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Archive for January, 2009

Judge Changes Mind: Atty. Gen. Mukasey Won’t Have To Give Sworn Statement In Messy Stevens Case

Ex-Sen. Ted Stevens

Ex-Sen. Ted Stevens

Atty. Gen. Mukasey got a reprieve from the a federal judge. Still, the Sen. Stevens case is not looking good for the governor. It’s hard to believe the judge won’t at least call for a new trial.

By The Anchorage Daily News
WASHINGTON — The judge in Ted Stevens’ false-disclosure case reversed himself Wednesday and said neither the attorney general nor any other top level Justice Department official would be required to give a sworn statement about an Anchorage FBI agent’s whistle-blower complaint.
Instead, U.S. District Judge Emmet Sullivan ordered in Washington that the Justice Department’s Public Integrity Section provide him and Stevens’ lawyers with all its communications related to the agent’s complaint. The material, due Jan. 29, will be filed under seal, Sullivan ruled, preventing public disclosure.
The FBI complaint, by agent Chad Joy, has clouded Stevens’ conviction on seven counts of failing to disclose gifts and services over six years. Joy alleged that the public corruption investigation in Alaska was tainted by another agent’s improper source handling, and that prosecutors in Stevens’ trial knowingly withheld evidence that Stevens was entitled to see.
For Full Story

Fired U.S. Atty. David Iglesias Prosecuting Guantanamo Detainees

David Iglesias

David Iglesias

David Iglesias, the former U.S. Attorney, who became the poster child for what was wrong with the U.S. Attorney system in the U.S. under Bush, is working for the government again.

By Zachary Roth
TPM Muckraker

David Iglesias — the former US Attorney who was fired in 2006 for failing to prosecute politically motivated cases as aggressively as the Bush administration and its allies wanted — has a new job.
Iglesias, a member of the US Naval Reserve JAG corps, has been reactivated as part of a special prosecution team for Guantanamo detainees, he told a New Mexico news station this morning.
“One hundred percent of what I’m doing is prosecuting terrorist cases out of Guantanamo,” he said.
Igleisas explained that he had already begun the work, having travelled to the facility once, and expecting to go back.
“It’s the most significant set of orders I’ve had in my 24 years of navy service,” he added. “The level of detail that I’m looking into some of these terrorist groups, it just takes my breath away.”
For Full Story

FBI Cared More What George Carlin Said About Hoover than Dirty Words

It seems in the end it often came back to J. Edgar Hoover, a man with a lot of power and a healthy ego.

By John Rogers
Associated Press
LOS ANGELES – Talk about irony. Comedian George Carlin spent decades pushing the bounds of free speech by saying the seven words you can never say on television, but not one of them made it into an FBI file on him.
Among the 12 pages that do make up a file recently released by Carlin’s family are a couple of letters from outraged citizens who complained that the “alleged comedian” had made fun of the FBI and its director, J. Edgar Hoover, during TV appearances in 1969 and 1970.
There’s also a letter from Hoover himself thanking one of Carlin’s critics for defending his honor, and an internal FBI memo that quotes the director as asking: “What do we know of Carlin?”
Not much, as it turned out. The memo notes the FBI has “no data concerning Carlin” other than the two letters from his critics.
For Full Story

FBI May Have Recorded Up to 50 Conversations Between Gov. Blagojevich and Brother

It appears Gov. Rod Blagojevich isn’t the only family member facing more embarrassing moments. The FBI apparently recorded dozens of conversations between the Gov and his brother Robert.

BY NATASHA KORECKI
Chicago Sun-Times
Gov. Blagojevich

Gov. Blagojevich

CHICAGO — The governor’s brother, Robert Blagojevich, now says he was probably caught on secret government wiretaps as many as 50 times.
In a court filing today, his lawyer Michael Ettinger said he might seek to have all of those secret tapes kept out of court but needs more information before he decides to do so.
Prosecutors have sought to make one of the recordings involving Robert Blagojevich public at the upcoming Senate impeachment trial of his brother, Gov. Blagojevich. Ettinger and Ed Genson, one of the governor’s lawyers, oppose their release and have said they might seek to suppress all of the secret recordings.
A judge had asked to hear the reasons for throwing out the recordings before deciding whether to release some of them for the impeachment trial.
For Full Story
OTHER STORIES OF INTEREST

Ex-Puerto Rican Senator Pleads to Federal Corruption Charges

This man could be off to prison for a long long time for greed.

Jorge De Castro Font

Jorge De Castro Font

By The Associated Press
SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico — A former Puerto Rican lawmaker has pleaded guilty to federal corruption charges that could send him to prison for more than a decade.
Former Sen. Jorge de Castro Font entered the plea Wednesday after prosecutors agreed to drop 10 of the 31 charges he faced for allegedly trading political favors for cash and services.
For Full Story

A.G. Confirmation Hearing For Eric Holder Delayed For Up to a Week

As expected,  the Republicans want to beat up Eric Holder a little more. Still, his confirmation seems likely.

By JOHN BRESNAHAN
The Politico
WASHINGTON — Eric Holder’s confirmation vote before the Judiciary Committee will be delayed for up to a week as Republican senators continue to press him on his views about interrogation and other Bush administration intelligence methods.
The Judiciary Committee was originally scheduled to vote today on Holder’s nomination as attorney general, but Republicans have objected, and under committee rules they can delay the vote for up to a week. Holder was grilled last week by Republicans on his views about interrogations, Guantanamo Bay and his involvement in the 2001 pardon of fugitive financier Marc Rich.
Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas) is seeking more information from Holder on whether the Department of Justice will pursue criminal prosecutions of “intelligence personnel” involved in detainee interrogations.
For Full Story

Law Enforcement Pleasantly Surprised: No Inauguration Related Arrests

white house photo
white house photo

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com
WASHINGTON – My what a difference four years makes.
At the last presidential inauguration in 2005, when President Bush was being sworn in for a second term, about 20 people were arrested. What’s more, D.C. police reported that 10 of its officers were injured after clashing with anti-war demonstrators.
Tuesday was a much different story.
Federal and local law enforcement in Washington said there were no inauguration-related arrests, which surprised many considering the crowd. Estimates were as high as about 2 million.
Paul Bresson, an FBI spokesman, called the no-arrest event “a very good day for law enforcement”. D.C. police and U.S. Secret Service echoed similar sentiments Wednesday afternoon.
Meanwhile, on Tuesday the Secret Service unveiled its much anticipated new armored presidential limousine.
“Although many of the vehicles’ security enhancements cannot be discussed, it is safe to say that this car’s security and coded communications systems make it the most technologically advanced protection vehicle in the world,” Nicholas Trotta, Assistant Director for the Office of Protective Operations, said in a prepared statement before the car was unveiled.

Senator Judiciary Delays Confirmation Vote on Eric Holder Until At Least Wed. Afternoon

Eric Holder/law firm photo

Eric Holder/law firm photo

WASHINGTON — CNN reports that the Senate Judiciary’s confirmation vote for Atty. General designate Eric H. Holder Jr. has been delayed until at least Wednesday afternoon.
A Judiciary Committee spokesman told CNN that the committee’s senators wanted to attend the national prayer service Wednesday morning at Washington’s National Cathedral. The President is attending the service.  Allan Lengel