David C. Iglesias was a U.S. Attorney for the District of New Mexico until he was fired by Attorney General Gonzalez, along with eight other prosecutors.
A.G. Gonzalez later apologized for how the firings were handled and said that “mistakes were made.” How do you make a mistake firing somebody? By firing the wrong person? I don’t get it.
At any rate, Mr. Iglesias has an op-ed in today’s New York Times called “Why I was fired.”
Reports have been circulating that these prosecutors, most of them anyway, were crap-canned because they refused to pursue investigations and indictments in cases involving allegations of vote fraud by Democrats. Not invent cases, mind you, but to pursue allegations.
Here’s one paragraph that might shine a light on why Iglesias was indeed fired:
As this story has unfolded these last few weeks, much has been made of my decision to not prosecute alleged voter fraud in New Mexico. Without the benefit of reviewing evidence gleaned from F.B.I. investigative reports, party officials in my state have said that I should have begun a prosecution.
What the critics, who donÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t have any experience as prosecutors, have asserted is reprehensible Ã¢â‚¬â€ namely that I should have proceeded without having proof beyond a reasonable doubt. The public has a right to believe that prosecution decisions are made on legal, not political, grounds.
Check me if I’m wrong, but isn’t “beyond a reasonable doubt” an issue that’s up to a jury? All prosecutors need is “probably cause” for indictments (I knew that watching “Law and Order” would pay off eventually), or so I thought.
If this attorney didn’t simply misstate himself, I think we can see part of the problem here.
Here’s more from earlier in the op-ed:
United States attorneys have a long history of being insulated from politics. Although we receive our appointments through the political process (I am a Republican who was recommended by Senator Pete Domenici), we are expected to be apolitical once we are in office. I will never forget John Ashcroft, then the attorney general, telling me during the summer of 2001 that politics should play no role during my tenure. I took that message to heart. Little did I know that I could be fired for not being political.
Well, the prosecutor before you was appointed by the political process for a reason, and released by the political process for a reason, so what on Earth would lead you to be shocked that politics would ever play a role? I don’t care what career you’re in, if you’re not very observant, you’re going to end up being fired.
Besides, one man’s “not being political” is another man’s “partisan hack,” no matter where you are in the political spectrum.
This guy can’t have gotten where he was by having this kind of Mayberry RFD-ish view of the justice system, not to mention a seeming ignorance of his role in the legal process. This leads me to believe that the firings were, if not for good reason across the board, at least justified in this one instance.
Of course, what do I know — I’m not a lawyer. Thank God.