Rachel reports on the latest revelations to come out of the U.S. Attorney firings scandal.
Maddow: In 2006, nine U.S. federal attorneys, prosecutors, were surprisingly and suddenly fired by the Department of Justice under George W. Bush. U.S. Attorney Paulson Charlton of Arizona was fired while he was in the midst of building a case against Republican Congressman Rick Renzi for an allegedly illegal land swap deal that would eventually lead to a 35-count indictment, including charges of conspiracy, wire fraud, money laundering and extortion.
And in San Diego, U.S. Attorney Carol Lam had spearheaded the corruption investigation that brought down Republican Congressman Duke Cunningham, who eventually pled guilty to accepting at least $2.4 million in bribes. The "Dukester" is still doing more than eight years in prison for that.
And then there was U.S. attorney David Iglesias. And Mr. Iglesias' dismissal really caught people's attention and the House Judiciary Committee has been looking into his case and the cases of the eight attorneys for more than two years now.
Well, today, that committee released emails and transcripts of closed-door testimony by Bush's White House counsel, Harriet Miers, and Bush's political guru, Karl Rove. Ms. Miers testified that the White House, specifically Karl Rove and his staff, were intimately involved in the decision-making process about whether or not the supposedly independent U.S. attorneys, the supposedly apolitical prosecutors, were going to be allowed to keep their jobs.
Ms. Miers told the committee that she received a call from Mr. Rove, in which he said that the U.S. attorney in New Mexico, Mr. Iglesias, was, quote, "a serious problem and he wanted something done about it." Miers told the committee, quote, "My best recollection is that he was very agitated about the U.S. attorney in New Mexico."
Why would Karl Rove be so agitated about David Iglesias? Why was Iglesias such a serious problem, according to Karl Rove? Well, e-mails released today from the committee showed Rove's deputy, a man named Scott Jennings, explicitly saying that Iglesias should be fired and complaining that Mr. Iglesias was, quote, "shy about doing his job on Madrid."
Madrid is Patricia Madrid, a Democratic candidate for Congress who Republicans were hoping the U.S. attorney would target with an election eve voter fraud indictment.
Iglesias didn't do that to Patricia Madrid. The Bush White House and Republicans were apparently furious about that, and then David Iglesias got fired.
The federal prosecutor Nora Dannehy continues to work on this case.
She will decide ultimately whether criminal charges will be filed.