As featured on p. 218 of "Bloggers on the Bus," under the name "a MyDD blogger."

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Schlozman News

Yes, I'm thrilled that someone named "Schlozman" is in the news so I get to keep writing Schlozman. But the news on him is actually intensifying, as well.

It appears that Todd Graves, the US Attorney in Missouri that Schlozman replaced, was actually fired by DoJ, and that Missouri Senator Kit Bond may have set the whole thing in motion.

An aide to Sen. Christopher S. Bond (R-Mo.) urged the White House to replace the U.S. attorney in Kansas City, Mo., months before Todd P. Graves's name was included on a Justice Department list of federal prosecutors the Bush administration was thinking of pushing out of their jobs.

A spokeswoman for Bond said yesterday that the senator's former counsel, Jack Bartling, contacted the White House counsel's office in the spring of 2005, without Bond's permission. According to the spokeswoman, Bartling said that Graves's replacement "would be favored," because the prosecutor's wife and brother-in-law had stirred ethics complaints in Missouri [...]

Last night, Graves issued a statement that said: "This would be humorous if we were not talking about the United States Department of Justice. First, you tell me that DOJ staffers were making secret hit lists and my name was on one of them. Then, you tell me that a staffer for Missouri's senior senator had a hit list so secret that not even the senator knew about it."

Josh Marshall points to another story from the Kansas City Star that Bond got re-acquainted with the Graves case in early 2006, around the same time that Graves' name appears on a target list created by Kyle Sampson.

Senator Bond … upon (Graves’) request personally called the White House to gain Todd extra time to wrap up case work before his departure.

A person in Bond’s office who asked not to be identified because of the sensitive nature of the discussions said the White House rejected Bond’s efforts on Graves’ behalf because of “performance” concerns. E-mails from the Justice Department and the White House have used similar language in discussing the other U.S. attorneys who were fired.

It looks like Bond may have been looking out for Graves back in 2005 and didn't want him to get caught up in these ethics scandals, and then in early 2006, Bond tried to get the Justice Department to allow him to stay a little longer so he could finish his pending cases. And the DoJ said no, he had to leave. What cases were they trying to get Graves off of?

Of course, we know what happened next. Graves was replaced with Bradley Schlozman, using the Patriot Act provision that allowed him to escape Senate confirmation, and he went on to push bogus voter fraud cases furiously and generally misuse his office. The House Judiciary Committee has taken notice of that; Schlozman will testify May 15.

It also appears that Schlozman's discriminatory hiring policy was infectious, and he actually began a legacy at the DoJ:

When he was counsel to a House subcommittee in 2005, Jay Apperson resigned after writing a letter to a federal judge in his boss's name, demanding a tougher sentence for a drug courier. As an assistant U.S. attorney in Virginia in the 1990s, he infuriated fellow prosecutors when he facetiously suggested a White History Month to complement Black History Month.

Yet when Apperson was looking for a job recently, four senior Justice Department officials urged Jeffrey A. Taylor, the top federal prosecutor for the District of Columbia, to hire him. Taylor did, and allowed him to skip the rigorous vetting process that the vast majority of career federal prosecutors face.

It used to be that you couldn't hire someone that partisan for a career prosecutor job. But the rules didn't apply to this Justice Department.

Labels: , , , ,