Democracy Has Prevailed.

April 17, 2007

Mary Beth Buchanan in the News!

An astute reader sent me the link to this Post-Gazette article by Pamela Ward earlier today.

The chair of the House Judiciary Committee has requested an interview with U.S. Attorney Mary Beth Buchanan in relation to the ongoing investigation into the firings of eight U.S. attorneys late last year.

Ms. Buchanan is one of eight people identified in the letter sent to Acting Assistant Attorney General Richard Hertling yesterday by Rep. John Conyers Jr., D-Michigan.

According to a judiciary staffer, the committee has received information that causes concern about both the process of the firings and politically motivated prosecutions across the country.

Here's the letter Congressman Conyers sent.

Included on that list is Steven Biskupic, US Attorney for the Western District of Wisconsin. He's the guy described in this blog posting. Biskupic was reportedly on the purge list, but came off it at about the same time he prosecuted a staffer in the office of the Wisconsin's Governor just before the 2006 election. The Republicans in that race used the prosecution to "prove" corruption in the Democratic Governor's administration, by the way.

Geez, will wonders never cease.

WTAE has some more information.
The Justice Department consulted with U.S. Attorney Mary Beth Buchanan in Pittsburgh when it was drawing up a list of prosecutors to be fired, a former top aide to the attorney general told investigators, and now a House committee wants to interview her.

Attorney General Alberto Gonzales' former chief of staff, Kyle Sampson, told Senate investigators Sunday that Buchanan was one of the senior officials he consulted about which U.S. attorneys should be asked to resign, according to a Senate Judiciary Committee aide who read a transcript of the interview. The aide requested anonymity because of the sensitivity of the issue.
Turns out that Ms Buchanan was, from mid-2004 to mid-2005, the director of Executive Office of US Attorneys. The EOUSA's missions and functions (according to it's website) include:
  • Evaluate the performance of the Offices of the United States Attorneys, making appropriate reports and taking corrective action where necessary.
Seems a natural that they'd want to talk to her. I just wonder what they're gonna ask.

Can't say it enough. Congressional oversight is a bee-you-tiful thing!

1 comment:

EdHeath said...

There's an editorial piece in Monday's NYT that paints a very interesting picture of this guy Biskupic. The staffer in the Governor's office is actually apparently more of a bureaucrat, who awarded a contract to a low bidder company whose CEO also supported the democrat Governor of Wisconsin. Biskupic decided this was corruption and went after the bureaucrat, and the issue was plastered all over the campaign (the Governor was running for re-election). Now the conviction has been overturned on appeal, and the woman ordered released immediately. But she spent four months in prison and lost her house. I hope she pursues a civil suit and takes the US Attorney’s office to the cleaners.