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Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Gregory Miller and Bill Leone: two more US attorneys from Swing States

McClatchy reporters Marisa Taylor and Margaret Talev are reporting that two more US Attorneys from swing states vital to GOP chances in the 2008 election, Gregory Miller of Florida and Bill Leone of Colorado, were on the DOJ purge list.

As Josh Marshall notes at TPM, what's interesting about this piece is the somewhat incomplete sub-story that begins a few paragraphs from the end:

Fired U.S. attorneys in New Mexico and Washington state have said local Republicans pressured them to prosecute voter fraud cases, but they didn't believe that the cases were solid.

Congress has since learned that the White House and Justice Department were also pursuing voter fraud inquiries just weeks before last November's election in Wisconsin, Pennsylvania and New Mexico and were raising concerns about Nevada.

A U.S. attorney in Wisconsin and another in Scranton, Pa., were considered for firing but were retained. Both had the support of powerful Republican lawmakers. Nevada's U.S. attorney was fired last year. A U.S. attorney in Minnesota, who disagreed with the Justice Department on a case involving voting rolls, was asked to resign early last year. Other fired U.S. attorneys served in Arizona, Arkansas, Michigan and California.

The two common threads in this scandal are:

  • pressure from GOP politicians and the White House on US Attorneys to pursue weak or non-existent voter fraud cases and charges against Democrats
  • resignations and firings of US Attorneys in swing states vital to GOP chances in the 2006 and 2008 elections.

  • That list of swing states includes New Mexico, Washington, Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, Nevada, Arizona, Arkansas, Minnesota and Michigan. Add Colorado and Florida to that list and a picture forms. The White House using a branch of government to influence the election process in swing states? That can't be true. Can it?

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