Congressional investigators looking into the firings of eight U.S. attorneys saw Wisconsin prosecutor Steven M. Biskupic's name on a list of lawyers targeted for removal when they were inspecting a Justice Department document not yet made public, according to an attorney for a lawmaker involved in the investigation. The attorney asked for anonymity because of the political sensitivity of the investigation.
It wasn't clear when Biskupic was added to a Justice Department hit list of prosecutors, or when he was taken off, or whether those developments were connected to the just-overturned corruption case.
Nevertheless, the disclosure aroused investigators' suspicion that Biskupic might have been retained in his job because he agreed to prosecute Democrats, though the evidence was slight. Such politicization of the administration of justice is at the heart of congressional Democrats' concerns over the Bush administration's firings of the U.S. attorneys.
And this find:
In other developments Friday, new e-mails released by the Justice Department revealed that contrary to his testimony before Congress last month, the former top aide to Gonzales recommended candidates to replace ousted U.S. attorneys.
Kyle Sampson, then chief of staff to Gonzales, listed the names of possible replacements in a January 2006 e-mail he sent to then-White House Counsel Harriet Miers.
The disclosure offers more evidence that Justice Department officials may have misled Congress about attempting to transform the ranks of the nation's top federal prosecutors by firing some - perhaps for refusing to follow political direction, some evidence suggests - and replacing them with conservative loyalists from the Bush administration's inner circle.
Oops. It looks like the proverbial bowel movement may be about to hit the centrifugal wind device.