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Unintended Consequences

Way back in March, when the U.S. Attorney purge scandal was front-page news, Kagro X wrote a great piece that touched on a likely trend: a new opportu

Way back in March, when the U.S. Attorney purge scandal was front-page news, Kagro X wrote a great piece that touched on a likely trend: a new opportunity for defense attorneys. “Defense attorneys across the country are doubtless exploring the possibility of demanding new trials for their clients,” KX wrote, “and those awaiting trial will be seeking dismissal of charges, all because the Department of Justice has been exposed as a political attack machine”

As it turns out, that’s exactly what’s going on.

Defense lawyers in a growing number of cases are raising questions about the motives of government lawyers who have brought charges against their clients. In court papers, they are citing the furor over the U.S. attorney dismissals as evidence that their cases may have been infected by politics.

Justice officials say those concerns are unfounded and constitute desperate measures by desperate defendants. But the affair has given defendants and their lawyers some new energy, which is complicating life for the prosecutors. […]

There has long been a presumption that, because they represented the Justice Department, prosecutors had no political agenda and their word could be trusted. But some legal experts say the controversy threatens to undermine their credibility.

In other words, thanks to the Bush gang’s shameless attempts to politicize every aspect of the federal government, the president, the attorney general, and their cohorts have made it more difficult to prosecute corruption. Way to go, guys.

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