Justice Department Inspector General Glenn Fine says the Bush White House has inhibited investigation of the federal prosecutor firings.
Continuing investigation of the 2006 firings of nine federal prosecutors has uncovered new leads that directly involve White House staff and lawyers in the scandal. The unsurprising kicker is that Bush administration officials refuse to talk further about their role in the firings, and key documents have been redacted to a level “virtually worthless as an investigative tool.”
The Washington Post:
In 18 months of searching, Justice Department Inspector General Glenn A. Fine and Office of Professional Responsibility chief H. Marshall Jarrett have uncovered new e-mail messages hinting at heightened involvement of White House lawyers and political aides in the firings of nine federal prosecutors two years ago.
“We were unable to fully develop the facts regarding the removal of [David C.] Iglesias and several other U.S. Attorneys because of the refusal by certain key witnesses to be interviewed by us, as well as the White House’s decision not to provide ... internal documents to us,” the investigators concluded in their report.
The standoff is a central reason that Attorney General Michael B. Mukasey on Monday named a veteran public-corruption prosecutor, Nora R. Dannehy, to continue the investigation, directing her to give him a preliminary report on the status of the case in 60 days.