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Defund the Democrats: Putting Your Law Enforcement Dollars to Good Use

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Back on September 22, 2007, I reported on information I had received about a major campaign which had been launched by the Bush Justice Department to disrupt fundraising efforts by John Edwards’s presidential campaign—a project which antedated the 2004 presidential election and was marked by attorney general–level authorizations, and a vast redeployment of resources. It was, I am told, “a diversion of tens of millions of taxpayer dollars to block tens of millions of campaign contributions to the enemy.” The “enemy” in this case, being, as usual, the Democratic Party. Dollar for dollar, not an investment of taxpayer money that the increasingly Democratic electorate is likely to find amusing. Hence the Justice Department’s attitude of keeping the whole program deep under wraps.

When I ran the story, I got a number of comments—some of them from folks at Justice—telling me that the report was “too narrow,” that the target was not just John Edwards, but also Hillary Clinton. Indeed, the G.O.P. campaign strategists who manipulate the wheels of justice seem to have concluded very early on that Hillary was the candidate to beat in 2008, and the anti-Hillary agitation efforts couldn’t begin early enough. Remember, Karl Rove and his deputies made the rounds of major government agencies—including Justice—in the run up to the 2006 election, telling Republican faithful what they could do in their own agencies to wound the Anti-Christ. It seems that the Justice Department had a special function in the G.O.P. election campaign: vote suppression, criminalization of major Democratic candidates, and defunding the party by launching attacks on campaign contributors.

Here’s a story from the Associated Press, one of several I have recently come across, that gives me cause to think I understated both the scope and targeting of the Justice Department’s major defund-the-Democrats program:

On the wall of Hsiao Yen Wang’s apartment, a cramped, 17th-floor public housing unit on the city’s Lower East Side, are photographs of her husband, David Guo, a cook who specializes in Fujian cuisine. One photo stands out: Guo shaking Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton’s hand, a memento from a $1,000-a-person fund-raiser for the New York senator held in New York’s Chinatown last April.

Last week, Wang got another memento — a calling card from a Justice Department criminal investigator. The investigator asked Wang if she was coerced into giving money to the campaign and whether she knew of anybody else who may have been forced to contribute. In an interview with The Associated Press, Wang said she and her husband had given willingly and that she knew of no coercion. A Justice Department spokeswoman would not comment on the inquiries.

“I want to see her become the first female U.S. president,” Wang, a hospital worker, said of Clinton as her daughter translated.

There is clearly evidence of a criminal conspiracy underfoot here: the use of the nation’s law-enforcement apparatus to manipulate the campaign funding operations of the political opposition. Maybe we can get some of these G-men asking questions up the food chain in order to nab the real criminals—namely the persons who authorized this abuse, and the involvement of Karl Rove and his elves in the process?

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