fuller picture of Bush interference

March 22, 2007 8:33 am by krueger

An article in today’s Washingon Post provides a fuller and more detailed picture of the Bush administration’s political interference in the trial. Sharon Eubanks, the leader of the Justice team, provides new details on what happened and who did what.

The evidence that the Bush administration political interference, via political appointee, Robert D. McCollum, had forced Justice to weaken its monetary penalty, has already been presented.
What this article adds: Eubanks says that three Bush political appointees, McCallum, Peter Keisler, and Dan Meron, interfered with Justice’s case in 2005. They told key Justice witnesses to change their testimony. They demanded Justice drop its penalty recommendation that tobacco executives be removed from their corporate positions. And they ordered Eubanks to read verbatim a closing argument that they had written.
The occasion for Eubanks speaking now is eight-gate, the firing of eight U.S. attorneys for apparently political reasons. The common thread is what Eubanks calls the “overwhelming politicization” of Justice by the Bush administration. Eubanks sees this as the larger picture, and recommends that Congress therefore not limit its investigation to the dismissal of the eight U.S. attorneys.

“Political interference is happening at Justice across the department,” said Eubanks. “When decisions are made now in the Bush attorney general’s office, politics is the primary consideration . . . The rule of law goes out the window”.

How that figured into the case against Big Tobacco: Eubanks said the political appointees largely ignored the case until it became clear the government might win. Then in April 2005, in the last weeks of the case, the political inteference started.
The full Washingonton Post article is:

Related material on Tobacco On Trial:



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