Obama Camp: Don't Politicize DOJ on Behalf of McCain

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.

Tags: Prosecutor Purge, White House 2008 (all tags)



Axelrod has an army of lawyers...

That's what money does for a campaign.

You plan in advance, and you have the ability to fight with boots on the ground.

This is not the passive "oh, we are above it, we are the ethical clean campaign" Kerry folks.

Obama may stay above it, Axelrod, Ploufe and the campaign are more then willing to trade punches with the Republicans.

by WashStateBlue 2008-10-20 12:14PM | 0 recs
Re: Obama Camp: No Politicization of the DOJ

Jon, your headline is unintentionally confusing.  It makes it sound like the Obama camp is stating that the DOJ has not been politicized.  Maybe it should read "Obama Camp: Don't Politicize the DOJ..."

by Steve M 2008-10-20 12:16PM | 0 recs
Re: Obama Camp: No Politicization of the DOJ

Yeah. That's better. Thanks.

by Jonathan Singer 2008-10-20 12:23PM | 0 recs
Re: Obama Camp: Don't Politicize DOJ on Behalf of

It's such a relief to feel like the side I'm on has trained for this, is fully prepped and READY, for once. And isn't it a great Presidential trait to boot?  Two for the price of one!

Come to think of it, it's this kind of proactive strength that will tip more undecideds into Obama's column.

by sarany 2008-10-20 12:32PM | 0 recs
Memo to Mukasey: There will be prosecutions!

DOJ officials who who have crossed the line in this election will be investigated and prosecuted in an Obama administration. That should be the clear message.

by cmpnwtr 2008-10-20 12:47PM | 0 recs
Re: Obama Camp: Don't Politicize DOJ
Let's just hope this election is a real blowout, so all this crap the republicans are throwing won't stick to the wall.
Thank the gods that the Obama camp is going to stay on top of this.
by skohayes 2008-10-20 01:00PM | 0 recs
Re: Obama Camp: Don't Politicize DOJ

I train tomorrow for the "Counsel for Change" Voter Protection Program that the campaign is putting together.

Should be interesting.

by bdub78 2008-10-20 01:10PM | 0 recs
Good for you! You have our gratitude!

Thanks, on behalf of all of us who watched the Republicans out muscle us in the past, we really appreciate your service to the cause of fair elections.

by WashStateBlue 2008-10-20 01:16PM | 0 recs


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