Special Prosecutor Appointed to Investigate the U.S. Attorneys Firings

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.

For the full story, click here and here and here and here.

12 thoughts on “Special Prosecutor Appointed to Investigate the U.S. Attorneys Firings”

  1. Just heard this on NPR–mukasey may not let her subpoena records or administration minions for interview. That’s one way to end an investigation! I hope Conyers can get an independent council, otherwise, “abandon all hope, ye who enter here”.

  2. I don’t think Mukasey will shut it down. He will let it be finished by the next administration. At that time, if Dannehey is doing a good job, maybe whe will continue it, but I would doubt it. I am hopeful that Obama will clean house at Justice when he wins in November. Mukasey is almost as bad as Gonzalez and when it comes to torture, he is nothing more than a political hack.

  3. Thats what folks are saying but I’m not so sure he won’t shut it down prior to that. 3 months is a long time, and he can quietly shut it down after nothing new is turned up.

  4. Cro-magnum:

    I agree but Mukasey won’t be there after January and I think this investigation will go well beyond that date.

  5. Former Federal LEO:

    “I know, just more credulous musing by a former LEO who is naïve enough to expect the legal profession to be a bit more credible and honest than the current evidence strongly suggests.”


    You have every right to expect that, and many lawyers do meet the criteria you and I expect. There is something about being near all that power that causes even honest men to think they do good, by doing bad. I suspect there are many heros who brought down these thugs in many ways and on many fronts–some may even have .Esq after their names. Like the foot soldiers in every battle they remain nameless, while the generals take the credit. Their contributions are no less magnificient despite the shroud of obscurity. Academics too have played a role in this by bringing these outrages to the plate of the American public in forums like this and elsewhere. Most of us fight for the good and follow the rules, it’s just that a few also fight for the bad, and they get most of the headlines.

  6. In this era when getting justice seem more privilege than right, I will take Nora Dannehy who had no compunction putting at least one corrupt governor away. I also predict that when the dust settles we shall see the rats for what they are, and that Jim Comey may well be regarded as the only true hero at DOJ. Knowing Jim, I have never doubted his commitment to the rule of law nor do I doubt his disgust at the perversion of DOJ wrought by this administration. Bring on the investigation!!

  7. With about 60 years of life on this planet, I am dismayed with the judicial systems’ lack of integrity. I have trusted our legal system completely and therefore I have been credulous to the point of appearing Pollyanna-esque.

    The main reason I accessed this site was an attempt to gain some basic insight into one of the eminent legal minds of today. Even so, I am further dismayed by the apparent lack of substantive influence legal scholars of Professor Turley’s caliber have on the legal questions of our times. Perhaps that results from the void or vacuum existing between practical, in the courts lawyering, and the highly laudable–albeit rarefied–position as an esteemed academician.

    We need pillars from the Ivory Towers of Academic Jurisprudence to venture into governmental law in positions that will unfold within the next administration in attempts to return the honor and integrity that has been stripped from the current politicized legal system. To be certain, I am a 30-year registered Republican, so I have no political agenda; instead, I just want legal professionals as *public servants* who others and I can trust. Our Democracy cannot exist without the fair and impartial rule of law exemplified by the Lady of Justices’ blind impartiality that we all first learned about during middle school Civics classes.

    Notwithstanding the Supreme Court, the USA needs an independent and unbiased “legal Czar” to review contentious legal issues through the jurisprudential prism of fairness and transparency and then posit “nonbinding legal opinions” to the 3 Branches of Government for further consideration.

    I know, just more credulous musing by a former LEO who is naïve enough to expect the legal profession to be a bit more credible and honest than the current evidence strongly suggests.

  8. I also have a question and I think SBT’s was excellent. I can’t believe cheneybush would allow anyone to be in this job who had a real chance of taking them on. When they appointed muskasey many people were talking up his “great” reputation and what an excellent choice he was. We all know how that turned out.

    Dannehy is still under their control. Rep. Conyers’s wants an independent prosecutor. Is she another mukasey?

  9. I’m no lawyer, but this looks to me like obstruction of justice on a grand scale. Add up the Cunningham case that Carole Lam was working on, the persecution of Don Siegelman, and the concerted effort by the department (led by three loyal Bush-appointed A.G.s) to block any investigation into its own conduct, and what else do you call it? David Iglesias and John McKay have both publicly stated that they were fired while under pressure to pursue cases that had no merit. This goes way beyond the euphemistic ‘politicization’ label.

    Could we laymen please get a legal explanation of why this aspect of the case is not being pursued?

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