about time…

Posted on Wednesday 30 May 2007

The U.S. Justice Department has notified Arkansas’s congressional delegation that Interim Eastern District U.S. Attorney Tim Griffin is resigning effective Friday, June 1. Jane Duke will become acting U.S. attorney. (This is the assistant in the office who the Justice Department once had said had to be passed over as an interim appointee because of her pregnancy. Since it’s illegal to discriminate on account of pregnancy, Justice had to back off this statement.)

Still no word from the White House on selection of a nominee to put through the Senate confirmation process from a slate sent up by Rep. John Boozman.

"This is long overdue and a positive development," said Michael Teague, a spokesman for U.S. Sen. Mark Pryor. "Credibility is being restored to the leadership postion at the U.S. attorney’s office. We have confidence Jane Duke will do a good job."
and …

Griffin worked as counsel on the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee during the Clinton administration, as his boss, Rep. Dan Burton (R-IN), issued over a thousand subpoenas to Clinton administration officials. Later, he became a top opposition researcher for the Republican National Committee, and worked in the White House for Karl Rove. In a recent congressional hearing, former Justice Department aide Monica Goodling acknowledged there were concerns about his work in the area of ‘caging’ votes in the 2004 presidential election, which some critics contend is a form of voter suppression.

The ex-Rove aide, who also served as a Judge Advocate General in the US Army in Iraq, replaced previous US Attorney H.E. ‘Bud’ Cummins after the Justice Department used authority stealthily inserted into the USA PATRIOT Act that allowed the executive branch to indefinitely appoint interim US Attorneys. He has not been confirmed by the Senate, and Senator Pryor has been strongly critical of the Attorney General and told him in a recent private meeting to resign in large part due to the handling of the Griffin situation.
One might ask, how is a guy who has spent his career as a partisan hack doing opposition research qualified to be a Federal Prosecutor? Particularly one probably involved in "caging" and Rove’s questionable "voter fraud" program? Here’s his Wikipedia bio:
Griffin worked from September 1995 to January 1997 with Special Prosecutor David Barrett and his investigation of former Secretary of HUD, Henry Cisneros. In September of 1999 he was Deputy Research Director for the Republican National Committee (for Bush’s election campaign) and during that stint was a legal advisor for the "Bush-Cheney 2000 Florida Recount Team" (see Bush v. Gore). For two years after that he was Senior Investigative Counsel for the House Committee on Government Reform. From March 2001 through June 2002 he was Special Assistant to the Assistant Attorney General Michael Chertoff. He then left to become Research Director and Deputy Communications Director for Bush’s 2004 reelection campaign. From September 2005 through September 2006 he worked at the White House as Karl Rove’s aide, with the title of Special Assistant to the President and Deputy Director in the Office of Political Affairs.
Time Griffin was not qualified to be a U.S. Attorney, independent of his being a Karl Rove political plant. His entire career has been political, not legal. His former colleagues? Monica Goodling and Sara Taylor. His current job plans? Tommy Thompson’s oppo researcher? Kyle Sampson, Tim Griffin, Bernard Schlozman, Rachel Paulose, Monica Goodling? All political operatives placed in real jobs, jobs lawyers do, but not acting like lawyers.

While we think of this scandal as being about politicization of the Department of Justice, we ignore the fact that these people are lightweights – people from marginal schools – people with no experience – doing jobs that would be hard for experienced, well trained lawyers. They were appointed because of party loyalty or skills in partisan tricks, not because they could run a Federal Justice Department charged with maintaining Law and Order. They are about as qualified to do their jobs as George W. Bush is to be President [which is not at all].

As bad as it is to be governed by political idealogogues, we’re also being governed by gross incompetents – people who don’t know what they’re doing – epitomized by lawyer Monica Goodling’s incredible comments, "I didn’t mean to" or "I stepped over the line". She might as well have said, "I made a boo boo"…
    May 30, 2007 | 11:08 PM

    This is what I was saying in an early post. The bottom line is that it takes time to become knowledgeable in these types of positions. It’s not about how smart someone is, or how much education they have. It’s about having experience and the people you are talking about just don’t have it. I think the powers that be GET this point and have made these appointments intentionally. It’s just like all of the other things that Cheney and Rove do. They ARE on purpose and it’s calculated.

    May 30, 2007 | 11:32 PM

    It’s true, what you say. They seem to be actively appointing lightweights. I’ve assumed that it was based on loyalty, but you’re implying there’s something else. I kind of think that too, but I don’t know what it would be…

    May 31, 2007 | 6:32 AM

    I’ve just read the latest talkheadsmemo .com and it made me sick. I keep saying to myself that the corruption of the Bush /Rove/Cheney has to have an end but they don’t seem to have restricted themselves with anything. We have to put them in jail. If I hear 1 Democrat in Congress say that we won’t impeach them I’ll scream.

    May 31, 2007 | 9:20 AM


    What’s the address for “talkheadsmemo .com?”

    June 1, 2007 | 6:33 AM

    M, I’m sorry to say that I mispelled the web site it’s one of the sites you feature on your site. It’s talkingpointsmemo.com We had a family emergency and I didn’t get much sleep.

Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.