Democrats & Liberals Archives

Sound Familiar?

The leader of the Justice Department team that prosecuted a lawsuit against tobacco companies said yesterday that Bush administration political appointees consistantly ordered her to take steps to weaken the government’s racketeering case.

Sharon Y. Eubanks said Bush appointees aka. "Bushies" in Attorney General Alberto R. Gonzales's office began manipulating the team's strategy in the final weeks of the 2005 trial, to the detriment of the government's claim that the industry conspired to lie to U.S. smokers.

From Washington Post article by Carol Leonnig:

She said "a supervisor demanded that she and her trial team drop recommendations that tobacco executives be removed from their corporate positions as a possible penalty. He and two others instructed her to tell key witnesses to change their testimony. And they ordered Eubanks to read verbatim a closing argument they had rewritten for her", she said.

"The political people were pushing the buttons and ordering us to say what we said," Eubanks said. "And because of that, we failed to zealously represent the interests of the American public."

She claims the three Bush appointees responsible for the "shift" in the United States case against tobacco companies are as follows: Associate Attorney General Robert D. McCallum whose gift for being a henchman for the corrupt and morally bankrupt Bush administration was being appointed Ambassador to Australia. There was also then-Assistant Attorney General Peter Keisler and Keisler's deputy at the time, Dan Meron. Keisler received a nomination to the Court of Appeals District of Columbia Circuit for his unconstitutional, unethical and morally repugnant acts. Dismiss the constitution and become one of the people sworn to uphold it. Wow.

When news reports on the "strategy changes" came out Congress became outraged and began an inquiry by the Justice Department. Government witnesses said they had been asked to change testimony, and one expert withdrew from the case. Government lawyers also announced that they were scaling back a proposed penalty against the industry from $130 billion to $10 billion.

Once they investigated themselves and detirmined there was no wrong doing, the problems were ignored. How convenient that the Justice Department's high ranking officials had the Justice Department's Office of Professional Responsibility(OPR) look into this matter and determined they did nothing wrong.

Yesterday was the first time that any of the government lawyers on the case spoke publicly about high-level interference by Justice officials.

Eubanks is speaking out now about the "politicising of the Justice Department" because of recent firings of eight Federal Attorney's.

"Eubanks said Congress should not limit its investigation to the dismissal of the U.S. attorneys."

"Political interference is happening at Justice across the department," she said

"The rule of law goes out the window."

Sound Familiar?

Posted by Andre M. Hernandez at March 22, 2007 12:39 PM
Comments
Comment #213217

Shocking… simply shocking

Posted by: john trevisani at March 22, 2007 1:45 PM
Comment #213227

What’s familiar is the game of partisan “telephone” being played here. You know, that game where a story gets whispered from one ear to another until it bears no resemblance to the original versison.

I wonder: Is it by design that you don’t link to the Washington Post article? Good thing you didn’t because anyone who read it would not be so easily duped by the way you pick and choose which key details to exclude.

Such as the fact that the judge himself said that he had no authority to order the penalties Eubanks and her team were seeking, and the “Bush political appointees” were following the judge’s rulings.

Such as the additional fact that this was all investigated already the Office of Profesional Accountabilty and that Eubanks’s accusations were found to have no merit whatsoever.

Eubank’s team sought penalties against the tobacco industry which they had no authority to seek. You cannot “remove executives from their positions.” The government has no authority to fire people from their jobs working for private corporations, and if the judge himself said that he has no authority to order 130 billion dollars worth of smoking cessetation programs, then that’s just tough luck for the prosecution. The Bush people had a different strategy in prosecuting this case, which they had every right and every reason to pursue instead of Eubank’s overzealous and ultimatley illegal strategy.

