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The Spokane (Washington) Spokesman-Review reports Saturday on a speech given by former U.S. Attorney John McKay to the Federal Bar Association:
McKay said he was summoned to Washington, D.C., in June and questioned for eight hours about possible reasons for his firing by investigators with the Office of Inspector General, who will forward their final report to Congress. “My best guess is it will be released sometime next month,’’ and likely will include recommendations for criminal prosecutions of Gonzales and maybe others, McKay said.
Gonzales “lied about” reasons for the firings when questioned under oath in July by the Senate Judiciary Committee and now has hired a lawyer and is refusing to answer questions from the Inspector General, McKay said. The White House said McKay was fired for poor performance ratings of his office, but the ex-U.S. attorney said he and his office got exemplary reviews just three months before he was fired.
“The chief law enforcement officer for the United States should not lie under oath,’’ McKay told the bar association. It was reported last week that Gonzales has now retained a high-profile defense lawyer, and apparently is refusing to answer questions from the Inspector General, which could signify the investigation is nearly complete, McKay said.
“When it lands … it is going to be an extremely negative report on President Bush’s Justice Department,’’ McKay told the packed conference room, which included federal prosecutors and judges.
“There was a conspiracy to politicize the Justice Department,’’ the former U.S. attorney said, “and they did not get away with it.”
McKay also discussed the dismissal of the U.S. Attorneys in San Diego, Nevada and New Mexico. He noted that each of them had been lied to by Gonzales or his senior operatives. Among other things, McKay said, each had been told that he or she was the only U.S. Attorney who was being fired. “The Attorney General should not lie,” McKay stated. He went on to speculate that the Inspector General would conclude that Gonzales had told a number of lies under oath, and might recommend that criminal charges be brought against him. He linked this to Gonzales’s recent engagement of a prominent criminal defense attorney in Washington.
More from Scott Horton:
Six Questions — October 18, 2014, 8:00 pm
Nathaniel Raymond on CIA interrogation techniques.
On a Friday evening in January, a thousand people at the annual California Native Plant Society conference in San Jose settled down to a banquet and a keynote speech delivered by an environmental historian named Jared Farmer. His chosen topic was the eucalyptus tree and its role in California’s ecology and history. The address did not go well. Eucalyptus is not a native plant but a Victorian import from Australia. In the eyes of those gathered at the San Jose DoubleTree, it qualified as “invasive,” “exotic,” “alien” — all dirty words to this crowd, who were therefore convinced that the tree was dangerously combustible, unfriendly to birds, and excessively greedy in competing for water with honest native species.
In his speech, Farmer dutifully highlighted these ugly attributes, but also quoted a few more positive remarks made by others over the years. This was a reckless move. A reference to the tree as “indigenously Californian” elicited an abusive roar, as did an observation that without the aromatic import, the state would be like a “home without its mother.” Thereafter, the mild-mannered speaker was continually interrupted by boos, groans, and exasperated gasps. Only when he mentioned the longhorn beetle, a species imported (illegally) from Australia during the 1990s with the specific aim of killing the eucalyptus, did he earn a resounding cheer.
Percentage of Britons who cannot name the city that provides the setting for the musical Chicago:
An Australian entrepreneur was selling oysters raised in tanks laced with Viagra.
A tourism company in Australia announced a service that will allow users to take the “world’s biggest selfies,” and a Texas man accidentally killed himself while trying to pose for a selfie with a handgun.
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“Shelby is waiting for something. He himself does not know what it is. When it comes he will either go back into the world from which he came, or sink out of sight in the morass of alcoholism or despair that has engulfed other vagrants.”