Don’t expect Issa to investigate the US Attorney scandal either
As the new, GOP-led Congress begins work this week, one of the new Representatives will be Tim Griffin from Arkansas. While he's new to his role as Congressman, he's plenty familiar inside the beltway -- as the centerpiece of one of the biggest Bush Administration scandals. As TPM notes
, the Rove protege was on the receiving end of a plum resume-padding job in the Justice Department after the White House pressured for U.S. Attorney H.E. "Bud" Cummins III to be fired. Where is Griffin heading in the new Congress? The Judicial Committee of course.
Will his involvement in one of the most corrupt scandals in recent memory at the Department of Justice peak Darrell Issa's interest? Probably not, since Issa himself has been neck-deep in shady dealings with U.S. Attorney firings himself.
Issa was an early critic of Carol Lam, the Bush-appointed U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of California. His criticism of Lam began as early as 2004, with repeated complaints that her focus on white-collar crime was at the expense of pursuing illegal immigration cases. He kept up his criticisms as her office began investigating fellow San Diego congressman Duke Cunningham, and both Issa and Cunningham were among the signers of a 2005 letter
demanding that then-Attorney General Alberto Gonzales force Lam to refocus her office's priorities.
That Cunningham would sign such a letter and be taken seriously while under investigation by Lam's office
is absurd enough. But when the continued protestations weren't enough to throw Lam's office off the scent of the Cunningham corruption case, Issa pushed even harder. By 2006, he had graduated to providing false information to the AP
about Lam's record, claiming that she had prosecuted only 6% of suspected immigrant smugglers.
In the end, Cunningham was sentenced to more than eight years in federal prison, despite all the work put in by Issa, Cunningham and others to convince the White House to fire Cunningham's prosecutor. But we probably shouldn't expect an investigation into any of that either from Issa's committee. Just like putting those same foxes like Tim Griffin back in charge of the Judicial henhouse, in Issa's world, it's only partisan oversight of the other guys that matters.