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Thursday, July 5, 2012

Washington D.C.: Bombs Bursting in DOJ

Independence Day in Washington is an insparational and joyfull time for most Americans But not so much for lawyers scrambling to to put out the fires at the Department Of Justice. DOJ lawyers with their pants on fire are devising strategies to keep the boss Eric Holder out of the reach of a possible grand jury indictment. July 3rd at DOJ the fireworks were bursting in Eric Holders office when Bloggers David Codrea of The War On Guns and Mike Vanderboegh of Sipsey Street Irregulars filed a ethics complaint with the D.C. Bar Association in regard to the Attorney General Eric Holder's conduct and participation in the illegal gun running operation “Fast and Furious”.

The same day a letter sent by Senator Charles Grassley of the Senate Judiciary Committee to the Attorney General asking him why he had lied under oath to the congressional committees. The letter was accompanied by a document obtained by Grassley's office detailing a telephone conversation that his investigators had with an agent involved in the “Fast and Furious” operation. The letter implicates two separate departments within the DOJ of fabricating a strategy to lie and mislead congressional investigators.

The ethics complaint unsheathed by Codrea and Vanderboegh is a blast from the past and brings back thoughts of Watergate. Attorney General John Mitchell in 1974 was indicted for conspiracy, obstruction of justice, giving false testimony to a Grand Jury, and perjury, for his role in the Watergate break-in and cover-up. He was convicted of these charges in 1975 and sentenced to two-and-a-half to eight years in prison. It was not till after Mitchell was convicted and sentenced that he was disbarred from the New York Bar Association. Along with Mitchell seven other White House and DOJ lawyers were disbarred including Richard Nixon. Spiro Agnew Nixon's Vice President was disbarred under separate charges of tax fraud, extortion, bribery and conspiracy unrelated to Watergate. He was eventually charged with accepting over $100,000 in bribes during his time as an elected official..

The historian Stanley Kutler, who has written several books about Nixon and Watergate, sued for release of the transcripts of Nixons testimony. Ten months after Nixon was forced out of office he drove to the Coast Guard station in San Mateo, California to meet with grand jurors and, for the only time, testified under oath about the Watergate affair. President Obama and AG Holder attempted to block the release of the transcripts with a justice department injunction. They were opposed to the transcripts release on privacy grounds. On July 29, 2011, the U.S. District Judge Royce Lamberth granted Kutler's request, saying that historical interests trumped privacy interests.

It is interesting that President Obama as a candidate proclaimed that his administration would be the most transparent in history has tried to block the release of the Nixon testimony, as well as documents relating to “Fast and Furious” by way of executive privilege. Those of us that are interested in bringing justice to Justice will be watching as the sparks fly around the belt way. Walking guns to Mexico is infinitely worse than Watergate but has been down played in most media outlets and is not even a subject in the presidential face off between President Obama and Governor Romney. What Senator Grassley wants to know is how saturated the DOJ is in the swamp we know as “Fast and Furious”. The action taken by Codrea and Vanderboegh is only a love tap compared to the seriousness of the gun scandal that has killed hundreds of Mexicans and two federal law enforcement officers. Many U.S. Attorneys are deep in the swamp and may be slapped with legal sanctions including then acting ATFE director Kenneth Melson. I love the fireworks in Washington.

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