A couple days ago Josh Marshall put up a cryptic post asking everyone to think about the name Bradley J. Schlozman
. Far from just because of the fact that it's a hilarious name, he also happens to be the US Attorney for Western Missouri, appointed in March of 2006, just a few days after the Patriot Act provision was enacted allowing US Attorneys to avoid Senate confirmation.
Today we have news of what Schlozman has been up to in the USA office, and how he has politicized his position on a number of occasions.
Here's Schlozman's bio
Bradley J. Schlozman was appointed to serve as the United States Attorney for the Western District of Missouri under an Attorney General Appointment on March 23, 2006.
Prior to assuming his current post, Mr. Schlozman served as the Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General for the Civil Rights Division at the United States Department of Justice. In this capacity, Mr. Schlozman supervised all activities of the Civil Rights Division, which is comprised of over 700 employees, including 356 attorneys. The Civil Rights Division is responsible for enforcing federal civil rights statutes, including those statutes that prohibit discrimination on the basis of race, sex, disability, religion, and national origin in education, employment, credit, housing, public accommodations and facilities, voting, and certain federally funded and conducted programs.
Mr. Schlozman served for five months as the Acting Assistant Attorney General of the Civil Rights Division. Before that, he had served as Deputy Assistant Attorney General since May 2003, directly supervising the Criminal, Voting, Employment, and Special Litigation Sections of the Civil Rights Division. Mr. Schlozman began his service in the Bush Administration as Counsel to then-Deputy Attorney General Larry Thompson.
So Scholzman was the head of the Civil Rights Division at DoJ before getting the appointment. Well, the Civil Rights Division was maybe the most politicized division
in the entire Justice Department, as Paul Kiel related in a very detailed article.
Many career analysts and attorneys have either been transferred or driven out; their replacements are long on conservative credentials and short on civil rights experience.
Here's an inside account of what it's like inside from Toby Moore, a redistricting expert with the division's voting section until the spring of 2006. Like many of his colleagues, he left due to the hostile atmosphere in the section, where he says there was a pattern of selective intimidation towards career staff.
According to Moore, his supervisor and the political appointees in the section consistently criticized his work because it didn't jibe with their pre-drawn conclusions. That was bad enough, he said, but the real trouble came after he and three colleagues recommended opposing a Georgia voter I.D. law pushed by Republicans. After the recommendation, which clashed with the views of Moore's superiors, they reprimanded him for not adequately analyzing the evidence and accused him of mistreating his Republican colleague, with whom he'd had frequent disagreements. But it got worse. Moore said that his Republican superiors even monitored his emails, eventually filing a complaint against him with the Justice Department's Office of Professional Responsibility for allegedly disclosing privileged information in one email (he was cleared of wrongdoing). Fed up, and worried that it was too dangerous to his professional future to remain there, he left.
Remember that the DoJ went against the advice of its own career lawyers
by allowing the Texas redistricting plan to go forward even though it was concluded that it violated the Voting Rights Act (and the Supreme Court at least partially agreed). In fact, it was SCHLOZMAN who implemented that overruling.
By the way, who was monitoring Toby Moore's emails? The Schloz.
Moore said that there was persistent gossip in the section that the political appointees who supervised the division had been monitoring staff's emails.
This suspicion was confirmed, he said, when Bradley J. Schlozman, the Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General for the Civil Rights Division (now an unconfirmed U.S. Attorney installed after the revision to the Patriot Act) and Hans von Spakovsy, Counsel to the Assistant Attorney General for Civil Rights (now a commissioner with the Federal Election Commission), filed a complaint against him with the Office of Professional Responsibility (OPR).
The charge, Moore said, was that he had violated department rules by discussing one of the section's cases in an email to a friend who used to work in the Civil Rights Division. He was interviewed by investigators. According to an April, 2006 letter from OPR reviewed by TPMmuckraker, Moore was cleared of any wrongdoing.
So clearly, Schlozman was one of the point men on ensuring that voter intimidation and suppression could go forward with the full support of the Justice Department. Having been burnished in that cauldron, the DoJ sent Schlozman out into the world - specifically into Missouri, where he replaced US Attorney Todd Graves, who resigned in March 2006. Via Fired Up Missouri
, here are a couple examples of what Schlozman did in Missouri to push corruption cases against Democrats:
ACORN Prosecutions for Fraudulent Voter Registrations- During his tenure as U.S. Attorney for Missouri's Western District, Schlozman broke with long-standing precedent among Federal law enforcement by bringing indictments against 5 voter-registration workers paid by community group ACORN just days before a high-profile and tightly contested election. Schlozman, as the first U.S. Attorney appointed under a then-little-noted provision added to the Patriot Act that allowed interim U.S. Attorney's to be picked by the President without Senate confirmation, aggressively and unorthodoxly pushed the voter registration fraud prosecutions forward in a manner intended to provide "verification" for the GOP "voter fraud" claims that had flourished in Missouri --even in the face of direct evidence to the contrary-- since November 2000.
