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Gonzales Defends US Atty Biskupic at House Hearing

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Message Michael Leon
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The US House Committee on the Judiciary last week held an oversight hearing featuring Attorney General Alberto Gonzales.

Wisconsin citizens got a chance to see the newest member of the committee in action, Rep. Tammy Baldwin (D-Madison).

Baldwin was aggressive in her questioning of Gonzales, while Gonzales was typically evasive, inane and insincere.

What stood out was the focus of Baldwin’s questions—US Atty Stephen Biskupic, and Gonzales’ spirited defense of Biskupic.

Baldwin opened by citing an April 16, 2007 editorial in the New York Times by Adam Cohen , and quoting passages about Biskupic’s specious and discredited prosecution of Georgia Thompson.

Baldwin entered Cohen’s column into the Committee records.

Gonzales leapt to Biskupic defense.

He responded by correctly pointing out that Biskupic had consulted on this wrongful prosecution with Dane County DA Brian Blanchard and former Wisconsin Attorney General Peg Lautenschlager—a fact reflecting poorly on both Blanchard and Lautenschlager and inadequate to absolve Biskupic who brought the shameful prosecution.

Gonzales further defended Biskupic by knocking down the assertion that Biskupic’s prosecution of Thompson was politically motivated as “ludicrous.”

Voter Fraud

Baldwin also pressed the AG on the voter fraud cases.

“ … Wisconsin Republican operatives were actively complaining and feeding documents to the White House about the need for more voter fraud investigation of prosecution in Milwaukee in late 2004 and 2005, right before Mr. Biskupic was placed on this (firing) list. …, “ noted Baldwin.

In fact, after Biskupic concluded voter fraud was not a problem in Wisconsin in 2005, Biskupic subsequently prosecuted 14 voter fraud cases anyway, many more voter fraud prosecutions than any other US atty. in the country.

Jailed Vet

Baldwin did not ask Biskupic about the ongoing case of the Vietnam-era vet convicted by Biskupic for wire fraud as the VA was adjudicating his benefits case.

However, as Biskupic’s credibility as a non-partisan prosecutor nears the pits of his defender’s, Alberto Gonzales, and exculpatory evidence in the vet’s case is made public, it’s a safe bet this vet will be the focus of future inquires by Baldwin (known for her championing of vets) and by the House Committee on the Judiciary.


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Michael Leon is a writer living in Madison, Wisconsin. His writing has appeared nationally in The Progressive, In These Times, and CounterPunch. He can be reached at
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