Senators pursuing possible link between US Attorney firing and voter fraud suits

[JURIST] The US Senate Judiciary Committee [official website] Monday sent a letter to a former federal prosecutor, asking him to speak with investigators looking into the recent US Attorney firing scandal [JURIST news archive] and a possible link to voter fraud prosecutions. The Committee seeks to question former US Attorney Bradley Schlozman [official profile], now with the Executive Office for United States Attorneys [official website], about whether former US Attorney Todd Graves [professional profile] of Kansas City, Missouri, was fired when he refused to endorse a 2005 voter fraud lawsuit Schlozman filed against the state. Schlozman replaced Graves as interim US attorney when Graves resigned in 2006. In a letter to Schlozman co-signed by Arlen Specter of Pennsylvania, Chairman Patrick Leahy asked Schlozman to speak with the Committee and turn over documents, saying:

The committee would benefit from hearing directly from you in order to gain a better understanding of the role voter fraud may have played in the administration's decisions to retain or remove certain US attorneys.
An anonymous congressional aide said lawmakers hoped to hold a hearing as early as next week with testimony from Schlozman. AP has more.

Also Monday, the US Department of Justice (DOJ) announced it would not try to block [JURIST report] a House decision to grant immunity to former DOJ official Monica Goodling [JURIST news archive] to testify about whether politics played a role in the dismissal of eight US Attorneys. Goodling told the committee in March that she would not speak to the committee about her role in the firings [JURIST report], and stated through her lawyer, John Dowd, that she would seek protection under her Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination if the committee issued her a subpoena. She resigned [JURIST report] from her position at the Justice Department last month. The House Judiciary Committee voted to give Goodling immunity [JURIST report] in exchange for her testimony in late April.


 

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