NVRA Lawsuit Against Robin Carnahan and the State of Missouri- In late October of 2005, while serving as Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General for the Civil Rights Division, Schlozman authorized suit by the United States against Democratic Secretary of State Robin Carnahan, alleging that she had not purged enough voters from county rolls to fulfill her duty under the National Voting Rights Act. With the suit, Schlozman aimed not only to absolve current GOP Governor Matt Blunt of any voting issues for which he may have been responsible in the past (Blunt preceded Carnahan as Secretary of State) by shifting the defensive onus to the new Democratic Secretary of State, but also to put obstacles before Carahan --who many viewed as an up-and-coming elected official who could pose a huge threat to Blunt in the future. The suit additionally gave Missouri GOPers a platform from which they could continue to make unfounded claims about unregistered voters and the "stealing" of elections. Just weeks ago, a federal judge ruled in Carnahan's favor on the suit, going so far as to suggest that the Civil Rights Division had made up its theories of the suit as it went along.
There are more examples in that great post, including moving to raid the Missouri home
of an Islamic activist right before the 2006 election. But the voter fraud cases are of the greatest interest, since they are the very same claims that Bush Administration officials are using as the basis for firing US Attorneys who wouldn't prosecute these cases. This led to The St. Louis Post-Dispatch
calling Schlozman's efforts a "snipe hunt," as they ended up in the same way most voter fraud cases end; with little or no evidence.
Voter fraud is about as rare as snipe in most parts of the country, including Missouri. As evidence of that we have the testimony of (a) a five-year study by the federal Election Assistance Commission; (b) a report from the Missouri Secretary of State showing nobody in the state tried to vote with a fake I.D. in 2006; (c) Department of Justice statistics showing only 86 people were convicted of voter fraud-related crimes in the last five years, many of them on trivial errors; and (d) a federal judge's ruling last week that the justice department had failed to demonstrate that voter fraud had occurred in Missouri last year.
Undaunted by these facts, Republicans in the Legislature lurk about like Elmer Fudd with their gunny sacks and sticks, promoting bills to require voters to present photo identification before they're allowed to cast a ballot. They passed such a bill last year, but the courts threw it out as unfair to those who couldn't afford the cost and hassle involved in getting a photo I.D. card.
It's important to backtrack for a moment and take a look at who Schlozman replaced. Todd Graves was the original US Attorney for Western Missouri, and he was forced to recuse himself in a political corruption case involving Missouri Governor Matt Blunt because his wife was caught up in it up to her eyeballs. After he recused himself, the case went to... Bud Cummins, former USA for Arkansas who is one of the Gonzales 8.BradBlog
picks this up in a great post:
In May of 2006, media reports surfaced that Missouri Governor Matt Blunt was under investigation by Cummins's office in connection with a franchising scheme for satellite state licensing fee offices as carried out by (Mark) Hearne's law firm, Lathrop & Gage.
In June of 2006, Cummins was fired without explanation. His firing came prior to the other 7 attorneys who would be dismissed in December of 2006.
Hearne had been both Blunt's right-hand legal man for some time; as well as a GOP point man in Florida in 2000 (but who wasn't?); as well as the Bush/Cheney '04 general counsel in Missouri (at the specific, personal request of Dubya's uncle, Bucky Bush, according to Thor himself in Missouri Lawyer's Weekly); before he then became the Bush/Cheney '04 national general counsel; and after the election, he became the founder of the scam "non-partisan" GOP front group calling itself "American Center for Voting Rights" (ACVR); which was, in turn, behind virtually every report, initiative, claim, piece of legislation, Congressional testimony, legal case, "official commission," or public statement concerning the cooked-up case for the mythical epidemic of Democratic "voter fraud" that has been at the heart of the GOP/White House/DoJ attempts at vote-shaving via politicization and suppression at the ballot box since at least 2004.
