Obama Camp: Don't Politicize DOJ on Behalf of McCain
by Jonathan Singer, Mon Oct 20, 2008 at 12:10:28 PM EDT
Over the weekend I noted that the Obama campaign was not allowing itself to get pushed around when it came to ensuring that voters' voices are heard on election day -- not even by the Department of Justice. To be specific, on Friday campaign counsel Bob Bauer fired off a letter to Attorney General Michael Mukasey and Special Prosecutor Nora Dannehy requesting an investigation into the apparent "misconduct" within the DOJ on behalf of John McCain, the likes of which were previously seen during the prosecutor purge scandal that brought down Attorney General Alberto Gonzales.
Today Bauer has penned another even stronger letter to Mukasey that reads in part as follows:
In the light of an emerging pattern of apparent unlawful coordination between the McCain campaign and the Department of Justice and state law enforcement agencies controlled by Republican officials, the most recent and outrageous example of which is noted below, other steps beyond those urged in the October 17 letter are urgently needed. While an investigation by Special Prosecutor Dannehy is necessary, it is not sufficient. Her jurisdiction extends only to violations of federal criminal law. She has no power either to investigate and remedy past violations of Department policies, or to proect against misuse of the Department for partisan political "attack" purposes between now and Election Day.
Accordingly, I am writing now to ask (a) that the Inspector General and the Office of Professional Responsibility investigate what appear to be substantial violations of Department of Justice policy in connection with the so-called "election fraud" investigations and (b) that you personally take steps to ensure that all relevant Department of Justice policies are followed and that the Department is not misused for partisan purposes.
These actions, and nothing less, are required to restore public confidence that the Department of Justice will honor its traditions and avoid further embroilment in this unethical and illegal misuse of law enforcement authority to serve partisan political ends.
You can read the whole letter here in .pdf format. To get a little more background on the broader effort, check out Bauer (who, for disclosure purposes, I worked for last summer) on Countdown Friday night:
Along with the news that the Obama campaign has assembled what has been dubbed "the largest law firm in the country, albeit for one day" to ensure that all the votes are counted -- in effect guarding against the type of manipulation of the legal process seen during the Florida recount in 2000 -- we can see that the campaign is indeed taking affirmative steps to protect the integrity of this year's election.