Wednesday, March 7, 2007

Dominici Lawyers Up

[Originally posted at Watching Those We Chose]

[Updated below]

The most excellent TPM Muckraker reports that Senator Pete Dominici has retained Lee Blalack to represent him in the ongoing Senate ethics investigation into the purge of U.S. Attorneys in the Pearl Harbor Day Massacre.
Blalack, a partner in O'Melveny & Myers LLP's Washington office, is an experienced defense lawyer. As attorney for Cunningham, who is serving a sentence of more than eight years, Blalack dealt with one of the federal prosecutors who was later ousted, Carol S. Lam of San Diego.
Color me cynical, but I read this as Dominici knows that he abrogated ethics rules and proper protocol, and most likely, the worst is still to come. Perhaps one of the attorneys who comments here will let us know what the mechanism is for replacing a Senator under New Mexico law...

At least thats the feeling I got reading this article from the Washington Post. I finished the article with a sick feeling in the pit of my stomach. The founders of this nation established three co-equal branches of government, and set things up the way they did to assure that the citizens of this nation would not be ground under the heel of tyranny by the majority.

Those grand ideals held for over 200 years, until the appointment of Bush the younger to the office of the presidency. In six short years, we have seen over-reach after over-reach. We have been introduced to the concept of the Unitary Executive. We have seen Habeas Corpus, the Insurrection Acts of 1807 and Posse Comitatus suspended.

Yet in spite of all that, the politicization of Justice is the greatest existential threat to this nation that we have faced in the century and a half since the end of the Civil War. The thing that sickens me about it is that the existential threat we face does not come from outside our country, or even a rebel faction inside.

The existential threat we face comes from within our own government.

From a comment on this post by Corpus Juris at WTWC: "You don't hire Lee Blalack because you think you are going to lose your senate seat. You hire Blalack because you are afraid you have been a bad, bad boy and you might have committed some crime or other that could send you to the slammer."


Corpus Juris said...

Lets see. Domenici's new lawyer represented Duke "Top Gun" Cunningham who was played by Tom Cruise in the movie. Tom Cruise played David Iglesias in the movie A Few Good Men. What role is Tom Cruise going to play when the Pete Domenici movie is cast?

Blue Girl, Red State said...

That's a good question. Abu Gonzalez?

ingram1ja said...

When Rep. Heather Wilson called U.S. Attorney David Iglesias on October 16 to inquire about sealed indictments in an ongoing federal investigation of public corruption cases, Mr. Iglesias was required to report Wilson's call to his superiors.

When Sen. Pete Domenici called Mr. Iglesias on October 26 or 27 about the same federal investigations, the U.S. Attorney was required to report Domenici's call to his superiors as well.

Mr. Iglesias said he remained silent in order to protect his friends, allies and mentor -- Heather Wilson and Pete Domenici. This begs the question: "Protect them from what?"

Had Mr. Iglesias notified his superiors, the Wilson and Domenici calls could have become public information. Those calls might have changed the outcome of the November Congressional District 1 election, which Heather Wilson won with a little more than 800 votes.

During last year's November election campaign, it was Rep. Wilson who alleged, without proof, that Patricia Madrid committed unethical behavior in public office. Now, it appears the proverbial chickens have come home to roost and Heather Wilson might well be hoisted on her on petard.

Clearly, Mr. Iglesias isn't the only public official who should be held accountable for this sorry state of affairs. But, voters won't have a chance to hold Rep. Wilson or Sen. Domenici accountable until November 2008. Until then, it appears we may be stuck with a representative and senator who have serious ethical issues.

Therefore, if the Senate and House Ethics Committees investigate this matter and discover Wilson and Domenici are in violation, then they should resign, too. Otherwise, we should turn them out of office in 2008.