I have been following the outstanding coverage of the US Attorney scandal provided by The Washington Post's Dan Eggen since the beginning. I have never failed to learn something new reading his articles. Never, until today.
This morning Eggen filed a pretty routine story describing Bradley Schlozman's testimony about the election fraud indictments he brought just prior to the 2006 election. Schlozman claimed, under oath, that he didn't think the indictments against four former low level employees of the left leaning voter registration group ACORN would have any impact on the election. Eggen noted (as all of us who live in Missouri knew) that in the final four days of that election the GOP used the indictments in their campaign against Claire McCaskill.
Eggen reports that Todd Graves, who was familiar with the DoJ manual on the subject, later testified he was surprised that Schlozman brought the indictments so close to an election. The manual states United States Attorneys "must refrain from any conduct which has the possibility of affecting the election itself," and "most, if not all, investigation of an alleged election crime must await the end of the election to which the allegation relates."
So far there nothing in Eggen's piece that hasn't been reported elsewhere.
Then at the end of the story he trots out the following.
A department official who spoke on the condition of anonymity said the policy "does not mean . . . that the department forbids the filing of any charges, ever, around the time of an election." The Missouri case involved voter-registration efforts, rather than the election itself, the official said.Who is the department official Dan? Is it Schlozman, or somebody in his camp? Is it Craig Donsanto, the official Schlozman spent all day hiding behind? To whom did you give anonymity? If it is Schlozman or somebody in his camp, that's no big whoop. If it is Donsanto, that is news, especially since TPMmuckraker is reporting that Donsanto, who wrote the manual, told David Iglesias something entirely different in a similar case. Without the official's identity there is not a single bit of news in your article. Why would you give the official anonymity anyway? The guy didn't exactly give you a whistle blowing quote.
A sad day for Dan Eggen. He seems to have gone Washington.
Dan, if you want a real story, try finding out when the GOP wrote and produced its negative ads. There were only four days between the indictments and the election. The ads were up pronto. If the ads were in production before the indictments then you have caught Schlozman in a giant lie. He says he didn't talk to anybody besides Donsanto and his people prior to the indictments. He also says that he didn't think the indictments would affect the election. The GOP obviously did. The timing was so precise, I wouldn't be surprised to learn the date of the indictment was on somebody's election campaign flowchart.