career overall, Beck is a horrible choice because he was a compliant defense attorney in the notorious prosecution of former Alabama Gov. Don Siegelman, the state's leading Democrat. Beck's role in that travesty further destroys public confidence in that long-troubled DOJ office. At the minimum if confirmed, Beck must recuse himself and all of the most prominent staff at DOJ's Montgomery offices from the Siegelman case and every spin-off public corruption probe.
In other words, a Beck appointment could be a legal and logistical nightmare, in an office that desperately needs to be cleansed. Writes Kreig: