FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail

Politics and the Prosecutors

Over the course of 21-year course history of CORPORATE CRIME REPORTER, we have interviewed scores of prosecutors and former prosecutors.

And one standard question we ask is–have politics ever entered into your decision-making process of whether or not to prosecute a corporate crime case or a public corruption case?

Percentage of prosecutors interviewed who have admitted to political interference?

Zero percent.

Percentage of prosecutors who say–never happened?

One hundred percent.

We never believed these answers.

Life is too complicated for absolutes.

And this week on Capitol Hill, we got a peek at a separate reality.

Lo and behold, it turns out that politicians want to know.

And they pick up the phone and call the U.S. Attorney and ask–what’s up with that public corruption prosecution?

When’s it going to happen?

And it turns out that prosecutors prosecute for political benefit.

Got to get this prosecution done before the election.

And their political superiors try to stop those prosecutions–also for political benefit.

Carol Lam was the U.S. Attorney for San Diego.

Unlike most of her 92 fellow U.S. Attorneys, Lam decided that she was going to spend her scarce resources on prosecuting white collar and corporate crime.

She prosecuted public corruption in the city of San Diego.

She prosecuted corporate fraud in the health care industry.

And she sent to jail a powerful member of Congress–Randy Duke Cunningham (R-California)–for public corruption.

Under her tenure, street crime in San Diego also plummeted.

But according to her superiors, she ranked 91st our of 93 in gun violence prosecutions.

And she ranked low for immigration smuggling prosecutions.

She says she was bringing fewer cases–but cases with more bang for the buck.

The Justice Department’s response to Lam–you’re fired.

David Iglesias was the U.S. Attorney in New Mexico.

Iglesias was eyeing a public corruption prosecution of local Democratic Party officials.

One day, while at home, Iglesias gets a call from Senator Pete Domenici (R-New Mexico)–the man who gave Iglesias his job.

“He wanted to ask me about the corruption matters or cases widely reported in the local media,” Iglesias said. “‘Are these going to be filed before November?’–he asked. I said I didn’t think so. ‘I’m very sorry to hear that’–he said. The line went dead. He didn’t say goodbye.”

“I felt sick afterward,” Iglesias said. “I felt he was upset at hearing the answer he received. I felt leaned on, pressured to get these matters moving. It was unprecedented to get a call at home. It had never happened before.”

Iglesias said that the 2006 political race in New Mexico was very close–and the prosecution of Democrats for public corruption would have made a difference in the election.

Iglesias said that Congresswoman Heather Wilson (R-New Mexico) called him and said she had been hearing about “sealed indictments.”

“When she asked–‘What can you tell me about sealed indictments?’–red flags went up in my head,” Iglesias said. “We cannot talk about a sealed indictment. It’s like talking about launch codes at Sandia National Lab.”

“I said something about sealed indictments for national security cases,” Iglesias said. “She was not happy with that answer.”

The Justice Department’s response to Iglesias–you’re fired.

Thomas DiBiagio was the U.S. Attorney in Maryland.

He told the New York Times that he was forced out in early 2005 because of political pressure stemming from public corruption investigations involving associates of the state’s governor, Robert Ehrlich–a Republican.

“There was direct pressure not to pursue these investigations,” DiBiagio told the Times. “The practical impact was to intimidate my office and shut down the investigations.”

But William Moschella–an assistant deputy attorney general–told a House Judiciary Committee subcommittee that after the Times ran the article, he spoke with the Justice Department’s ethics official, David Margolis.

Moschella said that Margolis’ investigation of the situation found that “there were inappropriate e-mails and a staff meeting initiated by Mr. DiBiagio in which he specifically called for public corruption cases within a specific time frame indicating he wanted to bring some prior to the election.”

“This was so egregious that the Deputy Attorney General at the time–Jim Comey–had to write him a letter saying–you will not bring any public corruption cases without running it by me first,” Moschella said.

The Justice Department’s response to DiBiaggio–you’re fired.

The President can fire a U.S. Attorney for any reason or for no reason.

So, we’re not saying Lam, Iglesias, DiBiagio or any of the other U.S. Attorneys shouldn’t have been fired.

But don’t feed us a line of bull that corporate and white collar crime prosecution are non-political in nature.

It’s the political economy.

Stupid.

CORPORATE CRIME REPORTER is located in Washington, DC. They can be reached through their website.

 

 

More articles by:
August 16, 2018
Bruce E. Levine
“Don’t Be Stupid, Be a Smarty”: Why Anti-Authoritarian Doctors Are So Rare
W. T. Whitney
New Facebook Alliance Endangers Access to News about Latin America
Sam Husseini
The Trump-Media Logrolling
Ramzy Baroud
Mission Accomplished: Why Solidarity Boats to Gaza Succeed Despite Failing to Break the Siege
Larry Atkins
Why Parkland Students, Not Trump, Deserve the Nobel Peace Prize
William Hartung
Donald Trump, Gunrunner for Hire
Barbara Nimri Aziz
Morality Tales in US Public Life?
Yves Engler
Will Trudeau Stand Up to Mohammad bin Salman?
Vijay Prashad
Samir Amin: Death of a Marxist
Binoy Kampmark
Boris Johnson and the Exploding Burka
Eric Toussaint
Nicaragua: The Evolution of the Government of President Daniel Ortega Since 2007 
Adolf Alzuphar
Days of Sagebrush, Nights of Jasmine in LA
Robert J. Burrowes
A Last Ditch Strategy to Fight for Human Survival
August 15, 2018
Jason Hirthler
Russiagate and the Men with Glass Eyes
Paul Street
Omarosa’s Book Tour vs. Forty More Murdered Yemeni Children
Charles Pierson
Is Bankruptcy in Your Future?
George Ochenski
The Absolute Futility of ‘Global Dominance’ in the 21st Century
Gary Olson
Are We Governed by Secondary Psychopaths
Fred Guerin
On News, Fake News and Donald Trump
Arshad Khan
A Rip Van Winkle President Sleeps as Proof of Man’s Hand in Climate Change Multiplies and Disasters Strike
P. Sainath
The Unsung Heroism of Hausabai
Georgina Downs
Landmark Glyphosate Cancer Ruling Sets a Precedent for All Those Affected by Crop Poisons
Rev. William Alberts
United We Kneel, Divided We Stand
Chris Gilbert
How to Reactivate Chavismo
Kim C. Domenico
A Coffeehouse Hallucination: The Anti-American Dream Dream
August 14, 2018
Daniel Falcone
On Taking on the Mobilized Capitalist Class in Elections: an Interview With Noam Chomsky
Karl Grossman
Turning Space Into a War Zone
Jonah Raskin
“Fuck Wine Grapes, Fuck Wines”: the Coming Napafication of the World
Manuel García, Jr.
Climate Change Bites Big Business
Alberto Zuppi - Cesar Chelala
Argentina at a Crossroads
Chris Wright
On “Bullshit Jobs”
Rosita A. Sweetman
Dear Jorge: On the Pope’s Visit to Ireland
Binoy Kampmark
Authoritarian Revocations: Australia, Terrorism and Citizenship
Sara Johnson
The Incredible Benefits of Sagebrush and Juniper in the West
Martin Billheimer
White & Red Aunts, Capital Gains and Anarchy
Walter Clemens
Enough Already! Donald J. Trump Resignation Speech
August 13, 2018
Michael Colby
Migrant Injustice: Ben & Jerry’s Farmworker Exploitation
John Davis
California: Waging War on Wildfire
Alex Strauss
Chasing Shadows: Socialism Won’t Go Away Because It is Capitalism’s Antithesis 
Kathy Kelly
U.S. is Complicit in Child Slaughter in Yemen
Fran Shor
The Distemper of White Spite
Chad Hanson
We Know How to Protect Homes From Wildfires. Logging Isn’t the Way to Do It
Faisal Khan
Nawaz Sharif: Has Pakistan’s Houdini Finally Met his End?
Binoy Kampmark
Trump Versus Journalism: the Travails of Fourth Estate
Wim Laven
Honestly Looking at Family Values
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail