Monday, May 14, 2007

Voter Fraud and Prosecutor Firings: The Plot Thickens

Here is what the Washington Post says about the connection:

Nearly half the U.S. attorneys slated for removal by the administration last year were targets of Republican complaints that they were lax on voter fraud, including efforts by presidential adviser Karl Rove to encourage more prosecutions of election- law violations, according to new documents and interviews.

Of the 12 U.S. attorneys known to have been dismissed or considered for removal last year, five were identified by Rove or other administration officials as working in districts that were trouble spots for voter fraud -- Kansas City, Mo.; Milwaukee; New Mexico; Nevada; and Washington state. Four of the five prosecutors in those districts were dismissed.

It has been clear for months that the administration's eagerness to launch voter-fraud prosecutions played a role in some of the firings, but recent testimony, documents and interviews show the issue was more central than previously known. The new details include the names of additional prosecutors who were targeted and other districts that were of concern, as well as previously unknown information about the White House's role.

Just for your clarification: The voter fraud being talked about is not any that the Republicans might have been guilty of. It is Democratic voter fraud.

And then to the really juicy bits:

Rove, in particular, was preoccupied with pressing Gonzales and his aides about alleged voting problems in a handful of battleground states, according to testimony and documents.

Last October, just weeks before the midterm elections, Rove's office sent a 26-page packet to Gonzales's office containing precinct-level voting data about Milwaukee. A Justice aide told congressional investigators that he quickly put the package aside, concerned that taking action would violate strict rules against investigations shortly before elections, according to statements disclosed this week.

Wow! This is a more interesting plot than anything I can find on television, and it is only a small part of the soap opera that used to be called the Department of Justice.