No Comment — May 9, 2007, 11:31 am

U.S. Attorneys Scandal—Kansas City

Kansas City Star reporters David Helling and Steve Kraske come up with more information suggesting that former U.S. Attorney Tom Graves was fired and that there were two principal concerns leading to the firing: his links to a corruption scandal surrounding Missouri’s Republican governor, and his refusal to engage in voter suppression tactics which were being peddled by main Justice. The Star also linked Missouri Republican Senator Kit Bond to the scandal for the first time, documenting his intervention with Justice on behalf of Graves.

Graves said he doesn’t know why he would have been a target for removal, but he suggested his “independence” may have played a role.

“When I first interviewed (with the Department)…I was asked to give the panel one attribute that describes me,” Graves said. “I said independent. Apparently, that was the wrong attribute.”

Missouri Democrats have long argued that the state’s fee offices, under the Blunt administration, were closely linked to campaign contributions. Tuesday they said news that Bond’s office was worried about Graves’ link to the fee office system may add to their suspicions.

“It’s alarming that there is now a connection between Todd Graves being pushed out of his job as U.S. Attorney and his involvement in Matt Blunt’s fee office scheme,” said Jack Cardetti, spokesman for the Missouri Democratic Party.

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