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McClatchy Newspapers breaks important new ground in the U.S. attorneys scandal by confirming that the roster of U.S. attorneys involved is still larger than previously suspected.
The Justice Department last year considered firing two U.S. attorneys in Florida and Colorado, states where allegations of voter fraud and countercharges of voter intimidation have flown in recent years, congressional investigators have learned. That brings to nine the number of battleground election states where the Bush administration set out to replace some of the nation’s top prosecutors. In at least seven states, it now appears, U.S. attorneys were fired or considered for firing as Republicans in those states urged investigations or prosecutions of alleged Democratic voter fraud.
The two prosecutors who were targeted were Gregory Miller, the U.S. attorney for the northern district of Florida in Tallahassee, and Bill Leone, the former acting U.S. attorney for Colorado. Miller appeared on multiple target lists for possible firing from early 2005 through last November, according to a senior congressional aide familiar with Justice Department documents. Miller kept his job.
The story also confirms that the U.S. Attorney in Minneapolis was fired because he refused to support a Justice Department effort to seek to purge voter rolls of presumptively Democratic voters.
This brings the number of U.S. attorney districts involved in the scandal to 15: twice as many as previously reported. And it helps explain why Alberto Gonzales repeatedly refused to answer questions about the number of U.S. attorneys involved in the purge.
More from Scott Horton:
Six Questions — October 18, 2014, 8:00 pm
Nathaniel Raymond on CIA interrogation techniques.
Mark Denbeaux on the NCIS cover-up of three “suicides” at Guantánamo Bay Detention Camp
From the June 2014 issue
Acres of hemp grown by “patriotic‚” U.S. farmers in 1942 at the behest of the U.S. government:
A study suggested that the health effects of exposure to nuclear radiation at Chernobyl were no worse than ill health resulting from smoking and normal urban air pollution.
Greenpeace apologized after activists accidentally defaced the site of Peru’s 2,000-year-old Nazca Lines when they unfurled cloth letters reading “time for change” near the ancient sand drawings. “We fully understand,” the group wrote in a statement, “that this looks bad.”
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“I hope that after reading the following pages the leaders of the Y. M. C. A. will start a campaign to induce good young men to do nothing. If so, I shall not have lived in vain.”