Posted by: Loyal Opposition at March 22, 2007 2:17 PM
Comment #213236

Oh my goodness! Let’s get Bush’s Admin subpoenaed immediately! This way they can (hopefully) get someone (anyone) to commit Perjury. Yeah! Let’s do that. Whatever!! The dems have cried Wolf to(ooo) many freaking times to take them seriously…

Posted by: rahdigly at March 22, 2007 3:16 PM
Comment #213240

Loyal Opposition,


Posted by: Andre M. Hernandez at March 22, 2007 3:29 PM
Comment #213242

Lo,

Here is the address:
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/03/21/AR2007032102713.html
Feel free to read it.

Posted by: Andre M. Hernandez at March 22, 2007 3:30 PM
Comment #213249

Too bad this isn’t “shocking”. It’s the expected behavior of those #$%*$@’s. As are the reflexive sheeple rahlly defense cries.
Although I give LO points, I’ll have to defer judgement on that until I read the link.

Posted by: Dave1-20-2009 at March 22, 2007 4:16 PM
Comment #213250
The dems have cried Wolf to(ooo) many freaking times to take them seriously…

And there’s usually an actual wolf! It’s just that you guys never admit it. You said it is a rabid dog. Or the person who got mauled by the wolf was a “Bush hater”, and the doctor who treated the wolf bites gave money to Hillary Clinton, and besides, Bill Clinton let people get eaten by wolves too…

Posted by: Woody Mena at March 22, 2007 4:21 PM
Comment #213279

Yes Andre, sounds familiar indeed. Have you also heard about this: Politicization of civil rights prosecutions by Justice Dept. examined in House.

Posted by: Adrienne at March 22, 2007 8:20 PM
Comment #213285

LO,

I read the WP and a couple of other articles. Sorry, the spin you presented doesn’t stand up. The AG was clearly politicized by the administration, the ‘authority’ arguments appear false.

Posted by: Dave1-20-2009 at March 22, 2007 9:40 PM
Comment #213295

Dave, the article says that this single disguntled member of the original prosecuting team ALLEGES that the AG politicized the case.

Her evidence for this is that that the allies of the AG “micromanaged” the case. In other words, they supervised their underlings. It’s not like they dropped the case. They continued to prosecute it—differently.

But were these changes “political,” and if so, how?

To answer that, the article also makes two other very important points that you and Andre seem to have not even noticed.

1). The changes made in the case were in line with the JUDGE himself (who does not work for the Dept of Justice and was not subject to Gonzales at all)
said were legally possible. He said he had no authority to pass down the kind of sentence Eubanks wanted, and the Department of Justice responded accordingly.

2) And even more importantly, this entire affair was already investigated by the he Office of Profesional Accountabilty, which said there was no evidence whatsoever of what Eubanks is alleging.

That Andre simply ignores and sweeps under the rug these highly relevant facts is extremely telling.

Posted by: Loyal Opposition at March 22, 2007 11:50 PM
Comment #213347

LO,

I mentioned the investigation:

1) “Once they investigated themselves and detirmined there was no wrong doing, the problems were ignored. How convenient that the Justice Department’s high ranking officials had the Justice Department’s Office of Professional Responsibility(OPR) look into this matter and determined they did nothing wrong.”


2) The fact that the white house is interfering in civil rights matters, defense of large corporations and corrupt government officials has nothing to do with the judges opinion.
They have turned the Justice department into a political arm of their administration.
LO, if this doesn’t bother you that’s fine you have every right to turn over your rights and watch this corrupt, immoral and incompetent administration trample Democracy, I don’t have to join you. All I ask is that you read what I wrote and read the WP article, and not twist them into a version that suits your argument. You are intentionally trying to mislead people into believing that the judges ruling had anything to do with the initial acts that prove the Whitehouse is trying to turn the justice department into it’s private weapon and or shield.
You are also well aware that this would not be the first time Bush appointments are in fact loyalists placed in various positions to do his bidding or even sabotage the very agency they were appointed to.
I have alot of admiration for a person who can defend something as indefensible as the Bush administration, but don’t twist what’s important about the incident. It just sounds like spin.

Posted by: Andre M. Hernandez at March 23, 2007 1:04 PM
Comment #378145

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Posted by: cai80 at April 27, 2014 10:32 PM
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