Further, Hearne has been publicly recognized (though usually in only the RNC-friendliest of locations) for his efforts on behalf of GOP elections by his friend Rove, as well as both Dick Cheney and George W. Bush. See this Lathrop & Gage PDF two-pager including quotes from both Rove and Bush singing Thor's praises. (Don't worry. If that PDF, like so much else of late concerning Thor's activities, including the ACVR website as we reported a few weeks ago, gets scrubbed from the Internets, we've already got a copy saved, along with much of the other Thor-stuff that's been disappearing since the U.S. Attorney scandal broke.)
In sum, when news of a criminal investigation into both MO's Governor Blunt (the son of the powerful GOP House Whip, Roy) and Lathrop & Gage surfaced, alarm bells would have gone off from Missouri to D.C. According to several media reports, and a few tips, it would appear they did just that. Quite loudly, in fact...
We have a US Attorney (Cummins) who appears to have been fired for pursuing a corruption case in Missouri, not to mention to step aside for a Karl Rove-trained operative named Tim Griffin. We have a USA in Western Missouri (Todd Graves) who was originally on purge lists inside the Justice Department before he resigned in March 2006. And we have his replacement (Bradley J. Schlozman) who has a long history of politicizing the administration of justice, from the Civil Rights Division to the USA office in Missouri. He wouldn't even hire people who weren't activist movement conservatives
When Ty Clevenger, a line attorney in the Civil Rights Division, forwarded a friend's resume to deputy division chief Bradley Schlozman, he was expecting questions about his friend's experience as a lawyer. But what Schlozman wanted to know, according to Clevenger, was whether his friend was a Republican.
Clevenger, a member of the Republican National Lawyers Association, told Schlozman that his friend was conservative. He just wasn't sure how active his friend was politically. The friend was never got an interview.
By the way, Schlozman is no longer the US Attorney for Western Missouri. John Wood
was sworn in a couple weeks ago. Schlozman, who was never confirmed by the Senate, spent a year in that US Attorney position, pushing bogus voter fraud cases and using the office as a club to punish the opposition party.
I found this
Kansas City, MO 04/16/07 - Novation LLC a hospital supplier in Irving, Texas admitted in a Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals filing dated April 9th, 2007 that it was identified as a co-conspirator in a 2002 scheme to use US Bancorp’s trust division to prevent Medical Supply Chain from entering the market for hospital supplies by withholding escrow accounts and misusing the USA PATRIOT act as a pretext [...]
In an April 18, 2005 affidavit, Medical Supply Chain founder Samuel Lipari complained about FBI misuse of USA PATRIOT Act surveillance powers. The affidavit described interception of electronic communications and searches by law enforcement officials being used to interfere with and obstruct Lipari’s civil prosecution of the Novation defendants in Medical Supply Chain, Inc., v. Novation LLC et al, US District Court for the W.D. of Missouri No. 05-0210-CV-W-ODS
Attorney General Alberto Gonzales confirmed the existence of the program for warrantless surveillance, first reported in The New York Times, on December 19, 2005. However on January 25, 2006 Gonzales wrote that “there has not been a single verified abuse of any of the provisions” of the USA PATRIOT Act.
Samuel Lipari again complained on October 12, 2006 in the US Court of Appeals for the Eight Circuit in St. Louis, Missouri that US District Attorney Bradley J. Schlozman failed to investigate evidence of public corruption brought to his office and permitted obstruction of justice to continue despite the injuries to Samuel Lipari, his family and associates.
On January 16, 2007 Attorney General Gonzales responded to criticism of his misuse of the USA PATRIOT Act by announcing John Wood would be taking Bradley Schlozman's place in Kansas City two days before he gave his previous testimony to Congress.
On March 22, 2007, Attorney General Alberto Gonzales met in St. Louis with U.S. Attorneys Catherine L. Hanaway and Bradley J. Schlozman of Missouri districts to conduct an undisclosed discussion related to the conduct of US Attorney Bradley J. Schlozman.
Disappointed with the continuing US Department of Justice cover up, on April 9, 2007 Samuel Lipari publicly disclosed Medical Supply discovery revealing the US Attorneys targeted by Karl Rove and Attorney General Alberto Gonzales that resulted in Todd Graves being replaced by Bradley J. Schlozman a year earlier. John Wood was finally sworn in as the US Attorney for the Western District of Missouri on April 11, 2007.
This came out last week. I'm going to keep digging.
Labels: Alberto Gonzales, Bradley J. Schlozman, Bud Cummins, Justice Department, Matt Blunt, Todd Graves, U.S. Attorneys, voter fraud