It’s Not Rocket Science, People
LITTLE ROCK (AP) – U.S. Senator Mark Pryor says that he’s comfortable with the idea of Asa Hutchinson as a potential attorney general. But Pryor said today that the former congressman’s role in prosecuting former President Clinton’s impeachment case could harm his chances.
You’re kidding me, right?
At least Pryor notes that Hutchinson’s history as one of the House prosecutors during the Clinton impeachment “would be an obstacle with some lawmakers,” according to the article. No shit.
But forget about people like me, for a moment, whose teeth still hurt at the very thought of that three ring circus Hutchinson conducted. Do we need a refresher course about the story that paved the road for Alberto Gonzales’ trip to pink slip city? A little thing called the US Attorney’s scandal:
At the federal courthouse in Springfield, [attorney Thomas] Carver is seeking information about communication that two former U.S. attorneys for the Western District of Missouri, Bradley Schlozman and Todd Graves, might have had with former undersecretary of the Department of Homeland Security Asa Hutchinson. He’s not alleging corruption, Carver says, but like the Democrats seeking the paper trail that led to the politically motivated firings of several U.S. attorneys, Carver wants to see whether Schlozman or others targeted his clients for political purposes.
Carver represents Brentt G. Tumey, who along with other members of his family own an Arkansas contracting company, Managed Subcontractors Inc. The company was involved as a labor broker on a $50 million construction project at Fort Leonard Wood. At some point, federal investigators discovered violations of prevailing wage laws, and many companies, including MSI, paid fines to the government.
Only one of those companies has faced federal indictment. And Carver argues that the political implications are clear. Tumey’s mother, Robbyn, was a candidate for Arkansas state representative in 2004. Her opponent? Timmy Hutchinson, son of a U.S. senator and nephew of Asa Hutchinson, who at the time was running for Arkansas governor. Tumey later withdrew from that race. But in April 2006, she again announced her intention to seek the House seat as a Democrat. Two months later, Asa Hutchinson, in the midst of the gubernatorial race he would later lose, announced plans to be tough on illegal immigrants.
Six days later, MSI, and Carver’s client, Brentt Tumey, were indicted as a result of a federal immigration investigation into the long-ago completed construction project at Fort Leonard Wood. The indictment focuses on what Carver calls “technical violations” of prevailing wage laws.
“It is ironic to say the least that almost three years after an investigation of alleged wage and hour violations by virtually every contractor and subcontractor on the Fort Leonard Wood Construction project was concluded, an indictment was handed down in which, by implication, a candidate for public office was charged with a crime through her company, her son and her sister,” Carver argues in his motion seeking communication from Schlozman or Graves to their superiors, or to the U.S. attorneys prosecuting the case, that might indicate the case has political implications. “Even more alarming is the possibility that the Department of Justice has been manipulated by political opportunists.”
Let’s see. Democratic candidate suddenly being investigated by Bradley Schlozman just prior to an election and forced to drop out? Nope, nothing familiar here. Asa Hutchinson. Perfect candidate for AG.
Now Hutchinson may be pure as the driven snow in the situation, but the optics are horrible and and given the problem of the Justice Department being full of, you know, hacks right now who are going to be as hard to get rid of as a bad case of head lice it’s probably best to exhibit a bit more prudence than Pryor does in recommending someone who just might be implicated in the whole mess.
These people have staffs, fer chrissakes. Do they think before they open their mouths?
(h/t Eureka Springs)