“The rule of law goes out the window.”

We’ll be hearing more accounts like this

The leader of the Justice Department team that prosecuted a landmark
lawsuit against tobacco companies said yesterday that Bush
administration political appointees repeatedly ordered her to take
steps that weakened the government’s racketeering case.

Sharon Y.
Eubanks said Bush loyalists in Attorney General Alberto R. Gonzales’s
office began micromanaging the team’s strategy in the final weeks of
the 2005 trial, to the detriment of the government’s claim that the
industry had conspired to lie to U.S. smokers.

She said a supervisor demanded that she and her trial team drop
recommendations that tobacco executives be removed from their corporate
positions as a possible penalty. He and two others instructed her to
tell key witnesses to change their testimony. And they ordered Eubanks
to read verbatim a closing argument they had rewritten for her, she
said.

SNIP

News reports on the strategy changes at the time caused an uproar in
Congress and sparked an inquiry by the Justice Department. Government
witnesses said they had been asked to change testimony, and one expert
withdrew from the case. Government lawyers also announced that they
were scaling back a proposed penalty against the industry from $130
billion to $10 billion.

SNIP

Eubanks said Congress should not limit its investigation to the dismissal of the U.S. attorneys.

“Political
interference is happening at Justice across the department,” she said.
“When decisions are made now in the Bush attorney general’s office,
politics is the primary consideration. . . . The rule of law goes out
the window.”

SNIP

The most stressful moment, Eubanks said, came when the three
appointees ordered her to read word for word a closing argument they
had rewritten. The statement explained the validity of seeking a $10
billion penalty.

“I couldn’t even look at the judge,” she said.

This is just sickening.

6 thoughts on ““The rule of law goes out the window.”

  1. merlallen says:

    When a Democrat is elected in ’08, the Republican’ts will rediscover their love of the Rule of Law. But not until then.

  2. Raoul Paste says:

    The people of America need to hear this story. Far and wide.

  3. Nora says:

    At the time of that decision, I knew there was something rotten. It just smelled bad. I didn’t know until I read this just HOW rotten it was.
    I am appalled and disgusted. These people basically ordered this attorney to breach her professional ethics. And I KNOW she’s not the only one.

  4. hoppycalif says:

    The whole premise of the Constitution is that the President is going to enforce the laws, thus has control of the Justice Department. The President takes an oath to uphold the laws and defend the Constitution. For possibly the first time in our history we have a President who came into office to defy the laws and destroy the Constitution. That situation is covered by the Constitution too – it gives Congress the power to impeach and remove a President like Bush. I keep wondering why the reluctance to do that duty.

  5. pansypoo says:

    well, obviously the infestation of bushie rats is quite high.
    WTF happened to the republican party? it is a damned shame they have completely devolved into just a religio anit-tax party.

  6. sparrow says:

    Bush, ever true to Crony Capitalism, always sticks to dancing with the ones that brung ’em. Hard to forget his line to fat cats at the Oct. i9th Alfred E. Smith Memorial Foundation Dinner, to wit: “This is an impressive crowd: the haves and the have-mores. Some people call you the elite; I call you my base.”

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