After many months of refusing demands for a special prosecutor, Attorney General Michael Mukasey has finally yielded after the Justice Department’s own Inspector General called for such an appointment. He appointed Nora Dannehy, an experienced career federal prosecutor in Connecticut.
Given Dannehy’s own selection and supervision in this process, the appointment is not likely to satisfy many who wanted a truly independent appointment. There are plenty of such individuals in Washington who could offer even greater experience and far greater independence. This is not to cast aspersions upon Dannehy, but she is the product of this very same process and remains within the Justice Department. The selection should again focus attention on the need to explore a new Independent Counsel Act.
Dannehy can rightfully point out that she was made acting U.S. Attorney in April 4, 2008 after the scandal and its underlying controversies were made public. However, she replaced Kevin J. O’Connor, who currently serves as Associate Attorney General of the United States.
She has 17 years experience complex white collar and public corruption cases — certainly relevant experience.